Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thinking about airline miles

My husband and I have never gotten credit cards with airline miles. We've always used cards that give us cash rebates of 1%-5%. Our favorite card for a while was Discover Card, but now we're loving our Chase Rewards cards (5% back on gas purchases!). Courtesy of our recent trips to Israel, we each have several thousand air miles with British Airways and Continental, respectively.

The question is, considering the long wait for a referral, what's the best way to go about collecting miles? And on which airline, or group of airlines, should we choose to do so? We're going to want to choose an airline with a direct flight from Newark, JFK, or LGA. I absolutely, positively will do anything I can (short of spending over $3000) to travel business class. Is it easier to purchase economy tickets and use miles for a free upgrade? I think Johnny did that but his blog is gone. Yoohoo...Johnny...any input? You always had the best advice!

I would appreciate anyone's input. I've never paid yearly fees for a credit card in the past, but may consider doing so for these purposes. I can also beg-bribe-plead with my boss to let me use his AMEX Gold Card miles, if possible. I have a corporate credit card on his account, so I should be able to access them, assuming that he has enough miles on the account at that point.


Shandra said...

Congrats on the DTC!

We have an AMEX card that gives miles you can use on any airline without blackout dates. We do not have a fee for it either.

Naomi said...

Hey! You're back! We have the Chase Continental card - very good, but obviously only for Continental. Shop around. We also have Amex through my husband's work.

Johnny said...

Hey, haven't visited in a while.

We have a citibank card that we use because the affliated airline (AA) is the one that has the most flights out of our town.

Two years ago, we almost zeroed it out using free tickets on a vacation to hawaii. Then, we built up the miles back up using it for EVERYTHING.

It was a lucky convergence of seat openings and dates we could travel that allowed us to use miles for our trip to China.

However, for A1, we had the points, but the timing was bad. We could GET to China on free tickets, getting back was a different story.

Our card charges us $50/year for the fee. That gets absorbed fairly quickly.

Don't get a card to get miles to travel to China. But get a card to get miles to travel sometime in the future, for whatever reason.

(also pick the card that best represents the most flights out of your preferred airport).

Avery's Mom & Dad said...

As a flight attendant who has flown out of the NYC area for 10 years I would tell you that Continental is probably going to be your preferred airline. I think they have non-stop out of Newark.
We have been doing the same thing, and actually have enough miles now for an "anytime business ticket" on AA, we use our credit card for everything including paying bills that way we just write the one check each month and we walk away with the miles. By the time we have get our referral we may have enough miles for everyone in our travel group;(