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-   -   Advice on getting to 200k UA miles (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milesbuzz/1315960-advice-getting-200k-ua-miles.html)

timbuk Feb 19, 12 4:22 pm

Advice on getting to 200k UA miles
 
I'm planning on taking a trip with my wife summer of 2013 and am aiming for 200K UA miles to get two roundtrip biz class tickets to Europe. I currently have around 50k miles from the Explorer card bonus, plan on getting another 50k via the Sapphire Preferred. After those, with a rough spend estimate I'd get to ~120k total in about a year. So, 80k short of the goal. The kicker: the wife's not so enthusiastic about signing up for new cards, so the more I can keep her from having to do so, the better.

Any bonuses I'm missing out on? Any more 100k-type bonuses coming down the pike? I appreciate the advice, thanks!

drbobguy Feb 19, 12 4:28 pm


Originally Posted by timbuk (Post 18045741)
I'm planning on taking a trip with my wife summer of 2013 and am aiming for 200K UA miles to get two roundtrip biz class tickets to Europe. I currently have around 50k miles from the Explorer card bonus, plan on getting another 50k via the Sapphire Preferred. After those, with a rough spend estimate I'd get to ~120k total in about a year. So, 80k short of the goal. The kicker: the wife's not so enthusiastic about signing up for new cards, so the more I can keep her from having to do so, the better.

Any bonuses I'm missing out on? Any more 100k-type bonuses coming down the pike? I appreciate the advice, thanks!

You can get 50k UR points from the Ink Bold with $5000 spend in 3 months (which seems to be about your limit for spending).

You can also get 30k Freedom points which (as of now) transfer to UR points by signing up for the freedom card.

There is also a 32k Amtrak offer and if you spend $200 on Amtrak travel in the calendar year you can transfer Amtrak points 1:1 with United... actually now that I look I think this may be impossible since the beginning of 2012.

Sadly these are all Chase, if this were last summer you could have signed up for the Amex Plat 100k offer and gotten it all in one app.

Stubtify Feb 19, 12 4:36 pm


Originally Posted by timbuk (Post 18045741)
I'm planning on taking a trip with my wife summer of 2013 and am aiming for 200K UA miles to get two roundtrip biz class tickets to Europe. I currently have around 50k miles from the Explorer card bonus, plan on getting another 50k via the Sapphire Preferred. After those, with a rough spend estimate I'd get to ~120k total in about a year. So, 80k short of the goal. The kicker: the wife's not so enthusiastic about signing up for new cards, so the more I can keep her from having to do so, the better.

Any bonuses I'm missing out on? Any more 100k-type bonuses coming down the pike? I appreciate the advice, thanks!

Why not fly there Coach, and home business?

Two benefits, you'll use less miles, and your wife will get hooked on the flight home and sign up for 2 cards right when you land?

drbobguy Feb 19, 12 4:40 pm


Originally Posted by Stubtify (Post 18045825)
Why not fly there Coach, and home business?

Two benefits, you'll use less miles, and your wife will get hooked on the flight home and sign up for 2 cards right when you land?

This is what I've done several times and I like it. I'm usually so excited about vacation going to Europe that I can't sleep and lack of creature comforts doesn't bother me, but it's nice to mitigate the depression of ending a vacation by knowing you'll be flying home in style.

That said if it were for business or if I wanted to get acclimatized quickly business class is actually more important flying TO Europe since the time change that way and the night flights means that if you don't sleep on the plane you're well and truly screwed. Coming back from Europe it means just staying up an additional 4-5 hours when you're sleepy, as opposed to arriving at 8am exhausted.

kdoughboy Feb 19, 12 6:04 pm

In addition to credit cards, you could get another 75k UA miles by leveraging the Fidelity (50k) and TD Ameritrade (25k) bonuses for funding new brokerage accounts with each of those firms (AND another 50k DL miles, if you play your cards right). There are a couple threads on the front page of MilesBuzz that have all the info you need. If you've never had a Fidelity account, you can have those 50k miles within a month or two. For TD Ameritrade, you'll get half the miles up front and the other half after leaving your account fully funded for 6 months (although really it's 9 months, since they may claw back if you withdraw before 9 months).

biggestbopper Feb 19, 12 8:30 pm

I would be looking at the Chase INK Bold if you have anything that can be called a biz.

And, if your wife doesn't cooperate, leave her home @:-) -- just kidding. :D

Wife doesn't really have to DO anything. Just get her okay to apply and follow, with you filling out the apps and monitoring spend requirements, paying bills, the path you have blazed. You will soon have more than enough miles for both of you to fly biz.

Could also consider getting some Citi AA cards, SPG Amex (converts to AA with a bonus) and going one way UAL one way AA or BA.

Frequent Miler Feb 19, 12 9:28 pm

I agree with others that the Ink Bold is probably your best bet. That would give you 50K bonus points plus at least 5K due to the minimum spend requirements. Here's the really cool part: since the Ink Bold gives 5 points per dollar for office supply purchases, you can follow this strategy to meet your minimum spend and get many more points:

First, go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples. Staples sells gift cards online. With your Ink Bold, buy as many gift cards this way as you can actually feasibly use. Except for bank Visa cards, there are no shipping or service fees when purchasing these. You will get a total of 9 points per dollar for these purchases! (5X from Ink Bold + 4X Ultimate Rewards Mall). If you meet your minimum spend entirely this way, you would get an extra 5000 X 9 = 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points!

Unfortunately, Staples.com doesn't carry a great selection of gift cards, so the next best option is to go to nearby office supply stores and find their gift card racks. Buy Amazon gift cards, gas cards, etc. These will net you 5 points per dollar.

Another option, with or without the Ink Bold:
You can also do things like "Buy Ultimate Rewards Points for 1.1 cents each".

Good luck!

civico Feb 19, 12 9:51 pm


Originally Posted by Frequent Miler (Post 18046976)

First, go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples. Staples sells gift cards online. With your Ink Bold, buy as many gift cards this way as you can actually feasibly use. Except for bank Visa cards, there are no shipping or service fees when purchasing these. You will get a total of 9 points per dollar for these purchases! (5X from Ink Bold + 4X Ultimate Rewards Mall). If you meet your minimum spend entirely this way, you would get an extra 5000 X 9 = 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points!

I great suggestion Frequent Miler. I'll be using this strategy when I need to hit the minimum spend on my 2nd Ink Bold card (I got the "old" one in November). Thanks for the heads up!


Originally Posted by biggestbopper (Post 18046784)
I would be looking at the Chase INK Bold if you have anything that can be called a biz.

Could also consider getting some Citi AA cards, SPG Amex (converts to AA with a bonus) and going one way UAL one way AA or BA.

Since Europe is only 50k AA in business class one way, you could get the Citi AA cards (50k each) and then your problem is solved in one fell swoop. Enough miles to get you and your wife to Europe! But DON'T redeem them on BA flights; you'll pay a huge fuel surcharge! Use your AA miles to redeem on any other OneWorld carrier (Iberia for example, as you're flying to Europe) and you won't pay a fuel surcharge.


Originally Posted by drbobguy (Post 18045780)
You can get 50k UR points from the Ink Bold with $5000 spend in 3 months (which seems to be about your limit for spending).

You can also get 30k Freedom points which (as of now) transfer to UR points by signing up for the freedom card.

And you're likely to get approved for both of these at the same time, seeing as one is a biz card and one is a personal card. If you don't go the Citi/AA route, this is the way to go!

jmw2323 Feb 20, 12 12:06 am

my wife didn't want to play along either until I took her to Paris and Germany in the front of the bus. 4 hours in the FRA FCT didn't hurt either.

off to prg, vie, and bud in BA F this summer too.

I now have free reign to apply for as many CC as I want for her as well

timbuk Feb 20, 12 8:26 am

Thanks everyone, great tips all around!

mileshound Feb 20, 12 12:50 pm

Like the OP, a friend needs 300K to get 3 people to Europe in 2013. He has not played the CC game and is starting from scratch so he has lots of opportunities. This is my plan for him. I think you can still get the Onepass card then the explorer card. Please correct me if I am wrong. The OP may want to consider this too.

Another thing they are doing is not applying for the exact same card at the same time. This is in case a better deal comes along at least one of them can get in on it. Also, he can not do Fidelity or TD Ameritrade due to his job.
One issue is this plan is all cards are with Chase. Even if he applies 60 days apart, this will take about 8 months for the miles to post.

Husband:
One pass card 30K
Sapphire 50K
Explorer 50K
Freedom - 30K

Wife:
One pass card 30K
Explorer 50K
Sapphire 50K
Freedom - 30K

Any other suggestions are appreciated.

vortix Feb 20, 12 3:50 pm


Originally Posted by drbobguy (Post 18045780)
You can also get 30k Freedom points which (as of now) transfer to UR points by signing up for the freedom card.

What do you mean by "Freedom" points? I have a Freedom card, and it earns Ultimate Rewards points. I've never heard the points called "Freedom" points.

However, I know that the Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Freedom card cannot be transferred to UA or other partners (though they can be transferred to another Ultimate Rewards account, which can then transfer to UA or other partners). Perhaps that's what you're referring to?

PETERPNYC Feb 20, 12 4:04 pm


Originally Posted by mileshound (Post 18050353)
Like the OP, a friend needs 300K to get 3 people to Europe in 2013. He has not played the CC game and is starting from scratch so he has lots of opportunities. This is my plan for him. I think you can still get the Onepass card then the explorer card. Please correct me if I am wrong. The OP may want to consider this too.

Another thing they are doing is not applying for the exact same card at the same time. This is in case a better deal comes along at least one of them can get in on it. Also, he can not do Fidelity or TD Ameritrade due to his job.
One issue is this plan is all cards are with Chase. Even if he applies 60 days apart, this will take about 8 months for the miles to post.

Husband:
One pass card 30K
Sapphire 50K
Explorer 50K
Freedom - 30K

Wife:
One pass card 30K
Explorer 50K
Sapphire 50K
Freedom - 30K

Any other suggestions are appreciated.

Let me add that many people have been successful in getting the 30 K Chase OPP bumped to 50K by SMing Chase and telling them a friend received 50 K

They are very good about matching if done within 60 Days. I asked for and got the match the day I activated my card.

There, I did my good deed for the day. GL

mileshound Feb 20, 12 4:19 pm


Originally Posted by PETERPNYC (Post 18051572)
There, I did my good deed for the day. GL

Good deed appreciated. We will try. Thanks

mileshound Feb 20, 12 4:20 pm


Originally Posted by vortix (Post 18051487)
What do you mean by "Freedom" points? I have a Freedom card, and it earns Ultimate Rewards points. I've never heard the points called "Freedom" points.

However, I know that the Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Freedom card cannot be transferred to UA or other partners (though they can be transferred to another Ultimate Rewards account, which can then transfer to UA or other partners). Perhaps that's what you're referring to?

Yes, correct.


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