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Amassed points and need advice on how to use them (Amex MR, SPG, UR / honeymoon?)

Amassed points and need advice on how to use them (Amex MR, SPG, UR / honeymoon?)

Old Dec 9, 18, 7:59 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Amassed points and need advice on how to use them (Amex MR, SPG, UR / honeymoon?)

Hi all,

I'm new here, so please tell me if this belongs somewhere else and I'll post it there instead.

I'm new to points earning / redeeming, and I'm ready for my first redemption. I'm trying to find something good-value (rather than great value).

I have about 170k SPG points, about the same in MR, and my partner has about 100k MR and about 50K UR.

Ideally, we'd like to fly to New Zealand at the end of 2019, to get there in the summer and give us time and flexibility to research and book a trip for about 3 weeks using our miles.
Another option, if we can't make our combination of points work for New Zealand, is a 1.5 to 2-week trip to Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, wherever), as a short trip in Jan. or Feb. 2019 just to get away, since we haven't been anywhere for a while.
Other destinations of interest include Tanzania for 2020 (since we want to go in July for the great migration and we've committed to spending 2019 July in Tahoe), other Europe destinations, Hong Kong, and Morocco.

I'm fine flying economy if it saves me points - i dont care about being comfortable on planes, but my partner gets pretty uncomfortable and it would be nice to get him a business or first class flight on a long journey and prove to him that all this credit card churning and stress yields a nice reward.

I spent a while on TPG, FrequentMiler, and similar sites trying to figure out the best way to maximize points, but I'm still not sure where to transfer my points to and where I should be looking for good redemptions.

We are both lawyers, so we can take time off, but last-minute is not an option for us.

I would love some tips on where to look to combine our UR, SPG and/or MR points and where we can search for some good redemptions.

Thank you, kind Flyertalk folk!

EDIT: Starting in NYC, with the possibility of starting in LAX or SFO if we fly there separately.

Last edited by DaniellaAdler; Dec 10, 18 at 9:25 am Reason: Edited to add my point of origin.
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Old Dec 9, 18, 11:58 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
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Posts: 6,712
Welcome to FT,

Where are you starting from?
Since you have multiple currencies and a little time to plan, awards generally open up at 330/335 days before travel, you may want to start looking at which transfer partners each point currency has & which overlap. Do not forget about doing one-way ticketing (if the programs allow for it) as this means you can get both travelers on the same PNR using different points or airline programs to complete the trip. Also consider doing oneway to or from an Australian city or a city in Asia as that helps make your trip flexible. USA-HKG(stop)-reward or paid flight to AKL/CHC(stop)-AKL-USA as an example.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 12:38 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
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DaniellaAdler Welcome to FT ^

Originally Posted by DaniellaAdler View Post
I'm new to points earning / redeeming, and I'm ready for my first redemption. I'm trying to find something good-value (rather than great value).

I have about 170k SPG points, about the same in MR, and my partner has about 100k MR and about 50K UR.

Ideally, we'd like to fly to New Zealand at the end of 2019, to get there in the summer and give us time and flexibility to research and book a trip for about 3 weeks using our miles.

Another option, if we can't make our combination of points work for New Zealand, is a 1.5 to 2-week trip to Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, wherever), as a short trip in Jan. or Feb. 2019 just to get away, since we haven't been anywhere for a while.

Other destinations of interest include Tanzania for 2020 (since we want to go in July for the great migration and we've committed to spending 2019 July in Tahoe), other Europe destinations, Hong Kong, and Morocco.

I'm fine flying economy if it saves me points - I don't care about being comfortable on planes, but my partner gets pretty uncomfortable and it would be nice to get him a business or first class flight on a long journey and prove to him that all this credit card churning and stress yields a nice reward.

I spent a while on TPG, FrequentMiler, and similar sites trying to figure out the best way to maximize points, but I'm still not sure where to transfer my points to and where I should be looking for good redemptions.

We are both lawyers, so we can take time off, but last-minute is not an option for us.

I would love some tips on where to look to combine our UR, SPG and/or MR points and where we can search for some good redemptions.
As above, where is home airport?
Do you have any ff miles/ffp status now with any freq flyer program?

Getting 2 x business class awards USA Australia/NZ is as hard as it gets.
Trans Tasman flights (Au-NZ) go from/to many airports. Not just SYD & AKL. Cash fares can be cheap or expensive (~3:30 hr flight)

Have you flown long international business class before? (Many in USA seem to thing USA domestic first class on 2 class aircraft is a good as it gets)

Credit card transfer links
Use the SPG/Marriott points for hotels. Poor value transferring to a ffp.

These links give a guide of ff miles needed. These may not be up to date.
Use at your own risk. (These are not recommendations)
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Old Dec 10, 18, 11:45 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by DaniellaAdler View Post
Hi all,

I'm new here, so please tell me if this belongs somewhere else and I'll post it there instead.

I'm new to points earning / redeeming, and I'm ready for my first redemption. I'm trying to find something good-value (rather than great value).

I have about 170k SPG points, about the same in MR, and my partner has about 100k MR and about 50K UR.

Ideally, we'd like to fly to New Zealand at the end of 2019, to get there in the summer and give us time and flexibility to research and book a trip for about 3 weeks using our miles.
Another option, if we can't make our combination of points work for New Zealand, is a 1.5 to 2-week trip to Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, wherever), as a short trip in Jan. or Feb. 2019 just to get away, since we haven't been anywhere for a while.
Other destinations of interest include Tanzania for 2020 (since we want to go in July for the great migration and we've committed to spending 2019 July in Tahoe), other Europe destinations, Hong Kong, and Morocco.

I'm fine flying economy if it saves me points - i dont care about being comfortable on planes, but my partner gets pretty uncomfortable and it would be nice to get him a business or first class flight on a long journey and prove to him that all this credit card churning and stress yields a nice reward.

I spent a while on TPG, FrequentMiler, and similar sites trying to figure out the best way to maximize points, but I'm still not sure where to transfer my points to and where I should be looking for good redemptions.

We are both lawyers, so we can take time off, but last-minute is not an option for us.

I would love some tips on where to look to combine our UR, SPG and/or MR points and where we can search for some good redemptions.

Thank you, kind Flyertalk folk!

EDIT: Starting in NYC, with the possibility of starting in LAX or SFO if we fly there separately.
Transferring points comes near the end of the whole process. Your first step is to search for award-seat availability. I would start by performing award searches at aa.com, delta.com, and united.com. Those sites can also display award-seat availability on many -- but not all -- of each carrier's partners. If you find suitable availability, you then have to decide where to transfer your points, as you will not necessarily transfer points to the same airline as the one operating the flights you find. Also, keep in mind that many FFP's offer one-way awards for half the price of a roundtrip, so you might conceivably fly to your destination on one carrier, and fly home on another one.

Finally, be aware that different FFPs can charge vastly different amounts of miles and cash for award seats on the exact same flights. But your first task is to see which, if any, carrier has the award seats you need.
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