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New Contributor
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎01-03-2011
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Another "best airline miles" CC thread

Let me first appoligize for another thread on this topic. I searched, and have read through several threads on the topic, but did not get a great answer, thus this thread. 

 

I am ready to start accruing airline miles. My primary objective is using miles to upgrade to business/first class. I have no issues buying whatever entry level ticket is needed to upgrade with. I am also not tied to any airline. I live in Los Angeles, and fly out of LAX , so any airline will do. 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,528
Registered: ‎11-11-2010
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

How often do you fly? Only frequent traveler benefits from airline miles. Otherwise you should stick with cashback.

In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi Dividend (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)
New Contributor
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎01-03-2011
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

[ Edited ]

It varies, but lets assume I don't fly much, half a dozen times a year, all domestic, maybe one international trip every 2 years. I use my Citi Hilton Honors Card all the time and really like those perks/points, even though I use the hotels with the same frequency. 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎07-01-2012
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

Which airlines use LAX as a hub? 

 

What cards are you thinking about?

Staring Score:EQ 649 TU 647 EX 644
Current Score: EQ 786 TU 699 EX 746
Goal Score: 800
Wallet: SF Fire CU $5000 CL Chase Freedom 4000 CL, Chase MP $5000, WellsFargo $6000 CL, Amex Gold NPSL, Cap1 CashRewards $2500 CL, Amex BCP $12000 Discover More $1200 CSP 18000
New Contributor
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎01-03-2011
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

American, Alaska, United, Southwest - but i wouldn't really call it a hub. Its more in an international jumping point, not really a great location for a domestic hub. Continental is also big here. 

 

I haven't looked at any cards, this is really my start. My dad has used the Citi AA Advantage card for years, and speaks highly of it, but I'm assuming there are other options to consider. 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎07-01-2012
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

Sounds like it's just personal preference, who do you most often fly with?  

 

If your goal is upgrades then SW is out, they don't have business or first class.. I'm not sure about Alaska.

 

United and continental have merged, so it's between AA and UAL

 

I know Chase has a United CC, and AA might have several,  do some research to find out how many points are needed for upgrades, and what type of bonuses these cards offer for opening an account, then you'll be able to make a decision.

Staring Score:EQ 649 TU 647 EX 644
Current Score: EQ 786 TU 699 EX 746
Goal Score: 800
Wallet: SF Fire CU $5000 CL Chase Freedom 4000 CL, Chase MP $5000, WellsFargo $6000 CL, Amex Gold NPSL, Cap1 CashRewards $2500 CL, Amex BCP $12000 Discover More $1200 CSP 18000
Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎02-09-2012
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

www.boardingarea.com for all your miles maximizing info!

5/2012: 560 credit scores across the board
12/2014: 750+ scores across the board
Get those baddies removed!!!
New Contributor
Posts: 184
Registered: ‎07-08-2012
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread

I would just go with the Chase Sapphire Preffered over an airline specific card unless you want some of the added perks offered on the airline cards like free check bags & priority boarding etc. Both AA citi card & Chase's United card only gives you 1 mile per dollar on all purchases & double miles on airline purchases. With CSP you get 2.14 pts on travel which includes purchases on flights, hotels, travel websites/agencies, trains, garages, & tolls. 2.14 pts on dining & 1.07 pts on all purchases. Pts can be exchaged 1:1 with many airline frequent flier programs (& hotels) including continental & british airways. BA is part of the oneworld alliance so you can use your BA avios miles to fly American air. You get more miles with the CSP than you do with the AA cards plus you're not locked into a specific airline. Same $95 AF as the Amercian card waived for the first yr. 40,000 bonus which is higher than Citi's AA bonus. Also, if you use Chase's online shopping mall to buy your flights you get a bunch of bonus pts. Travelocity, Orbitz etc. are part of their online mall.  I could be wrong but the only advantage of the AA card over the CSP is that with the AA card you get back 10% of your reedemed miles up to 10,000 miles/yr.

Chase has another version of the  United card with a $400 AF that gives you 1.5 miles on all purchases & 2 miles on united purchases. Also both Chase United cards give you lounge access but if that's imp to you, you coukd get the Chase Ink Plus which essentially the biz card version of the CSP & comes with 2 lounge passes. However, the bonus categories are diff. Only one ot for flights.

Citi Thank You $13,200 - Chase Freedom $3,100 - AMEX Zync NPSL (init. ability $17.5K) - Citi Forward $7,000 - AMEX BCP $6,000 - USAA Rate Adv $15,000 - USAA World MC $12,000 - Discover More $4,000 - Amex Hilton Honors $4,500 - Amex SPG $2,000 - Barclay's Priceline Rewards $6,400 - Chase Sapphire Pref. $7,500

EQ: 794. TU: 704. EX: 755
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,528
Registered: ‎11-11-2010
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread


hunter399 wrote:

It varies, but lets assume I don't fly much, half a dozen times a year, all domestic, maybe one international trip every 2 years. I use my Citi Hilton Honors Card all the time and really like those perks/points, even though I use the hotels with the same frequency. 


So you stay at Hilton everytime you travel? In that case just stick with your Citi Hilton CC.

In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi Dividend (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)
Super Contributor
Posts: 6,224
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Another "best airline miles" CC thread


hunter399 wrote:

I am ready to start accruing airline miles. My primary objective is using miles to upgrade to business/first class.


It depends on how much you spend per year.

 

1.  If you spend around $30k per year, then Amex's PRG would be the best.  The MR program allows you to accrue points, then transfer them to multiple airlines.  You can wait for special deals, transfer bonuses, and search for off peak business class upgrades.

 

2.  If less spending, then the CSP is excellent, especially with the huge sign up bonus.  You can accrue enough points to use for UA, though business class upgrades and/or specials are less common with UA than other carriers.  You can always transfer your points to UA, and use them for Star Alliance member's specials.

 

3.  Citi's AA cards where you can use AA points for any One World transfer.  You can find some really nice specials during int'l offpeak on members such as Cathay.

 

Good luck!

 

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