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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

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Old Mar 16, 18, 3:40 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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Before posting please read POSTS 1-3 for a comprehensive overview of how to select a program.
If you already plan to focus on one particular alliance, please visit the sticky in the relevant forum: Deciding on a oneworld FFP or Which SkyTeam FFP or Choosing a Star FFP

List of frequent flyer programs from Wikipedia

Questionnaire: Copy and paste into your post
Provide the requested information.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply:

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply:

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply:

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply:

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply:

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply:

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply:

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply:
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Old Apr 11, 14, 2:37 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,016
Originally Posted by cattboy View Post

1) Can I hold airline mileage programs across different alliances?
2) Can I move my points between alliances? Or only between airlines within the same alliance?
3) Which program best fits 'cheap coach seats'?
4) Any advice you would like to give.
Welcome to FT. The other post was good advice, I'll just add a little to your specific questions.

1. Yes, you can hold as many as you want. But it is not always wise to credit miles to the airline you are flying. Lots of people sign up for many programs, but do some research before you fly about which program to credit your miles to. It's better to have a few programs, like one in each alliance as the previous post said.

2. You don't move the points. The alliance lets you earn on partners in the alliance (if the fare is right as discussed above) and use the points to fly on other partners in the Alliance. So you like Japan Airlines - if you fly them again you can credit those miles not only to JAL, but to other partners in One World, like AA or British Airways or Cathay, as long as the fare allows it. Similarly, if you have a bunch of AA miles, you can use them to fly not only AA, but also Cathay, Finnair, LAN Chile etc. Also, each airline usually has a couple non-alliance partners. Like with AA you can use your miles to fly Hawaiian Airlines.

3. AA, UA, DL charge 25k miles roundtrip for almost all economy flights in the lower 48. One difference is British Airways, which has a distance based program and as part of Oneworld you can use their miles on AA flights. Also Southwest, which has a cost based program. Look through the link above and you'll get an idea of one that might fit for you. For Int'l, AA has some great off-peak redemptions. UA is popular cuz it allows a stopover and open-jaws. Again as mentioned, AA and UA are two of the more popular ones to use, especially if you're in Chicago.

4. Earn and burn.
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Old Apr 11, 14, 4:29 am
  #47  
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Does the OP want coach award tickets from a FF program or something else?

As others have suggested, it's helpful to have one account in each alliance so that miles are never lost, but you should also try hard to concentrate miles in one program to the extent that you reasonably can do so. This means focusing on one alliance and trying to book most of your flights on carriers in that alliance. Watch out for rules about miles expiring. Once miles have been credited to a program, this cannot be changed: you CANNOT transfer miles between FF programs, although US and AA miles are likely to be combined as part of the merger of those airlines.

Alaska has a good FF program that allows you to credit flights from different alliances, including AA, DL, CX, etc. This could work well for the OP.

Regarding the planned travel, I don't understand the routing. You seem to be proposing to take NZ to Australia from LAX with a connection in New Zealand, but with DL flights from ORRD to LAX. AFAIK DL doesn't fly nonstop from ORD to LAX, so you would be connecting somewhere. This adds risk of missing connections, lost bags, etc. Why not take a nonstop on UA to stay within the same alliance for this trip? Note also that whether you use DL or UA, you need to go land side and change terminals at LAX so be sure to allow lots of time. Alternatively, you can fly Virgin Australia (a DL partner but not an alliance member) nonstop from LAX to BNE, although not every day of the week. VA flies between Australia and New Zealand too. This would be the sensible airline to match with DL, although you could also take DL nonstop LAX-SYD and tack on VA segments to where you want to go down there.
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Old Apr 15, 14, 11:19 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
tcook052, Mwenenzi, maverick17, MSPeconomist, thank you all for the information. It was most helpful. And it also made me realize I am a small fish in a big pond compared to some of you folks! Ill be lucky to get 25,000 mileage in a year on one of my bigger travel years! (I wish I could fly more but u know.. money haha)

Reading through this thread, it was a lot of useful infromation answering a lot of my question, but also gave rise to a few more. Before I ask those, here is the general information answered from the original OP when my thread was merged in:

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
I'm not too sure, I was just told I should be using a FFP if I travel as much as I do. Upgrades on travel (Business/Firstclass?)? Free airfare?

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Miles per year: 16k in 2 flights Or 1k in 2 flights.
Economy (I go with the cheapest or least agonizing via hipmunk.com generally)

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Economy or cheapest

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?

Yes I choose my airline. For pleasure travel

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
US Domestic, Transpacific, Asia

6) What is your home airport?
ORD (Soon to be Australia, either BNE or SYD)
(part of the reason I am looking so much into an FFP is because of this move and the new region Ill be in, I want to make sure I can take advantage of those miles ill be earning)

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
None.

(8) Preferred Airlines
JAL / AerLingus / Luftsana / (I need a GOOD Australian Airline) I usually pick cheapies so JetBlue / TigerAir / Spirit / etc

------------------------------------

Some more questions I have:


It looks like almost everyone is telling me to use either Alaskan or American Airlines. I think American Airlines is my best bet.... It looks like Alaskan I can get status easier, IF i fly only Alaskan (But they dont fly out of ORD, so only if I visit west coast states).

Just so I understand I am comprehending this all... Can you help me with my scenario?

I am booking a roundtrip MKE-> LAX. Looking at the American Airlines Options. <link to route on external site deleted by mod -- OP should simply spell out the route> Not sure how to spell it out... So here it goes.

Outbound:
MKE-> DFW via AA 248 in Coach on McDon. Doug. MD-80 Vers. 1
DFW -> LAX via AA 2499 in Coach on Boeing 737-900 Vers. 1

Return:
LAX -> DFW via AA 2450 in Coach on McDon. Doug. MD-80 Vers. 1
DFW -> MKE via AA 2306 in Coach on McDon. Doug. MD-80 Vers. 1

How do I tell what my Booking Class is?

Using the mileage calculator <at webflyer> it comes out to 1600 (Ord<>dfw) + 2460 (dfw<>lax) = +/-4060 (Without including the multipler) or 2030 to 6090 (with the multiplier range included for economy tickets). Lets say its 4,060 miles accrued.
>What can I do with that 4,000 Mile?
>>Nothing until I hit 25,000 and qualify for a Gold Statues with AA?

When I hit 25,000 Miles, what can I do? Looking at <AA award chart>, I get an upgrade from Economy to a business class seat? (If booked in Classes Y or B).

>>Taking it a step further, I can use this upgrade across ANY of the Alliances's airlines? How do I figure out how many mileage points I need to upgrade to a Sleeper Seat on a JAL / Cathay Pacific from LAX -> BNE/SYD.

>>>It looks like American Airlines has a 2 year expiration policy on points. That means I MUST take a flight before expiration to renew my point totals. I read somewhere that I could apply for an AA Rewards credit card, make a purchase with said card, and that will also renew/refresh my mileage points expiration date. Is that true?


I just want to make sure I am understanding all of this before I spend my extra time trying to book around certain airlines if its going to increase the cost a lot.

----------------------------------------------
To the posters who had questions

Originally Posted by Maverick17
"3. AA, UA, DL charge 25k miles roundtrip for almost all economy flights in the lower 48.
Im not fit with the lingo yet What do you mean by this sentance? I think your saying... American Airlines, United / Delta charge 25k somethingsometing something for the 48 states (not HI / AK?)

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
"Does the OP want coach award tickets from a FF program or something else?"
I am a coach flyer, anything cheap. But I might spend more if I have a reason too.. I am a single mid 20s guy, I only buy the cheapest since I dont know any better? Although, I would like to use a sleeper sleep on a trans-pacific flight

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Regarding the planned travel, I don't understand the routing.
Yes, I'm sorry. I didnt give the full detail's. I have been scraping hipmunks carrier info for the past few months and have been recording it in an excel sheet to judge my prices.

I'm moving to Australia on a 462 Working Holiday visa and plan to do a bit of travel during and after my visa around SE Asia (indo / sg / malay)... So I am trying to find the best Frequent Flyer Program thatll work in that region of the world, while still being able to take advantage of my points when I return to the states. ... Im thinking OneWorld is the best with American being based out of ORD (my home), but still offering QF / JAL for my airfare needs when flying to and from home.

My route is one of the following, pending my decision on a frequent flyer program:
(Its really open ended, as I have no timeline for this trip. Its probably easier to look at this as 2 trips.
One: Milwaukee to (some hub before Australia) Los Angeles or Dallas FortWorth?
Two: LA/DFW to Australia (Sydney or Brisbane)... I can spend a day in LA/DFW before, if required)


1) Broken up into two trips, Milwaukee to 1st hub (LAX)

MKE > DEN > LAX via Frontier $170
MKE > MSP > LAX via DL $190
MKE > ORD > LAX via AA $210


2) LAX to BNE

LAX > AKL > BNE via NZ $807
LAX > BNE via VA $1032
LAX > BNE via QF $ 1082

2.1) Or LAX into SYD (roughly the same prices, just more flights)

LAX > AKL > SYD via NZ $807
LAX > BNE via VA $1032
LAX > BNE via QF $ 1082
LAX > BNE via DL $ 1109


3) Alternate hub route: Broken up into two trips, MKE to 1st hub (DFW)

MKE > DFW via AA $305
MKE > MSP > DFW via DL $168
MKE > ORD > DFW via UA $163


4) DFW to BNE

DFW > BNE via QF $ 1194
Not very good options here when I checked today... Lots of 26+ hour flights with ridiculous layovers... Pass



4.1) Or DFW into SYD (less flights then LAX, more expensive it seems too)

DFW > SFO > SYD via UA $1296
DFW > ICN > SYD via KE $1500
DFW > BNE via QF $ 1194


Full Route MKE to SYD: (prices on 4/15)
$1240
MKE > DFW via AA
DFW > SYD via QF

$1299
MKE > MSP > LAX > SYD via DL

$1319
MKE > MSP > LAX via DL
LAX > SYD via VA


Full Route MKE to BNE:
$1240
MKE > DFW via AA
DFW > BNE via QF

$1299
MKE > MSP > LAX via DL
LAX > BNE via VA

Something that doesnt make sense to me, is when I look at MKE > DFW the price is 305$, and DFW > BNE is $1194 = 1500.... But if I look at a straight shot all in one, $1260. MKE > DFW > BNE. Why? lol.... Maybe my idea of flying in a day earlier into DFW / LAX is not going to work out if the price is going to be that much out of 'sync'



AFAIK DL doesn't fly nonstop from ORD to LAX, so you would be connecting somewhere. This adds risk of missing connections, lost bags, etc. Why not take a nonstop on UA to stay within the same alliance for this trip?
In the past I tend to transfer a lot because they are cheaper tickets.... I have never really missed a flight due to my own fault (i dont mind being the crazy guy running down the halls with 10 minutes before check in)

Note also that whether you use DL or UA, you need to go land side and change terminals at LAX so be sure to allow lots of time.
Thanks I didnt know, I have yet to go to THRU Lax




Thanks everyone for your time and understanding.

Last edited by cattboy; Apr 15, 14 at 2:41 pm Reason: removed extensive, unneeded linkages -- poster may edit to add details if desire-- I updated my post, sorry didnt know
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Old Apr 18, 14, 1:37 pm
  #49  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: DL DM, AS MVP75K, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Plat, UA Silver, Amex Plat
Posts: 23
New Member

Hi All,

New member looking for advice on which mileage plan(s) to sign up for. I'm starting work at a major consulting firm in July and have been told I will be close to 100% travel. I've been using Delta SkyMiles for the past several years for personal travel and have accumulated ~80,000 SkyMiles already. That said, I'm not opposed to switching to a different airline's mileage plan if that is the sensible thing to do. Below are the answers to the questionnaire:

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Upgrades(!), priority services, good award redemption rates, free lounge access

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Will be flying >100,000 miles per year, usually in business, and roughly 2 segments per week (at least 100 total per year).

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Mostly business, some premium economy, and some economy (in that order).

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
I can choose airline and business class as long as the flight is over a certain duration (couple hours, I believe). I travel mostly for work but also for pleasure (<25,000 miles for pleasure).

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
US Domestic, Transatlantic, and Transpacific (in that order).

(6) What is your home airport?
Seattle - SEA

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
No current status, but have ~80,000 miles banked in Delta SkyMiles.

(8) Preferred Airlines
Not too picky. Have enjoyed flying Alaska in the past and they are based in SEA, but other than that am pretty flexible. Would prefer to stay away from United (have had bad experiences in the past).
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Old Apr 19, 14, 5:13 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,016
Originally Posted by cattboy View Post

>What can I do with that 4,000 Mile?
>>Nothing until I hit 25,000 and qualify for a Gold Statues with AA?

>>Taking it a step further, I can use this upgrade across ANY of the Alliances's airlines? How do I figure out how many mileage points I need to upgrade to a Sleeper Seat on a JAL / Cathay Pacific from LAX -> BNE/SYD.

>>>It looks like American Airlines has a 2 year expiration policy on points.

Im not fit with the lingo yet What do you mean by this sentance? I think your saying... American Airlines, United / Delta charge 25k somethingsometing something for the 48 states (not HI / AK?)

I am a coach flyer, anything cheap. But I might spend more if I have a reason too
Hi Cattboy, lots of info there. Let me see what I can do with it.

First, about what I meant about 25k miles and your question about what can you do with 4000 miles. The most basic part of mileage collecting is using those miles for award flights. You accumulate mileage, keeping a balance in the program. Then you trade those for a ticket. My statement was basically saying the major carriers in the US all charge the same miles for a domestic roundtrip award ticket, with that costing 25,000 miles. AA and UA also allow one way awards, for 12,500 miles. Some places and areas you can make use of lower miles. UA charges 5000 in the past for inter-island flights in Hawaii (but I think this is now 7,500). International travel requires more miles. (Also you have to find available seats, or you can pay more miles for a seat if there is no available at the lower level. So you really can't do much with 4,000 miles in your account. I don't use my miles for upgrades, but if you browse the forums for the specific airlines you'll probably find more details on how else you can use your miles, including upgrades.)

So lets apply that to your question about who to fly with. In your examples of the transpacific (TPAC) flights, you are considering paying an extra $200-300 to fly on AA & partners over NZ. This would net you an extra 7000 miles or so. Although I'm not one who gets exact about my math and value of miles, by my basic thinking that is about 2/3 of a domestic one-way on AA as an award for the extra $200-300 out-of-pocket. I don't see that as a great value.

The math changes again when you consider that this is one of the reasons you sign up for several programs. You can still get those 7000 miles, but put them into a United account instead of an AA account, then you're still getting 2/3 of a ticket, but for a few hundred dollars less. (Note: I think NZ sometimes has fares that don't earn on United. So this last part might or might not affect your exact example.)

So for me, this is rarely worth the difference in cost. I would maybe take Star Alliance for up to $50 more since I could probably book on United and get free checked bags worth about the same and get miles in the program I want. But I would never choose miles over 100 or more in price difference. I would just put those miles into my account on whatever airline had that fare or the alliance they are in. Sometimes I earn no miles, like if I fly a Low Cost Carrier in SE Asia. But the cash savings is worth it to me personally.

As you've seen though, others might value it differently and consider it "worth" it. Everyone has their priorities in this game. If you're close to earning high level status, where you will get free upgrades or some other benefit, then maybe the 200 is worth it to you. But if you're only flying 50,000 miles or less a year, and you usually just buy the cheapest tickets out there, I would not pay that much of a difference for a flight. Just open accounts in several programs and accumulate as best you can.

Other factors of course are route, aircraft type, entertainment, etc. which might factor into your personal value in choosing a route. One comment above values non-stops versus connections. The trip reports here on Flyertalk and on the blogs can be a good resource to judge some of these types of things.

As for miles expiring, it is important to note but super easy to get a few miles here or there to keep them active. You might sign up for awardwallet or a similar site to help keep track of your balances, expiry dates, account numbers etc. if you do join several programs.

About fares, usually you don't have to worry about a fare not earning miles on the airline you purchase and fly. Meaning if you fly AA and credit to AA, I don't think there are any fares that wouldn't earn miles. The only main difference in earning is the coach/business/first fares. The different fares make a difference sometimes in upgrades though. Foreign airlines are trickier in this case though, and sometimes some routes earn miles and others don't, even for the same fare code.

There is an Australian frequent flier website similar to this one that might be a good resource for you to find info on choosing airlines to use while in Oz and SE Asia.
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Old Apr 19, 14, 5:27 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,016
Originally Posted by nabilm92 View Post
Hi All,
I've been using Delta SkyMiles for the past several years for personal travel and have accumulated ~80,000 SkyMiles already. That said, I'm not opposed to switching to a different airline's mileage plan if that is the sensible thing to do.
The blog one mile at a time had a post recently with someone in SEA looking to switch away from Delta (written April 15th). I advise reading it. With the current turf war they are having with Alaska, the blog made the point it's a really good time to be flying Delta in Seattle. They are offering double miles on all Seattle routes, which is pretty amazing. Not great redemption rates, but they have also been improving their flight experience and have a good business class longhaul.

Given that you're going to be flying lots of int'l routes, I'd sign up if you haven't already for AA and Alaska. And although you don't like United, they do have very good award rules and comparable rates, and have the biggest footprint in many parts of the globe. I'd want one program in every alliance, plus Alaska since you're in Seattle.

You should consider too Aegean. They offer an easy route to Star Gold (with a very long expiry period) and after a few flights crediting to them, you would have lounge access domestically and internationally, priority checkin, and economy + seats on some airlines, if you do end up flying Star partners. After you meet their low threshold, you can go back to crediting any Star flights to United or whomever you choose. See the Aegean forum here on Flyertalk for details.
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Old Apr 19, 14, 12:55 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: DL DM, AS MVP75K, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Plat, UA Silver, Amex Plat
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by maverick17 View Post
The blog one mile at a time had a post recently with someone in SEA looking to switch away from Delta (written April 15th). I advise reading it. With the current turf war they are having with Alaska, the blog made the point it's a really good time to be flying Delta in Seattle. They are offering double miles on all Seattle routes, which is pretty amazing. Not great redemption rates, but they have also been improving their flight experience and have a good business class longhaul.

Given that you're going to be flying lots of int'l routes, I'd sign up if you haven't already for AA and Alaska. And although you don't like United, they do have very good award rules and comparable rates, and have the biggest footprint in many parts of the globe. I'd want one program in every alliance, plus Alaska since you're in Seattle.

You should consider too Aegean. They offer an easy route to Star Gold (with a very long expiry period) and after a few flights crediting to them, you would have lounge access domestically and internationally, priority checkin, and economy + seats on some airlines, if you do end up flying Star partners. After you meet their low threshold, you can go back to crediting any Star flights to United or whomever you choose. See the Aegean forum here on Flyertalk for details.
Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it! Will definitely check out the blog and sign up for United and AA so that I have one card for each alliance. Quick question about the Alaska card, though: what would be the point of having DL & AS milage plan? Would it not be better to accumulate all the miles on DL?
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Old Apr 19, 14, 7:04 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Struggling with miles

Thanks for any help you can give me. I have kept up with the programmes for years and always found the airline that suited me best but recently I can't find a decent solution. I hope somebody else can recommend an airline that matches my esoteric requirements. I have a BA Amex at the moment but can change to another card for a better option. Thanks in advance!


Questions
For members asking for information, to help people to assist you, can you please provide:
(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Priority service when flying the airline
Upgrades
Lounge access

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
25-30k (x4 - wife and two kids. Business flights are usually Europe and not significant contributors but SFO is potentially a 1-2 flight option for me in the coming years)

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Economy, premium economy

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Yes. Yes.

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
LHR-ICN
LHR->LAX
LHR->ORD

(6) What is your home airport?
LHR, LGW

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
BA, BA Amex card.

The points are basically useless now that I have kids. I can't redeem anything because all the times I can travel for leisure are blacked out. BA is .... and I need something new. I've never made it out of blue because of their tier points. I flew business class exclusively for 3 years and because of timing and tier points never made it out of blue.

(8) Preferred Airlines
Korean Airlines is great. Rarely have a complaint.

Virgin Atlantic are great but don't fly where I need to go.

I love the brand of Norwegian Airlines. Budget but honest and fair.

Used to love BA but they are becoming rubbish. Trying to compete with budget airlines instead of being a premium brand.

Used to love AA, then they were awful but I think they are getting better.

I love the concept and online presence of Delta but whenever I fly them I get angry.

Used to love easyjet but they are forgetting that they are budget.

I fly two very long-haul flights a year with a family and don't expect special treatment but I do want to align with one airline that will recognise the higher than average flight distance that me and my family cover.
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Old Apr 21, 14, 4:09 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,016
Originally Posted by nabilm92 View Post
Quick question about the Alaska card, though: what would be the point of having DL & AS milage plan? Would it not be better to accumulate all the miles on DL?
My preference is to accumulate *most* of my flying miles into United. But there are always times a flight here or there doesn't fit that mold. Regional jets vs 737s, levels of service, maybe a certain partner is different. Like right now I read Alaska has a bonus of double miles for all flights flown on Emirates.

Then also Alaska has redemptions on some of those partners. One way on Cathay with a stop in HKG has been written about a lot. Ability to use rewards on Emirates I believe is also still available through Alaska.

So there are just sometimes where if you're flying a lot it's good to be flexible, in my opinion.
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Old May 2, 14, 12:33 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 24
which strategy to maximize value of *A + OW (Singapore based)

Hello, have been reading this great forum for quite some time and learned a great deal of information however still couldnt figure out best strategy to maximize value of the miles i will fly from Singapore.

Some key information:
1) What do i look for in a FFP?
good award redemption rates (trying to avoid fuel surcharges), lounge access, upgrades

(2) Flying pattern and frequency
35000-55000 miles,
- mostly in economy within Asia with occasional longhaul business class travel 1-2 times per year to Europe
- choosing cheapest available fare for personal travel.

(3) What is your home airport?
Singapore

After evaluating pros and cons of each my current thinking is the following:

- Credit my *A flown miles (mainly on SQ/TG/TK) to MileagePlus UA account

- Credit my OW flown miles (mainly on QR/BA/QF/CX) to Aadvantage AA account (+ crediting Etihad miles)

- Credit card expenses to BA executive club (no choice of crediting to MP or AA, only other choice would be KF)

problem with this is that i will have 3 separate buckets of miles (and little chance of *A gold or OW Sapphire) but i couldnt figure out a better strategy so far. I have considered to use the KF as the program for both credit card and *A accrual but saw more cons than pros. Should i also re-consider to have BAEC as the only OW account?

your inputs and comments are very much welcome!thanks!
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Old May 2, 14, 2:46 am
  #56  
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Welcome to the forum
Originally Posted by fauspe View Post
Hello, have been reading this great forum for quite some time and learned a great deal of information however still couldn't figure out best strategy to maximise value of the miles i will fly from Singapore.
< snip >
- Credit card expenses to BA executive club (no choice of crediting to MP or AA, only other choice would be KF)

Problem with this is that I will have 3 separate buckets of miles (and little chance of *A gold or OW Sapphire)
Freq flyer miles are no use if you cannot use them. Be careful about expiry. Having small balances in varied ffp's is never good

Some credit cards allow transfer to Starwood SPG. Then from SPG to a range or airlines. So Credit card ---> SPG ---> airline FFP
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Old May 2, 14, 4:33 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 24
thanks, my concern is actually expiry, that is why i chose as programs AA, UA and BA, because as far as i understand if you keep the account active all the miles will keep their validity

on the hotels i can do cc --> HHonors/IHG --> FFP but i suspect the value i would get would be poor

the other options i had in mind to keep miles in 2 buckets (but then discarded) were:

Option1
OW: AAdvantage
*A: KF + credit card accruing to KF
(discarded because of SQ award chart + SQ fuel surcharges + SQ expiration rules)


Option2
OW: BA + credit card accruing to BA
*A: UA
(discarded because BA has fewer partners than AA, higher fuel surcharges, worse earning ratio)
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Old May 2, 14, 2:18 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 24
For the *A accruals actually, after a bit more research, also Avianca looks attractive as it has good earn/burn ratio plus the possibility to buy lots of miles at moderate prices.

Which one would you recommend in this case Lifemiles vs UA MileagePlus?
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Old May 4, 14, 6:30 am
  #59  
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Programs: LY, AA EP-LTG, TG*G, SPG LTPlat, Hyatt/HH Dia, IC, BA, DL, MR SLV
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Perhaps use A3 to get to *A gold.
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Old May 4, 14, 11:12 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Perhaps use A3 to get to *A gold.
Thanks for the advice, i also thought of A3 just for *A gold purposes

However for accrual what i like more about the Avianca and UA is that miles can be kept easily from expiring, no fuel surcharges and award chart is generous

so my best option at the moment looks like

*A on Avianca
OW on AA
spending on Avios

more views are welcome
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