Intro from yet another newbie

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by petmar, Aug 4, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Hi all. Wife and I are based in Atlanta, and are hoping to start being able to travel more. We've done a few trips here and there, but never bothered to signup for any awards programs, so I'm at ground zero. Im beginning to plan a trip to London for next year, first time back across across the pond in30+ years for me. I have family there, so hotels aren't needed for that trip, but this is hopefully to be the first of many.
    It seems the Chase Sapphire card is my best option to jump start points-gathering, and I'm not quite understanding the need to join multiple awards programs and carry/use multiple cards. I'm reading more and more, so maybe the penny will drop soon.
    Our main goal would be to use points to allow us to afford trips we otherwise couldn't, and explore Europe and more of the US, to start. Longer trips would be easier with upgraded classes, of course.
    Basically looking for beginners steps and to find out how to determine what goals are realistic. We don't travel for work, and don't really spend more than 'living expenses' on a regular basis. A few Amazon purchases when we need something. i have an EasyPass for commuting, and I've read about using the card for regular expenses and paying it off each month, but the $4000 in 3 months requirement for the Sapphire card seems a little high for our regular budget. Just so you know what I working with. It may not be, but just doing quick math in my head, I think we'd have to work at it a little...
    Thanks in advance for any pointers
     
  2. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Points and miles seem to come easy, once you get the hang of it, easy to double up or even 5X with Chase Ink..

    Check out Citi, AA 30k, Will get you there,,8 hours in the back is not that bad.....:D
     
  3. petmar

    petmar Member

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    What is the purpose of joining airline programs in addition to the option of shopping through Chase's portal? Delta's hub is in ATL, and BA, AA & Southwest are all here as well.
     
  4. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Ok, so I checked out AA, and put in my dates for when I'm thinking of going to London (March 2-9 so it's cheaper), and their lowest mileage option is 22.5K on a BA flight that is 30K each when I checked it last night....so that's why I register with different mileage programs on different airlines?
    Confused....
     
  5. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    BA has a rule sur charge...

    BA is miles via Chase, ,

    AA no sur Charge...

    Big final price difference...

    UA will get you there with a stop over 11hours...long ride...

    Citi has many AA credit cards offers, I have exceeded 1 million miles with AA.

    CITI is easy to work with, like Chase..
     
  6. petmar

    petmar Member

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    So booking through AA gets around the BA fuel surcharge? Even though the flight is actually on BA? I know the AA points are Citi, not Chase. The spend is much easier, and my wife can get a Citi card as well to earn points and bonuses. AA wouldn't be my preferred airline, but since I'm based in Atlanta, I'm blessed to have more options.
     
  7. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    My Prefered airline is the one leaving when I want to go, none of them are perfect.

    AA has no rule sur charge at the moment, and BIS miles are lifetime,

    I would look at AA and WN, if located ATL., just my thoughts...

    SMGC might be a good way to go,

    These are just my thought, other will share theirs..
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
  8. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Ok, so I've registered with BA, Southeest, AA and VA, downloaded Awardwallet, and got the Sapphire preferred card on the way.....now it's time to get to spending and collect the bonus points. Then in 3 months, can I have my wife get her own Sapphire and get another set of bonus points?
     
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  9. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Just make sure you pay your CC bills on time.., with credit card auto pay...

    Very Important..
     
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  10. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Absolutely!! Interest payments would wipe out miles benefits real quick!!
     
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  11. petmar

    petmar Member

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    I am correct in assuming my wife and I can combine UR points?
     
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  12. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Yes, you absolutely can transfer her points into your account. That’s the beauty of Ultimate Rewards, they are much more flexible about things like transfers than many other programs. You can combine other people’s accounts with your own, and do it entirely online. However, you do have to enter a credit card number in order to do the transfer, so be careful doing this with anyone you don’t know well since once those points are transferred, they’re gone.

    from: thepoint guy.com...

    'Good Question...
     
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  13. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Thought so, when I logged onto my account it still showed my debit card listed from when it used to have UR points, before they discontinued that....if I'd known then....

    So for infrequent travelers like us, just the two of us, it makes sense to pool our points in UR, then when we want to redeem in a flight, transfer them out to the carrier that's offering the best deal.....carefully, because once transferred to BA, AA or whoever they can't be moved again, correct? Used with that carriers partners, but not moved to another 'partner group' (whatever that's called)?
     
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  14. petmar

    petmar Member

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    ...and following up....do I need to book on the phone? I keep finding flight options with various carriers on the normal travel sights that I can't find when I'm on the carriers' websites....
     
  15. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    You will pay a fee on the phone, if you book, or you can use their information..,and book later


    Many time I will just pay the fee,

    today I just put the reservation on hold.

    do some dry runs...
     
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  16. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Can I find an itinerary on the Travelicity/Orbitz/whatever sites, and then enter those flights on the carrier websites to force the issue? I'm not ready to book, still need to earn the miles, but I like to know ahead of time how to proceed.

    Btw, thanks for all the help!!!!
     
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  17. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Just because an itinerary is offered for sale does not mean it is available with miles. Many airlines will only allow a limited inventory on miles because you can't pay your employees or buy jet fuel with miles (but you can with cash). ;)

    Expedia and so on will show itineraries for sale that a carrier may not be offering with miles. You need to do an award search.

    I would suggest reading up on some tips on how to search for awards...

    http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...o-booking-award-tickets-using-american-miles/

    http://thepointsguy.com/2015/04/how-to-book-awards-with-united-mileageplus-miles/
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  18. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    The United MileagePlus Explorer card and United Club card from Chase (as well as the business versions of each) offer the ability to “Use miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight” at the Standard award level. United also offers Premier elite members “Better availability for United Saver Awards in economy,” but in practice credit card holders appear to be receiving both benefits

    AA also gives you some crazy timetables. But status allows you to go stand by,


    We booked a PEK trip in April, AA 67,5 the other day,

    Just keep looking and be flexible, we have done next day from PVG, back to the states,Unitee is bad about opening the last minute..

    Airlines want to fill the seats, first with paying passengers the award travelers

    Profit is not a dirty word
     
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  19. petmar

    petmar Member

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    I'll continue to play around with the websites. I agree the airlines are entitled to make a buck. I also know I need to learn how to utilize the points, so thanks for those links
     
  20. RenneStone

    RenneStone Member

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    Welcome to the forum, I promise, ones you get the other side of the world, you can go almost any location you want. I have been in 5 countries of Europe, and every single one is a huge different experience. Welcome again!
     
  21. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Finally got the card, which took a week. Booked a flight for my wife for a trip to New Orleans she needs to take at the end of September. I know I get 2X points for travel, how long before they show up on UR site? Is there a 'normal' time delay, or does it vary depending on weekend/weekday, and company you buy from?
    I doubt it was my 'best effort', I just went through Chase's portal, and ended up with a Delta flight for her, which probably wasn't the best choice given what I've heard about using/earning Delta points. I'll learn, though:)
     
  22. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    One thing about Delta miles, they do not expire,

    Amex cards will get you Delta Points,

    I still have Delta Points from NW Airlines... but you can now use the one way, they are improving...in time they can be traded..
     
  23. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Another noob question. When I use the card, the points accumulate and get posted to the account once a month on the statement, or accrue as I spend? Any reason to delay paying off balances as I spend to allow points to post? I don't plan to pay off monthly, I'd prefer to pay as I go since I'm new to this
     
  24. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    When you pay the amount due the points will post, if you do not pay the bill in full every month, forget the miles game..

    Many cards require you to pay in full every month, those that let you carry a balance charge you 1.5 % on the unpaid balance every month.

    At that interest rate you will be working for the bank, and you will not be able to afford a day off.
     
  25. petmar

    petmar Member

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    Oh I'm not carrying a balance month to month, quite the opposite, I'd like to pay almost as soon as the charges go through. I just wanted to be sure that wouldn't prevent getting credit for all the points. Stupid question, probably, but I'd rather be sure
     

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