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Award Redemption Which One World Frequent Flyer Program should I credit to?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by milgom, May 22, 2016.

  1. milgom

    milgom Member

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    Hi,

    I'm based in Europe (France) and Asia (Malaysia). I just got a few months ago a malaysian credit card which gives me 4 miles per usd spent but which can only be used to get miles from Malayia Airline, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. I'm going to get roughly 210,000 miles per year with this based on my spending (which I'm most likely going to redeem on Singapore Airlines because I really want to try the suites).

    I also have a previous credit card from Iberia+ in spain which gave me some avios ( I have about 20k avios). I also still have roughly 8k qmiles from Qatar Airways when I stupidly credited miles to them (if I credited my next flight to them, I could get the silver tier on Qatar Airways but with their redemption program I think the miles would probably be wasted?).

    So, when I travel I could credit my miles to Cathay Pacific but I doubt I'm going to reach an higher tier with the amount of paid travel I do. I wonder if it would still make more sense to credit them to Cathay Pacific (but it seems that often enough Cathay pacific doesn't really earn that much from partner airlines) or credit them to a company where miles do not expire?

    I thought of crediting them to British Airways but it's true that the awards on British airways seem rather expansive so it might not be the best bet. Then again I could use them to one day upgrade one of the very cheap business classes they sometimes have to a first class?


    On star alliance, the choice is much easier, I credit my miles to Aegean airlines which gives me silver status (easy because I love going to greece, so the requirement to fly twice on Aegean is easy for me to do) and will give me gold next year and I'm going to redeem the miles for trips in Europe since that seems to be a sweet spot. But I can't really find such a clear cut choice between the One World Airlines.

    Sorry for the long rambling thread.
     
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  2. milgom

    milgom Member

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    No suggestion from anyone based on my situation?
     
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  3. No Name

    No Name Well-Known Member

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    @milgom

    Your question lacks some very vital information, which might be why nobody has given you a suggestion before.

    First of all what airlines do you normally fly?

    In what booking classes/cabin do you normally fly?

    How many miles/times/segments do you normally fly each year? And what kind of flights; long haul or short regional?

    And finally what is most important for when comes FF programs; award redemption's or how easy it's to get status?



    When it comes to your Iberia Avios, keep in mind that these can be combined with BA Avios. Or vice versa.
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/10/30/iberia-avios/
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/02/18/transfer-avios-british-airways-iberia/
    Since the IB and BA programs are distance based the best value for award redemption's are short haul flights, or upgrade on BA as you have already discovered
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/09/20/upgrade-british-airways-avios/
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    milgom and Jacob McCarthy like this.
  4. tconway02

    tconway02 Member

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    If, however, you are flying from Paris and KL often the best airline to sign up for would be Malaysia Airlines as they have a direct flight. But, it doesn't matter what one world carrier you sign up for as you can still recive miles from any one world airline.
     
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    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  5. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    @tconway02 did you mean that the trips could be credited to any one world carrier? Because different carriers have vastly different redemption schemes. Just take a look at BA and AA... The mileage and cash costs can be very different!
     
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  6. tconway02

    tconway02 Member

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    Thanks, wrong word I have changed it.
     
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  7. milgom

    milgom Member

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    @No Name, Thanks a lot for your answer. You're right, let me answer a bit:

    First of all what airlines do you normally fly?
    I don't necessarily have any preferences so I usually chose the cheapest airline with premium economy or business class. I usually fly from Europe to Asia round trip. I also fly once a year to New York from wherever I am at the moment (usually either from Japan or Europe)

    I used to fly Malaysia Airlines a lot (I loved their customer service) but they've stopped their A380 on the route from Paris.

    Currently it tends to be British Airways, JAL or ANA, I also can easily get asia miles with my credit card which would give me a cheap upgrade (haven't been able to take advantage of that yet but will try next time).

    In what booking classes/cabin do you normally fly?
    For long haul flights, I always try to get premium economy if available and if it costs less than 40% more than the cheapest fare. If business class is available for less than 1500 euros, I'll book that instead.

    Usually, I'll try as much as possible to change the dates until I can find something that isn't economy.

    For short haul flights (less than 4 hours), I fly economy and tend to only choose the flight based on price (but right now try to use Aegean to get status).

    How many miles/times/segments do you normally fly each year? And what kind of flights; long haul or short regional?

    Altogether I fly roughly 40-50k miles per year.
    I fly 3-4 long haul flights/year in the 10-15k range. I probably do about 4-6 short intra-europe flights per year.

    And finally what is most important for when comes FF programs; award redemption's or how easy it's to get status?

    Mostly interested in award redemption. BA does seem useful for short haul flights but for upgrades it seems that it's cheaper to just upgrade a BA flight with Asia miles.

    Status can be useful (that's why I credit to Aegean for flights with Star Aliance) but based on my flights, I don't think I'd ever get much more than Bronze with BA.


    Side note: I currently have a flight coming up that I booked with British Airways that would give me 15k miles for both me and my wife. Not sure yet where I should credit those miles


    @tconway02 I used to use and credit mostly to Malaysia Airlines but stopped flying with them because of their route change. Their redemption chart is rather weird and only really offer reasonable value when the have a sale on award redemptions.
     
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  8. milgom

    milgom Member

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    I have two trips coming up to credit miles for:
    - 15k miles in premium economy (British Airways)
    - 7.5k miles in business (JAL)

    Does anyone have any suggestion with the above information? @No Name?
     
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  9. No Name

    No Name Well-Known Member

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    Hello @milgom

    Sorry that I did not get back to you, haven't been around the forum here much lately.


    Frankly with the amount of flying you do trying to get status on more than one airline/alliance is not realistic sadly.


    Since you already have those Avios in IB, crediting to BA or Iberia might be the best for now.

    CX might be cheaper for upgrades since I have not studied Asia Miles that much I can't say for certain, but having miles spread across FF programs will not help you at all.


    For status on BA the easiest way from where you live would probably be flights with Qatar, since a return ticket Malaysia-Doha-France would earn your 560 Tier points in J, compared to 360 Tier points on BA Malaysia-LON-France.

    You would still need 4 segments on BA or IB, but these can be cheap Y short haul in EU. A return connecting flight true LON or MAD should be enough.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  10. milgom

    milgom Member

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    Thanks No Name. Good point about Qatar, somehow though they always end up having their business sales right after I paid for my ticket :) so I haven't flown business with them yet..

    I think I'll follow your advice and use BA.

    I wasn't sure about crediting to Asia miles since I can easily exchange Asia Miles with my credit card but it's impossible to get status on Marco Polo with the number of flights I do.

    At least with BA, with both flights, I'll have 250 tier points bringing me close to Bronze (not that Bronze is really useful).

    One alternative would be to credit them to Qatar since I'd be very close to getting gold in that case which would give me one one way upgrade to business from economy (but not much else beside some extra luggage on qatar). But I really don't think Qatar's frequent flyer program is very good (I still have 8k miles with them though)...

    It's so much easier to get status on Star alliance :)

    EDIT: I was mistaken and didn't read the tier points calculator from BA correctly (I thought that the points were from return flights instead of being for each way). So with both flights I get 500 tier points and would probably be silver before end of the year which would give me lounge access.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016