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Answers (10)

Bad use of miles?

Bad use of miles?

  1. Anonymous

    I fly for work often, usually domestic US, Europe plus 2-3 trips to Asia and South America each year. As a result I rack up tons of miles, mostly on American. My company pays only for economy flights, and I need to provide receipts confirming I paid for an economy ticket, but obviously I would prefer to fly business class as often as possible. I know usually using miles for flight upgrades is not the best use of miles, but in my case is it the best option to upgrade? As I said I fly mostly on American, but should I be thinking of changing loyalty programs given my situation?

  2. Anonymous

    Using miles for upgrades is a [I]great[/I] option when someone else is paying for your base fare, actually. If you don’t have fare restrictions (so can purchase the higher fare buckets), it’s an even better deal.

    American is still probably a good option for you, and it might be worth considering pushing for elite status, as it sounds like the SWUs would would well for you.

  3. AlexGBBAGold

    I broadly agree with Tff in this, but I’d personally push for BA Gold status, if you are flying a lot of AA flights. It is a bit of a disappointment when you fly US domestic and couldn’t use any longes. With the BA gold you could. Getting BA Gold is exceptionally cheap and easy for a US based person. Talking two grand Usd. Furthermore, if properly timed, the membership will last for up to 2 years and BA provides a soft landing into silver, which also entitles you to lounge access in the states and abroad. PM me for more details. Tiff, you could check the validity of my claims via Pm if you need to. -:)

  4. Anonymous

    [USER=1393]@AlexGBBAGold[/USER] — Hah, I love how much you’re enjoying your BA gold status, and it’s certainly easier to accrue for those based in the US. Absolutely agree.

    However, British Airways gold status won’t help with upgrades on US flights, nor realistically for travel to SE Asia or South America. The cost to upgrade AA flights with Avios on such long segments would be outrageous, and you’d have to go to the effort of having all your tickets issued on BA stock, which may be difficult to explain to the people in charge of reimbursement at the office. If he was traveling to Europe, it might be a different situation.

    So, for @Alberto233, American seems like a good choice still. If he wants lounge access, he could pick up the Citi Prestige or AA Executive card, both of which offer access to the Admirals Clubs.

  5. AlexGBBAGold

    Tiffany, fair comment. My personal strategy is not to own any Credit Cards. Although the orignal plan could have been nice and rosy by spending and then repaying in full AND earn the points/signup bonuses. But we all well know, once you got a card – it is one way only: spending and debt.

    It is personal preference, but i’d not think about using miles for upgrades from Economy to Business either. I’d rather use the miles to [U]fly somewhere nice instead[/U] in Economy. Again, personal preference and strategy. It is also my personal opinion that if a person is flying economy and someone is paying for it, the best benefits of BA Gold would be to get lounge access while flying economy and double the avios (where possible). Priority lanes (to which BA Golders are entitled to) also help if you fly in economy for business or otherwise. I’d rather sleep an extra hour before an early flight and check in at the AA Platinum Exec desk then at platinum or worse other desks.

    If the game here to rack up the points on cards AND use them for upgrades from the Economy to Premium, then I could perhaps just about agree with you. Just.

    If the game is Lounges, priority lanes and double the points (where possible) then BA Gold all the way.

  6. Anonymous

    [QUOTE=”AlexGBBAGold, post: 11949, member: 1393″]If the game here to rack up the points on cards…[/QUOTE]

    Um, that’s pretty much exactly the game. Or at least a large component of the game in the present environment.

    Credit cards don’t have to lead to massive spending and debt. I have 20+ active credit cards, and have never paid a dime in interest on any of them. And I’m a small bit player compared to many.

    I realize the US system is a bit different though, which is certainly a factor. But there’s no reason the OP can’t use miles for upgrades [I]and[/I] have enough miles for aspirational redemptions of his choosing.

  7. MidSouthSkier

    [QUOTE=”AlexGBBAGold, post: 11949, member: 1393″]Tiffany, fair comment. [B]My personal strategy is not to own any Credit Cards.[/B] Although the orignal plan could have been nice and rosy by spending and then repaying in full AND earn the points/signup bonuses. But we all well know, once you got a card – it is one way only: spending and debt.

    It is personal preference, but i’d not think about using miles for upgrades from Economy to Business either. I’d rather use the miles to [U]fly somewhere nice instead[/U] in Economy. Again, personal preference and strategy. It is also my personal opinion that if a person is flying economy and someone is paying for it, the best benefits of BA Gold would be to get lounge access while flying economy and double the avios (where possible). Priority lanes (to which BA Golders are entitled to) also help if you fly in economy for business or otherwise. I’d rather sleep an extra hour before an early flight and check in at the AA Platinum Exec desk then at platinum or worse other desks.

    If the game here to rack up the points on cards AND use them for upgrades from the Economy to Premium, then I could perhaps just about agree with you. Just.

    If the game is Lounges, priority lanes and double the points (where possible) then BA Gold all the way.[/QUOTE]

    Just curious how you pay for airline tickets if you don’t have a credit card?

    And you’re right that it’s definitely a personal preference to fly “somewhere nice” in economy. With the limited vacation time we get here in the US, I’d rather fly “somewhere nice” in a premium cabin so I can enjoy the trip from start to finish! Plus, as we get older, our values and priorities can change. When I was in my 20s I’d have loved to have gone overseas even in economy. Now that I’m old enough to have a 20 y/o child, just the thought of flying overseas in economy makes me miserable – especially when I know how to accumulate the miles necessary to make premium cabin travel happen! 🙂

  8. AlexGBBAGold

    1. I pay by debit card. 2. Point taken. I’m not time-poor personally. Flying mostly for pleasure. Your points above explain your logic. Appreciate for some people flying in First, Real first is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  9. Alberto233

    Thank you all. Very useful insight. Lounges aren’t my major motivation, I get access through credit cards and AA Platinum. I will look into the BA alternative though so thanks for the suggestion.

    I also have a ton of Amex reward points, any particular airline where they can be best transferred to use for upgrades on paid economy tickets?

  10. Anonymous

    Happy to help! For upgrades using Amex points, Alitalia is a surprisingly good option, though obviously not as useful to Asia and South America. BA is good to Europe as well (though the transfer ratio from Amex has changed), and if you can buy a higher base fare Delta could be a good option.

    I haven’t played around much with AsiaMiles, but that could be worth exploring as well.

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