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New to this – where to credit miles most effectively
I’m new to all this – for years, I just didn’t pay attention to what was possible if I managed my spending with an eye towards rewards and airline miles. But now I’m trying to learn the ropes. This was all sparked by the need to book a trip for my wife from LAX to India and a family vacation to Hawaii this summer – I realized I could have done it much better had I gotten involved earlier.
And I’m looking for some guidance to be sure I get off to a good start.
Here’s a little about us:
We’re a family of 5. We live in Los Angeles. We travel periodically to Hawaii (it’s a short enough flight we usually just fly economy). My wife and I fly to Europe for a vacation every few years, and our kids travel with us or to other destinations every now and then. We’d love to travel more over the upcoming years. Maybe Australia/New Zealand. Our careers have opened up to give us much more flexibility than we used to have, so we’re just starting to explore My wife is starting to visit India every now again for professional reasons.
[B]Question 1: Am I off to the right start with my first two rewards-earning cards (Amex Business Gold and Chase/British Airways).[/B]
I’ve started using the Amex Business Gold – primarily because of the 3x opportunity on online advertising. My business spends $5-10K/month on google adwords, so this should provide a nice stream of points.
Before starting to think about this seriously, I applied for and received a Chase British Airways card with the 100K bonus ($2K spend earns 50K points, $10K spend earns 25K more points, $20K spend earns another 25K points).
Were these a good choice? If not, what should I get next or use instead?
[B]Question 2: Where should I be crediting the mileage for our upcoming flights?[/B]
In August, the whole family of 5 is traveling to Hawaii on United in Economy.
In October, my wife is traveling to India. This was booked through Air India. They offered different programs for choosing where to credit the mileage, but I’m not sure what’s the best choice. Here’s the itinerary:
These are all business class, except the LAX->SLC segment which is in domestic first class. I’m a little confused by the “I” class fares, given that this was not booked as an award ticket, but then again, I’m confused by a lot of this stuff).
LAX -> SLC (operated by Delta – class P)
SLC -> AMS (KLM – class Z)
AMS -> DEL (Air India – class Premiére (P))
DEL -> AMS (KLM – class I)
AMS -> LAX (Delta – class I)
My apologies for the length of the post – I thought perhaps more detail would help, but looking back, I didn’t intend for it to be so lengthy.
I appreciate any advice.
1 – I think the BA card is a great option if you do short haul flights often since it costs the least number of miles compared to most other programs.
2 – Which airline ticketed the flights and is that one round trip ticket or did you buy flights separately? Might be a good idea to credit the Delta and KLM flights to FlyingBlue since your earning based on flown miles. If you bought the tickets thru Delta, crediting to Delta would earn miles based on the base ticket price. The Air India flight throws me off though, since it’s Star Alliance. Do you have any flying with United or their partners?
Thanks. I figured the BA card would be a good deal for our Hawaii trips.
The other trip was ticketed through Air India.
I suppose I can contact them and ask them to set it to her Flying Blue number – will that affect all the different segments of the ticket?
I guess I’m just not clear on a fundamental thing: when one airline books a flight made up of segments on different airlines, how do you set the correct FF program? Do you do it with the ticketing airline? Would I need to contact Delta, KIM, and Air India all separately?
We do some flying with United – this Hawaii trip is with them. Are they a better choice for crediting the miles?
You can try changing the FFN online thru Air India I think. But you can always ask the gate agent to change the FFN for the leg youre flying before boarding.
Personally, I’d credit KLM/Delta to FlyingBlue since some awards are decently priced. Crediting to Delta will be strange – youre flying Delta but the ticket wasnt issued by Delta, meaning Delta’s revenue based earning chart may not apply. But I also cant find the right earning chart for such a situation. The Air India flight you can credit to UA