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Best use of miles/points/new cards for US-Europe flights
I live close to Cincinnati. My wife and are planning several 2-4 week trips to Italy (esp. central and Adriatic coast), Netherlands, Ireland, and France over the next five years. We now have the following rewards points:
Marriott 50000 points (by end of 2017)
Starwood 90000 points (by end of 2017)
MyDelta 37500 miles
HerDelta 89500 miles
Our current miles-relevant cards are Marriott and SPG. I will have SPG gold elite status by spring 2018. We expect to add a MS Amex Platinum card at year’s end.
What are the best ways to use and acquire rewards points to bring down the cost of our air travel? Which airlines tend to offer the best opportunities? What should we avoid at all cost?
[USER=3551]@Besseta[/USER], it is virtually impossible to give specific advice for such a long planning horizon. In general, I would accumulate transferable currencies while opportunistically applying for airline cards during increased bonus periods. Try to travel in shoulder periods with lower demand and better opportunities to use miles. If you are OK traveling in Y, then you are best off getting a cash back card and using the rebates to offset your air fare costs. With low fare carriers you could do a trip very cheaply.