I am in FF Hell

Old Sep 30th, 2003, 10:41 AM
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I am in FF Hell

I am so confused as to what is the better FF deal.

I recently flew on Continental RT Italy = 14K miles

I live in a Northwest hub and just opened a NWA cc that earns 1 mile per $, no fee for the first year

I recently opened a MBNA cc, that earns 1 mile per $. I transfered some large balances onto this card at 0%. I have been trying to use this card to purchase everything so that I can earn miles. As it turns out, purchases are at 10%.

I plan to fly back to Europe 2 -3 more times in the next year. I see that prices seem to be lower when booking through non-U.S. agents, but these flights aren't on Continental.

I want to earn miles, but I'm not sure the best way. You cannot combine NWA & Continental miles, even though they are partners. The MBNA program allows you to pick the airline and dates that you want to fly, plus you still earn miles on that airline.

I'm so confused. What is best? Use the NWA cc for all purchases, earning about $2,000 per mo. in purchase miles? Or, use the MBNA cc the same? Or, fly only on Continental and use those miles?
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 11:32 AM
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The way I see it, you need to put all your eggs in one basket or the other. I would stick with the NWA credit card and you can earn Northwest miles flying on Continental or Delta--just give them your Northwest FF number to credit your account. This of course only applies to flights in the future, can't do it after you have already made the trip. I would get rid of the MBNA account. I fly a lot and have 2 frequent flyer numbers--one for American (also have a AA Citibank card and can also accrue miles flying on American's partners) and Delta (which means I can now accrue miles for flying on Continental and Northwest now as well, plus Delta's other partners and I have an American Express that gives Delta miles). I pay off my credit cards every month so never carry a balance, thus the interest rate is unimportant.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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Have you been getting your Continental flight miles credited to your NW Worldperks account or your CO Onepass account? I couldn't quite tell from your post. Do you have your miles split up between your NW and CO accounts? If so, follow RachelG's advice and pick a primary FF account to accrue mileage with. If you're already having your CO flight activity credited to your NW account, then just continue to do so since you also have the NW credit card.

I'm assuming that your MBNA card is a travel rewards card and not a mileage earning card (where the miles are deposited into and combined with your other FF account activity). I personally do not like these types of cards for the reason I just stated (not being able to combine with flight miles), so I would advise that you use your NW credit card.

The bottom line is to try to consolidate all of your activity into one account (credit card purchases, flight miles, rental car, telecommunications, etc.) for faster redemption. Also if you have all of your flight miles credited to one account, you could reach elite status with just 2-3 transatlantic flights, if you haven't already.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 07:38 PM
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Thanks for the inpute. Unfortunately, I've already credited my last flight to my One Pass account. I know that I can't mix One Pass and Wordperks miles. Perhaps I should try for a Bank One card that give miles for Continental since I already have 14k in One Pass miles and zero World Perks miles.

I screwed up the MBNA account because I thought that it was zero interest through next July and I've been using it to pay for everything that I can. Then I find out today that the purchases are at 10% and all the payments that I make go towards the balance transfers that I've made. I've only accumulated 4k miles on that card, but have a fairly large balance. I can pay off 75% of that card now. Perhaps I should just pay it off and either use the NWA card, that I've never used. Or, open a Bank One card.

I'm not sure which is better, One Pass and affiliated credit card. Or, World Perks and affiliated credit card.

I'm so confused.
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Old Oct 1st, 2003, 02:38 AM
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MizzEve,

Credit cards are a great way to accumulate extra miles, BUT, if you are carrying a month to month balance and paying interest, you are defeating the purpose. Free mileage travel is great, but if one pays interest on balance month after month, the miles become very expensive. It would be cheaper just to buy a ticket in cases like that.
I have an AAdvantage card and I do charge everything and anything I buy for the house, but I make sure the card is totally paid off every month. I have not paid 1 cent of interest on that card, so my AA miles are indeed free. If I found myself paying interest, I would get rid of the card immidiately, or at least curtail my spending to only the amount I could pay off every month.

Something to think about. Don't get caught up in mileage game where at the end it's more expensive than if you just bought the airline ticket for cash.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 09:01 AM
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MizzEve:

I'd recommend you get the Continental Visa through Chase Bank. I have had it for several years now, and am reasonably satisfied with it. AA is right, though -- if you keep a balance on your cards, I wouldn't recommend any FF-affiliated credit card, as the interest rates are often exhorbitant.

To circumvent this, you may want to get the Continental CC for purchases you KNOW you'll pay off at the end of the month, and get a low-interest, fee-free CC on which you'll keep a balance.

DON'T get the US Bank/NWA Visa. I had it, and I found US Bank to be one of the most nastiest companies towards customers that I have ever dealt with!

As others have said, I'd stick w/one FF program (in this case, I'd stick to OnePass, as I think CO is a FAR better airline than NW). You can use OnePass miles for NW flights, so you should be able to have the best of both worlds.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 03:15 PM
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You may want to go over to the forums at www.flyertalk.com specifically the CO and NW boards and read the threads related to award redemption as it sounds like that's your primary goal (free award tickets). I also agree with others who have said that the miles are not worth the interest paid if you carry a balance. In the end, it may cost you more to earn that 'free' ticket vs. if you just purchased the cheapest ticket available each time regardless of the airline.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2003, 05:44 PM
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I agree with Patty and you will find some of the more recent commentary concerning the OnePass program very revealing.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2003, 11:51 AM
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Thank you everyone. I will check out the other forum.
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