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Old 04-29-2016, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
Well, 20K can cover a roundtrip on some airlines/mileage rewards. On American you can fly domestically one-way for as low as 7.5K miles, depending on the award.
7.5K one-way flights are only available if destinations are <500 miles apart. His itinerary used to be available for 20K on off-peak dates but is now 25K.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
Most have a 50K mile first-time bonus, provided you spend a certain amount in a certain amount of time (so it's good if you are planning on a large purchase). Most also come with perks like a free checked bag or priority boarding.

I use credit cards exclusively for purchases--an AAdvantage one and a Chase one with cash back. A debit card is advantageous for taking out cash but nothing else.
Most actually don't. Delta's best "common" offer is usually 30K, same as United (though you will occasionally see 50-60K through targeted offers for both). JetBlue is also 30K. Frontier's is 40K but I would advise strongly against it. You will see 50K offered more often with American and Southwest, but even those aren't always available.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilcart View Post
but they are carefully planned to devalue as users accumulate points
Explain. Yes, they are routinely devalued, but what does that have to do with how users accumulate points?
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seedy View Post
They are when Frontier suddenly shut off my account with about 50k earned miles and offered no recompense. I will never trust any airline program again.
So, transferring that particular logic to another traveling use case, if Delta lost your luggage once, you would never fly again? Hyperbole, granted, but that's what this sounds like.

Frontier is abjectly horrible, but it's not wise to generalize this way.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
No such thing. There are Delta redemptions, KLM/Air France redemptions, Alitalia redemptions, Korean redemptions... Every program is different.
Counterpoint: no. You can redeem your Delta miles for KLM/Air France tickets and vice versa. And yes, if particular dates are cheap on Delta, chances are they will be cheap on the other loyalty programs as well.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
The credit cards I was referring to where the promotional cards that give you, say, 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 within 3 months. Or something to that effect. For me, that's not worth it. And even for those cards where you get miles for every dollar you spent (outside of promotions like the one mentioned above), I'd prefer my rewards points go towards other things. But that's me.
If you know what you're doing (which, granted, takes interest and research), you can get much better value from accumulating miles than a straight 1% cash back most credit cards offer.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabrrita View Post
worked the program
"Working the program" implies you're pulling a fast one. What you're describing is using the miles in a very routine manner.
Quote:
The worthless trip is the one where you have to use all your miles for some cramp coach seat where the fare was a $149 special anyways. Heck, but the ticket and use the miles to upgrade to business or first if you have enough miles.
There's a very easy way to avoid the "worthlessness": book with cash and leave the miles for a future redemption. Unless you either don't have the $149 and MUST travel or the miles are about to expire and you HAVE to use them, but chances are by taking the flight you will keep the account alive by earning.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
Road warriors use their miles for upgrades. Unfortunately, first class is becoming a thing of the past; Southwest doesn't even have it.
Southwest is considered a "low-cost" airline, so it's really not surprising that they don't have First.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:17 AM
 
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Yes, it's very possible to get tickets to great locations at the low mileage, but you have to be smart about it. In the past five years, we have gotten four round trip tickets at the lowest rewards possible on American Airlines to each of the following - Rome, Big Island, Maui, Hawaii, Costa Rica (Twice), Kauai, Alaska and Montana (Glacier area). Our Italy Tickets were 40K round trip and I believe we managed to snag Hawaii for about that.

But you have to be smart. Here is what we have found:

1. Go offseason or even better shoulder season, like Alaska late May or Rome in late March. You won't get low mileage rewards to popular places over Christmas or Easter break.
2. Plan your trip based on where you can get low mileage tickets to. We will say we have two weeks in September and then start looking at tickets to destinations that we want to go to and then go from there. This to me really is the secret. That's why we went to Italy. We found the tickets when we tried several different locations.
3. Be flexible with dates and airports if possible. Try all different combinations. The difference in awards available can be huge.
4. Book your tickets the day that they are released. For our Hawaii tickets we woke up at midnight and grabbed the tickets as soon as they are released. The airline will tell you how soon they are released.
5. Be prepared to spend a few hours figuring it out. My husband and I will typically both be working on dates and routes and locations. For the Hawaii tickets we had two computers going.
6. Be willing to buy one ticket if you are a family. We did that once when we could only get three tickets on a Maui trip.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,705 posts, read 6,293,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
If you know what you're doing (which, granted, takes interest and research), you can get much better value from accumulating miles than a straight 1% cash back most credit cards offer.
True. But, on the flip side, if you know what you're doing, you can accumulate much more than 1% on cash back credit cards; I'm averaging closer to 3%. If I flew more (or paid to fly more . . . many of my flights are paid for by work, though I still am able to build to my airline frequent flyer miles balance this way), perhaps I'd get a travel rewards card. The way things stand now, though, I'd rather focus most of my spending on one (cash rewards) card.
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