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Old 04-29-2016, 11:42 AM
 
3,804 posts, read 2,681,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
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.
Valid point. If you're a savvy credit card user it's more a question of what matters to you personally, but that's not most people. To the 99%, a 1% cash back sounds better than the mercurial currency referred to as "miles" or "points" and that's a shame.
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:03 PM
 
8,197 posts, read 11,913,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octo View Post
I only use them for international business class tickets. Those usually cost more than $8000 (eight thousand) round trip which is ridiculous.

I would never waste miles on a coach seat.

Thank you so very much for adding the parentheses and clarifying that $8000, in fact, means eight thousand. I've always wondered what a dollar sign followed by four digits in a row actually meant. Now that I've seen it expressed in actual words, it is no longer a mystery!

Thank you once again!
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,160,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniferg72nc View Post
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.
Excellent tips! I'll add another one for the OP: know that you often DON'T find all the available frequent flyer partners for an airline on that airline's own website. (For example, you can't find Cathay Pacific awards searching on the American Airlines website, or Singapore Airlines awards searching on the United airlines website, even though you can book Cathy Pacific flights with AA miles, and Singapore Airlines flights with UA miles.) Be prepared to run searches on more than one airline website, and to call the airline whose miles you are using to search for tickets as well.

(I use Award Nexus to do many of my searches, and beat it like a rented mule. But unless you regularly book award tickets, signing up for a specialized search tool may be overkill. You can achieve the same results by checking the right combination of airline websites and then booking the tickets over the phone.)
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:34 PM
 
1,980 posts, read 1,307,003 times
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If you use them right and plan well in advance, they are not a scam. But the value is lessening. I think some are based on the price or distance of the flight now, so 25K miles might not get you the same as it did before.
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
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.
The post in question referred to "Sky Team redemptions" without mentioning Delta or any other airline. Of course you can redeem Delta SkyPesos on partner flights.
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Old 04-29-2016, 01:09 PM
PDF
 
11,386 posts, read 10,519,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
Valid point. If you're a savvy credit card user it's more a question of what matters to you personally, but that's not most people. To the 99%, a 1% cash back sounds better than the mercurial currency referred to as "miles" or "points" and that's a shame.
Yeah I can see how cash back cards would be better for someone who doesn't travel much, and prefers to use cash when they do. However, objectively speaking...these sign up bonuses are way more valuable, especially if you're not a big spender.
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Old 04-29-2016, 01:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
Yeah I can see how cash back cards would be better for someone who doesn't travel much, and prefers to use cash when they do. However, objectively speaking...these sign up bonuses are way more valuable, especially if you're not a big spender.
If you know how to manage credit wisely, credit cards are wonderful things you can use to get lots of free stuff.
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Old 04-29-2016, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,254 posts, read 4,139,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisterpeanuts View Post
I fly mostly Southwest, and use a Southwest Visa card for most larger purchases (debit card for day to day stuff like groceries).

As others say, the miles rewards work best if you fly frequently and focus on accumulating miles with one airline. It can be very helpful. One time I was able to use 50,000 AA miles to get to a family Thanksgiving, when normal flights were extremely expensive. That was a great payoff.

I recommend using an airline credit card and being as loyal as possible to one airline, to maximize accumulation of miles. Sometimes car rental and hotels can also reward miles, but be careful that they don't slap on an extra fee for the privilege.

If you get miles using your Southwest card, why not use it for all purchases? Using a debit card gets you nothing and it's much easier to get scammed. Even if you don't pay your Southwest card off in full, you can still pay off whatever you use your debit card for and still have the same payoff balance plus the extra miles. I use my Alaska Airlines card for everything, but I pay it off in full each month. One bank sent me a debit card, but I can't imagine what I'd ever use it for.
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Old 04-29-2016, 01:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Even if you don't pay your Southwest card off in full
Aaaand that's why. That's REALLY dangerous advice.
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:46 PM
 
769 posts, read 540,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Thank you so very much for adding the parentheses and clarifying that $8000, in fact, means eight thousand. I've always wondered what a dollar sign followed by four digits in a row actually meant. Now that I've seen it expressed in actual words, it is no longer a mystery!

Thank you once again!
You are welcome. This was a special service for precious snowflakes like you!
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