New Here, Trying To Go To Buenos Aires

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by aresay, Mar 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. aresay

    aresay Member

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    Hi everybody. I am new to the frequent flyer mileage game, but after spending thousands of my own dollars on flying internationally, and until recently, not even using frequent flyer programs (I flew to Guatemala, Rwanda, Uganda and Morocco without earning credit), I decided it was time to join!

    My FICO is a pretty solid (I think?) 771 and I can pay my rent via credit card (with a 1% service fee) so it seems like credit card sign ups are the way to go, the problem is deciding which ones to go for. For my next big trip, I want to fly from NYC to Buenos Aires (no date yet), so I imagine that will impact which cards I sign up for. I currently don't have a ton of miles (7,500 AA; 20,000 Continental; 35,000 Delta) so a lot will depend on what I do going forward.

    What course of action would you recommend? I've read that using BA for LAN is pretty good for South America, so maybe start with Chase Sapphire Preferred, or might AA be better?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint aresay! :)

    Let's see what the MP credit card experts have to say!
     
  3. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Welcome. We have some pretty savvy credit card members so they will be posting along shortly. Because of global alliances, my guess is that you'll really want to focus on the best card signup bonus. There's some good ones and not so good ones, so balance the advice you'll get here with your own personal goals. Cheers.
     
  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP!

    :)
     
  5. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Personally, I would stick with BA/AA miles since AA and LAN has a good coverage of S. America. I would do the 50K AA VISA/AMEX (double browser trick) and the Biz card 65 days later for an additional 50K.

    Remember that AA has a MileSAAVer Off-Peak Economy award for 20K each way. For 2012 the off-peak dates are: Mar 1-May 31, Aug 16-Nov 30.
     
  6. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    +1 do the Citi Amex and Citi Visa card each for 50k AA miles. See TOBB for more details.

    FYI, there is no Continental anymore! ;)
     
  7. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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  8. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP aresay!
     
  9. aresay

    aresay Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I ended up doing the 50k AA Visa/Amex using the double browser trick. I should get my cards soon. I plan on using the Visa to pay for my rent (management company doesn't accept Amex) which comes with a 1% fee (about $25). Does it make sense to continue using it pay my rent and incur the fee once my minimum spend is met?
     
  10. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    You'll get differing opinions. For me, 1% is fine because it would mean X amount of extra miles every month, the payment would post immediately (no worries about your rent being paid late), and easier tracking for budget since it's on a cc report that can be downloaded to Quickbooks or Quicken.
     
  11. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP aresay!
     
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  12. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    1cpm is pretty good in my opinion, especially when it's easy...I'd do it.
     
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  13. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I actually would do that if I could charge it on a card that banks Chase UR or to a card that gives benefits for $30K of spend per year. Sapphire Preferred points are 1.25 cents each minimum, and you earn that at 1.07-1.10x rate depending on the card.

    $30K a year would be great for spending thresholds like BA's 2-for-1 voucher ($300 in 1% fees gets you 37.5K Avios and a twofer). What management company is this, I wish mine did 1%!

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  14. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    That means you incurr an extra 1 cpm cost on each of your miles. Since you are looking at going to Argentina from NYC that should not be an issue. This route is one of the more expensive routes and using miles gives you great value.

    The AA decision is great. The price can't get much better than 20k for a one-way milesAAver off-peak award. 30k for milesAAver or 60k AAnytime.

    You should be flexble with your travel dates because there is only one plane for this route, the LAN Argentina flight is a codeshare on AA metal, and inventory will change. Weekends will be hard to book because anybody who wants a direct flight needs this flight,unless you go to EWR and fly United. Try to fly during the workweek if you can be flexbile.

    Inventory will change right up until the day you leave. Setup an expertflyer alert for days you are interested and go for it. If you book economy you will be best served to also seat a seat alert for anything away from the 2-5-2 dreaded middle row.

    Although I would have had you look into AMEX Membership Rewards bonus offers first. I really like Avios Points for redemptions on this routing, I have done it 3 times already. Using a Cash + Avios option you use only 12,500 Avios and pay less than $150 in cash for a one way award (25,000 +$300 R/T). AMEX MR consistently have transfer offer to British Airways for a 50% bonus or higher. Meaning 50k AMEX MR becomes 75k BA Avios. Which could get you 3 R/T flights between NYC and EZE.

    I have extensive experience with this routing and just this past Monday I booked my girlfriend onto the 3/30 flight back home to Buenos Aires. I used my AA miles to book a First milesAAver award for her because that flight can get pretty rowdy and dirty.

    If you need more information check out my site as I do love to talk about Argentina and flight AA955.

    Check out the Frequent Reader Question: What Should I Do in Argentina? if you need some ideas of what the country is all about.
     
  15. traveler
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    traveler Gold Member

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