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Trying to get to Asia via credit card points & marriott package

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Super Contributor

Re: Trying to get to Asia via credit card points & marriott package


@mongstradamus wrote:

@red259 wrote:

Anyone use aeroplan, united or SQ to redeem on NH. Aeroplan and SQ will take my Amex MRs and I am trying to book a one way SE Asia to NYC. I was all excited because I found availibility and was going to use virgin atlantic due to the amex transfer bonus, but I forgot that had to be a roundtrip and there was no availbility. I'm looking to avoid fuel surcharges and I am not sure which program does what. I think United would require Chase URs so I'd like to avoid going that route if possible. 


I have never tried redeeming on NH before but when i checked ealier int he year with United there wasn't much availbility for J, btw have you ever thought of using Virgin atlantic fo fly NH I heard thats a popular option it didn't quite work out for me but maybe you can look at that option as well. 


Yes I did look at virgin atlantic with NH. The problem is it has to be a roundtrip. You can not book one way and I could not get a flight out there. I also forget if the allow a layover in Tokyo or not. Right now my game plan is as follows: I booked JAL first class NYC-Tokyo. Spend 3 dyas in Tokyo then catch a J seat on JAL to Hanoi (part of same award). Then I will go wherever I end up going in SE Asia, but I think I will work my way down to Singapore.   

 

The reason I am going to end in Singapore is as follows. I can not redeem on NH with virgin atlantic because it requires round trip and I had not option to get out there via ANA. However, there is a return flight that I could take. So what I did was put a bunch of Amex MRs into SQ and I am going to book a SIN-NRT-JFK  on ANA in F. I believe SIN is the only route ANA has between NRT and SE Asia where they offer F on that first segment instead of J. So that is reason one to go to SIN. Second, although I am doubtful on the off chance SQ Suites opens up for SIN-JFK I would rebook my award into that. Finally, I am hopeful that close in CX F opens up for SIN-HKG-JFK with a layover in HKG. It wouldn't be F on the first segment but I can live with that. It would be a solid redemption with Alaska miles and then I would just redeposit the SQ points into my account and save them for a future redemption. 

 

I'm not sure how I will get myself from Hanoi down to SIN, but I'm sure I will find a way to stumble down there. I want to go north to south in vietnam then hop over to Phillipines or maybe BKK and then work my way down to KUL and on to SIN. I have some citi TY points and Amex MRs left over so I was going to look at what programs they share (maybe Asiamiles) and see what options I have with intra-asia redemptions that allow layovers. That way I can cover more ground. If I can get two intra-Asia flights with layovers that will allow me to hop around pretty good and save some dough on airfare. I am not sure of what the options are yet though. 

;
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Message 21 of 25
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Valued Contributor

Re: Trying to get to Asia via credit card points & marriott package

I fly to Asia once a year on Cathay Pacific award business class ticket. When I am short miles I wait until AK Air offers a buy bonus 40-50%. I recently got my second Bof A AK visa with the bonus miles posted as soon as I met the spend requirement 


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Message 22 of 25
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Super Contributor

Re: Trying to get to Asia via credit card points & marriott package


@morgacj2004 wrote:

I fly to Asia once a year on Cathay Pacific award business class ticket. When I am short miles I wait until AK Air offers a buy bonus 40-50%. I recently got my second Bof A AK visa with the bonus miles posted as soon as I met the spend requirement 


Really? I've been told and have seen posted that I won't get the bonus miles until after the statement cut? I have already met the spend requirement and have to wait another 3 1/2 weeks for the statement to cut. Its really limiting what I can do. 

;
Starting Score: EQ: 714, TU 684
Current Score: EQ: 725 7/30/13, TU 684 6/2013, Exp 828 5/2018, Last App 8/5/17
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Message 23 of 25
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Trying to get to Asia via credit card points & marriott package


@mongstradamus wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

@mongstradamus wrote:

@red259 wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

@red259 wrote:

@mongstradamus wrote:

I think its safest to have a J class ticket that you can upgrade to F just in case. F opening up isn't always a guarantee , becuase it would suck if you weren't able to fly J or F back for such a long flight. 

 

As far as intra asia flights go you can fly low cost airlines that fly to various parts of SE asia, and also SQ has a low cost airline Silk that you can probably use to fly various parts of asia


Any idea if I can just book the intra-asia flights once I am on the ground over there and still get a good price? Would be nice to be able to pick and choose when I am going to move vs being on a set schedule the entire trip. 


Yeah.

 

The flights are so short I'd also recommend taking budget trips and pay directly; save miles for where they matter like long haul flights.  Flight + 2 nights hotel in Thailand last minute at an expensive time was something like 200 SGD off Expedia though I'd spend 300 if I had to do it again for a nicer and more convenient hotel, silly cheap in comparison to elsewhere.  

 

That said I needed to park my bags in Singapore as most of the regional carriers charge for baggage which would've upped the cost by ~20%, but if you're doing a few days at a time, hubbing out of Singapore isn't a bad choice for TH, KL, VN, etc.


Right now I see an option to fly JAL first class To BKK with a 3 night layover in Tokyo. I'd rather only two nights in Tokyo, but I may book this on my way in and skip Singapore all together. I'm probably not going to double back anywhere so I will have to take the baggage with me which is one bag and one carry on. For american standards my luugage is carry on size but I don't know how they will handle that with some of these low cost se asia carriers. So in a nutshell I think I will book NYC-Tokyo (3 nights there) then BKK. Spend like 3 or 4 nights in Bangkok and maybe a night in the surrounding area, then cheap flight to Saigon. work my way up to Hanoi then a cheap flight to Manila (or wherever is good in the phillipines and explore the Phillipines before catching a CX fliht from manila to HKG. 2 or 3 day layover in HKG and then back to NYC in CX first. Right now there is not HKG-NYC availability on my return dates but I am hoping stuff starts opening up close in and in any event I won't have the rest of the points to complete that booking until mid june. Would be flying back around 7/10 or a couple days prior. I think this plan makes sense. If things go to hell for some reason I could refund the JAL flight ($125 fee) and rebook a CX first class there and business back, but right now there is nothing available for that. 


man my memory is pretty bad I forgot if the low cost domestic carriers in thailand charged for carry on i don't think they did I know they charged for check in like how most us carriers do. Have you been to singapore before I actually like singapore but its very small and a bit on the expensive side compared to other cities in SE asia. 


Jetstar and the other budget carriers do charge for checked bags: $35 SGD for them in particular so I just tossed two change of clothes in a backpack and went.  That was an easier option for me since my return CX flight was out of Singapore anyway.

 

I'm actually strongly considering moving to Singapore I liked it that much heh, though for tourist destinations some of the surrounding countries are likely more interesting.


my opinion of singapore is a really nice place to visit but I am not sure i would want to live there, Its very expensive, and ciy is kind of fake because its an island and all also I am not really too keen on such a restirctive government. 

 

BTW i checked when i flew in thailand you are allowed one carry one that weights 15 LB I would assume anything over that weight you would get charged a fee. 


Yes, charges both for overweight carryon (and they measured it) and for checked bags in my case if I'd ran afoul of either.

 

Singapore expensive: once you get over the small living quarters compared to prices (and even then depending where you live it's no more expensive than LA or NYC or similar) everything else costs less unless for whatever reason you just have to have a car... and I'd be optimizing mine out of the equation between MRT and Uber personally.

 

Lower tax rate, stall food is half of a McDonalds Big Mac meal and way better, and unlike what others have opined or what I saw in Thailand, my income wouldn't drop measurably... but my quality of life would improve a whole lot.  That may just be LA and maybe elsewhere isn't as bad in the US for me as an individual, but I did very, very well socially in SG and that wasn't because of my expense account hotel.

 

And the government is restrictive on issues I don't really take a hard stance on (can't chew bubblegum or spit, oh noes, as two trivial examples); liked the people, liked the culture, loved the city, and I can find employment... I could make it work even at my advanced age.  Nothing really tying me here, and since my social outlook isn't fantastic anyway here, it's time to move somewhere regardless I think, and SG is an attractive option.




        
Message 24 of 25
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Super Contributor

Re: Trying to get to Asia via credit card points & marriott package

Well i agree singapore isn't any different then NYC or LA as far as cost of living is concerned. I thought most people who want to retire wanted a place with a lower cost of living.

 

As far as food goes Singapore i agree is a lot better than US when you figure in cost. I loved the food stalls in Singapore.



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