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Best programs and credit cards to apply to
I recently had a discussion with a new acquaintance about earning miles and/or point in daily life. I’m already a long-time member of Star Alliance and Flying Blue so I know the drill, but I must honestly say that I was unaware and impressed by how much free perks my friend was enjoying (first class tickets, luxury hotels…) with very little effort! I want to get into this world ASAP and would appreciate a little advice.
In short, I live in Thailand and travel quite often within Asia and to Europe. As many do, I usually book hotels and rental cars through Booking.com and Avis respectively. I don’t hold a specific ‘travel oriented’ credit card yet, but will definitely look for one (perhaps Cti Prestige?).
So my question comes down to this: which programs and credit card should I consider with my situation in mind?
Thanks for the info!
Arnaud, I would suggest beginning with reading the start here section on the top left of the website to get a better understanding of what is involved. A lot of this stuff is US centric since the credit card landscape is much more competitive here and you will need an US SSN in order to take advantage of the offers. If you are not eligible for a SSN, you may consider reading this: [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/07/30/choose-credit-card-outside-us/[/URL]
Thanks Gaurav. I just did, and it remains quite complicated for a newby with all this ‘most efficient way to earn miles for each particular flight’ etc. I guess in this case it comes down to the following question for which I don’t really see a clear answer:
Considering I’m based in Thailand and will mostly use Star Alliance members to travel around (Thai, Singapore,…), which program should I apply to within the Star Alliance?
Knowing that the Citi Prestige credit card (with Thai and Singapore airlines as partners, amongst others) is basically the only interesting card available in Thailand, I would argue that KrisFlyer or Thai Orchid Plus makes sense. However, I have about 20K of unused Miles&More miles which I can easily increase a lot, perhaps even by applying for their credit card in Europe. But I can’t combine those miles with ThankYou points which feels a bit like cannibalism. Should I give up M&M and sign up for KrisFlyer or Thai instead, combined with the Prestige card? Or should I stick with M&M and get their credit card, and forget about the Prestige?
For the other alliances, I’m FF for Qatar (Oneworld) and Flying Blue (SkyTeam), so I believe those are covered.
This really is complicated stuff for me, so please consider me as an absolute amateur. I don’t want 5 credit cards and dozens of programs, just the best credit card – FF program combination to have a decent chance for award flights.
Thanks for the info!
Just to clarify, [USER=2379]@ArnaudNG[/USER], are you able to apply for US credit cards? The answer to that will make a difference in the answer.
No, I’m not able to apply for US cards. Since I’m European and have European bank accounts, I can apply for cards there as well as in Thailand (and perhaps Asia in general).
I’m not sure that the Citi Prestige is available outside the US. (I could easily be wrong.) Have you checked out Tiffany’s post about signing up for cards when you live outside the US?