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CSR vs BA vs AA domestic bookings
Pardon me if this has been asked/discussed before…
[*]150,000 DL points
[*]110,000 CSR points
[*]110,000 avios through BA Visa Signature
[*]15,000 Thank you Points
[*]<20,000 AA miles
My cards include:
[*]BA Visa Signature
[*]DL Gold SkyMiles.
I have a few domestic trips coming up, as well as some possible international trips. What is my best option for domestic tickets? I assume that in general, purchasing (maybe through Ultimate rewards) is better than redeeming airline miles for most domestic trips? Also, I have heard that it is better to book AA domestic using Avios. Is that still true? Am I best using DL, AA points for international tickets, and Citi/Chase points for domestic?
I’ll address the Avios issue. The answer is “it depends”. Avios use a distance-based award chart and each segment is priced separately. So ORD-LAX would cost fewer miles than ORD-DFW-LAX. If your ticket is before a certain date (I believe Jan 11, 2017?) domestic first will cost you 3x the coach price. After that date it will be 2x the price.
Depending on the market you can get value out of very short flights that would be expensive to book with cash. Very short flights (under 650? miles) are just 7500 Avios each way. If you’re flying from/to a small-to-midsized airport there can be value in using the Avios vs. paying cash.
Avios are not usually a great deal for international flights because BA imposes fuel surcharges. However BA does open their booking window a couple of weeks before AA does so if you’re looking for a very hard-to-get ticket (like premium cabins to Australia) then you’ll have a better shot at getting the seat by using Avios. Personally I was willing to pay the fuel surcharges to be able to lock in that award seat to Australia.
Is it possible to transfer DL miles to Ultimate Rewards? I like the perks of the Ultimate rewards program, but obviously I have a good number of DL miles that I need to use.
Nope, but you have enough Delta miles for two one-way business class tickets to Europe or something, and could use other miles for the return.
Ok, thanks. Secondly, I have the BA Visa Signature with the view toward getting a free companion ticket once per year (once I’ve spend over $30K). Is it worth keeping that card (and concentrating spending on it) to meet this limit, or should I rather just concentrate my spending on the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Keep in mind that with the companion pass you still have to pay the fuel surcharges for the companion ticket, which can be several hundred dollars in premium cabins. It may still be worth it to you, but just didn’t want you to think the companion flew totally free.
Yes, I would definitely look into the costs associated with that companion ticket before dropping $30k on that card. In my experience it was not worth it.