Maximizing Domestic travel miles for Int'l future travel goals

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by servo, Aug 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Ok, I'm still a bit new at all this, and everyone has been very helpful acclimating me to the forum. My primary goal is to take my wife to Europe in 2014. To me, that means either flying from MCO into Barcelona, Paris, or Rome. While I'd love to be able to pull a first class RT, with a possible mortgage in my near (2-3 years) future, I don't really want to get too into the credit card game. So, I need to maximize elsewhere. Our other international goals over the next few years are a trip next summer MCO-SXM (Maho Beach to watch the planes come in), and MCO-LIM. It appears that I am better off, time wise, driving or taking the train down to Miami, and catching direct flights on AA, but LIM seems more expensive ($ wise) than even Europe does, so I'm not sure if the miles would be better put to use there or to BCM. (I'm assuming that's where the cpm analysis comes in handy).

    Anyhow, in the upcoming year, we have the following trips planned: 1) MCO-SDF or CVG Dec 2012 2) MCO-LAS - Mar 2013 3) MCO-SFO Apr 2013. Should I just fly exclusively with AA (I got the 2 card deal which should net me 100k miles if I get the min spend complete), when available (it's wildly inconvenient to get to SDF/CVG on AA), to get the miles from both the CC purchase of the domestic fare, and the miles for the flights, or are there other options that would work better? I have the Cap One Venture card as my only other card with a balance of miles for travel (40k), and then the PC Visa for hotels, and the US Air Barclay's card for 40k miles that should be arriving shortly.

    I'd appreciate any advice.
     
  2. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Have you considered checking going out of TPA versus MIA?

    Since you dont plan on churning cards (like myself) you need to determine what you currently have points wise and which card(s) you currently have will gain you the most over the next year or so then focus all spending. Also can you combine any of the points you currently have? You speak of "planned trips" but are these already booked? "Wildly inconvenient" may also be a good way of building miles. If you dont meet the spend for AA cards, well, you really need to as i am sure the only reason you got them was for the points.

    Remember, focusing all spending may need to be a little creative including paying rent and using payment services to maximize point building.
     
  3. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    If you got the 100k AA deal for you, you already have one ticket in biz taken care of. Just have your wife do the same and you'll be set, with just one more credit inquiry.

    This would also be enough to do both in coach.

    US airways you can frequently purchase outright at a reasonable cost. If you were to go in winter, you could do it for 55k each in biz.

    I'd say take biz to europe, and if miles are scarce redeem for coach or purchase coach for LIM. The flight isn't that long so less of a benefit from premium cabin.
     
  4. gamecock

    gamecock Silver Member

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    Sometimes that's the price you pay.

    I need to go to SAT/AUS next month and I am playing around with flying from NYC to SEA or LAX then onto Texas. Need the miles!:(
     
  5. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Thanks for the advice. My wife isn't keen on getting additional cards, because she just doesn't understand math, and is uber conservative when it comes to her credit score when we're thinking about a mortgage in the next 2-3 years. She's willing to do one card, and I was going to have her do a Priority Club card, so that we both have 2 free night certificates and 180,000 points at least to use on hotels in Europe - that way I really only need an additional 20k miles on AA in order to get 2 RT MileSAAver tickets. She's also not keen on those time inconveniencing trips, especially when Delta has a non-stop from MCO-CVG for cheaper. I can see how you'd benefit from a miles perspective, but when you don't have as much free time, the pros/cons of running longer trips for the miles provides less benefit. Also, AA's routes from MCO or TPA are around $300-400 more than Delta. If it was the same price or less, I'd give it significantly more consideration.
     

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