Author Topic: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon  (Read 1032 times)

JGS1980

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 346
Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« on: January 16, 2020, 02:02:50 PM »
Ok CC hackers!

What is the best Credit Card hacking strategy to pay for a Portugal Trip in April? This is for a married couple, both with excellent credit.

We already have exhausted sign up rewards for Chase Southwest, Chase Ink Business, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Marriott Bonvoy AMEX, and Capital One Venture cards.

We have about 60-70K United points, that's really it right now.

Annnnnnddddddddd --- >Go!!!

Thanks again!

JGS1980

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 346
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 05:52:46 AM »
Self bump, any crowd sourcers out here?

DadJokes

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1489
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 06:01:53 AM »
R/churning over on Reddit may have the help you need. I pretty much stick to wherever Southwest can fly with my travel hacking.

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4627
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 11:07:21 AM »
This April?

It's too late for using mileage awards. You may be able to use all your United miles to get over there but you won't have enough to get back. The cheaper award seats were bought months ago.

You need to go for the cash bonus cards. CapOne Savor for $300 each? Maybe a Citi checking/savings combo for $4-500 each? That's at least $1400, which should be enough combined with the United miles.

For hotels, you're limited. See https://awardmapper.com/ for where you want to stay. The only non-Chase option appears to be Hilton or Choice.

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2795
  • Age: 53
  • Location: The garden
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 11:44:58 AM »
This April?

It's too late for using mileage awards. You may be able to use all your United miles to get over there but you won't have enough to get back. The cheaper award seats were bought months ago.


This must vary a lot by airline?  I can't speak to United, but I just booked award tickets on American for 3 weeks out, for cheap.  There was lots of availability.  You can use UR points on American by transferring to travel partners. 

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4627
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2020, 12:30:13 PM »
This April?

It's too late for using mileage awards. You may be able to use all your United miles to get over there but you won't have enough to get back. The cheaper award seats were bought months ago.


This must vary a lot by airline?  I can't speak to United, but I just booked award tickets on American for 3 weeks out, for cheap.  There was lots of availability.  You can use UR points on American by transferring to travel partners.

It depends on the flight, too.

The OP has United miles and United's rates for April are 30k/person for one-way. That's the same as their summer fares.

Looking at AA, there's a 4/5-11 round-trip for 57k miles for JFK<->LIS. The cheapest one way for 2 people is 20k/person, or 40k total.

The AA flight is a SAAver fare so, yeah, it looks like it depends on the airline as well.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 12:32:53 PM by bacchi »

BrightFIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 02:19:12 PM »
Ok CC hackers!

What is the best Credit Card hacking strategy to pay for a Portugal Trip in April? This is for a married couple, both with excellent credit.

We already have exhausted sign up rewards for Chase Southwest, Chase Ink Business, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Marriott Bonvoy AMEX, and Capital One Venture cards.

We have about 60-70K United points, that's really it right now.

Annnnnnddddddddd --- >Go!!!

Thanks again!

You didn't mention your departure airport - this matters. MEX? YVR? JFK? North America is vast.

If you're in 2 player mode, how is it you only have ~65 United points? Have you burned all the others? Are you each over 5/24? You could get the CSP if you haven't yet, but you'd have to complete the spending pretty fast to get the bonus in time to use it for an April trip.

But also... you should have a plan. What are the next cards you plan to get? Where do you want to go a year from now? When I started travel hacking, I also started travel planning 11-12 months in advance.

Anyway, TAP Portugal is in the Star Alliance, so you could use United miles on their flights, or on United itself, EWR-LIS. You could buy 1 RT ticket with cash and 1 with miles, or you could buy 2 sets of 1 ways so you're on the same itinerary. There are frequently flight deals to Lisbon for under $500 cash, especially if your dates are flexible. Follow https://www.theflightdeal.com/ and maybe you'll get lucky.

JGS1980

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 346
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 05:05:08 PM »
Thanks so much everyone for all the input. I see myself as a seasoned frugal traveler but there's always more to learn.

Why so few points? Because we use them all! Ha. We also have multiple children and bring them along.  When we don't bring them, we purchase flights for the grandparents to come and hang with them while we are gone.

Yup, I'm usually a planner, but some free time is coming our way and we felt it's time to just get the hell out of town.

Keep it up everyone.

JGS

P.S.  No exact location for pretend internet anonymity

curiositydriven

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 07:15:14 PM »
Actually did something similar last year - used Amex MR points on Aeroplan to book a flight on TAP Air from USA to Lisbon. Aeroplan is one of the better programs imho - https://thepointsguy.com/guide/how-to-maximize-aeroplan-miles/

Trifele

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2795
  • Age: 53
  • Location: The garden
Re: Credit Card Hacking -trip from North America to Lisbon
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 04:59:27 AM »
I deleted my first post above because I misread your original post OP.  I didn't understand that you had already used up all your Chase UR points, and were down to only the 70k United points.  Bummer.

I think @BrightFIRE nailed it.  Looks like your best bet is TAP (Star Alliance partner), and you could get either one RT, or two one-way tickets.  Or -- as BrightFire said -- you can try to really quickly scrape some more points together with another card.  If you aren't both over the 5/24, I agree a Chase card would be best.  Looks like the United Explorer card has a 65k bonus right now.  I also see that Capitol One has a 50k point bonus, and 14 airline partners, including Aeroplan and KLM.