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Thread: Airline miles

  1. #1
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    Default Airline miles

    Just an inquiry to you all. I am looking for a new credit card that gives you travel rewards like airline miles. I use my credit card so frequently that I thought this would be a good benefit for me. Right now I have a citi card that gives you reward points that you can redeem toward the purchase of various swag from their own website. I have a ton of points, Problem is that you cant buy anything exclusively with your points, the points only give you a discount. And that discount isn't necessarily better than what you can buy it for on Amazon. So I need a new card, as this is pretty much useless.

    Ideally I want a card that I can build up enough points or miles to pay for a plane tickets to places like Vegas,Florida, NY. Something where we can just take a quick weekend trip every other year or so and have the points cover the airfare.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on a great travel rewards credit card?
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Airline miles

    http://thepointsguy.com/

    Best resource for rewards options you'll find.

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    Default Re: Airline miles

    I use the SouthWest Credit Card. I put 75% of my purchases each month onto the credit card just to get points.....anything that I can pay a credit Card bill with ( Comcast Bill, Insurance, etc ) I use my Credit Card for. I was able to use to purchase 2 round trip tickets to DW. For me, living in the West Coast....Southwest travels everywhere....so I can use it to get points to travel to LV .
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Airline miles

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    I use the SouthWest Credit Card. I put 75% of my purchases each month onto the credit card just to get points.....anything that I can pay a credit Card bill with ( Comcast Bill, Insurance, etc ) I use my Credit Card for. I was able to use to purchase 2 round trip tickets to DW. For me, living in the West Coast....Southwest travels everywhere....so I can use it to get points to travel to LV .
    Thanks for your reply.

    I believe I have this narrowed down to the SouthWest Card or the Starwood Resorts SPG American Express. I like the SouthWest Card because thats generally the first place I look for airfare because its generally the best rate. Also if I get the Premier version of the card that comes with the $99 annual fee they give you 6000 points free every year which is essentially $100 worth of airfare so the annual fee offsets. Not to mention the 25K bonus points with your first purchase, this would be about $400 in airfare. So after one year I would have plenty of points built up cover airfare to vegas.

    The Starwood Resorts card is intriguing to me just based on the fact that you get so many bonus points just for signing up. Some thing like 40,000 if you meet the spending requirements, which would not be too hard for me. They equal out to several nights in a decent hotel. Plus you get benefits during your hotel stays. They also allow you to transfer. your points to several of the airline's miles program. BUT NOT SOUTHWEST! But I can see the benefit of this card because you can even book airfare right from their website using points. There is a Sheraton or Westin pretty much everywhere you'd want to vacation. I could also easily build up some quick points by staying at the Sheraton Resorts on my upcoming Hawaii Honeymoon. But it seems like this card would benefit frequent travelers more than just sombody who wants a free trip every couple of years.
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Airline miles

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Thanks for your reply.

    I believe I have this narrowed down to the SouthWest Card or the Starwood Resorts SPG American Express. I like the SouthWest Card because thats generally the first place I look for airfare because its generally the best rate. Also if I get the Premier version of the card that comes with the $99 annual fee they give you 6000 points free every year which is essentially $100 worth of airfare so the annual fee offsets. Not to mention the 25K bonus points with your first purchase, this would be about $400 in airfare. So after one year I would have plenty of points built up cover airfare to vegas.

    The Starwood Resorts card is intriguing to me just based on the fact that you get so many bonus points just for signing up. Some thing like 40,000 if you meet the spending requirements, which would not be too hard for me. They equal out to several nights in a decent hotel. Plus you get benefits during your hotel stays. They also allow you to transfer. your points to several of the airline's miles program. BUT NOT SOUTHWEST! But I can see the benefit of this card because you can even book airfare right from their website using points. There is a Sheraton or Westin pretty much everywhere you'd want to vacation. I could also easily build up some quick points by staying at the Sheraton Resorts on my upcoming Hawaii Honeymoon. But it seems like this card would benefit frequent travelers more than just sombody who wants a free trip every couple of years.
    If you fly Southwest a lot, here's my advice. Open a personal card and a business card. You have to pay the fee on each. But you'll get 50,000 miles. Then, if you can (or if your wife or whatever can), open a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You'll get 40,000 miles that can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest (double-check this, but it was the case recently for me). You have two options at this point - either use the card/fly for up to 20,000 miles (don't cash in the miles for anything yet) or open have someone else open a Southwest card and transfer you 20,000 miles. Ideally, you earn the miles. But you can use the final transfer step as well.

    Getting to 110,000 miles on Southwest is huge. Once there, you get a companion pass that is good until the end of the following calendar year. If you got all the miles but opening cards and transferring, you will have to call and do some negotiating. Some people might push back, others not as much if you're polite but insistent. With a companion pass, you can register someone to fly free with you on any flight you take. Once you have the pass, you can then start to cash in on the 110,000 miles you saved up. This will get you and a companion a ton of free flights. You can switch the name on the companion pass up to 3 times, so you can take other people, but be careful to save the final switch for whoever you fly with regularly (if that's anyone).

    Obviously, this requires opening a number of cards. Don't cancel them all immediately or you'll take a bit of a short-term credit score hit. And nothing I'm suggesting here is in any way illegal. It just takes a little bit of work. I've seen it pulled off successfully.

    Southwest sometimes ups the miles offers on their cards to 50,000 per card, so if you see that, jump on it. This is much easier that way. I'm waiting to move back to Indy in the fall before I finish this process myself.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Airline miles

    Quote Originally Posted by btowncolt View Post
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    If you fly Southwest a lot, here's my advice. Open a personal card and a business card. You have to pay the fee on each. But you'll get 50,000 miles. Then, if you can (or if your wife or whatever can), open a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You'll get 40,000 miles that can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest (double-check this, but it was the case recently for me). You have two options at this point - either use the card/fly for up to 20,000 miles (don't cash in the miles for anything yet) or open have someone else open a Southwest card and transfer you 20,000 miles. Ideally, you earn the miles. But you can use the final transfer step as well.

    Getting to 110,000 miles on Southwest is huge. Once there, you get a companion pass that is good until the end of the following calendar year. If you got all the miles but opening cards and transferring, you will have to call and do some negotiating. Some people might push back, others not as much if you're polite but insistent. With a companion pass, you can register someone to fly free with you on any flight you take. Once you have the pass, you can then start to cash in on the 110,000 miles you saved up. This will get you and a companion a ton of free flights. You can switch the name on the companion pass up to 3 times, so you can take other people, but be careful to save the final switch for whoever you fly with regularly (if that's anyone).

    Obviously, this requires opening a number of cards. Don't cancel them all immediately or you'll take a bit of a short-term credit score hit. And nothing I'm suggesting here is in any way illegal. It just takes a little bit of work. I've seen it pulled off successfully.

    Southwest sometimes ups the miles offers on their cards to 50,000 per card, so if you see that, jump on it. This is much easier that way. I'm waiting to move back to Indy in the fall before I finish this process myself.
    Yes I read about this tactic before as well. I'm unsure about it because many people have said that they won't give you the 2nd bonus for business card. If you get the companion pass does that Wipe out your 100K points?

    I'd probably give the Sapphire card a go though, because the 40,000 is huge, but I think there are some spending requirements to get there? I hate opening up so many cards though. I think I will be closing some the cards I never use before doing this.

    Ultimately if I opened up the Chase Sapphire card, would I even need the Southwest Card assuming points transfer 1:1?
    You can't get champagne from a garden hose.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Airline miles

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Yes I read about this tactic before as well. I'm unsure about it because many people have said that they won't give you the 2nd bonus for business card. If you get the companion pass does that Wipe out your 100K points?

    I'd probably give the Sapphire card a go though, because the 40,000 is huge, but I think there are some spending requirements to get there? I hate opening up so many cards though. I think I will be closing some the cards I never use before doing this.

    Ultimately if I opened up the Chase Sapphire card, would I even need the Southwest Card assuming points transfer 1:1?
    If you open the cards simultaneously and tell Southwest you need a card for business, they will open one for you. I've never heard of them denying the extra miles for a business card.

    For the Chase card, you have to spend $3,000 in the first three months. If you use it as your debit card during that time period, you might be able to hit that (assuming you're paying it off each month in full).

    If you just want a good overall reward card, go with the Chase. You're correct - you can transfer the miles and wouldn't need a Southwest card, the the Chase points are eligible for a number of things (https://creditcards.chase.com/sapphire/preferred).

    The Companion Pass will not wipe out your miles. It's just a reward for hitting a certain mile amount. After getting the pass, you can then use all of the bonus miles.

    As for opening and closing cards, here's my general point of view. Your credit score is affected by two main things - opening up lines of credit simultaneously and how high your credit limit outstanding currently is. The more cards you open at once, the more it can ding your score slightly. But your score subsequently gets boosted by having a higher available credit limit that you're using 30% or less of. So it's usually better for your credit to have multiple lines open (assuming you're handling the lines responsibly and keeping the amount of the line used below 30%). Opening a few cards that give you a $5,000 or more limit at the same time won't hurt as long as you don't simultaneously close other cards that you've had open for a long time. The best thing you can do for your score is have a card or two that you've had for long time (I keep an old Bank of America card I haven't used since 2003 open just because it's my longest-running card).
    Last edited by btowncolt; 06-15-2012 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Airline miles

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Thanks for your reply.

    I believe I have this narrowed down to the SouthWest Card or the Starwood Resorts SPG American Express. I like the SouthWest Card because thats generally the first place I look for airfare because its generally the best rate. Also if I get the Premier version of the card that comes with the $99 annual fee they give you 6000 points free every year which is essentially $100 worth of airfare so the annual fee offsets. Not to mention the 25K bonus points with your first purchase, this would be about $400 in airfare. So after one year I would have plenty of points built up cover airfare to vegas.

    The Starwood Resorts card is intriguing to me just based on the fact that you get so many bonus points just for signing up. Some thing like 40,000 if you meet the spending requirements, which would not be too hard for me. They equal out to several nights in a decent hotel. Plus you get benefits during your hotel stays. They also allow you to transfer. your points to several of the airline's miles program. BUT NOT SOUTHWEST! But I can see the benefit of this card because you can even book airfare right from their website using points. There is a Sheraton or Westin pretty much everywhere you'd want to vacation. I could also easily build up some quick points by staying at the Sheraton Resorts on my upcoming Hawaii Honeymoon. But it seems like this card would benefit frequent travelers more than just sombody who wants a free trip every couple of years.
    The only drawback that I can see with American Express is that not every where takes it ( despite what they say in the old American Express commercials with Karl Malden ). That's why I switched from AE to the Southwest Chase Visa.

    I am guessing that I can switch to United Visa....but most of the time, I fly Southwest.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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