Strategies for hoarding miles and making them last

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by davythefatboy, Jun 30, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. davythefatboy

    davythefatboy Silver Member

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    The collected wisdom is that mile and points lose value quickly and that you should never hoard them.

    But, what if you have been able to leverage corporate spend and have a great hoard, and the corporate spend is fading as vendors discount other forms of payment. Your wife is used to always flying Business Class or First, and you both like to travel, mostly to Europe. You could never imagine paying for premium air tickets. You want to keep traveling on your points for another 10-15 years.

    Biggest hoards are in Amex Membership Rewards (55%) and Starwood (20%), with splatterings in Chase UR, United, Delta, AA, Lufthansa, HHonors and Aeroplan. Is that right place to leave them? Should I be moving some from Amex or SPG to airline programs?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
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  2. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Not sure how that would help. The issue is the programs being devalued, not losing the ability to transfer points to them. I feel your pain.

    When you have too many points and can't burn them, you pretty much have to hold on and hope. If you're talking about 15 years worth, you must have quite a haul. Yes, seats will cost more miles. If that was all, maybe at worst if would mean you would have fewer years of travel the way you like it. Unfortunately, we're also experiencing airlines making it harder to get seats up front. but if you have too many to burn, there's not a whole lot you can do.

    Of course, the bright side is that you probably don't have to jump through all the friggin hoops most of us do to accumulate those babies!
     
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  3. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I would not even consider moving the miles until you are ready to book trips. The only circumstance that might change that would be large bonus miles for making transfers. Once you move the miles you lose all the flexibility to decide what program you need the miles in. You may want to consider inexpensive mileage runs for elite status with American. If you are willing to pay for coach tickets to Europe and you have executive platinum status, you can use the upgrades for business seats and still fly very reasonably. Most other airlines require the purchase of more expensive tickets to upgrade. I would also look into churning a few credit cards to keep the miles and points coming in. One good card to look at when they have the large bonuses for initial spend is the Chase British Airways card. With a certain amount of annual spend, you can use miles for one business or first class ticket and get the second one for free.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    "free" being defined here as hundreds or thousands of dollars of fees and surcharges?

    Personally, if I had more miles than I can use, I would not spend money to acquire more, I would look for ways to use them. So no MRs, no credit card gimmicks.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Good luck with that. Not likely to happen so well.
     
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  6. davythefatboy

    davythefatboy Silver Member

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    Yes, my personal spend and some business spend is now on 2% or (2.2%) back cards. Still need the cash to pay all the crazy fees on award tickets.
     
  7. davythefatboy

    davythefatboy Silver Member

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    I have that card, and have actually let two of the of the "second award ticket free" deals expire. First, not free, about $1000 in fees for most BA flights US to Europe. Second, I'm not usually going to England, and on most BA awards they want you to change planes in London, which my wife has listed as her all-time least favorite airport to change planes (and for Italy they sometimes want you to change airports from Heathrow to Gatwick - you call that a vacation?). But BA points have been good for booking some AA flights (like to Mexico or Latin America).
     
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