Total Newbie to this forum & Frequent Flyer Miles; HELP?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by stacyis, Jul 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. stacyis

    stacyis Member

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    Here's the shortened version of my story: I went looking for ways to buy a ticket for my husband, who is from England, home to see his family this fall and give it to him as a birthday present this month. We are strapped for cash, so I started wondering about frequent flyer miles.

    We do not do a lot of credit card purchasing, so have never really racked these up. I have a Discover card but my rewards program I found out today does not include FF miles, although I can transfer to a Miles card which does offer these. However, my balance transfer will not be rewarded, only future purchases. :(

    So, I am left wondering if there is a card out there that would offer a good reward of FF miles for a balance transfer of approximately $1,000?

    ***Hopeful***

    Thanks for any help you can give!
     
  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Hmm well $1000 in BT is only going to net you like 1000 pts; then add in the 3% to 5% fee it might not be worth it.

    I think your best bet would be.

    1. Sign up for netflix using the United MileagePlus program (2000 Miles) link
    2. Wait for miles to post; apply for the United MileagePlus Explorer Card use it. (50k Miles) [You get it after first use] link
    3. Add your husband as an Auth User (5000 Miles)

    That will net you ~57k miles which is about 3k Short of a RT from US to EU using the Saver Award. You would then have to find a way to get 3000 more miles either from spending, flying, or signing up for another card (Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold)

    Unfortunately your limited window (this fall & its already July) makes it very hard I think; If it was not so rushed it would be easier.

    Good Luck
     
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  3. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    Most Milage credit cards have an interest rate of more than 20%. they are not cards for carrying balance on. Only cards to get if you can pay off in full each and every month.
    If you carry a balance on a milage credit card the interest will far over shadow any "free trip you will get"
     
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  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    While I would tend to agree with you; some cards (I have the Ink, which this applies to) have 0% APR intro periods.

    And I am a bit confused; does the OP have $1000 balance that she wants to transfer? How many points do you currently have with Discover? Can you cash out to negate or significantly reduce the Balance?
     
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  5. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint. A $1,000.00 transfer will not get you much no matter who you are using. If you plan on spending some money within the next 12 months, American Express will usually loan you up to 50,000 points which can be converted to miles on several different airlines at a rate of one to one or sometimes better, and they also have some cards with large sign up bonuses available. It all depends on how much you plan to spend on the card. Keep in mind that many things that you may be paying cash for can be put on the card and paid in full when the bill comes to avoid intereste charges. Groceries, gasoline, utility bills, etc. can help you rack up some miles pretty quickly. Good Luck.
     
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  6. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    Full stop. Before you proceed, look at your credit score and your ability to pay your bills completely every month. Rewards cards come with enormous APRs and fees if you're not able to pay in full every month. And cards are only available if you have a sufficiently high credit score.

    In short, unless you're playing the AOR game (and know what that is without looking it up), you shouldn't be looking to do a balance transfer, or have a balance. Doing a BT to a rewards card is asking for some high fees. Make sure to pay down your debts first.

    I hate to spoil the punch, and hopefully you don't even need this advice. I don't mean to judge; these are simply precautions that everyone should take before trying to pull out more credit lines for the benefits.

    As to your question, where you live might affect the advice you get. It only costs 40K Avios points on British Airways to fly NYC to London round-trip in coach, and you get 50K with your first purchase on the Chase BA card. However, that route has high fuel surcharges. Chicago or NYC or Boston to Ireland is also 40K or lower, and then it's a quick hop to England.

    Note that BA Avios point redemptions are distance-based.

    Best of luck.

    ETA: What particlemn said, but in more words.
     
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  7. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Agree completely with harvson3. You need to first look at your credit scores. Unless it is 740 plus, you need to avoid applying for new credit cards. Playing with mileage credit cards are not for those that carry a balance on a CC.

    First thing to do is get your credit report in good shape. Then you can look at playing in the mileage game.
     
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  8. stacyis

    stacyis Member

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    Thank you for the great advice everyone! I will now digest & research it & figure out what I'm gonna do....

    harvson3 & deant, thank you for the concern. We have a high credit score because we do not have debt (except for mortgage on the one credit card) and pay our bills on time. We only have the one credit card, which I have recently brought up to the $1,000 amount so we are in good shape :)

    ETA: And yes, I do not want an interest rate as I have 0% now - so thanks for that warning not to transfer a balance to a high interest rate!!
     
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  9. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    My biggest concern in offering advice on getting a new credit card to someone who is looking to get miles, is do they have the ability to to pay off the charges so they are not over run with fees and interest. The credit card companies offer these sign up bonuses to lure people into the game. I worry when someone says they have a balance and they say they are in good shape.
    I will offer this to all newbies out there. this credit card game is great and is a very lucartive way to get miles. however in order to take advantage of the great offers you must have a high credit score and NEVER carry a balance on any card. If you think well i have some old card that i carry a balance on but i wont do it on the new cards, the credit card companies are "banking" on the fact that your past performance will predict thier future profits. If you carry a balance then make a plan to pay off you balance, and then use yourt credit cards and pay in full for at least 6 months. I would practice with current credit cards before you get these high interest rewards cards. If one was to want to learn to sword fight you would start by proving your skill with a foam sword, and only aftered you have mastered that would you moveonto a sharpened steel sword.
     
  10. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Stacyis, I think most people here are concerned that you are carrying ANY balance on your credit card. Interest rates are so low now that you are now really saving anything by carrying a balance, even on a 0% card.

    If you can't afford to pay off the card, then you should not be in the credit card miles search.
     
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  11. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP stacyis and good luck!
     
  12. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    You can also earn miles by shopping through the airlines web sites and most hotel chains allow you to get airline miles instead of hotel points. (I'm not saying it's a good or bad option. Just an option to bank some extra miles)
     
  13. stacyis

    stacyis Member

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    Ahh I see ... ok well I didn't realize that :) I have never been a credit card user. We have only used them in the past to pay for tickets to the motherland and paid them off immediately. I recently got a credit card for extra expeses we have incurred and that is the only balance we have. I would rather not have it obviously, and have been making double payments to get it paid, but I figured $1000 credit card balance was small considering the average person's balance. And when trying to think of a way to get a ticket, I thought about airline miles since I now have a credit card with a balance. I wondered if there was a way I could use that to help get a ticket. As I said in my post, I'm an airline miles virgin lol so I didn't realize it was a 'no balance' game. Which I'm glad to know now... I don't want to rack up interest debt or increase my newly acquired debt.

    Thanks all
     
  14. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    stayis, im glad you came back there is alot of helpful information here we just dont want people to fall into the traps set by the credit card companies.
    The way most of us get large amounts of ff miles is by getting sign up bonuses,
    step 1 finish paying off your slate card
    step 2 after you have no payments review your budget to see how much you spend in a month and what of that spending can be doen on a credit card (Note this is not credit spending but charge spending it will be paid in full every month becasue its in the budget, so if you spend 400 in groceries each month and write checks you instead use your card buy gorceries on the card then pay the 400 at the end of the month.)
    step 3 after you find out how much you will spend each month and be able to pay off in full you start looking through the credit card offers here.make sure you can meet the spend in the time allowed with your normal budget(no sence in getting a card with 10,000 spend in 3 months if you only spend 1500 per month) sign up for the card and get your husband as an authorized user
    step 4 meet the spend on the card over the next months using normal spend that you will pay off each month
    step 5 after the bonus points post to your account have your husband apply for the same offer and add you as an authorized user and repeat step 4. (you can usually only get each card once but each of you can get the card and add the other as a user).
    Now you have tow sets of bonus miles then you can look for the next deal. many of us do 4-5 deals every 90 days. start slow with what you can afford. there is a good list of things you might be able to put on your credit card outlines here: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2011/...ur-credit-card-minimum-spending-requirements/

    also you need to keep a record of the date you applied and the date the annual fee is due so you dont have to pay fees for the card.
     
  15. stacyis

    stacyis Member

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    particlemn, thank you so much for the detailed and understandable explanation! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain to me how this process can be used safely :)

    Definitely going to look into this when the card is paid off!! xxx
     
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