Spring Street Workshop Recap

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Thanks for joining me this weekend!

Below are links to the key cards we discussed, along with links to tips and tutorials that came up during conversation.

A few main takeaways:

  • Always try to earn more than 1 point/$ for your normal spending
  • Big credit card bonuses can really accelerate your points earning
  • Consider the tradeoffs when deciding whether to use miles or pay cash
    • As a benchmark, if you aren’t getting at least 2¢ per point you would have been better off using a 2% cashback card
    • The best value for “traditional” miles will typically be for international premium cabins, other currencies or cashback are better for domestic economy

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, check out our Beginner’s Guide.

Park-Hyatt-Abu-Dhabi-Grounds-14Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi — a great use of Hyatt (or Chase Ultimate Rewards) points!

Why flexible points?

I like earning transferable points, because it expands your options dramatically compared to earning with a single currency. Look at all the options you could have versus earning points directly with an airline:

American Express Membership Rewards

AeroMexico Club PremierBritish Airways Executive ClubFrontier EarlyReturnsVirgin America EleVAte
Air Canada AeroplanCathay Pacific Asia MilesHawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
AirFrance/KLM Flying BlueDelta SkyMilesIberia Plus
Alitalia MilleMigliaEl Al MatmidJetBlue TrueBlue
ANA Mileage ClubEtihad GuestSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Aer Lingus Aer ClubIHG Rewards ClubSingapore KrisFlyerWorld Of Hyatt
Air France KLM Flying BlueKorean Air SkyPassSouthwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
British Airways Executive ClubMarriott RewardsUnited MileagePlus
Iberia PlusRitz-Carlton RewardsVirgin Atlantic Flying Club

Starwood Preferred Guest

AeroMexico Club PremierANA Mileage ClubEmirates SkywardsQatar Airways Privileges Club
Air Canada AeroplanAmerican Airlines AAdvantageEtihad Airways GuestSaudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
airberlin Top BonusAsiana Airlines Asiana ClubGol SmilesSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Air China CompanionBritish Airways Executive ClubHawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesThai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Air France/KLM FlyingBlueCathay Pacific Asia MilesJapan Airlines (JAL) Mileage BankUnited Mileage Plus
Air New Zealand Air PointsChina Eastern Airlines Eastern ClubKorean Air SkypassVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanChina Southern Airlines' Sky Pearl ClubLAN Airlines LANPASS KmsVirgin Australia Velocity
Alitalia MilleMigliaDelta Air Lines SkyMilesLufthansa Miles & More

Premium Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners

  • Citi Prestige® Card (This is the card with the 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge)

Air France/KLM | Flying BlueGaruda Indonesia | Frequent FlyerQantas | Frequent FlyerTurkish Airways | Miles & Smiles
Cathay Pacific | Asia MilesJet Airways | JetPrivilegeQatar Airways | Privilege ClubVirgin Atlantic | Flying Club
EVA Air | Infinity MileageLandsJetBlue | TrueBlueSingapore Airlines | KrisFlyerHilton | HHonors
Etihad | Etihad GuestMalaysia Airlines | EnrichThai Airways | Royal Orchid Plus

Try not to get overwhelmed by the options, or think “but I never fly that airline!” All these airlines have partnerships, and you might be surprised by which miles you can use on what carriers.


Cashback style cards

There are many others, of course, but here are a few I like:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®

Current offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit; Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem for travel statement credits
Annual fee: $89 annual fee waived for the first year
Foreign transaction fees: none

Card bonuses:Earn 2X miles on all purchases; Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad; Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual Fee: none
Foreign transaction fees: 3%

Card bonuses: 1% cash back when you buy. Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time. No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Current offer: Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards
Annual fee: $0
Foreign transaction fees: 3%

Card bonuses: 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; 1% cash back on all other purchases
Why it’s a good offer: The new Costco Citi cards have a great rewards structure for Costco loyalists. The bonus categories are compelling, and while it’s still not a card I’d personally use for everyday spend this is a solid option for Costco members.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Current offer: Exclusively for Costco Members: Go Big with Cash Back Rewards. Receive a reward coupon annually which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at US Costco warehouses
Annual fee: $0
Foreign transaction fees: 3%

Card bonuses: 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; 1% cash back on all other purchases
Why it’s a good offer: The new Costco Citi cards have a great rewards structure for Costco loyalists. The bonus categories are compelling, and while it’s still not a card I’d personally use for everyday spend this is a solid option for Costco members.


Big category bonuses

In addition to the points you can earn from the signup bonuses, you can earn quite a few more points by shifting your spending to the right cards.

5x points on airfare — The Platinum Card® from American Express

5x points at office supply stores and on cell phone bills — Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

4.5x points at grocery stores — The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers 3x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 of spend per year. On top of that, the card offers a 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle on the card.

3x points on gas — The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers 2x points at U.S. standalone gas stations, on up to $6,000 of spend per year. On top of that, the card offers a 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle on the card.

2x – 3x points on dining and travel — Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and  Citi Prestige® Card offer bonus points on dining and travel (beyond just airfare).


Tips & Tricks

What is a mile worth? See how to do the calculations on your own, or see our valuations.

How many miles are needed for an award ticket? It depends on the destination!

Don’t forget to leverage Shopping & Dining programs for extra points on purchases you were already going to make.

A few ideas to bolster your credit card spending.

International phone plans: Google Fi or TMobile?

Keep track of your miles with AwardWallet.

My general philosophy on redeeming miles.

When it comes time to use your miles, or if you get stuck, we’re happy to help over at PointsPros.

Thanks again, and please let me know if you have other questions! – Tiffany

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *