My wife and I are still in the very early stages of planning our first CC rewards trip.. Looking at going in late 2012 or early 2013, but trying to acquire cards in such a way as to maximize the benefit before that. Currently, we have 100k Ultimate Rewards points, most of which came from me signing up for the Chase Freedom in February and the Sapphire Preferred in October before I really realized how much better miles could be compared to dollars back since we want to travel anyway. My wife just was approved the other day for both Citi AAdvantage cards using the two browser trick, and we are waiting to hear back for her app the same day for the Chase Southwest. Our goal destination, subject to change, is Tokyo and Seoul. Best case, we would be able to do an open jaw flying into Tokyo, stopping in Kyoto/Osaka, flying over to Seoul, and then returning home. Home in this case is kind of flexible... ATL or ORD is most likely where we would leave from, because there is family to leave our daughter with, but we are based in Hartford. So being able to build a flight plan from BDL to NRT/KIX and back via one of those cities would be huge. But if necessary, we can just book the domestic stuff individually. We would hope for this trip to be as nice as possible for as little actual money as possible (I know, a unique goal). We definitely would want business class on the transpacific leg, and don't much care about the short hop between Japan and Korea. It'd be nice to get all or most hotels on points, too. My current thinking was to get both Citi AA cards for myself once we meet the spend on hers and so by probably April or May we would have 200k American miles, which looks like enough to get us to Japan or Korea and back. But because I'm new at this, I have a few questions to help us pick cards in 2012 towards this goal. Can we book the open jaw ticket this way through American, even if it is on a different oneworld partner? (I would love to be in as nice a business class product as possible, and I also think it would be cool to be on the upper floor of a two level plane. Or anywhere on an Airbus 380). Will I need extra AA miles to do it as an open jaw, or is it better for me to plan to book as two one way tickets. Also, for the short leg in between, is it more efficient for me to use my UR points on Korean Air directly, to find a different signup bonus somewhere, or to just pay in cash? What cards should I target to maximize free hotel nights? We don't need to be in the top hotels, but we would like something at least equivalent in "niceness" to, say, a Marriott Courtyard. Finally, when would be the best plan for actually booking this - 330 days out, or some other time? Thanks so much in advance for suggestions!