Author Topic: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern  (Read 5285 times)

ZiziPB

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3280
  • Location: The Other Side
I am a complete newbie to travel rewards even though my DD and I travel quite a lot.  But so many mustachians seem to be taking advantage of it that I am now intrigued.  So please help me make the best of this situation. 

Both DD and I have linked BA travel accounts as we both fly on BA (she at least 2x per year from US to UK).  Currently around 10K avios in the account.  DD is a 21 YO student.  Not sure if she would be able to get a CC if she applied (has no income).  I have excellent credit and generally use a 2% cash back card for all my spending.

Travel needs over the next 2 years:
- at least 2 round trip tickets for either Boston or NYC to Edinburgh for DD
- at least 1 round trip ticket from either Boston or NYC to Moscow for DD

Spending:
- will be paying DD's tuition over the next few months and her university accepts credit cards - that should be around $7K but it will be a foreign transaction so need a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees
- may also be paying for DD's residence fees - probably another $8K (foreign transaction)

I always pay my CCs in full and have funds set aside to cover these transactions.

It seems like the BA Chase card would be a good first step for me.  But then what???

ZiziPB

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3280
  • Location: The Other Side
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 01:45:09 PM »
bumping to see if anyone can offer any suggestions

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1729
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 02:28:47 PM »
A quick look at MMM Recommends (CC tab) shows the following cards you might want to consider for the sign up bonus:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MC:  spend 3k in 3 months and get $400 in travel credits

Capital One Venture Card:  3k spend in 3 months for $400 in travel credits

Americian Airlines is a sister affiliate to British Airlines so you can get an AA CC and transfer points to British Airlines

I'm sure there is more out there but these should keep you busy for a few months.  Determine what other airlines are partnered with BA and get those CCs also for the sign up bonus.

Edited to add:  most of these cards "probably" don't have a foreign transfer fee. 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 02:31:56 PM by mary w »

acorn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 02:42:45 PM »
Citi AA Platinum card - they have a 50k miles bonus sign up with $3k spend in the first 3 months. Usually it's 30k miles, so this is a pretty good offer now (not sure when it ends). I just finished the min spend on this card myself. 40k miles can get you a return economy ticket from US to Europe (you also get a 10% rebate on all redeemed miles with the AA credit card, so it's actually 36k miles). There are a few other Citi AA credit cards with the annual fee waived for the first year, sign up for those, get the bonus, and you can cancel them before the year is up and you have to pay the membership fee.

Another good one is Chase Sapphire Preferred, right now they have a 40k points bonus sign up with $4k spend in the first 3 months. This is their normal deal, I would wait till they have a better one, I've seen it at 50k points bonus before. You can transfer Chase reward points 1:1 ratio to BA, which gives you another 40k miles, i.e. another US-Europe economy flight.

acorn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 02:50:42 PM »
Just saw your note about foreign transaction fees! (missed it the first time around)

Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn't have any, so you're good to go for that.
But the Citi AA Platinum card has 3% foreign transaction fee, so it's not great for you.

You can try Chase Freedom for daily US-based spending (no annual fee, but 3% foreign transaction fee) to get more Chase reward points (to transfer to BA). The Chase business card, Ink Plus, also doesn't have foreign transaction fees and gives you a sign up bonus of 40k points.

NotJen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 03:35:16 PM »
Look at American Express - you can transfer their Member Rewards to Avios. I just signed up for a Premier Rewards Gold card with a bonus of 50k MR after $1000 spend in 3 months.

You can also transfer points from hotel miles into Avios. Watch for bonus deals with Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and maybe others. I think I saw a 70k offer for Marriott that would get you 25k Avios. The current IHG 70k could get you 14k Avios.

With cards like these, I plan to use them only for the bonus, and cancel the next year when the annual fee is due.

NotJen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 03:42:57 PM »
American Airlines is a sister affiliate to British Airlines so you can get an AA CC and transfer points to British Airlines
I don't believe you can transfer points between the airlines like this. But you can probably book the same flights with either BA points or AA points.

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1729
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 05:12:37 PM »
American Airlines is a sister affiliate to British Airlines so you can get an AA CC and transfer points to British Airlines
I don't believe you can transfer points between the airlines like this. But you can probably book the same flights with either BA points or AA points.

You're right I misspoke.

ZiziPB

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3280
  • Location: The Other Side
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 06:50:49 AM »
Thank you very much for all the suggestions.  I will start by applying for the BA Chase card with 50K Avios sign up bonus and use it for the tuition payment.  Then I will need to figure out the next one for the residence fees.

Is it better to apply for multiple cards at the same time or it doesn't matter?

2Saving4Life

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 108
    • Evolving Escapades
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 07:22:59 AM »
You can apply for multiple cards at the same time but I don't think it matters.  Feb. 24th I was approved for Chase Ink, Chase Sapphire, Citi Aadvantage then March 29th I was approved for Amex Starwood Personal, Amex Starwood Business, Citi Aadvantage Business.  It doesn't seem to make a difference. 

You might want to look at Chase Ink and Chase Sapphire, those will give you some built in flexibility. They are transferable to British Airways also.

NotJen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 412
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 07:36:44 AM »
I don't think it really matters - I just applied and was approved for 4 new cards last week. Just MAKE SURE you can hit the minimum spend requirements in the required time period before you apply.

The AmEx and Marriott cards don't have foreign transaction fees. If you go for these, make sure you find the offers for 50k and 70k points, respectively, instead of the lower default offers (Look them up on Flyertalk).

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 07:42:58 AM »
When I looked the Avios were pretty terrible. The fees that BA charge were almost as much as a regular ticket! I could book the same flight much cheaper with points through the Chase booking thing.

I got the Chase Ink plus business card (you don't need an actual business). Now has a 50,000 points signup (Was 70k). Add chase sapphire for another 40k points. Book through chase for an extra 25% bonus. i.e. 125k points. At least one ticket US > UK round trip.

I believe you can also transfer chase points to Avios, but like I said I think it's better not to.

ps: neither of these have foreign transaction fees. The Ink card give 5x points of phone and TV payments. So sign up for the maximum cable package!! ;)

ZiziPB

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3280
  • Location: The Other Side
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 09:13:10 AM »
Thank you for the additional suggestions.  Yes, Avios are not great for BA flights but from what I understand they can be used for Aer Lingus with a nominal fee and some other airlines as well.   So I may just pay for her tickets and use the Avios for other travel that we do.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28056
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 10:00:53 AM »
When I looked the Avios were pretty terrible. The fees that BA charge were almost as much as a regular ticket!

What fees?  Where were you flying and on what airline?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

rockstache

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5893
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2015, 11:07:48 AM »
I'm a total newbie on this, so don't take my word for it, but for that BOS-EDI ticket, I would probably think about using the avios to get to Dublin instead as it is one of the sweet spots (which on Aer Lingus doesn't have those fees). Getting from Dublin to Edinburgh at that point would probably be a cinch either by train or discount airline.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28056
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Travel rewards help - specific travel needs and spending pattern
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 11:48:13 AM »
I'm a total newbie on this, so don't take my word for it, but for that BOS-EDI ticket, I would probably think about using the avios to get to Dublin instead as it is one of the sweet spots (which on Aer Lingus doesn't have those fees). Getting from Dublin to Edinburgh at that point would probably be a cinch either by train or discount airline.

Good call.

The Boston-Dublin flight is 25k miles each way for business class tickets, quite a deal.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.