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Newbie - a couple questions

Newbie - a couple questions

Old Nov 6, 21, 9:55 am
  #1  
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Newbie - a couple questions

Hi all. I'm new and a little overwhelmed right now. Looking for the best place to start. My family of 4 just decided to go to Italy in early summer of 2022 for my daughter's graduation trip. Looking for the best card that may either give us a free flight or 2 or possibly an upgrade from economy/coach seats. We put everything on our credit cards but aren't currently using one that gives us any points towards flights or travel. So looking for the most bang for our buck since it's only about 8 months away. We're not sure which airline we'll be using, yet. Trying to look into the different card options now. Thanks for anything that will point me in the right direction for a beginner!
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Old Nov 6, 21, 10:14 am
  #2  
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Welcome to FT!

There are cards that earn miles on a specific airline, which can be redeemed for travel on that airline and its partners. There are cards that earn points that can be converted to miles in various airline programs, and/or used to purchase cash tickets. And there are cards that either earn straight cash back, or points that can be used to defray the cost of travel.

Summer travel between North America and Europe can be pricey, whether for cash tickets or award tickets.

From where in the U.S. will you depart? How much do you charge to credit cards in an average month?
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Old Nov 6, 21, 10:19 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Gracie01 View Post
Hi all. I'm new and a little overwhelmed right now. Looking for the best place to start. My family of 4 just decided to go to Italy in early summer of 2022 for my daughter's graduation trip. Looking for the best card that may either give us a free flight or 2 or possibly an upgrade from economy/coach seats. We put everything on our credit cards but aren't currently using one that gives us any points towards flights or travel. So looking for the most bang for our buck since it's only about 8 months away. We're not sure which airline we'll be using, yet. Trying to look into the different card options now. Thanks for anything that will point me in the right direction for a beginner!
What airline frequent flyer programs are you a member of now? No of ff miles?
Will be an extremely low chance of an upgrade from economy/coach seat. Some airlines/aircraft have premium economy. A separate class between economy and business
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Old Nov 6, 21, 11:01 am
  #4  
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Thank so much for the quick responses! We would be flying from Columbus, OH to Rome (most likely). We are still working out details of our trip. I have very few flyer miles right now. Some with Southwest. About 1800 with American and 1800 with United. We just drive on most vacations. We spend about $4000 a month on credit cards. But, with Christmas coming up and doing some renovations to our house it will probably be a little higher the next few months.

The Premium Economy is something we are interested in! I have no idea what airlines we'll be booking with when we go. I was hoping to find a credit card that's flexible and will work with most major airlines so we're not locked in this early. Not sure if that's a reasonable expectation.

Thanks again!
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Old Nov 6, 21, 11:21 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Gracie01 View Post
Thank so much for the quick responses! We would be flying from Columbus, OH to Rome (most likely). We are still working out details of our trip. I have very few flyer miles right now. Some with Southwest. About 1800 with American and 1800 with United. We just drive on most vacations. We spend about $4000 a month on credit cards. But, with Christmas coming up and doing some renovations to our house it will probably be a little higher the next few months.

The Premium Economy is something we are interested in! I have no idea what airlines we'll be booking with when we go. I was hoping to find a credit card that's flexible and will work with most major airlines so we're not locked in this early. Not sure if that's a reasonable expectation.

Thanks again!
The way one racks up lots of miles or points is not via an everyday spend of ~ $4,000/month. It is by earning the large sign-up bonuses that many credit cards offer after meeting a minimum-spend requirement within the first few months of getting the cards. You and your spouse could each get a card now, earn the sign-up bonuses, and then each get another card three or four months hence to get additional sign-up bonuses.

Take a look in the FT credit-card forums to get an idea of what sign-up bonuses are currently available.

To get an idea of current airfares for Summer travel from CMH to Rome (or Milan or Florence or Pisa), you can use this very powerful airfare search engine:

Matrix - ITA Software by Google

Good luck!
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Old Nov 8, 21, 12:38 pm
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Something else I'm trying to understand. And I apologize because I'm sure this is pretty basic for most of you. So, if I went with Chase Sapphire, then booked a flight with Delta (who is not one of their airline partners) then there's no way for me to use those bonus points on that flight, correct? Just wondering how to know which card to go with if I don't know which airline I'll be using?? Thanks again!
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Old Nov 8, 21, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Gracie01 View Post
Something else I'm trying to understand. And I apologize because I'm sure this is pretty basic for most of you. So, if I went with Chase Sapphire, then booked a flight with Delta (who is not one of their airline partners) then there's no way for me to use those bonus points on that flight, correct? Just wondering how to know which card to go with if I don't know which airline I'll be using?? Thanks again!
You can earn the points from the Chase Sapphire bonus and then use the points in Chase's travel portal to purchase the flight on Delta. You'll be paying the same price you would pay for that flight if you bought it directly from Delta (or a very similar price), but you will be using the miles from Chase to either pay for the tickets or defray the cost of the tickets.

As an example, let's say four tickets from Columbus to Rome roundtrip were $3000 on the Chase travel portal. The miles you earn on the Sapphire Reserve card are worth 1.5 cents for travel, so if you had 200,000 points, you could use those points to pay for the ticket.
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Old Nov 8, 21, 3:58 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Gracie01 View Post
Something else I'm trying to understand. And I apologize because I'm sure this is pretty basic for most of you. So, if I went with Chase Sapphire, then booked a flight with Delta (who is not one of their airline partners) then there's no way for me to use those bonus points on that flight, correct? Just wondering how to know which card to go with if I don't know which airline I'll be using?? Thanks again!
Not correct. While you cannot convert UR points to DL SkyMiles, you can convert them to both the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program, and the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program. Both of these programs partner with DL, and you can redeem their miles for DL flights when DL has partner award seats available.

Each program has its own redemption rates, rules, and fees. The very same award flight(s) can cost vastly different amounts of miles (and sometimes cash "surcharges" too) depending on which program's miles are being redeemed.

Here's a recent article which lists all of Chase UR's transfer partners:

https://www.businessinsider.com/pers...nsfer-partners

Of course, you can also redeem your UR points as cash towards the purchase of flights through Chase's travel portal, as noted above. Depending on the cost (in both cash and in miles) that will sometimes yield better value.
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