Author Topic: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR  (Read 2197 times)

stlbrah

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Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« on: January 10, 2016, 04:57:23 PM »
I am looking for a way to use my 49000 Chase UR points to save money on a trip to Morocco at the beginning of April. It is kind of last minute, and we aren't booking for a few weeks. The reason it is last minute, is because we were originally going to go to Turkey, but decided not to since that region has had too much negative attention lately. I am going with 2 friends, and each will pay for our own.

To book through Chase UR I would have to purchase a separate round trip flight from STL to an international hub airport. This eats into the savings significantly as that is another ~15-20k or more miles wasted on that flight..

We are flying into Marrakesh and Flying out of Tangier. We can get AA (American Airlines)  flights from STL all the way there and back for about 900 total. The problem is that they are AA. I have done some research and saw that I could do the 1:1 transfer to British airways, and then book the flights with Avios. I am not sure how effective it is. I am also not sure how long the 1:1 transfer will take. I am on a short timeline.

Has anyone done this? I am wondering if it is worth it. The flights we are planning on all have layovers in Madrid, and Ibera does the flight to and from Morocco.
bite the bullet and book the AA flights, but sign up for a card right before I do it. That would take $100 off the flight and put me 1/3 of the way to AA's sign up bonus.

Any comments appreciated!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 05:01:33 PM by stlbrah »

arebelspy

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Re: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2016, 02:29:58 AM »
Avios may change you taxes and fees, but I believe you shouldn't have to pay fuel surcharges.

Avios is distance based though, you probably don't want to use them.

Chase UR doesn't transfer to AA?

AA is devaluing in March, so if you do use them, keep that in mind and book it early.
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stlbrah

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Re: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2016, 07:19:28 AM »
Avios may change you taxes and fees, but I believe you shouldn't have to pay fuel surcharges.

Avios is distance based though, you probably don't want to use them.

Chase UR doesn't transfer to AA?

AA is devaluing in March, so if you do use them, keep that in mind and book it early.

Unfortunately, it is not on the list of 1:1 transfer partners. British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hyatt Gold Passport®, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.

That is kind of what I was afraid of with the Avios. I saw the "sweet spot" videos on travelmiles101 for domestic flights but didn't think they sounded that great for most international flights.

If I was planning this trip in advance, I could have used United, but the availability and prices aren't very good at this point. I started travel hacking about 2 months ago, so if it doesn't work out I won't be too upset about it. I'll just save them for later - I'll have no problem finding uses.

I figured I'd throw up a thread on here and also the travelmiles forum to see any last minute suggestions. Also wondering if there is something I missed. The best I am seeing so far is to pay for the flight with a new mileage rewards card and at least get some money back - either with a new AA card or maybe sign up for a fixed-value card like Capital-one venture.

Seeing options to fly through AA when booking from the chase website itself rather than the 1:1 transfer, but they are only from international hubs. I would have to book separate flights to and from O'hare, Atlanta, etc, and that would eat up almost 1/2 of the miles so it is hardly worth it. Also, this option wouldn't be fair to the friends I am going with.




« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 07:23:22 AM by stlbrah »

arebelspy

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Re: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 09:59:32 AM »
Yeah, the Chase Venture or the Barclay Arrival Plus card could work really well.
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Marla

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Re: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 10:11:12 AM »
Hi there - I took a quick look for partner airlines and redemptions.  I would not transfer from UR to Avios since booking Avios on partners (ie. AA) need to be booked segment by segment and is distance based.  You would not have fuel service charges, but I don't think you'll get good value.  Given that your cash price is relatively inexpensive, you may want to try booking the same itinerary you already found but book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards - you can redeem your 49,000 points as partial payment (value of $490 + 20% - or $590) earn 2 times the points for the cash portion and then still EARN butt in seats miles for the flight.  It's not the max value for your Ultimate Reards points, but pretty good and maximizes convenience (no rush to apply for another credit card, book shortest best flight, etc).  Another tip...if you think your future needs are better served with Avios than AA points, you can have your AA flight credited to BA - just use the BA frequent flyer number in the booking.  Good luck and have a great trip!

stlbrah

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Re: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 10:26:43 AM »
Hi there - I took a quick look for partner airlines and redemptions.  I would not transfer from UR to Avios since booking Avios on partners (ie. AA) need to be booked segment by segment and is distance based.  You would not have fuel service charges, but I don't think you'll get good value.  Given that your cash price is relatively inexpensive, you may want to try booking the same itinerary you already found but book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards - you can redeem your 49,000 points as partial payment (value of $490 + 20% - or $590) earn 2 times the points for the cash portion and then still EARN butt in seats miles for the flight.  It's not the max value for your Ultimate Reards points, but pretty good and maximizes convenience (no rush to apply for another credit card, book shortest best flight, etc).  Another tip...if you think your future needs are better served with Avios than AA points, you can have your AA flight credited to BA - just use the BA frequent flyer number in the booking.  Good luck and have a great trip!

Thanks.
I like this suggestion. I am seeing that I could get some flights for about 1160 that I could redeem with my points + a little under $600. It is not the best use of points, since there are $8-900 flights through Google Flights for AA I could book instead. So basically $500+ points to save $300.

If I go that option, and the others are booking through AA's website, I am wondering how I should do that. I suppose we will just have to go through the flights on AA and make sure that they are the same flight numbers as on Chase's website.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 10:33:42 AM by stlbrah »

Marla

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Re: Help with travel-hacking. STL to Morocco. Chase UR
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 10:53:28 AM »
Yep, that's how I'd do it.  I agree it's not the best redemption, but when you need it now and can apply for another card in time for your next trip, it's a pretty good trade-off.  To find the cheaper AA flight you found on google flights it might be worth putting in really specific search terms in the Ultimate Rewards search to see if you can make it find the same flight at a similar price.