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Figuring out what type of points are best suited to a particular destination
Thank you Lucky and all the contributors for the wonderful information. I am brand new to this concept, so please excuse my ignorance. I’ve read all the beginner posts, but I’m having trouble figuring out what types of points would be best suited to meet a particular goal. For example, I want to go to Cape Town, South Africa next year. I would really like to fly business or first class. There are so many flight options and different airlines available, it’s a bit overwhelming. In addition, I saw a post about flying out of Canada to Africa from April, which made me realize what airport one flies out of is incredibly important, and another level of strategy. Any basic suggestions on the types of points I might want to use and the credit cards that I should consider to rack up those points, would be very much appreciated. Also, if a part of the US or Canada is cheaper to fly to Africa from. The difference between flying to Cape Town in business class from Madison, WI compared to Toronto was around 10k for two tickets, which more than offsets the cost of getting to Toronto. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome [USER=2162]@Kevin P.[/USER] – one of the tricks to using miles is to look at your destination and see what airlines serve it. Then you can work backwards from there to determine what types of miles to accrue. A little basic knowledge of routing rules helps as well. It’s a lot to take it but feel free to ask for help.
To find out what airlines serve your destination, Wikipedia is your friend.
For example, when I look at the CPT airport page I see that only two oneworld airlines serve that airport: BA and Qatar. I know that BA flights incur unwanted fuel surcharges but their planes do have first class (such as it is). QR doesn’t have first class but does have lie-flat business class that should work well enough and they fly out of Chicago, which would be handy for you.
With Star Alliance, Turkish flies there, Lufthansa flies during certain times of the year and, of course, there’s South African Airways.
SkyTeam offers flights on Air France (seasonally) and on KLM.
Alaska Airlines miles can be used on several of the airlines listed above as well as on Emirates.
Joburg has a larger selection of airlines and you can get cheap tickets between the two cities so if you can’t find award seats to CPT, you might consider that.
Hopefully this will give you a place to start but if you need clarification, feel free to ask.
Thanks so much [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER]! Is there a blog post or section of this website that details which card miles can be redeemed for which alliance? For example, I am thinking of get the chase sapphire to get 50,000 ultimate points. It didn’t say on the Chase application site which partners you can transfer the points to. Under Lucky’s recommendation, he just said they are incredibly versatile. Where do you go to find which reward points can be redeemed at which airline alliance?
Once again, I really appreciate you helping a newbie out!
[USER=2162]@Kevin P.[/USER] here is the current list of airline travel partners: [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/05/22/chase-points-air-france-flyingblue/[/URL]