Noob couple using multiple cards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by SeanLJ, Sep 1, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. SeanLJ

    SeanLJ Member

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    Hello, I'm new to travel hacking. I just met the minimum spend on a Chase Sapphire and a Chase Ink Bold plus to receive their sign-up bonus miles. My goal is to save $ on domestic travel visiting friends and family (I live near SFO airport, flying home to DTW is expensive). Also my girlfriend and I want to start traveling together to places like Scotland.
    1. When I redeem my miles, how does that work? Do I have to purchase tickets through Chase's travel services? Or do those miles get transferred to me in a voucher, or to the airline alliance of my choice, and I handle the rest on my own?
    2. Can miles from different cards be combined to purchase a single ticket? Or, do I need to earn enough miles on each, separate card, for each single flight?
    3. Following the same thoughts... since we plan to do most of our traveling together, I'm wondering if it's necessary for my girlfriend and I to get the same exact credit cards, and try to rack-up the same amount of miles?
    Any help is appreciated, and/or if you can direct me to other posts on MilePoint. I may call the credit card companies to ask them these questions, too, but I thought I'd get straighter answers from this community. Thank you!

    PS: I may get one more card, thinking of the Barclay Arrival. Seems like a good compliment to the Sapphire and Ink Bold Plus. Thoughts? Starwood Preferred is highly recommended, but we don't stay in typical hotels too often.
     
  2. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    One thing about CC is do not spend more than you can pay back when due.

    On thing about travel, the expense is not in flying,

    Do the SFO /DFW and book the trip via the web site when you get the miles.

    Do not think the Credit Card Companies will be very knowledgeable on your travels, suspect they will direct you to the airline you chose to travel on.

    Why not read a bit and then post a question.

    Welcome,
     
  3. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    1. You do not need to go through chase services. In fact most of the time you are better off not too. Instead chase has many airline partners and you can go to ultimate rewards and transfer your UR points directly to the airline where they become the airline miles. United, british Airways, southwest, Korean air , Virgin Atlantic, and Singapore. For example if Southwest had a 19000 reward ticket available for a flight you want you go to ultimate reward and transfer 19000 points to southwest which allows you to book the award directly through the carrier. Often you get more cents per mile this way than directly through chase.
    2. Miles are like money as long as they are the same currency - same type of miles for the carrier - they can be combined. So if you got a united explore card and a Citi aadvantage the miles would not combine since they are different miles. If you had the chase southwest premier and southwest plus those miles all combine. Getting the chase sapphire and bold they are the sameultimare rewards points and you can combine the points from your cards.
    3. Having two people to earn miles is great! That makes ticket earning that much easier. That being said you might not always want to get the same cards at the same time or not. Do you have similar credit scores? Maybe one of you should hold off if your score isn't high. I suggest the main thing is determine where you want to go and see what airlines fly their and what level of class do you want to fly first, business, economy and determine what hotels are in the area you are interested in and look at cards that help you meet the goal. Since you are just starting out you might want to start small with only a card or two here or there until you have a better understanding of the process. You also really want to pay attention to your credit score and always pay off your cards in full!
     
  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    No voucher. Chase does allow you to purchase tickets through their travel service but that way you're just exchanging points for pennies at a fixed, not especially attractive rate. In general the best use is to transfer the points (instantly and on-line) to one of Chase's transfer partners (airline or hotel) and then use the points to get the flight or hotel night(s) you want. It's best if you can locate and "hold" the flight before transferring the points since transfers are one-way and not reversible.

    Remember that you can transfer the points to an account with airline X and generally book flights on any alliance (or, in some cases, non-alliance) airline partner of X.

    Because flights are booked from an airline mileage account it is sometimes possible to combine miles from different cards into one account. For instance, you might have a United Explorer card earning miles directly in the United program and any number of Chase Ultimate Rewards cards which can transfer into United. Some programs (such as Singapore) are transfer partners for more than one "currency" (in Singapore's case, Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, SPG points and Citi Thank You points can all be transferred). What's important is that you wind up with enough miles in the airline mileage program account to book the ticket(s) you want.

    No, as long as your mileage accounts wind up with sufficient points to book the tickets you want, the points can get there any way you want. And remember, you can use one account to book both tickets if that's where you have the points, so for trip A you can take all the points from your accounts (if you have enough) and book both tickets. With my family of four, for instance, I once booked tickets to Cancun on American as: myself and my two daughters on round trip tickets from my British Airways account and my wife on two separate one-ways, each one-way from a different daughter's account.

    In general, however, you cannot actually move miles from one person's mileage account to another without paying a fee. Exceptions are household accounts with British Airways, and Chase allowing you to move points among family members (but only from one UR account to another -- after you move them to an airline they're out of Chase's control).

    The Starwood card collects flexible points which can be transferred to airlines as well as use for hotels.
     
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  5. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    SPG. Gives you an extra 5,000 for every 20,000 to AA.

    Now I am so confused, and I heard United devalued their miles...

    You are an informative group....

    Thank you, for the info...
     
  6. SeanLJ

    SeanLJ Member

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    This is extremely helpful. Thank you to all who have replied so far, though more info is always welcome!

    I probably would have made a few missteps along the way, had I not posted here.

    The trick, it seems, is making sure that my partner and I choose cards and other earning programs that can be be combined/redeemed in the alliance that meets our main travel goal. Though I suspect we might end up dividing and conquering on foreign vs. domestic travel goals. I have some planning to do!
     
  7. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    If you'll be doing more domestic than international travel, getting 2 Southwest cards when they offer the 50,000 point bonus so that you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass might be the better route. You'll get more travel for your miles that way.
     
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  8. SeanLJ

    SeanLJ Member

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    I thought they weren't doing the companion passes anymore...?
     
  9. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Still there,

    Let her earn it one year,and then your turn, also they have 4 cards, so keep track I'd the cards you apply for...

    When they quit, a lot of people will cry..Best Deal out there...
     
  10. sheikkila02

    sheikkila02 Silver Member

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    Great summary. The only thing I would add for Sean is that you should be aware that the cards that allow transfers to partner programs are, most of the time, premium versions of cards. (e.g. the Chase Sapphire doesn't let you, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred does -- I know at least one person who fell for that...)

    If you zero in on one and aren't sure if it allows transfers, you may want to just ask around to confirm (like in this forum).
     

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