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Answers (10)

Looking for advice on two trips

Looking for advice on two trips

  1. Horace Oxendine

    Hi all,

    I just started following this site: What great advice! I actually have two trips coming up that I was hoping I could get advice for, both in terms of airlines, upgrade strategies, which cards you would use in order to maximize long term benefits.

    I don’t have a ton of miles, but think I could still make something happen using bonuses that haven’t paid out yet or buying miles. Basic portfolio: American: 73K miles. Delta: 10K miles. United: 83K miles.

    Haven’t bought any points using American’s point buying bonus program yet (that I guess expires early January)

    Cards: United Mileage Plus
    Citi AA/Advantage Platinum Select Mastercard
    Chase Sapphire — on your advice! — (haven’t yet used the minimum spend points, but could do so relatively quickly)
    Citi Prestige — on your advice! — (haven’t yet used the minimum spend points, but could do so relatively quickly).

    Trips:
    I have a meeting in Hong Kong February 18. The client will pay for business class. Obviously I’d love advice on getting on upgrade on Cathay Pacific, but failing that, what would the best business class option be?

    The second trip is more amorphous: I am planning on taking my wife to Italy, probably in early June, and would love advice on how to make the trip over/back special. Airlines, upgrade strategies, etc. since its an anniversary trip, I’m perfectly willing to shell out some cash in order to make it special, but would be interested in using points as much as possible!

    Thanks so much. Love the site, and I’ve learned so much in just a few days!

  2. Gaurav

    [USER=1287]@Horace Oxendine[/USER] where in the US are you based?

  3. Horace Oxendine

    [QUOTE=”Gaurav, post: 10832, member: 79″][USER=1287]@Horace Oxendine[/USER] where in the US are you based?[/QUOTE]

    Based out of Columbus, OH, so we can actually drive to a variety of airports for a good enough deal. Thanks!!!

  4. Gaurav

    [USER=1287]@Horace Oxendine[/USER] I’m assuming you’re going to leave from JFK for your trip to HKG on CX so you’d have to see this chart for the cost of upgrading with miles from J to F ([URL]https://www.asiamiles.com/am/en/redeem/charts[/URL]). You’re looking for award zone E since JFK-HGK clocks in 8072 miles per gcmap. The only currency you have that will transfer to Asia miles is TY points and given that you haven’t even hit the bonus the chances of your accruing the required points for a R/T award would be low although one way might still be viable. CX is a very solid business product so I would have no problems booking them and picking one leg to bump into first to enjoy that.

    Your summer trip will be more challenging since you’d still need to accrue the miles necessary to book an award and award space for summer travel is challenging and only gets more so the closer you get to your travel date. AA and UA both offer one way awards to that might help you. Maybe consider using BA to go one way and combine a paid Y or premium Y ticket and use AA miles to upgrade. For the other leg use UA by combining your UA and UR points. Boost those by having your wife apply for a CSP and Freedom and apply for a Freedom yourself. If either of you have a small business consider the Ink Bold (Keep the Chase policy of not approving UR earning cards for those who have more than five new card applications in the past two years in mind and apply for those early). Good luck!

  5. Horace Oxendine

    Thanks so much Gaurav — this is very helpful. I could go out of ORD as well, but JFK (or YYZ) are the other options. I do have one additional question if you do not mind, which is doesn’t Cathay Pacific operate in conjunction with American? Can I not use American miles (maybe by purchasing an additional 25K with the deal they have running now) and use those? Just running through ideas. Again, I really appreciate the help.

  6. No Name

    [USER=1287]@Horace Oxendine[/USER]

    Upgrading across airlines are not common in Oneworld, unlike say Star Alliance.

    AA miles can be used to upgrade on AA, BA and Iberia.
    [URL]https://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/jba-upgrade-award-reservations.jsp[/URL]

    As I’m sure you know AA miles can be used for awards on CX, but that is it.

  7. Horace Oxendine

    Ah, I did not know that. Like I said, new to all of this. Thank you so much (especially for your patience!)

  8. Gaurav

    No problem, just ask if you have any other questions.

  9. Horace Oxendine

    Hey Gaurav — Just wanted to thank you again for all the good advice and let you know about a solution I think I found for the first trip. I just found out that my mortgage company actually lets me charge my mortgage for just a $10 transfer fee, so I’m using my Citi prestige for January and then paying February early. Combined with other bills and utility charges, that should get me my minimum $3K spend plus an additional $7K to get to 60K Asia points (obviously I will pay the balance immediately from my checking account). Thanks so much for the pointers, and I guess I’ll get the business class ticket and start checking for upgrades religiously once the points post!!!

  10. Gaurav

    You’re welcome. We don’t have a lot of examples of people using Asia Miles so make sure to come back and share your experience. Don’t forget that the Prestige earns 3x on airfare so charging your CX ticket right away should help you make a big (reimbursable) dent in your spending needs too!

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