Next AOR for trip to Germany~what to focus on?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by wanderlust74, Dec 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Getting ready for my next churn for a trip to Germany and I'm not sure what CC I should apply for. I had been focused on Citi AA, but so many of you love flying Lufthansa, that now I'm wondering if I need to focus on United miles.

    Here's where I am currently for miles:
    UR points: 11,600 (low balance due to flights to Caribbean)
    AAdvantage: 45,125
    BA: 130,000
    United: A big fat 0

    So, should I stick with American to get to Munich, or should I try and churn my way with United? If United, how can I come up with miles to be able to fly business/first for the main jaunt over the pond? We've NEVER flown business/first, so that would be such a treat for us! Home airport for international travel is ATL, so our itinerary would be ATL-MUC, then VCE-ATL, with whatever stopovers.

    Cards we currently have for airlines (we have hotel cards, but not gonna mention for this post):
    Chase Sapphire (1)
    CitiAA Visa (1)
    Starwood Amex (2)

    I've tried to talk my husband into applying for business cards, but he is adamantly against it. We don't have a business, but sell on eBay. Nonetheless, nothing is going to change his mind. So please, don't make matters worse for me and suggest the Ink cards! ;) And, can I apply for two Chase cards in one day? Maybe the Sapphire and Freedom?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Germany, especially Munich, is expensive around Octoberfest (usually the last two weeks of September) if you can even find hotel rooms there then. I would aim for October, when school vacations (and mass migrations in Europe) are finished (and the fall leaves are pretty), but early-mid September would also work well.

    Avoid stopovers (over 24 hours) in England on AA/BA (and other carriers) to minimize fees and taxes, including the notorious "luxury tax" on plane tickets.
     
  3. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Thanks, MSPeconomist! I will certainly keep October in mind. I'm all about saving some money AND avoiding crowds!

    We definitely will not be flying BA due to their taxes. Now it's just a decision between AA and United. United's itinerary is much better, and I'd love to fly Lufthansa. Are the only United cards out there by Chase? If so, how many Chase cards can I apply for in one AOR?
     
  4. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    To fly biz on UA miles across the pond, you'll need 200k for the two of you. That's a lot of UA miles to earn through CC's, especially if you won't get Inked. You might focus on more BA miles (a BA chase visa?) and just swallow the fuel surcharges (around $600/ea for USA-Europe for biz, last time I checked).
     
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  5. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    If I were you I agree that I would stick with BA miles. You already have 130K. How did you get the 130K points? Was it from sign up bonuses with BA? If only one of you got it you could always have the other person apply for the BA card and get at least 50K with up to 100K based on spend. Or... talk your husband into it and apply for both the Ink AND the BA card... Then you could always use some of your UR points to transfer to Hyatt for hotel while on your trip.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    No Hyatt in MUC... or VCE...

    How about you use the BA miles you have to buy one Business Class ticket and one Coach ticket. He, of course, gets coach, together with a reminder that he could have been upfront if only he hadn't been so stubborn about the whole Ink thing :D

    (written half-jokingly by someone who doesn't have a business and thus no Ink or other business card)
     
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  7. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    Yeah I wasn't 100% on the Hyatt. I guess there are a ton of other options. Priority Club, Marriott, SPG, etc. We are staying at the Le Meriden in May when we go to Munich.

    Seriously though as much as I don't want to suggest the Ink cards you really should consider it. If your husband doesn't want to apply for the business cards what is keeping YOU from doing it? You can do the business and he can do the personal cards (although I would do both if I were you.)
     
  8. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Yep, the Chase BA Visa 100,000 sign up bonus is what got me suckered into this obsession! :rolleyes: At the time, I didn't think about both myself and husband applying. Grrr!

    Funny, but that certainly wouldn't bode well for an anniversary trip! ;)

    So, based on the advice so far, I did a search for BA flights. Doesn't look good, folks. Try 123,000 miles for economy+ $1193 in fees. Yuck. On the other hand, if we fly AA we could go for 120,000 +$299, which includes flying business on the return flight. I think I've just solved my "dilemma". With so many options, and this being our first major award trip, it helps to air this out with others. I had been focused on AA, but got sidetracked with flying Lufthansa, thus this post. Anyway, thanks for the feedback, everyone!
     
  9. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    We are focusing on SPG and Priority Club for our hotels. Yes, I am dying to get the Ink cards and have discussed this with my husband on a few occasions. He feels as though we would be stretching the truth since we only eBay sporadically. I don't feel as though I should go against him and apply myself. After all, he's the main bread winner (I'm a stay at home mom/substitute teacher)! Maybe once we take our award trip and he sees how rewarding it is to be involved in this hobby, he'll change his mind! He's still has the very skeptical, "this is all a scam" point of view. Can't wait to prove him wrong! :D
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Is that to Frankfurt instead of Munich? I didn't think that AA has service to Munich. Or perhaps the new ORD-DUS flight with a domestic connection on Air Berlin?
     
  11. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Yes, it's to Munich. From ATL there are a couple of route options on Air Berlin: ATL-LGA-JFK-DUS-MUC or JFK-TXL-MUC. Would have to overnight in DUS or TXL.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Just a look at the routing would convince my wife to let me start a business.
     
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  13. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Yeah, ridiculous, isn't it (the routing AND the husband)!
     
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  14. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    When we fly into Munich we are going LAX-LHR-MUC. Since we are using the companion pass we have to be completely on BA metal. Have you tried looking at every flight segment by segment? Maybe you can piece together something that is much more "time friendly" and won't cause you to take so many flights? I agree that once he see's just how much you can do with the points you earn he will change his tune. My wife used to give me a hard time about always applying for cards, reading blogs, forums, etc... then we flew to Grenada in 1st class for free and she has forever changed her tune. Now she even looks at her friends in disappointment when they pay for a meal with cash. :)

    Ha ha! I can't tell you how many times a week I kick myself for not getting my wife the BA card with 100,000 sign up bonus a couple years ago. I can only imagine what we could've done with those extra miles. Oh well... just need to decide if it is worth it to sign her up for the current offer. If it is I might as well shoot for another companion pass this year.,
     
  15. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    Yep, I'm gonna have a lot of searching to do. We're not bound to flying into Munich. We might try Frankfurt and then take the Romantic Road down to Munich. United's itinerary is SO much better. We could even get a direct flight from ATL-FRA. Anyway, I mainly need to decide which airline to focus on so we can do our next AOR. I think my choices are (just for airlines; I have other cards in mind for the rest of the AOR):

    a) CitiAA two browser trick (Visa and Amex) for my husband for 100,000 AA miles OR
    b) Chase United Explorer x2 for 60,000 AND Chase Sapphire for me for 40,000 (to be transferred to United)

    If we go with American, we'll have more than enough points; with United, we may have enough for economy round trip but I'd really LOVE to fly business for one leg of the flight, at least. If I got the INK card.......:rolleyes:
     
  16. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    Trust me. My wife changed her tune after her flight. She just lets me do whatever. In public she will still say I spend a lot of time, don't we all, doing this but will always ask what are we flying next. :roll eyes:
     
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  17. wanderlust74

    wanderlust74 Silver Member

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    UPDATE: the hubby agreed with the INK card and I am now an Ink Plus cardholder!! Woo hoo! I was not approved right away, so I called the reconsideration line. After a very detailed (and nerve-wracking!) question and answer session, I was approved. I also applied for the Freedom card and was approved instantly for that. Now for the fun of meeting min spends, but now my dream of flying business on Lufthansa is a little closer to coming true!

    What changed his mind was AA's horrible itinerary. After I showed him United's itinerary, he was more willing to consider the business card. He was relieved to hear I was approved. Now, I better get to work on my business and make some money for this trip, but at least the flight (and eventually, hotel) will be pennies!
     
  18. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    WHOO HOOO! Glad he came around! You just wait until after your trip and he'll be begging to apply for more and more cards! Once you start traveling for cheap free you'll be hooked!
     
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