FF Credit Cards or Hotel Reward Cards?

Apr 1st, 2006, 07:38 AM
  #1  
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FF Credit Cards or Hotel Reward Cards?

Thought some of you might find this article interesting:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/31/pf/g...avel/index.htm
degas is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Thanks Degas. I have read similar articles lately about airline credit cards.

After being continuously frustrated with redeeming our airline miles for reward tickets (despite planning months in advance), we just switched to the Starwood Preferred Guest Am/Ex card. I figure the worst case scenario is we just dump the miles into our existing frequent flier program. But we at least will get 5,000 extra miles for each 20,000 miles we transfer.

The one draw back is that you can't use your Am/Ex card at some places, so we still have our airline credit card as a back up.

Oh....and the internationl transaction fee is 2% with Am/Ex.
issy is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Well, "interesting" might describe that article, but silly might suit it better.

First of all it assumes that people pay fees and high interest on their airline credit cards. NOT!

Next it assumes that people use their FF miles for standard flights that could be purchased cheaply. ONLY THE ONES WHO HAVEN'T THOUGHT IT OUT.

And then it cites the age old argument that blackouts and availability make it "impossible" to use FF miles for good flights. NOT FOR THE INFORMED AND THE ONES WHO PROPERLY PLAN AHEAD.

The bottom line is that I use 90,000 miles for a $7500 ticket that I couldn't get any other way. Why would I instead use 48,000 miles for four nights in a deluxe hotel that might otherwise cost $1600? Especially when that's not a hotel I'd stay at anyway?

The article sure doesn't apply to me!
 
Apr 1st, 2006, 08:12 AM
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The article is very interesting and an item I have given alot of thought to. The NYTimes wrote a similar and more extensive article on this subject and gave different options.

The Fortune article is essentially directed toward business travellers and their options seem only of value to those who do an extensive travelling with trips of multiple and short duration to make hotel cards advantageous. Probably not the typical Fodors poster.

The Times felt that the mileage cards weren't too good a payback and that the 1% plus payback with no fee is a much better deal.

Discovery card originated this and all the other cards are playing copycat. It seems it is the biggest and fastest growing area in the credit card field.
Bigal is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 08:29 AM
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I think it depends where you live. If in a major city that you have access to the bargain flights. If you live in small town areas, you don't have the bargain flights. I make my reservations the 330 days out for both directions. I have to in order to get flights. The biggest problem is getting from my hometown of Asheville, NC to either ATL or CVG for my international flight. They use small planes and have very few FF seats.
Joan
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Apr 1st, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Joan, good point about the FF seat problem from smaller airports.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 09:08 AM
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I think it also fails to realize that people who would normally spend $1600 for four nights in a deluxe resort facility, would also be flying first or business class. No? To try to indicate that that same person would have been using airline miles to book a coach seat that could easily be bought at a bargain, makes it sound like the whole thing is about "inexperienced" or "unknowledgeable" travelers.
 
Apr 1st, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Neopolitan, you are super smart and know everything about travel, so this article is way below you and does not apply. But please don't begrudge us common folks a few meager info tidbits.
degas is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Neo-
No, I don't agree that if you would pay $400 a night at a hotel, you would fly business or first.

I am INFORMED AND PROPERLY PLAN AHEAD, usally trying to book 8-11 months in advance, and still have a hard time redeeming tickets. If we fly business or first, it's much easier to redeem miles. But when you are a family of four, it doesn't make sense to spend 360,000 miles to go to Europe. Better for us to buy a cheaper fair, dump the Am/Ex miles into that particular airlines frequent flier program then perhaps upgrade or just use 48,000 points for 4 nights at a resort.

Different circumstances than you have for sure.



issy is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Degas, thanks for the link, very interesting article.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 09:31 AM
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I fully agree with you, issy, that different people have different circumstances. And with your needs, it is even likely that this report could be a good tip. But my point was that it seems to imply that our needs AREN'T different. There was no mention of people with needs and desires like mine (and I think there are a lot of us). My point was that the article was trying to indicate we all have the same needs. I'm sure sorry if my giving my personal example seemed to indicate that others needs would be the same as mine - that wasn't my intention. My intention was only to say that the article didn't apply to me or others like me!
 
Apr 1st, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Neo-



issy
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Apr 1st, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Cute. Have I just been licked, kissed, or given a raspberry? It's kind of hard to tell. LOL
 
Apr 1st, 2006, 01:01 PM
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A little smooch!

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Apr 1st, 2006, 03:22 PM
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I love the icon Issy, although I had wrongly assumed it to be a raspberry. Neopolitan, your style is very familiar. Have you ever posted under another name here or on other forums. I half-suspect from your excessive use of all caps shouting and heavy-handed sarcasm that you could be one or other of the two longer term "local experts" on tripadvisor's Paris forum who exhibit a similar impatience and rudeness in their answers. Or you could just be patash1.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 03:27 PM
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I have never posted on TripAdvisor.
 
Apr 1st, 2006, 04:00 PM
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Thanks, P, you answered my question.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 11:34 PM
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You are most welcome, faux.
 
Apr 2nd, 2006, 08:55 AM
  #19  
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I'm looking hard at switching to the Starwood Preferred Guest Am/Ex card.

Anybody out there have it or looking to get one?
degas is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Degas-

Look at this article from Conde Nast:
http://tinyurl.com/h9p8p

We just recently switched to the Starwood Am/Ex. Since most of our miles are accrued via credit card charges, as opposed to actual flight miles/segments, this card seems like a no brainer. At the very least, we can transfer our points/miles to our existing frequent flier program. But we get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 miles we transfer in.

Here's a thread that may be of interest to you, too: http://tinyurl.com/n7qk8

Good luck
issy is offline  

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