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Getting going

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Dermot O'Morchoe, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Dermot O'Morchoe

    Dermot O'Morchoe New Member

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    Hi
    As a businessman who has just started travelling to mainly the US and Canada about 10 times a year from Ireland, I am keen to maximise the miles that I collect. I am collecting AAdvantage miles, More and Miles with Lufthansa and Avios.
    I travel in Economy during my business trip as I don't pay for the flights myself but I wish to maximise my leisure travel in first class. Next destination is South Africa in November.
    I do not have a Credit Card that benefits these sites.
    Which CC( European, as it is hard to get US CC) could you recommend which will benefit me most.
    I also have IHG Rewards Club card and Hilton Honors cards for the hotels I stay in.
    When I am maximising the points I would like to get you to manage my leisure travel as it all looks like a minefield?!?!?
    Any help as to where to start would be brilliant.
    Thanks
    Dermot
     
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  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @Dermot O'Morchoe - yes, the whole credit card issue can be a problem outside the US. Tiffany wrote a post about that topic a few years ago: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/07/30/choose-credit-card-outside-us/

    Do you get to choose the airlines you travel? If so I might try concentrating on one airline if getting status (and bettering your upgrade chances) is a priority.

    If redeemable miles is your goal then you may look at each flight individually to determine which FF program would earn you the most. You can check wheretocredit.com to see that.

    AA miles can be great but to get any kind of status with them you'll need 4 segments on AA metal. And AA is bad about opening up award space on their own planes on international flights. They don't pass along surcharges on flights on their own planes but they do for flights on BA.

    BA Avios also have great usage and can be a real bargain for short, direct flights but since they're distance- and segment-based, long flights cost more as do connecting flights. But you can build in stopovers wherever you like since each segment is priced separately. And they unfortunately pass on the fuel surcharges which can be hundreds of dollars when flying a premium cabin.

    While M&M are great in that they can give you access to LH premium cabins well before partner airlines have access, the problem with them is that they expire after 3 years regardless of any activity in your account. (There may be some exceptions if you have their credit card but I don't know that for sure.) And, of course, like BA they pass along fuel surcharges.

    So the answer to your question is "it depends", mostly on what your travel goals are.

    As for hotels, IHG has a great worldwide footprint but unless you have IHG Ambassador level, their status doesn't mean much at all. Hilton is pretty good, especially when you reach gold status. One nice thing about Hilton is that even though some of their properties require a boatload of points, they will let you get non-standard rooms using points. Some chains, like IHG, only allow a basic 1K or 2Q bed room. I was able to get what was essentially a 2BR condo in Fiji on Hilton points. You might also look into SPG/Marriott as they have a large combined footprint and their loyalty programs are more rewarding than IHG.

    Hope that helps and let us know if you need more info.
     
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  3. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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  4. TTGLOBE4l

    TTGLOBE4l New Member

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    My two preferred cards are without a doubt the BA Premium credit card and AMEX Gold. I do not recommend the BA blue card as the companion voucher is incredibly hard t use given it is only valid for 12 months
     
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