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Old Dec 7, 11, 12:46 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Smile Reward Points Newbie - I've got questions!!

My husband and I signed up for the Barclay Visa offer just this year.

We've never used reward points before - so this is our first attempt at trying to figure out the best way to use the points we now have. He has 22 A+ pts and I have 27 A+ pts.

We were hoping to use them to get to Cancun next February on Sat to Sat round trip flights. All I see is A+ Biz reward flights which require 16+ pts each way. There are no coach tickets - is that the norm for weekend travel?

For Cancun, I see several options:

1) We could each book a A+ Bix flight one way and pay for the cheapest leg back for both of us. ($289+ for each of us= $578 +)

2) He could transfer 5 pts (charge of $100) over to my account so I could get FREE A+ BIZ tickets both ways then we'd pay for a coach tkt for him. ($289+ $100+ = $389)

2) He could transfer 5 pts (charge of $100) over to my account so I could get FREE A+ BIZ tickets both ways then we'd pay for a A+ Biz tkt for him. ($489 + $100+ - $589)

Are there other options using reward points that I'm missing?

There are no coach tickets for the Feb 2012 wknds. Is that the norm for all weekend travel? Or are they just all gone? I'm assuming the reward flights are limited - they sure seem to be!

Is there a strategy for booking reward flights - book really early / book really late

How far out can reward flights be booked?

Any other key strategies that I'm missing?

Thx!
cstewart27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 11, 1:54 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,260
It can be extremely difficult to score coach seats to vacation destinations like Cancun.

Which city are you flying from?

For routes like this, biz class is often the only option.
newsmanhoss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 11, 2:02 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
CAK to CUN

Flying from CAK (Akron, OH) to Cancun (CUN)

Feb 18 to Feb 25th accomodations booked, need flight

From what I can tell, I should pick up one more point next week and hubby pick up three if Barclay posts as expected. Still doesn't get us to where we need to be
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Old Dec 7, 11, 3:09 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: WN CP & A- , DL , FL A+Elite, Hertz PC, SPG Gold
Posts: 3,191
If you need more credits, a Hertz rental, using the AirTran link https://offer.hertz.com/offers/index...off_and_dc.jsp
will give you one credit, per qualified rental, instead of the standard 1/2 credit per rental. Sometimes, you can rent a vehicle locally, for a very inexpensive rate, especially from an HLE location (off airport).

You can also purchase credits, at a cost of $39 per credit.

If you have an Amex card with Membership Rewards,
Quote:
Convert your Membership RewardsŪ points into A+ Rewards credits that are instantly redeemable. It takes only 1,500 Membership Rewards points for 1 A+ credit.
Other options for earning credits can be found at http://www.aplusrewards.com/reward_partners.aspx
mke9499 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 11, 3:26 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Buying credits

I'm debating the idea of buying the credits at $39. That may be cheaper than paying for the actual ticket in the long run. I'm fine with having a coach ticket on the way back and him having a Biz ticket, but he doesn't like that idea.

Hence the various scenarios I listed.
cstewart27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 11, 9:48 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westchester Co, NY or Rio Grande Valley, TX or ???
Programs: Hanging onto BAEC(G); HH(D); SPG(P); no longer [UA 2P, WN A-, FL A+ Elite, BD G]
Posts: 1,402
Hi, and welcome to our corner of FlyerTalk!

Hertz at CAK often has reasonable weekend rates with their 1 credit per rental promo, but by the time they post your seats may be gone.

My plan would be for you to buy/AMEX/xfer from hubby 4 credits once your CC points hit your A+ accounts. You use your 32 credits to get 2 Biz tickets; hubby uses 16 credits to get 1 Biz ticket; one of you buys a coach ticket & uses 4 of hubby's remaining credits to upgrade that ticket to Biz the day before that flight. It is probably easier to arrange for the upgrade on the outbound flight (while you are stateside), but there will probably be more competition for those upgrades - I would probably try to upgrade the flight home if you have a cell phone with international calling.

Good luck - let us know your decision!

Last edited by HPN-HRL; Dec 7, 11 at 9:57 pm..
HPN-HRL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 11, 6:13 am   #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPN-HRL View Post
Hi, and welcome to our corner of FlyerTalk!

Hertz at CAK often has reasonable weekend rates with their 1 credit per rental promo, but by the time they post your seats may be gone.

My plan would be for you to buy/AMEX/xfer from hubby 4 credits once your CC points hit your A+ accounts. You use your 32 credits to get 2 Biz tickets; hubby uses 16 credits to get 1 Biz ticket; one of you buys a coach ticket & uses 4 of hubby's remaining credits to upgrade that ticket to Biz the day before that flight. It is probably easier to arrange for the upgrade on the outbound flight (while you are stateside), but there will probably be more competition for those upgrades - I would probably try to upgrade the flight home if you have a cell phone with international calling.

Good luck - let us know your decision!
Great advice, HPN-HRL!
newsmanhoss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 11, 7:09 am   #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
How does the Biz upgrade process work?

The coach tickets are $289 on either leg right now, but I don't have international calling.

Can you explain how the the Biz upgrade process works? I've seen it mentioned on quite a number of posts, but I'm still not certain that I know how the process works.

Any advice on strategies for future use of reward points. How far out are reward flights posted? Should I book early or book late?

We completed the card application late Aug on our flight, so our credits weren't posted until mid-Nov. So far, the BIZ+ tickets have been available, but it all makes me nervous!!!

Thanks for the advice.
cstewart27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 9, 11, 7:46 am   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstewart27 View Post
Flying from CAK (Akron, OH) to Cancun (CUN)

Feb 18 to Feb 25th accomodations booked, need flight

From what I can tell, I should pick up one more point next week and hubby pick up three if Barclay posts as expected. Still doesn't get us to where we need to be
Is Barclays still awarding credits to AirTran visa customers?
travelingfool23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 9, 11, 9:48 am   #10
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Barclay pts

We just got points last month on 11/12. I'm expecting additional points next week.
cstewart27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 9, 11, 11:36 am   #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Westchester Co, NY or Rio Grande Valley, TX or ???
Programs: Hanging onto BAEC(G); HH(D); SPG(P); no longer [UA 2P, WN A-, FL A+ Elite, BD G]
Posts: 1,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstewart27 View Post
The coach tickets are $289 on either leg right now, but I don't have international calling.

Can you explain how the the Biz upgrade process works? I've seen it mentioned on quite a number of posts, but I'm still not certain that I know how the process works.

Any advice on strategies for future use of reward points. How far out are reward flights posted? Should I book early or book late?

We completed the card application late Aug on our flight, so our credits weren't posted until mid-Nov. So far, the BIZ+ tickets have been available, but it all makes me nervous!!!

Thanks for the advice.
To use credits for a business class upgrade:

Call AirTran any time the day before your scheduled flight (i.e. if you are flying on Feb 18th, you can call just after midnight at the beginning of the 17th), and say you want to use credits to upgrade a flight. Give them your flight info, and they will take care of the rest.

Credit upgrades "cost" 4 credits per one-way flight - that means CAK-ATL-CUN can all be upgraded for 4 credits if that is how you bought your ticket [2 separate tickets CAK-ATL and ATL-CUN would require 4 credits to upgrade each ticketed leg, for 8 credits total]. Of course, seats have to be available in order to get the upgrade.

I hope this helps!

P.S. Those of us with elite status can call two days before flying to upgrade, so take a look at the seat map for your flight before calling to make sure that Biz class seats are still available.

P.P.S. - @travelingfool23: I received another A+ credit on my most recent Barclay's statement.

Last edited by HPN-HRL; Dec 9, 11 at 11:40 am.. Reason: added PPS
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Old Dec 15, 11, 5:30 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11
I received 4 credits on my last statement.
Wildcat Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 11, 7:51 am   #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Baltic Sea
Programs: SPG Platinum
Posts: 315
Use google to dial internationally.
airplanepeanuts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 11, 7:52 am   #14
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Baltic Sea
Programs: SPG Platinum
Posts: 315
A lot of times, if you call them and ask them things they will explain them to you too.
airplanepeanuts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 11, 8:46 am   #15
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by airplanepeanuts View Post
Use google to dial internationally.
We will have to try to upgrade my hubby on flight back. What does Use google to dial internationally mean?
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