I don’t churn cards as much as I probably should, but it takes time/I’m a bit lazy and I only want to carry so many credit cards at once. Plus, I have a lot of points building up without a clear strategy of what to do with them. I don’t want to be one of those people who hoards points. (Or hoards anything for that matter.)
Yet I feel as if I’m dangerously close to hoarding…so there will have to be some serious planning in the next few months of how to get rid of all the points I’ve accumulated because most of them just keep losing value.
Anyway, I opened the American Airlines Citi Gold Card about a year ago to get the 30,000 mile bonus. I was a bit disappointed that when I called to cancel, that the best they could offer was no annual fee and a point bonus for lots of spending: it’s not our main card and American usually doesn’t have great first/business class saver availability on routes of interest, so putting all of our spending on that card and stockpiling more American miles just wasn’t the best strategy.
Speaking of American award availability–they do have some stellar deals, like 37.5k one way to Sydney, Australia. That is pretty fantastic (75k roundtrip, with good connections). But be it as it may, both DH and I really were hoping to fly business on the way back if we go to Australia. We both got spoiled flying back from Bangkok last year. And there almost isn’t a single business saver ticket available for pretty much most of 2016 to/from Sydney. Why, American Airlines/partners, why?
Anyway, with the American Airlines card now closed, I was looking for other options: in particular, I was considering the Chase Sapphire and the Starwood Amex, and waiting to see which bonus looked better with a reasonable spend requirement. The Starwood Amex won out, as SPG points are not only very redeemable, but of high value. I already have quite a few SPG points, so the additional 30,000 will create a nice nest egg for a few nights somewhere that we wouldn’t normally pay for (or to offset the cost of a trip). There are some truly amazing SPG properties.
Now, where to go? I have to admit that trying to coordinate miles tickets has been a bit of a thorn in my side these days. I’ve been pretty busy, and without firm dates or a firm destination, I get pretty half-hearted in my searching and planning. I know that all these websites like to proclaim “travel hacking is so easy”, and while it may not be hard, it does require a lot of time to find redemptions that are actually worthwhile, particularly if you are interested in using miles for saver business seats and upgrades rather than just a free ticket.
Not that I’m complaining, I’m very fortunate to have both the time and funds to travel, regardless of class. But, who am I joking, traveling back from Asia in business class is way better than in coach. Mainly because I can sleep (food? eh. drinks? eh. sleep on flat bed? YES).
Vietnam? Indonesia? Maldives? Hmmm….any recommendations?