Author Topic: Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu  (Read 974 times)

The_Pretender

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Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu
« on: July 10, 2018, 12:16:29 PM »
My wife and I plan to travel to Europe sometime in the late winter/early spring 2019.  The trip would go from the Midwest to the UK to Switzerland then onto Italy and back to Midwest.  First question:

Between the two of us, we both have a Chase Sapphire Preferred open along with me having a Business Ink preferred.  We have roughly 236K Rapid Reward Points.  Would it be wise to spend the ~$3,000 in travel booking through Chase?  or should we look to transfer, then book through an airline partner?

We just had a baby and have the hospital bills coming soon.  The plan is to sign up for a CC the next couple days, then pay the bills with CC then pay off CC with HSA savings.  So second question:

What Credit Card offers are out there that would be best to sign up?  I expect to have no problem spending 5K-6K in 3 months. 

I was looking at the Hyatt card since we can make our travels happen to where we can spend a couple nights in Milan at the Park Hyatt Milan ($700+/night).  The CC reward is 60K pts which covers 2 nights at top tier hotels.  I also noticed Delta just upped their Platinum CC to 70K skymiles for the month of July.  Maybe combine these 70K points with a transfer from Chase to get business class flights?  Also considered Marriott since they too have a lucrative signup bonus and this could help cover hotels too.

I am not completely into the CC points game where I understand how to best maximize my offers.  I am more of a casual CC when major expenses happen.

Final question... Any recommendations on traveling internationally with a few month old baby?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

bacchi

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Re: Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 12:46:03 PM »
Transferring would probably work better if you want to fly biz. (Chase UR doesn't transfer to Delta.) However, you might be out-of-luck if your travel dates are within 9 months.

Use awardhacker.com to see what airlines and what points to use. Chase UR transfers to United, for example. Go to United.com and see if they have any reward flights available.

The_Pretender

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Re: Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 05:12:05 PM »
Thanks!  I didn't realized Chase didn't transfer to Delta.  I thought they did.  I will check out this website.  Why would I be out of luck since I will be traveling within the next 9 months?

bacchi

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Re: Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 08:18:39 PM »
Thanks!  I didn't realized Chase didn't transfer to Delta.  I thought they did.  I will check out this website.  Why would I be out of luck since I will be traveling within the next 9 months?

Reward flights often disappear quickly after reservations open, especially for business class, and reservations open anywhere from 12-9 months out. It helps to be flexible.

If you have trouble finding reward flights, you might have better luck splitting the flight. For example, if you're flying from Tulsa to JFK to London, find a business class reward flight for the JFK->London leg and then book the Tulsa->JFK separately in economy (maybe with cash instead of miles). This is because Tulsa->JFK rewards sell out more quickly.

Or, just skip it all, and use the Chase portal for economy+ tickets.


Hargrove

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Re: Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 12:42:53 AM »
For crying out loud do NOT pay off credit card balances with HSA money except in the worst possible emergency. HSA is the best pre-tax gain and the worst thing to raid.

Chase UR points are better than most programs, honestly. Marriott has a 100k signup that closed or is closing soon for the Premier Plus card they just switched over to. Chase is offering 50k or 60k for the card you already have. Hilton is offering 100k and the card comes with a reward perk for free continental breakfasts with stays. Delta's Platinum isn't bad. Amex Platinum can be used to buy giftcards, apparently, as airline incidentals, but that's extra hoops to mitigate that huge fee. Citi I'm not familiar with.

If you're willing to hoop: Amex Platinum (cancel after 1st year).
If free breakfast matters: Hilton gives status with 100k signup bonus (look at Aspire and Ascend cards).
If you want to use everything you've got already, Marriott accepts Chase UR transfers.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-current-credit-card-sign-bonuses/

The_Pretender

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Re: Maximizing CC Pts for trip to Eu
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 08:45:33 AM »
Thanks for the responses and clarificatoin.

Hargrove:  I completely agree with you.  I can no preach the power of HSA enough to people who will listen.  Unfortunately, our planned fund for the baby was consumed when we had a hospital stay in 2017 hitting Max OOP then baby arrived in 2018 hitting Max OOP again.  Pains me to do this, but thankfully the market has done well enough with my index investments the $$ I am withdrawing are all capital gains... Still not ideal, but better than withdrawing knowing the market is down and I can't keep the $$ invested.