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Answers (5)

auto-feed cycle?

auto-feed cycle?

  1. Paola Z

    Hello there, I just started getting into the miles/points world a few days ago. Unfortunately, I found this blog after booking the flights for our next vacation in June to Thailand, in economy, of course (ouch!).
    I have found a way to combine points from my newly acquired IHG credit card with Chase and my also newly acquired SPG credit card with Amex. I can transfer all my sign up bonus points to JAL, and I should be able to book our internal Thailand flights (Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Phuket-Bangkok) just with miles for all 4 of us in our family with Bangkok Airways.
    Two questions though:
    1- How do I know if JAL (or Bangkok Airways for that matter) have the award seats available that I need if their website doesn’t show them. It would be nice to know before I transfer the points to JAL for miles.
    2- If I am just getting started and I get a bunch of points/miles from promotions and I use them to fly or book hotels, those bookings don’t give me miles in exchange right? So, if that is the case, how do I keep the cycle going to keep getting points? I can’t be signing up to credit cards for bonus points my whole life and I don’t think I will be able to keep it up raking points from purchases with the credit cards either, right? Also, I will never move up in any airline’s categories if I only fly awards…
    Maybe I am wrong on my assumptions and that is why I am asking here. Or maybe I am right, so I am asking for advise on how to keep the ball rolling, I would love to be able to take at least one long flight in my life in business or first class 🙂
    Thank you in advance for your time and I really like your blog, very informative and to the point.

    P.Z.

  2. MidSouthSkier

    Welcome [USER=2782]@Paola Z[/USER] –
    you’re right, it can be a bit tricky to keep the cycle going. And since you’re trying to earn enough points for multiple people, that makes it a bit harder.

    So first let’s talk about transferable points. If you look at Lucky’s “Value of Miles & Points” posts, you’ll notice that SPG points are among the most valuable out there. That’s because they have so many transfer partners and for most airlines, when you transfer 20K points at once, they’ll throw in 5K more and you’ll end up with 25K airline miles.

    But when converting IHG points to airlines, it’s not such a great thing. With just a couple of exceptions, for every 5000 IHG points you transfer you only get 1000 airline miles. Not such a good deal.

    Better options than IHG are the Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points and the Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards. Those transfer at much more favorable rates (usually 1:1).

    SPG is the only transferable currency that transfers to JAL, which is part of the oneworld alliance, the same one that AA and British Airways belong to.

    Bangkok Airways is not part of any alliance, which means you won’t be able to transfer points anywhere to use on their flights.

    As to your other questions, the answer is that basically you sign up for the cards you’ll want to keep long-term first and hold on to them. Then you can cycle through other cards as new offers become available. The SPG card is definitely a keeper because of how valuable the points are. The IHG card, also a keeper because for $49 you get a free night at any IHG hotel worldwide.

    Next I’d look at getting one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) cards like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve. As always, read the card spending requirements so you’ll know how much to spend to get the bonus. And of course, pay the cards off each month as interest negates any value earned from the miles/points.

    Chase has a rule called 5/24 where if you’ve applied for more than 5 cards in the last 24 months they are very likely to reject your application, regardless of your credit score. So if you get those UR cards early in the process and then hang on to them, they’ll help lengthen your Average Age of Credit, a factor in your credit score and you can churn other cards when new bonuses become available.

    If you have a spouse or SO who can help out signing up for cards themselves, that will help a lot. Also, if you have anything that can be classified as a business (selling on eBay, maybe some consulting work, etc.) you can try to get business credit cards.

    When you put ALL of your spending on credit cards it’s amazing how quickly things add up.

    If I’ve only confused you, let us know what’s not clear and we’ll try to make it clear.

  3. Paola Z

    [QUOTE=”MidSouth Skier, post: 26169, member: 184″]Welcome [USER=2782]@Paola Z[/USER] –
    you’re right, it can be a bit tricky to keep the cycle going. And since you’re trying to earn enough points for multiple people, that makes it a bit harder.

    So first let’s talk about transferable points. If you look at Lucky’s “Value of Miles & Points” posts, you’ll notice that SPG points are among the most valuable out there. That’s because they have so many transfer partners and for most airlines, when you transfer 20K points at once, they’ll throw in 5K more and you’ll end up with 25K airline miles.

    But when converting IHG points to airlines, it’s not such a great thing. With just a couple of exceptions, for every 5000 IHG points you transfer you only get 1000 airline miles. Not such a good deal.

    Better options than IHG are the Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points and the Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards. Those transfer at much more favorable rates (usually 1:1).

    SPG is the only transferable currency that transfers to JAL, which is part of the oneworld alliance, the same one that AA and British Airways belong to.

    Bangkok Airways is not part of any alliance, which means you won’t be able to transfer points anywhere to use on their flights.

    As to your other questions, the answer is that basically you sign up for the cards you’ll want to keep long-term first and hold on to them. Then you can cycle through other cards as new offers become available. The SPG card is definitely a keeper because of how valuable the points are. The IHG card, also a keeper because for $49 you get a free night at any IHG hotel worldwide.

    Next I’d look at getting one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) cards like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve. As always, read the card spending requirements so you’ll know how much to spend to get the bonus. And of course, pay the cards off each month as interest negates any value earned from the miles/points.

    Chase has a rule called 5/24 where if you’ve applied for more than 5 cards in the last 24 months they are very likely to reject your application, regardless of your credit score. So if you get those UR cards early in the process and then hang on to them, they’ll help lengthen your Average Age of Credit, a factor in your credit score and you can churn other cards when new bonuses become available.

    If you have a spouse or SO who can help out signing up for cards themselves, that will help a lot. Also, if you have anything that can be classified as a business (selling on eBay, maybe some consulting work, etc.) you can try to get business credit cards.

    When you put ALL of your spending on credit cards it’s amazing how quickly things add up.

    If I’ve only confused you, let us know what’s not clear and we’ll try to make it clear.[/QUOTE]

    Hello MidSouth Skier, and thank you for taking the time to answer me in so much detail. You didn’t confuse me at all, actually, I have been reading the blog extensively so I had understood pretty much all the things you explain. A few things remain unanswered though 🙂
    The first thing is, there seems to be some kind of alliance between JAL and Bangkok Airways (check this:[URL]https://www.jal.co.jp/121campaign/pg_discount/index_en.html[/URL]) so, I think that if I transfer the points from SPG (with the bonus) to JAL, then I can get my tickets on BA however, I still don’t know how to see if there are award seats available before I transfer the points, help?

    Also, how do I earn status with airlines if I fly mostly with award tickets?

    Thanks again!

    P.Z.

  4. David W

    Bangkok Airways and JAL may have a partnership. You would have to call JAL to verify seats are available first. Do note that points may not transfer instantly to JAL and that by the time they do transfer, award seats may be gone. I dont believe JAL creates award seat holds. You can also use JAL miles for flights on BA. You will have to check for availability on BA’s website and then call JAL to book.

    If you fly mostly award tickets, you wont be earning status. You may be able to obtain status via credit card spend. In particular, Delta makes the process easy and straightforward. Otherwise, you really do have to purchase and fly on paid tickets to obtain status. Note that if you use credit card’s travel portals to book (Chase UR, Amex Travel, Citi TY travel) and select the “pay with points” option, this is considered a paid ticket, not an award.

  5. Gaurav

    And also remember that intra-asia tickets can often be had very cheaply on cash fares with low cost carriers. Definitely make sure to compare options before transferring your SPG points (hard to earn) to JAL.

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