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Award Redemption Best strategy for lots of short intra-Europe trips?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by CMA, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. CMA

    CMA New Member

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    Hi Lucky,

    I've been in the points and miles game for about 4 years now and for the most part I've focused on US airlines and global hotels as I'm currently based in the US. However I'm considering moving to Europe for two years and would love to take advantage of being closer to many of the locations I've always wanted to see without a) needing to plan a marathon trip or b) expensive transatlantic redemptions.

    As far as airlines go, I have a decent amount of United miles and about 80K AA miles but some of these I'll need to reserve for trips back home to see family, etc.

    I also have a medium stash of Citi TY points but wondering if flexible points are the way to go with this... or if there are any standout options for a) flexibility and/or b) cheap redemption options in intra-Europe travel that you're aware of? Avios? Something else?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    @CMA, Avios would be my go to currency and between the Chase BA card, UR, and MR they are so easy to accumulate. It would be good to have a cash back or cash equivalent card like the Barclays Arrival + (also offers chip and pin) or a large stash of UR, TY etc points that can be used as cash for those times that you can't find award availability or paid tickets are so cheap that redemption would not be a good use of points.
    No Name likes this.
  3. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Avios will be great...if your city pairs are served directly by BA/IB/AB. Otherwise you'll have to change planes which can double the cost (in Avios) of your award. I second Gaurav's suggestion to have the A+ and/or a cash back card to pay for flights on other airlines.
    No Name likes this.
  4. AlexGBBAGold

    AlexGBBAGold Member

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    Before you get to Europe, get qualified for BA gold while you are still in the states. Depending on your year end, you could get up to two years of BA gold status with a simple tier run while you are still in the states. As for short European hops, BA is quite a good value for money with cheap runs for around 9000 avios per return trip.
  5. No Name

    No Name Well-Known Member

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    Sure if you are going to a Oneworld HUB in Y, if not try 18K avios per R/T minimum. And the longer any of segments are the more avios you pay.

    There is also the small details like Britain not being in Schengen area so all flights true LON needing to enter and exit the Schengen area if going to another Schengen country. Which means often long line in passport control.

    And of course AB is a pure LCC inside Europe so only Y seating and no proper lounges even if you have BA Gold.

    And while MAD and BCN are very nice cities to visit they are not the most convenient place to connect except to the Iberian Peninsula plus the Balearic and Canary Islands.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016