Newbie help--which cards?

Old Feb 5, 14, 9:31 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Newbie help--which cards?

I've dabbled in CC bonuses in the past, using MS to get bonuses, etc. I'm currently setting myself with the goal of flying free in two years or so and was wondering if the generous folks here could help me shape my decision as to which CCs will help me accomplish this goal. I'll list my "requirements" and hopefully with your help, I can make it happen!

Home City: San Diego, CA

Possible target destinations:
Indonesia (Soekarno or Juanda), Japan (Haneda), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, Hong Kong

Preferred airlines:
Singapore, Cathay

Number of Passengers: 4

Targeted seat class: business

I currently do not have any FF cards with any airlines above or any CCs that give miles or have points that have favorable conversion to miles. If anyone has any other suggestions that fall under the same quality experience as Singapore or Cathay as an alternative airline and will make my goal of 4 business class tickets easier, that would be great as well.

As you can tell, I need help deciphering which airline has the best mileage redemption for my goals and which CCs will help me funnel points to fund those goals.

If it makes a difference, the 4 passengers currently (as of today) is comprised of a 4 month old, a 3 year old, and 2 adults. Looking to book travel for 2015.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by philemer; Feb 5, 14 at 12:21 pm
wpd7 is offline  
Old Feb 5, 14, 12:11 pm
  #2  
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Newbie help--which cards?

Welcome to FT. I'm sure you'll get some good advice soon.
philemer is offline  
Old Feb 5, 14, 1:42 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 32
Originally Posted by wpd7 View Post
I've dabbled in CC bonuses in the past, using MS to get bonuses, etc. I'm currently setting myself with the goal of flying free in two years or so and was wondering if the generous folks here could help me shape my decision as to which CCs will help me accomplish this goal. I'll list my "requirements" and hopefully with your help, I can make it happen!

Home City: San Diego, CA

Possible target destinations:
Indonesia (Soekarno or Juanda), Japan (Haneda), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, Hong Kong

Preferred airlines:
Singapore, Cathay

Number of Passengers: 4

Targeted seat class: business

I currently do not have any FF cards with any airlines above or any CCs that give miles or have points that have favorable conversion to miles. If anyone has any other suggestions that fall under the same quality experience as Singapore or Cathay as an alternative airline and will make my goal of 4 business class tickets easier, that would be great as well.

As you can tell, I need help deciphering which airline has the best mileage redemption for my goals and which CCs will help me funnel points to fund those goals.

If it makes a difference, the 4 passengers currently (as of today) is comprised of a 4 month old, a 3 year old, and 2 adults. Looking to book travel for 2015.

Thanks for your help.
NOTE: You'll get double points if you and your spouse each apply for the cards below.

Bank of America Alaska card, 25k miles

Alaska is a partner to American and Delta, and you can re-apply for this card every six months. YMMV.

Citi AA Platinum, 50k miles

100k offer is out there, but the minimum spend is high.

Chase Sapphire Preferred, 40k points

Chase UR points can be transferred to British Airways (American partner) or United

Amex SPG, 25k points

SPG points can be transferred to American.

Chase United, 50k miles

Star Alliance partner

Chase British Airways, 50k miles

American partner

If you want to go the biz cards route, Chase Ink is a great one too. Happy applying!
405#Club is offline  
Old Feb 5, 14, 8:07 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,072
Your best deal is going to be AA miles. Currently US-SE Asia is 110K RT in business. Most other mileage programs are charging 150-160. AA miles can get you on Cathay, and fees are minimal (~$60/person I believe). Fair warning - AA is expected to devalue sometime during the merger transition. But you may be able to book prior to the devalue.

So you need 440K miles. My recommendation:

Citi Executive for you and your spouse immediately. This card requires $10k spend in 3 months (each) so it will take serious MS, but the payoff is big - 100K miles. The annual fee of $450 is not waived first year, but there is a $200 statement credit on sign up so that partially offsets.

Citi AA Platinum for you and your spouse. I don't think there is a rush on this one, and of course wait >= 8 days after doing the Exec app. 50K AA for spending $3K in 3 months. AF waived first year.

SPG Amex Personal and biz for you and spouse. One of you sign up for both versions first, then refer the other for both versions. 25K SPG points after spending $5K in 6 months. Plus 2x5K referral bonus. That should get you to 130K SPG (100K in sign up bonus, 10K referral, 20K reg spend). 120K transfers to 150K AA.

Done. 450K miles in 4 cards x 2 people.
dukerau is offline  
Old Feb 6, 14, 7:38 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Antonio
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Posts: 2,276
If you can swing the spend, each of you can get a Citi AA Executive card and then a second one 8+ days later. If you decide to go this route be sure you have your MS plans down first, and then jump as indications are the 100K offer for the Executive card may expire in March.
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Old Feb 6, 14, 9:47 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: MSN
Posts: 203
You could also pick up personal and business US Airways Dividend Miles cards from Barclaycard for you and your spouse. Links are out there for 40k bonus miles (not including balance transfer option) after your first purchase. Comes with an $89 fee (not waived). These cards are reported as easier to churn than Citi AAdvantage cards (and some people report holding multiples of the same card simultaneously).

Dividend Miles can be used on AA and MIGHT become AAdvantage miles in the next few years, but that's speculation.

Last edited by aw82; Feb 6, 14 at 9:53 am
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Old Feb 11, 14, 11:37 am
  #7  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Great thoughts from everyone, so it looks like I'll be concentrating on AA points.

Quick question- after the bonus points post once you meet requirements, do you have to keep the card until you use the points, or do you just drop/cancel the card?

Sorry for the late response, life has been hectic with 2 small ones. Thanks for all the help!

I'm not scared of spend, I can run a lot of expenses through my business and we buy quite a bit on behalf of our consulting clients. And then there's always MS to top it off.

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by wpd7; Feb 11, 14 at 12:38 pm
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Old Feb 11, 14, 5:31 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Plano, TX USA
Programs: AA LT Plat, HH Diamond, Marriott Plat
Posts: 171
good thread - i'm in similar boat - about to have some free time to pursue. Thanks to everyone for contributing!
lurcher is offline  
Old Feb 13, 14, 7:15 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 4
Re: Newbie help--which cards?

In my opinion, Capital one Venture card is the best credit card to earn airline miles. With 2 miles per dollar spent, your miles add up quickly if you use your credit cards for everything.
aliang is offline  

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