Flying AA Paid but Collecting *A with CC for Awards

 
Old Nov 11, 12, 3:07 pm
  #1  
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Flying AA Paid but Collecting *A with CC for Awards

I've been an AA loyalist for a while (although not nearly as long as some of you guys) but recently I've started to to grow envious of the award availability (as well as better route availability) on *A (yes, even UA/CO) and it got me thinking:

I love EXP, so pretty much all my flying is on paid tickets to ensure that I get to the magic 100k EQM mark each year. I earn miles through flying (obviously) but also through CC spend. Mostly I tend to use my miles on others or to upgrade if I'm flying long haul and I'm out of SWUs but occasionally I like to use them for a J/F flight somewhere far away.

With all that in mind, here's my question. Do any of you do all your paid flying on AA but use a different airline's credit card (and do a whole host of other things) to earn miles for use in another Alliance - specifically *A? It would seem like this may be a good idea because status will have little effect if I'm redeeming in J/F and it would be nice to have better award availability.... but I'm wondering if I'm missing something? Thanks for any insights.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 3:12 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by MauiTigerShark View Post
I've been an AA loyalist for a while (although not nearly as long as some of you guys) but recently I've started to to grow envious of the award availability (as well as better route availability) on *A (yes, even UA/CO) and it got me thinking:

I love EXP, so pretty much all my flying is on paid tickets to ensure that I get to the magic 100k EQM mark each year. I earn miles through flying (obviously) but also through CC spend. Mostly I tend to use my miles on others or to upgrade if I'm flying long haul and I'm out of SWUs but occasionally I like to use them for a J/F flight somewhere far away.

With all that in mind, here's my question. Do any of you do all your paid flying on AA but use a different airline's credit card (and do a whole host of other things) to earn miles for use in another Alliance - specifically *A? It would seem like this may be a good idea because status will have little effect if I'm redeeming in J/F and it would be nice to have better award availability.... but I'm wondering if I'm missing something? Thanks for any insights.
To me the important issue is whether the miles become less useful when divided into smaller pots. I like the flexibility of having all my miles together. My wife and I earn less than 100k miles per year from credit cards. Therefore, for the types of redemptions we do (international premium), it would take more than two years for a trip (e.g. RT to Asia, Europe or SA for 2 in J = 200k) from our CC pot.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:18 pm
  #3  
 
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In Canada one almost has to

I do exactly what you're asking about, mainly because the credit card market in Canada is so heavily skewed towards Air Canada's loyalty program. You just can't help collecting Aeroplan points if you live in Canada, unless you collect "Air Miles" which IMHO are almost valueless.

So, if you have a high card from Amex (Platinum, Aeroplan Platinum) you get oodles of Aeroplan miles, whether you want them or not. Now and then Amex and CIBC have promotions which deliver extra signing bonuses. If one is borderline-obsessed, one can churn these effectively. One ends up with lots of Aeroplan miles. I've got over 160,000, after redeeming twice, and I've never flown a paid flight on AC.

Meanwhile, there's only one card that gets you AAdvantage miles in Canada: RBC Avion VISA. And it's awkward, with three separate delays in the process. You actually collect the bank's proprietary points, then a few days after your monthly statement, they post the points, which you can convert to AAdvantage miles if you phone them during business hours, minimum 5,000 points, possible delay of weeks before they're posted to your AAdvantage account. Now and then, a thrilling 20% bonus, limited time only. Unexciting compared to the Citi cards we can't get.

So yes, I fly AA only. And my Aeroplan miles pile up because I watch for bonus opportunities. Works for me. First Class on Singapore to Asia, I think...
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:21 pm
  #4  
 
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Is there any limit(such as up to **K miles per year) when non-elites UA are able to earn RDM from CC?

I am not 100% sure but there may be such a limit for AA non-elites to earn AA RDM from Citi AA CC.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:26 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by supergrandslam View Post
I am not 100% sure but there may be such a limit for AA non-elites to earn AA RDM from Citi AA CC.
For many of the Citi AAdvantage cards, the earning limits for non-elites were lifted when the travel enhancements were added earlier this year.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 5:09 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by beerup View Post
For many of the Citi AAdvantage cards, the earning limits for non-elites were lifted when the travel enhancements were added earlier this year.
Thanks.I guess it was something related to the MMer plogram change.

It looks there is no earning limits for UA MP Explorer Card that ad on FT annoys me alwasys.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 5:23 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by beerup View Post
To me the important issue is whether the miles become less useful when divided into smaller pots. I like the flexibility of having all my miles together. My wife and I earn less than 100k miles per year from credit cards. Therefore, for the types of redemptions we do (international premium), it would take more than two years for a trip (e.g. RT to Asia, Europe or SA for 2 in J = 200k) from our CC pot.
I agree that splitting miles could be an issue and that is a consideration for me. I think that, between regular CC spend, miles from dining programs, miles from using a shopping portal (when cash back isn't as good) and various bonuses that appear from time to time, I could rack up 100k a year and that's not too bad.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 5:37 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by yyzgayguy View Post
Meanwhile, there's only one card that gets you AAdvantage miles in Canada: RBC Avion VISA. And it's awkward, with three separate delays in the process. You actually collect the bank's proprietary points, then a few days after your monthly statement, they post the points, which you can convert to AAdvantage miles if you phone them during business hours, minimum 5,000 points, possible delay of weeks before they're posted to your AAdvantage account. Now and then, a thrilling 20% bonus, limited time only. Unexciting compared to the Citi cards we can't get.
You can also get the canadian SPG Amex. SPG points convert to AA miles, and you always get a 20% bonus if you convert in multiples of 20k.

That's how I earn miles in the US on account of I despise Citi. Also, SPG "nights and flights" awards are a freaking steal.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 8:00 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I fly paid AA and DL so I try to collect most of my CC and other miles into UA.

It's nice to have an option for each alliance when looking at award.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 9:51 pm
  #10  
 
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Sounds like you would be a good candidate for the Chase Ultimate Rewards line of cards. That is a fairly flexible currency -- you can xfer to a number of different airlines.

IMHO that is better than collecting miles for a specific carrier on which you are not actively traveling.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 9:54 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by smashr View Post
Sounds like you would be a good candidate for the Chase Ultimate Rewards line of cards. That is a fairly flexible currency -- you can xfer to a number of different airlines.

IMHO that is better than collecting miles for a specific carrier on which you are not actively traveling.
That's a very good point. I've been considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred for the reason you mention but I'm being greedy and waiting for a juicy sign up bonus
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