Maximizing travel rewards

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
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TheSwarm
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Maximizing travel rewards

Postby TheSwarm » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:25 pm

I normally fly united, but I haven't started their frequent flyer program. If I accrue UR points with chase and want to get the maximum value out of them how would I do this? I'm assuming there are certain time with certain deals. If for instance I plan a summer vacation 6 months in advance what do I look for to get the best deal assuming I'm flexible on the dates.

I've heard southwest has "wanna get away" which of something special? Do I look for something similar on united?

Or is it usually best just to take the 20% discount with UR points on the UR website?


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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:17 pm

You need a CSP to get the 20% discount, for one thing. I'm not sure if you've gotten one. If you're like me and don't have one, you'd pay the full price of the ticket on the basis of 1 point = 1 cent, and you can pay with points, cash, or a mix of the two. I've just used travelocity because I'm familiar with it. You may get some extra small bonus for booking travel through the Chase UR site. I'm not sure what it is, but I expect it is much less than 20% off.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
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Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:31 am

Ok. Assuming I get a CSP and have the option to transfer 1:1 or use them on the UR site.

Is it always better to transfer them and get better value than 20% discount?

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:54 am

TheSwarm wrote:If I accrue UR points with chase and want to get the maximum value out of them how would I do this? I'm assuming there are certain time with certain deals. If for instance I plan a summer vacation 6 months in advance what do I look for to get the best deal assuming I'm flexible on the dates.

Not sure what you mean. You really can't plan accruing UR points aside from looking at your spend categories and picking up UR cards that match your major spend categories. There are opportunities to earn bonus points through the UR shopping portal as well but you really can't plan those as offers come and go.

On the redemption side it's just a matter of looking at the airline's FF program redemption and seeing what's available. Generally speaking you'd probably need to have points in hand well in advance.

TheSwarm wrote:Is it always better to transfer them and get better value than 20% discount?

Usually but there are specific situations where the 20% may be better value.

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:52 am

Takeshi,

I'm sorry that I was unclear, but I am only concerned with the redemption portion of the UR points.For example, sometimes I hear stories of people using 30,000 miles for a ticket that would normally cost $600 or something similar. In order to make the most of them in this sense, what do I usually look for? Do they have specials running that make miles worth more at some times or on certain flights?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:07 am

FF programs vary so widely in their structure that it is best to first figure out what trips you are likely to make and which airlines you are therefore likely to fly. Then research the FF particulars with those airlines. When I did that, I found Amex MR transfer partners were unlikely to work for me so my rewards are now targeted towards cash. You can get a good idea of what works for you by looking up 'dummy' flights on travel websites.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when



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