RTW itinerary ideas with a CC churn

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by adamhoolhorst, Nov 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    My friend and his wife are planning a 6 month trip in June around the world. As a first time FF, I'm trying to help him get there with a churn and some creativity. Here's the basic itinerary:
    West Coast-Japan
    (travel throughout Asia)

    China-Paris
    (travel throughout Europe)

    London-West Coast

    I was thinking about them each churning:
    Chase Sapphire - 40k UR
    Chase Ink Bold - 50k UR
    Citi AA - 50k AA and maybe
    AMEX Gold business - 50k MR

    Considering the fact that he will be traveling a lot between continents, I was thinking the simplest way to do this would be:

    Oneworld - West Coast to Japan in J (60k AA)
    Star - China to Europe in J (65k UR)
    Star - Europe to West Coast in J (50k UR)

    and perhaps use Avios for intra-Europe/Asia or just buy revenue tickets on something like AirAsia/EasyJet.

    I realize there is probably a better way to do this, and that I why I'm writing here for other ideas. I just think that given his relative low account balances (a few thousand in United and 50k in SPG to cover the balance from the churn) this needs to happen quickly and there won't be enough time to get points into one system to try for a RTW ticket.

    Thanks ahead of time for the help. No way am I letting my friend and his wife spend thousands on revenue tickets!!!
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Seems reasonable enough to me, assuming they can hit the minimum spends.

    They will definitely want to be on UA points for the TATL trip to avoid the YQ. If they have to swap AA/UA points for TPAC and Asia-EU that wouldn't hurt too badly on CX metal.
     
  3. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    Good point. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  4. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    Have you considered the American Airlines Oneworld distance based award chart? I quickly mapped LAX-TYO-HKG-CDG-LHR-LAX and that works out to 18,932 miles. Per AA's award chart that would be 180k for first class. If each spouse did Citi AAx2 and Citi AA biz that would be 150k and he can top off each of those with the 50k SPG points. If each spouse adds in the BA card that will cover intra-asia and intra-europe flights.
     
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  5. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    I thought you could only sign up for one personal and one business AA card at once? Great suggestion, I'll start looking at this. I was always thinking this wouldn't be possible as they are starting without any AA miles, but if they can get 150k in one swoop this is a great option.
     
  6. jeffrey930

    jeffrey930 Silver Member

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    You can apply 2 personal AA visa/Amex at the same time. Then wait 60days then apply for AA business card.
     
  7. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    You can do two AA personal apps at the same time using the two-browser trick. Then 66 days later you can apply for the AA Business card. For example you could do this:

    December 4
    Citi AA Personal x 2 using two browser trick.
    Chase BA card

    66 days later
    Citi AA Business
    Whatever else you think you want.

    FYI, when you do your churn pick a weekday morning, I like Tuesdays. The reason why is that there are more apps for credit cards on weekends and you run the chance that Citi may not pull your credit right away. This happened to me and Citi pulled my credit a day after I did my churn so of course Citi saw all my apps from the previous day. It took a lot of phone calls and a letter to finally get approved. You want to avoid that if you can.
     
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  8. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I have done some churns and been relatively successful, but never with Citibank incidentally. Next time I'll be trying on a Tuesday! For my friends this will be their first churn, and they both have great credit so I don't forsee as many issues as I have had.

    A little more specifically they are looking to do:

    SFO-TYO-PEK-PVG-IST-ZAG-LHR-MAD-FRA-SFO

    This maps out to 21k or so and bumps to the next distance level. However, I think they can get some of these done with Avios/revenue tickets. I'm researching now, but can they have open jaws with a OneWorld distance-based award? That way they could pick off some of these flights with other awards and stay under 20k.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The distance-based chart requires that surface sectors be included in the mileage count AFAIK. So if there was a break between ICN and NRT and you went to HKG in the middle it wouldn't be so bad. But as the itinerary looks now I doubt it would save much. It also requires you count all sectors so PVG-IST would likely require a connection in LHR, MAD or HKG, further increasing the miles flown.
     
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  10. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    I see. This does make it more difficult. Well, off to do more research. Thanks to everyone for all this knowledge. It's been incredibly helpful in the process.
     
  11. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    You might be able to get a little more out of your friend's miles by being a little creative with the open-jaw/stopover rules of the carriers. For example, UA allows one stopover or one open jaw per leg on a round trip flight...
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Two open jaws and one stopover total on a UA return trip award.
     
  13. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    This is very true. As it stands, this is the general plan:



    Segment 1: SFO-HKG-NRT
    • AA miles - CX SFO-HKG-NRT… 62.5k each for first class
    • (Other option is JAL- SFO-HND, also 62.5k for first class but the preference is CX)
    Segment 2A: NRT-PEK
    • Revenue flight - TBD … budgeting ~$350ea
    • or Avios miles JL NRT-PEK 10k + $100 each
    Segment 2B: PEK-PVG
    • Probably a revenue flight TBD … budgeting $200ea
    • Can't find Avios solution
    Segment 3: PVG-IST
    • UA miles - TK PVG-IST … 65k each
    Segment 4: IST --> ZAG
    • 12.5k/20k + $15 on UA TK 737
    • Or revenue for ~$200ea
    • Revenue most likely
    Segment 5: DBV --> LHR (stop) --> MAD
    • Avios miles BA DBV --> LHR (stop) --> MAD 15k Avios
    Segment 6: FRA --> SFO
    • UA miles FRA-SFO LH 50/62.5k
    These are all one-ways, so I don't see any way to work in open jaws/stopovers. Still working to refine this...
     
  14. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    For segment five you may want to consider a revenue flight. You can catch a flight on easyjet for $120 that has one stop in FCO. Going through LHR is about 700 miles or 2.5 hours flying time out of the way.

    http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=DBV-FCO-MAD;+DBV-LHR-MAD
     
  15. adamhoolhorst

    adamhoolhorst Silver Member

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    Yeah, this is an intentional stopover. They plan to be in London for a week or so.
     

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