Flyer Noob Needs Help...

Old May 20, 12, 12:46 am
  #1  
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Flyer Noob Needs Help...

Hi there, I am new to this site and thought someone could point me in the right direction here.

I have a few Million points with Amex Centurion. I dont get to use them to often, so they clearly have accumulated over the past few years.

I can rarely ever find a good deal on mileage points.

Are there any softwares or sites out there that will do all the reward ticket searching to assit with planning?

Every time I call amex to travel, I feel like im getting hosed on what airfare is.

Thanks alot for any advice.
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Old May 20, 12, 1:50 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by gmbravo View Post
Hi there, I am new to this site and thought someone could point me in the right direction here.

I have a few Million points with Amex Centurion. I dont get to use them to often, so they clearly have accumulated over the past few years.

I can rarely ever find a good deal on mileage points.

Are there any softwares or sites out there that will do all the reward ticket searching to assit with planning?

Every time I call amex to travel, I feel like im getting hosed on what airfare is.

Thanks alot for any advice.
With a few million MR points I don't think you need to really look for good deals. It may be hard to use them all before you die.

The best use (in my opinion) is to wait for a transfer special, then transfer to an airline program and redeem for a first class reward ticket.
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Old May 20, 12, 3:10 am
  #3  
 
 
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Welcome to Flyertalk.

I suggest you start with The Points Guy's 10 part series Tips on Maximizing American Express Perks and Points

He's done a nice job of bringing a lot of information into one place.

-David
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Old May 20, 12, 9:07 am
  #4  
mia
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Suggest reviewing this thread to understand the potential value of various redemption options:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...giftcards.html

Last edited by mia; May 20, 12 at 8:42 pm
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Old May 20, 12, 4:09 pm
  #5  
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Smile

Thank you guys for your help....


...Its not like I go hog wild on spending, but I have just accumulated lots of points for business expenses.

The problem is that back in the day, I used to be able to fly first class LAX to MTL and it would cost like 40,000 PTS transfered from Amex to Aeroplan, or fly Los Angeles to Italy via Lufthansa for 100,000 PTS first class.

I looked at KVSTool, ANA Club and Expert Flyer....are there any tools to find the "deals" again, or do they just no longer exist?

I will take your advice and look at the links you guys have provided, but if there are any other tools that you think would help me find the "gems", it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 20, 12, 8:46 pm
  #6  
mia
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Try this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...-programs.html
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Old May 21, 12, 10:04 am
  #7  
 
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There are several very good services around that will do the work for you, especially if you don't want to take the time to do it or if your trip is very complicated. The services obviously charge a fee, but most are known for getting the biggest "bang for your buck (points)." A lot of us find them very handy in booking difficult open-jaw flights for cruises.
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Old May 21, 12, 10:22 am
  #8  
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Check out the Travel Tool forum. Here's a thread on those who offer award booking services:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l#post17711690

Here's a free site for finding award availability:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...line-free.html

Given that your currency is AMEX points you'll want to determine which airlines and alliances you can use for booking trips, then look within those alliances for availability.
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Old May 21, 12, 12:12 pm
  #9  
 
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Calling Amex is far and away the worst thing to do. They will probably find you paid fares that you can use your points for at an approximate rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Award travel, in business or first class, will be a much better value, but you need to find the availability. I recommend some of the tools from other posts, or engaging an award travel service. I have not used any, but they are generally priced rather reasonably.

Do keep in mind that some award tickets have high to extremely high taxes, fees and surcharges. This doesn't mean they all do. It varies a lot by the ticket booked, and on what airline. You can take the same flight and pay much higher or lower fees depending on whether it was booked with this airline or that airline.
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