Author Topic: Airline Miles 101  (Read 2963 times)

crumbcatcher

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Airline Miles 101
« on: March 10, 2014, 03:24:20 PM »
I would like to take advantage of the airline miles I can get on some of the credit card offers that are out there, but honestly, the whole thing seems really complicated.  Can someone recommend an "airline miles accrual and redemption for dummies" type of a thread, page, article, blog, etc.?  I've seen it discussed in bits and pieces on the forum, and I've seen a couple travelhacking sites, but it still seems really complex.

Am I just missing something?

For example, some airlines allow you to redeem miles accrued with a different airline's mileage program?

What if I accrue a bunch of miles with one airline but then need to fly on a different airline because there is no service where I want to go on the one with my miles?

What if I don't accrue enough miles to buy a ticket within the one year period before which I cancel the annual membership card? (Because really, tickets are what I want. I don't care about seat upgrades or priority seating.)

Do people simultaneously accrue miles with different airlines because they are using different rewards programs at the same time?

All these questions and more...  Thanks for any pointers and tips. :-)

GregO

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Re: Airline Miles 101
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 04:36:15 PM »
This is where I got my feet wet.  He explains everything in pretty good detail.  It should give you plenty of reading material about it.  I think he has a post about every one of your questions...

http://milevalue.com/start-here/

Argyle

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Re: Airline Miles 101
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 04:51:19 PM »
There is also a tremendous amount of information on the boards at Flyertalk.com, although you have to get used to the abbreviations and ignore the threads about seating etc.  But I think everything that possibly could be said about credit card mileage hacks and ways to make the system work is on the boards there.

Badass by 41

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Re: Airline Miles 101
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 06:00:24 PM »
In general, my understanding is that airline specific miles cards are being phased out by issuers through increases in the miles required to redeem items.

I'm sure there is some secret sauce for optimizing this game and not getting screwed by the airlines, but I've never been committed enough.

We use out CapitalOne Venture Card and get 2pts/$ spent which can then be redeemed for cash, rewards items, or travel reimbursement.  Since we put almost every expense we can on this card, we end up being able to "pay" for about $3000 worth of travel each year through these rewards.

It's worked well for us, and it's super easy.  8)

crumbcatcher

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Re: Airline Miles 101
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 01:08:58 PM »
This is where I got my feet wet.  He explains everything in pretty good detail.  It should give you plenty of reading material about it.  I think he has a post about every one of your questions...

http://milevalue.com/start-here/

Excellent - thanks for the pointer!

There is also a tremendous amount of information on the boards at Flyertalk.com, although you have to get used to the abbreviations and ignore the threads about seating etc.  But I think everything that possibly could be said about credit card mileage hacks and ways to make the system work is on the boards there.

Woo - another great recommendation. I appreciate it. I look forwared to digging into both sites to see what I can figure out.

We use out CapitalOne Venture Card and get 2pts/$ spent which can then be redeemed for cash, rewards items, or travel reimbursement.  Since we put almost every expense we can on this card, we end up being able to "pay" for about $3000 worth of travel each year through these rewards.

It's worked well for us, and it's super easy.  8)

Currently I have a Sears-branded Citibank card that I use for everything, and have been accumulating points that can be redeemed for all kinds of consumer crap I typically wouldn't buy, but it does include travel rewards. It doesn't seem achievable to me to accumulate the number of points they require for a ticket though, so I'm looking for something different. I got a Chase offer in the mail that really spurred me to start thinking more about the whole thing.

I just got a Capital One Quicksilver card that gives 1.5% back on everything, which seems like a decent way to do it (the thought of juggling different levels of points/rewards for different kinds of purchases at different times makes me twitch). Quicksilver only makes sense to me though if there isn't some other better way to accrue rewards, and I am specifically interested in airline tickets. I'm continuing to use the Citibank card to accumulate points until I figure this out.



Gin1984

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Re: Airline Miles 101
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 01:18:34 PM »
I prefer to just get cash.  I have the FIA card services CC which gives 2% to my IRA.