Author Topic: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France  (Read 3447 times)

neo von retorch

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Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« on: December 04, 2014, 11:19:54 AM »
My SO and I are going to France in late June (would like to do June 29 - July 5 or so).

I see this card has 40k-50k bonus miles after your first purchase and annual fee. How are airline reward miles redeemed? It says on the site "Now you can use your bonus miles toward any US Airways or American Airlines flight booked through usairways.com or US Airways Reservations." Does that mean I can use them towards a flight for a free or discounted ticket?

https://www.barclaycardus.com/apply/Landing.action?campaignId=1995&cellNumber=5

What are the limitations that are not obvious and I am not seeing?

themagicman

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Re: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 11:32:46 AM »
The cost in miles would depend on the "level" of flight that is booked. For instance there are early saver flights which are limited in the amount of tickets they sell and then there are normal rewards flights which cost more but as long as there is a seat on the plane you can get them. Then also, there is obviously an upcharge for going first class ect.

Unfortunately I would assume that the early saver flight rewards would already be gone for June-July of this year (There could be some avialble Tues-Thurs)

There should be millage charts for all of the different airlines online, for you to see how many miles a ticket would cost.

My wife and I just booked our flights on United for Sept 2015 from Atlanta to paris to Rome to Atlanta (With 4 nights in paris and 5 in rome) using miles and it was 60k for each of us. I would imagine that it would be the same for most airlines (We booked the early saver).

I would recommend looking into United as I think that it is easier to gain miles. We each signed up for the united card (35,000 miles each) and then we each signed up for the chase sapphire preferred card (Which gave us an additional 45,000 miles each that we could transfer to united)

johnny847

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Re: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 11:40:09 AM »
The cost in miles would depend on the "level" of flight that is booked. For instance there are early saver flights which are limited in the amount of tickets they sell and then there are normal rewards flights which cost more but as long as there is a seat on the plane you can get them. Then also, there is obviously an upcharge for going first class ect.

Unfortunately I would assume that the early saver flight rewards would already be gone for June-July of this year (There could be some avialble Tues-Thurs)

There should be millage charts for all of the different airlines online, for you to see how many miles a ticket would cost.

My wife and I just booked our flights on United for Sept 2015 from Atlanta to paris to Rome to Atlanta (With 4 nights in paris and 5 in rome) using miles and it was 60k for each of us. I would imagine that it would be the same for most airlines (We booked the early saver).

I would recommend looking into United as I think that it is easier to gain miles. We each signed up for the united card (35,000 miles each) and then we each signed up for the chase sapphire preferred card (Which gave us an additional 45,000 miles each that we could transfer to united)
United has some of the most liberal rules on stopovers and open jaws. I would not assume that it would be a similar cost in miles for other airlines, as they can charge you for each leg separately.

Back to the OP's question:
50k miles is not going to be enough to get you to France in late June on US Airways or one of their partners. If you spend another $10k on the card, you could get to 60k miles. But that's not going to be all that effective for you.

Generally speaking, to get to Europe you're going to need 60k miles or so. I agree with themagicman - I think your best bet is to apply for a CSP and a United card. Neither of them is going to get you to France on their own, but in total they will - transfer the CSP points to United.

GizmoTX

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Re: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 11:56:04 AM »
The Barclaycard lets you purchase any flight on any airline, then you can apply your point miles for a reimbursement. Anything else you put on the card also builds the points you can redeem against your flight purchase. Points don't expire as long as you keep the Barclaycard in good standing.

The Citi AAdvantage card earns miles that post directly to your AAdvantage account administered by AA. AAdvantage miles then can be used to "purchase" available seats on AA & OneWorld airlines through the AA portal. Available mileage seats are very limited & often you must spend double miles or be very flexible with your dates to get available seats. You must keep an eye on your AAdvantage account because miles will expire if there's no mileage activity in or out for 18 months. You do not have to have an AAdvantage CC to generate miles but it's most efficient to do so, plus the ones with an annual fee will give you benefits such as waiving checked bag fees & priority boarding.

We use both cards. We live in an AA hub, our AA card earns 2x miles for AA flights, & often the long haul AAdvantage flights can be obtained for far fewer miles than if purchased & reimbursed. OTOH, sometimes we need to use another airline, & the Barclaycard earns 2x points in this case.

Other important considerations: the CC you use while traveling should not charge you a foreign transaction fee, usually 3% of your purchase, and you want one that has the embedded chip & pin, not just the swipe & sign. Barclaycard does not charge the fee & has both chip & swipe. Citi AAdvantage does charge the fee & does not yet have the embedded chip -- I find this very strange & completely unacceptable for our use outside of the USA.

neo von retorch

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Re: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 12:05:47 PM »
GizmoTX,

So if I understand you correctly, if I book the flight to France and pay for it using the Barclaycard, I may be able to apply point miles for a partial reimbursement? (Or do I need the full 60-65k flight miles it would require for a full reimbursement)?

Oddly my new Barclaycard is telling me it does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee.

johnny847

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Re: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 12:11:57 PM »
GizmoTX,

So if I understand you correctly, if I book the flight to France and pay for it using the Barclaycard, I may be able to apply point miles for a partial reimbursement? (Or do I need the full 60-65k flight miles it would require for a full reimbursement)?

Oddly my new Barclaycard is telling me it does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee.
GizmoTX is talking about the Barclaycard Arrival. neogodless, you may be talking about a different card from Barclay. Make sure you guys are talking about the same thing.

neogodless, the Barclaycard Arrival+ earns "miles." I put those in quotes because they are NOT transferrable to airline partners. When I said 60k miles for Europe, that's 60k miles on an airline miles program, such as United MileagePlus, US Airways Dividend Miles, etc.
Barclaycard Arrival+ "miles" can be used as a statement credit towards travel expenses charged to the credit card. You earn 2 "miles" per dollar of purchases on the Arrival+. When redeemed against travel expenses, you get a value of 1 cent per "mile," and get 10% of the "miles" back. Their signup bonus is 40,000 miles for $3000 in spend. So that's worth $444.44 against travel expenses. Definitely won't get you to France for free.

rujancified

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Re: Travel Hacking: Get this n00b to France
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 12:34:23 PM »
WARNING: I'm in a USAir hub city & we have this card. They are changing ALL SORTS of their benefits, according to a mailing I got this month...basically half of what's listed  on your link will be gone by Q2 2015 (companion tickets, first class check in, mileage booking discount, and (i think) Zone 2 boarding). Since those were the specific perks that were worth it for us, we'll probably be switching to another rewards card. Really disappointing changes on the horizon.

Anyway, back to the basic q. Airline miles can be converted to tickets which are "priced" by popularity of destination, timing of purchase, and timing of trip. Plus a whole bunch of airline bullshit rules and algorithms. Sometimes you luck out and only pay 45k miles for an international flight and sometimes it's 110k to fly 2 states over.

From my hub city to Paris-De Gaulle for that week a single ticket is 175,000 miles. I'd estimate a ~100 per ticket in fees/taxes, which you still have to pay. I, personally, don't think that's worth it.

I have the venture card from capitalone which allows you to use "points" to offset purchase price (of plane ticket, hotel, car rental, etc). It's not a great deal, because $1 = 2 Points at purchase, but you pay like 100 points for a $1 of redeemed value. I just prefer the flexibility of using that card vs being locked into 1 particular airline. We use credit cards for everything possible, so we rack up points pretty quickly.