Author Topic: Help me get to China with credit card rewards  (Read 1902 times)


  • Bristles
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Help me get to China with credit card rewards
« on: April 27, 2017, 12:26:59 PM »
I feel a bit guilty asking this question, I know I should read and research on my own. It is something that I do want to sit down and eventually learn but life won't let me become fully versed in something new right now and our current situation seems perfect to start on the path. So I am going to ask the experts here to give me a big push down the credit card rewards path:

My wife has a friend who has been teaching in China-Beijing-the last 3 years and this next school year is her last guaranteed year to be there so we would like to take the opportunity to visit while we have someone who knows the ropes and way around. We are looking to travel there in June-ish 2018. My wife is a teacher and will be done mid May-ish. I am going to try to do it on 10 vacation days so we may work Memorial Day into part of the trip, depending on costs. This is a long ways out but I was thinking that if my wife and I both needed to open cards for 2x the points, we may need 6-8 months to get the minimum spends on both cards, then get the points credited and then find flights to spend the points on etc. My primary goal right now is to focus on getting the plane tickets as cheap as possible. If we have time for more monthly spends, and we figure out some plans of where we would be staying, we may try for hotel rewards as well.

We live in St. Louis so we will be flying into an airport or two before the trans-Pacific flight. We currently only have 2 credit cards-Chase Sapphire and PNC-and have never carried a balance. PNC offered 1.75% cash back on their card since I bank there so I applied for that a little over a year ago. The Chase card was our only card for over a decade. Last week we received our credit scores: 805 for my wife and 775 for me. Meeting minimum spends shouldn't be a problem from the few things I have seen about this. We don't have a preference of airlines-if United prices start to fall with the bad publicity, I'm all over flying with them. I'm not sure if there is any more information you need?

I'm looking forward to starting to play this game with you all!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Help me get to China with credit card rewards
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 12:46:05 PM »

It looks like Alaska will get you there and back for about 60,000 per person.  Search here for specifics: (Make sure you check "Use miles").

Alaska's BoA card is 30,000 points after $1000 minimum spend.  You and your wife could each get one and be halfway there already.

Starwood Preferred Guest points can be transferred to Alaska at a 1.25:1 ratio.  I think there's still an SPG Amex bonus for 25,000 after $3,000 spend, so each of you get that one too and that fills you up.

Total of $8,000 in spend across those needed then.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Help me get to China with credit card rewards
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 01:53:19 PM »
I went to China on air miles a while back (2007).  I used AAdvantage miles, but there are lots of options.  It looks like the JAL flight in the previous links is partnered with AA, though.  I'm not sure what the current bonus is, but they periodically offer 50000 as a bonus.  And you could do both a personal and a business card, which would get you there quick.