Author Topic: Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?  (Read 3303 times)

laufen

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Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?
« on: February 09, 2015, 12:50:42 AM »
My gut tells me no, but those 50,000 miles for $89 are hard to pass up. Perhaps this is like one of those clearance sales on something I really don't need, but am drawn to because it is "such a good deal". I'm specifically thinking about how they will turn into American miles later this year. I currently have 13,000 American miles and my spouse has 11,000. I should probably just keep on walking by...but I thought I'd throw this out there to see if anyone is seeing an angle that I am not.

Situation:
I live and work in Europe 11 months out of the year with my spouse and 2 kids. We keep a US billing address and a trusted friend checks our PO box and gets the important mail to us. We fly back to the US once a year in the lowest economy class, usually on Delta because of the routing. If not Delta, then United/Lufthansa. There is not much offering in terms of British Airways / American for where we go in the US- closest option is 2 hours away whereas the Delta option is just 30 minutes away. When we do fly back, though, we're usually dropping $5K at least on flights, part of which is reimbursed by my employer. We won't go back again until December this year. I do have the Delta Gold AmEx card, which I use to buy those flights and have something like 180,000 miles on Delta right now. Not quite enough for a trans-Atlantic trip for a family of 4 yet.

Oh, there is a good chance we are moving back to the US in 2017.

Regarding racking up miles/points on credit cards in general right now, I think I'd have trouble hitting the minimum spend. My employer splits my pay check between a European bank and a US bank and I don't lose out on the exchange rate. I get to decide the split. So, in theory, I could be paying for my daily expenses over here using a (no foreign transaction fee) US credit card, but honestly we don't have that many expenses that would work. We put petrol in our car maybe 4 times a year (using a Euro credit card that offers a .03/liter discount) and our favorite cheap-o grocery store does not accept credit cards. My other expenses over here (utilities, insurance, phone...) all require direct bank transfer. And we don't buy much else.

My US expenses are mostly just investments and savings, except for one student loan that would accept a credit card payment with an outrageous fee. Not worth it.
So I guess I should just be glad that I have the fortunate "problem" of not having enough expenses to justify attempting to hit minimum spend levels. I'm not seriously looking at any other cards, but this US Airways one seems like an easy catch. But do I really need it?

ninjitsu

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Re: Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2015, 02:48:42 AM »
You should look into "Manufactured Spending" aka MS. It's all about finding creative ways to spend on your card in a way that you can immediately pay the balance off..

i.e.. 

Buy pin enabled visa gift cards (VGC's) using the CC you're trying to hit your minimum spend on.
Load the balance of the gift cards onto an AMEX Serve account at Walmart.
Use AMEX Serve's bill pay feature to pay off

or

Buy PayPal MyCash gift cards and load them onto your paypal account.
Use your PayPal business debit card to purchase money orders and deposit them into your checking account.
Use your checking account to pay off your balance..

Just a few tips :)

laufen

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Re: Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2015, 03:07:46 AM »
Don't really think that is an option for me. I operate in Euros most of the time and am not physically in the US to be punching in pin numbers and going into Walmart.
Thanks for the response, though.

acorn

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Re: Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2015, 03:20:47 AM »
Back to the original question, if you're asking specifically about the US Airways 50k offer, I'd say yes it's a good deal esp since it's only for a few more months. Use it once, pay the annual fee of $89, and get 50k miles which goes into your AA account. As long as you keep your AA account active, you can eventually use the miles. There's also the companion certificate which can be fairly useful (depending on where you fly). Straightforward and very little work required.

For other credit card churning, I'd wait till you move back to the US. Too much of a hassle imo esp since you're in Europe now.

laufen

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Re: Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2015, 05:19:41 AM »

PS:  Just saw you already have the Delta gold Amex.  Can you cancel yours and get one in your wife's name?  Probably only works if she isn't already registered on yours.

I am the wife. With the income.  ;)  Since hubby has no income to speak of (but a steady job running the household) I'm not sure he'd qualify for his own. He's fairly reluctant to get any farther into this mileage game, mostly because of how hard it is to actually earn miles flying anymore. We used to score 12k each for every round trip back to the US. Now it is something like 2-3k. That's a big hit.

I just did some poking around on the American site and we could get one round trip ticket to the US for 40k + ~$450 at fairly short notice. Might be worth it just in case a short notice emergency trip back to the US comes up and one of us stays back here with the kids. That's a very good price for our flying out of Austria.

laufen

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Re: Abstaining from the US Airways 50k offer...?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2015, 06:29:10 AM »
No offense taken. :)
I went ahead and got the card just now. What the heck.