Author Topic: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards  (Read 1199 times)

nedwin

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Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« on: October 23, 2018, 02:47:56 PM »
My family and I (4 total, two kids 8 & under) are flying to Hamburg, Germany from Denver in June, 2019, and would like to minimize the flight expense as much as possible through churning.  We would like to have only one stop, and from my limited research I have found a few possibilities for this: DEN-Heathrow-Hamburg on AA or British Airways; DEN-Munich or Frankfort-Hamburg on Lufthansa; DEN-Newark-Hamburg on UA; and DEN-Reykjavik-Hamburg on Icelandair.  The Icelandair tickets are the cheapest to buy outright now, but it has a 24 hour layover which I don't think would be ideal with the kids.

I have looked over some cc choices, but can't put the pieces together to get the best results.  We can meet almost all spend requirements, most likely in one month if needed.  I have had the Chase Southwest card for a couple years, my wife doesn't have any cards in her name.  What combinations of credit cards can be churned to get the maximum benefit for this flight?

katsiki

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Re: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 03:15:19 PM »
Check out awardhacker.com.  That is usually where I start.  It will tell you the best airlines/miles program and info on how to accumulate them.

bacchi

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Re: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 03:38:14 PM »
Avoid Heathrow if you can. The airport charges onerous landing fees. Using Avios miles on British Air metal will pass on high fuel surcharges.

United --
Chase United x2
Chase Sapphire Preferred with transfer to United x2

AA --
Citi AA x2
Barclays x2 (1st year isn't waived)

Looking for award flights in July may be too late, though, without paying "full price." That is, they release only a few "saver" awards per flight and they go quickly. You may have to break your flight into 2 one way trips -- use miles for the flight over and pay for the return flight.

Also, when looking for award flights, try taking out the first hop. For example, look for an award from EWR->HAM rather than a flight from DEN->EWR->HAM, for example. The domestic flight has limited award seats, too, and they go more quickly. You could then use SWA miles to get to EWR.

Finally, a 24 hour layover might be ok if you get a hotel. Reykjavik isn't a bad place to look around town and get adjusted to the time change. Think of it as part of your trip.

Catbert

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Re: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 03:39:34 PM »
bacchi nailed it.  I'll add that you can book Lufthansa flights through United using United miles.

Another reason to avoid Heathrow is that it's a nightmare to travel through.  When I once foolishly traveled to Europe changing planes in LHR we had to go through security again (much worse than TSA and US customs ime), take long walk through terminals, a bus to the plane.  Our 3 1/2 hour layover pretty much disappeared.  I can't imagine it with 2 children in tow.

nedwin

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Re: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 10:10:23 PM »
Thanks @katsiki @bacchi and @Catbert, I appreciate your help, especially regarding Heathrow.  I've flown there a few times in my life, but was single, carry on only and it was my final destination, so haven't had the experience you describe.

Bacchi suggested the Chase United and Chase Sapphire Preferred.  What about the Chase Ink Business Preferred?  It offers 80k points with $5k spend in 3 months.  I might have some United miles if I can resurrect my old account.

bacchi

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Re: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 10:51:54 PM »
Thanks @katsiki @bacchi and @Catbert, I appreciate your help, especially regarding Heathrow.  I've flown there a few times in my life, but was single, carry on only and it was my final destination, so haven't had the experience you describe.

Bacchi suggested the Chase United and Chase Sapphire Preferred.  What about the Chase Ink Business Preferred?  It offers 80k points with $5k spend in 3 months.  I might have some United miles if I can resurrect my old account.

Yes, if you can swing a business card it would help a lot. Just be aware of Chase's 5/24 rule, which is 5 cards MAX in 2 years, per person. I believe that includes all of their own brand cards, including business cards.

Catbert

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Re: Help with Intl. CC Travel Rewards
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 12:45:28 PM »
If you're getting several Chase cards become familiar with 5/24 rule:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-524-rule-explained-detail-need-know/