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Old Feb 26, 12, 10:11 pm   #1
 
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Card to earn miles/points/rewards for flights to Australia

We just got back from a trip to australia to visit family and would really like to go back within 1-2year. Flights to australia are extremely expensive, specially for a family of 3. We were able to take this trip because i had racked up 160K miles on Continental over a few years. Each adult ticket was 80k so we were good to go (baby flew free-ish). Now that continental has merged w/ united and the cards that I did the points rolling and converting no longer exist, I need to dedicate myself to a new program.

SOOO, trying to narrow down either what card / Airline I can work towards to get our next set of flights. right now the cards I have, Capital One VentureOne, Amex blue, and Chase AARP really don't offer the best rewards earning potential towards these flights. time to nuke'em and start over. maybe with an airline specific card?

thoughts?

update: i'm in Washington DC if that matters.
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Old Feb 26, 12, 11:22 pm   #2
 
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The best bet for you to get miles fairly quickly and be able to redeem them to go to Australia is through Citi/AA cards. You can get two Citi/AA cards at one time (the Visa and the Amex), both of which give you 50k AA miles. After 65 days, you could get the business version of the visa card and be at 150k without even putting anything other than the minimum spend on them.

For a roundtrip ticket to Australia from Washington to it is 75k in economy. With those 3 cards, you'd already have enough AA miles to fly there.

The other option would be to go the Chase route, as Chase points transfer to United at a 1:1 ratio. You'd need 160k in Chase points to make the flights for 2 people in economy, and could rack this up pretty quickly if you got the Chase Sapphire (50k), Chase Ink Bold Business (50k) and the Chase United card (50k-targeted).

I like the Chase Sapphire the best for everyday spend, but the AA option allows you to get all the miles you need at one time and the minimum spend on the cards is less than the Chase cards.

Either way, you can't go wrong, and those free flights are easily within reach.
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Old May 10, 12, 2:32 pm   #3
 
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hmm i didn't jump on this fast enough.. seems like the rewards are down to 30k for Citi/AA and 40k for chase and the amex aadvantage seems to not be offered any more.

I have 25k on AAdvantage. trying to figure out how to get those to work towards australia trip.
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Old May 10, 12, 3:01 pm   #4
 
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There are still some working links for 50k AA miles. Check out this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...ey-appear.html
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Old May 15, 12, 6:03 pm   #5
 
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great advice civico! I am looking to do the same thing and am considering this offer as soon as I can figure out how to hit the base spend on them all at once.
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Old Jun 19, 12, 11:46 am   #6
 
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Austrailia

What is the Best credit card to get and miles to redeem for a trip from Phoenix to Australia?
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Old Jun 19, 12, 11:51 am   #7
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steventravel's question has been merged into an existing, but brief, discussion of the same topic.
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Old Jun 19, 12, 12:43 pm   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponchera View Post
We just got back from a trip to australia to visit family and would really like to go back within 1-2year. Flights to australia are extremely expensive, specially for a family of 3. We were able to take this trip because i had racked up 160K miles on Continental over a few years. Each adult ticket was 80k so we were good to go (baby flew free-ish). Now that continental has merged w/ united and the cards that I did the points rolling and converting no longer exist, I need to dedicate myself to a new program.

SOOO, trying to narrow down either what card / Airline I can work towards to get our next set of flights. right now the cards I have, Capital One VentureOne, Amex blue, and Chase AARP really don't offer the best rewards earning potential towards these flights. time to nuke'em and start over. maybe with an airline specific card?

thoughts?

update: i'm in Washington DC if that matters.
Stop worrying about how much it costs, and start worrying about which airline actually will have availability for 3 people on the same flight. That's the tricky part.

And that's where UA still shines. The reason: If all else fails, you can get one or more of the tickets at "anytime" award prices (double the "restricted" award prices), but only on the airline's own metal! And AFAIK UA is the only airline flying its own metal to Australia. (At the very least, AA doesn't fly it's own metal anywhere close. AA straightforward redemptions rely on Qantas, but they're pretty stingy with seats. And even if DL flies its own metal, they tend to require way more miles for everyting than either UA or AA, while they have fewer opportunities for earning big miles from credit card signups than either UA or AA.)

Meanwhile, there are plenty of cards that get you UA. Most are from Chase, so hopefully Chase likes you. There's the UA Explorer card itself (around 50k bonus typically, but check around in MilesBuzz! for the best current bonus), there's the Chase Freedom card with typically a 30k bonus in Ultimate Rewards points (which you can't transfer to UA if that's the only UR card you have, but...), and the Chase Sapphire Plus and/or Ink Bold with I think perhaps a 50k bonus in UR points (and once you have either of those, you can transfer all the UR points you have, earned from all UR cards including Freedom, to UA 1:1). So with three cards and just the minimum spend on each, you'd have well over 100K. Then if your spouse can do the same, that's another well over 100K.

In actually using the cards, keep in mind that Freedom has rotating categories, so definitely use that for those (whether you have the other UR card yet or not, all the Freedom UR points will be transferable once you get the other "higher" UR card, but you don't need the "higher" UR card at the start).

While you can certainly try for AA miles too (from two Citi AA personal cards applied for at the same time using the "two-browser-type trick"), it's far less certain whether they would be use to Australia for 3 people on the same flight, especially if you aren't booking 330ish days out. So all I'm saying is that AA's a possibliity, but I'm not sure you want to put all your eggs in that one basket if Australia is the destination and you need 3 people on the same lfight. (AA solutions might involve putting some of you different flights with different routings -- say, one nonstop US-Austrlia but others routed around the Pacifiic -- but with a very young child I'm guessing that wouldn't work well for you.)
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Old Jun 19, 12, 12:48 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by steventravel View Post
What is the Best credit card to get and miles to redeem for a trip from Phoenix to Australia?
Read the answer I just posted above to the OP (who I didn't realize had asked quite a while ago).

Much of it still may aplpy to you, but I can't tell, because you didn't specify for how many people.

It's the US-Australia that's tough, not the within-US to connect to the Australia flight. So the answer is fairly similar no matter where in the US you're starting from.

If only one airline flies its own metal to Australia from the US (as I said, I'm not sure if Delta or US does, I know UA does and AA doesn't), then that narrows your choices quite a bit (if you're starting from zero).
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Old Jun 19, 12, 5:03 pm   #10
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I am not sure your lab child can still free either using UA or using AA program.

I know with AA program the infant fare is 10% of the fare of the cabin the child travels in. I assume you are talking about redemption in coach. It is not too bad. But it can run quite a bit of $ should you redeem a business class award for the adults and then would need to pay 10% on the business class fare for the infant who travels in the business cabin with you... (like over a thousand dollar for the infant alone).

UA should be your best bet especially if you would travel in coach.

There are currently a 50+5K sign up bonus after 1st purchase and adding an authorized user, on Chase UA card that you can sign up. It takes some "work" to be able to see the offer but it is a public offer so once you can see the offer page you are good to go. Check the Miles Buzz forum for its dedicated thread and read both Post 1 and Post 6 for the How To.

Or go to this blog and read about the UA card.

http://millionmilesecrets.com/credit...-credit-cards/

BTW, using AA miles for Australia you would book partner award flying QF - which, contrary to the 330 days myth that being bantering about, if all you need are coach seats, there are plenty of availability. QF flies to SYD/MEL/BNE from LAX. One other alternative is to aim at QF's JFK-LAX-SYD - quite often when LAX-SYD has no award availability there IS availability for JFK-LAX-SYD because of "married segment" that reserves some seats LAX-SYD for redemption from JFK, so folks from East Coast would still have a chance instead of all award seats being taken up by folks on the West Coast.

Your issue though, is getting a Saaver seat from IAD to either LAX or SFO in order to connect to the QF flight - because lately AA has very LIMITED availability even on the domestic Saaver award - for example, between MIA and LAX there are 6 or 7 daily nonstop flights but all I can see have award availability may be 1 or 2 with the rest all require connection(s). You may have a much easier time to get from IAD to JFK on the other hand.

Also please note the above is the CURRENT situation. If your planned travel is 1 to 2 years from now, things may be very different from what they stand as of now. Just keep this in mind.

DL flies to Australia on its own metal as well. And DONT try the 330 days thing as it would NOT work on DL which generally only release its low level award quite close to departure date (think within the same month or 2-3 weeks before).

Last edited by Happy; Jun 19, 12 at 5:16 pm.
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Old Jun 19, 12, 5:16 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Stop worrying about how much it costs, and start worrying about which airline actually will have availability for 3 people on the same flight. That's the tricky part.

...

While you can certainly try for AA miles too (from two Citi AA personal cards applied for at the same time using the "two-browser-type trick"), it's far less certain whether they would be use to Australia for 3 people on the same flight, especially if you aren't booking 330ish days out.
Finding award space to Australia is difficult in premium cabin, but not as much in economy which is what the OP is looking at. I just checked a couple of random dates and Qantas had availability for these dates for 3 people in economy.
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Old Jun 19, 12, 5:20 pm   #12
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Finding award space to Australia is difficult in premium cabin, but not as much in economy which is what the OP is looking at. I just checked a couple of random dates and Qantas had availability for these dates for 3 people in economy.
Right. And there is no need for those 330 days thing at all if you are flying in economy.

I dont understand why people still hold the concept of 330 days - it has not been working this way for years with the advance of the yield management software and the internal policy change within airlines which now seldom release a set amount of award seats in that urban-myth timeframe of 330 days before... but people still hang on the old "trick" and perpetuate the outdated concept despite has been proven not working for quite some time across airlines from AA to CO/UA to DL.
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