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Best use of points/miles from US to Brazil

Best use of points/miles from US to Brazil

Old Nov 5, 17, 3:42 pm
  #1  
ymx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 214
Best use of points/miles from US to Brazil

Hi all, hoping I can get some advice, as I am new to booking international flights using miles or points transfers. I'm looking to book a series of international flights for my son from the Northeast US (Boston or NYC) to Brazil. I'm a bit confused because some of the posts I've seen offer various options for LATAM by using AA, British Airways, Cathay etc. Economy is fine, but if there are some bargains to be had in business class I would treat him.

Itinerary is flexible, but roughly:

12/28 BOS/NYC to GIG
3/14 GIG to BOS/NYC

I have the following miles and transferable points available:

AA: 44,000 miles
Amex: 400,000 MR Points
Citi Prestige: 40,000 TY Points
Chase: 100,000 UR Points
Marriott (travel package or transfer to SPG?): 130,000 points
SPG: 91,000 points

Thanks so much for any help you can provide. Also wondering if it would make sense to use a points booking service?

Last edited by ymx; Nov 6, 17 at 3:48 pm
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Old Nov 5, 17, 4:03 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: YYC
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, AMEX Plat, Nat EE
Posts: 880
Have you still got your $200 AMEX travel credit available for this year ? I'd consider using your AMEX MR points first. I use mine for airfare and they are pretty good value. Others may feel differently. YMMV.

You cannot fly directly into RBR. You have to go thru GRU or GIG first. I think you may have just made a typo in your post, but in case you didn't, I just wanted to mention this.

I'd fly him on United from BOS-IAH-GIG/GRU (your choice) and then onward to RBR on the most convenient flight. But, I am a United junkie, and like that route as it is the one I always fly. The IAH-GIG flight always arrives before the other US carriers as well, so less brain damage clearing immigration, etc.

Now, within Brasil, the thing is, it's often cheaper and better to buy flights in dollars and do not use your points to get him to RBR from GIG/GRU. I never, ever, use points to buy tickets in Brasil, and another poster here who just booked trips confirmed what I said as well. Buy a ticket on GOL.

LATAM

Last edited by KDS777; Nov 5, 17 at 4:13 pm
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Old Nov 5, 17, 4:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chicago
Posts: 142
We live in Chicago and my wife has been buying round trips from Boston to Rio via Miami because it is so much cheaper. Last trip she paid barely over $600. Terrible use of miles, at least for economy. Don’t know about business.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 3:49 pm
  #4  
ymx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 214
Thanks for the tips! I've updated the original post to reflect a round trip to GIG to make things simpler.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 3:57 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,284
You can try using awardhacker, but NYE is a huge event in Rio so I doubt that an award flight would be available around this time.

Good luck!
boboqui is offline  
Old Nov 7, 17, 8:33 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: YYC
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, AMEX Plat, Nat EE
Posts: 880
Originally Posted by boboqui
You can try using awardhacker, but NYE is a huge event in Rio so I doubt that an award flight would be available around this time.
This is true.....also......air fares are going up for the next 3 months as carnaval is in early February. It's the start of the "high season" for tourism.

Last edited by KDS777; Nov 8, 17 at 7:36 am
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Old Nov 7, 17, 12:43 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sao Paulo via Houston via Washington D.C via Boston via New York
Posts: 1,166
EWR-IAH-GIG using MR points to ANA. Also short flights inside of Brazil, you can transfer MR to Etihad and book through GOL, short flights are 3k each way over 1k miles = 6k each way etc...
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