Where This Site is Going

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By the end of next week, I will have valued Delta, US Airways, United, American, British Airways, and Southwest’s miles, points, credits, and Avios.

Valuations won’t stop there with in depth looks at Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue, Korean Air, and Hawaiian Airlines still to come.

I’ll also fully analyze the American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards programs.

These valuations and in-depth looks at the programs, in and of themselves, will hopefully provide great value to my readers. But I think the biggest value will be the next step. Once I’ve valued every major loyalty currency, I’ll be able to put a dollar value on every promotion, credit card sign-up bonus, and offer out there. To my knowledge, I’ll be the only place on the web doing this.

Hopefully this will allow my readers to wade through the morass of offers to focus their limited time and energy on exploiting the very best. Instead of giving equal space to every offer and lettting you figure out which are the most valuable, I’ll do the work for you.

Now is a great time to follow me on twitter @milevalue and follow me on an RSS feed.

Do you have any preference for the order in which I tackle programs?

Any other suggestions?


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13 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t have a preference as to order, but wanted to say thanks for all you have been writing! I read through your entire 30 day series last night. One thing I wanted to ask/comment on was your discussion on leveraging your spending dollars for clearing bonuses vs specific card promotion bonuses. I am curious as to how long you have been doing app-o-ramas? I am just starting to get into credit card bonuses, but have been very conservative with it, only grabbing the largest promotions. I understand your methodology but have been following posts on flyertalk about people having credit lines closed, and points clawed back as a result of being too aggressive. You approach of only using the cards to hit the spend requirment then setting them aside, calling in to get a retention bonus then canceling in the next few months before the fee is very aggressive, and does nothing to build a relationship with the issuing banks. What are your thoughts on the long term (2-3 years) viability of collecting miles like this?

    Some examples of this discussion are here

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milesbuzz/1338617-nervous-about-high-ultimate-rewards-balance-5.html

    • That’s a good question. I don’t think anyone knows the answer.

      I think for practical reasons it’s unusual that I just meet the exact minimum spend with a Chase card. I often have extra spending that I’m doing above my bonus clearing spending and that spending usually goes on my Sapphire Preferred.

      Chase seems to be the big villain in the account closures, so maybe temper your behavior a bit with them. You want to stay on their good side since they have most of the best cards.

      Also Chase rarely if ever offers a retention bonus, so they don’t get exploited that way.

      Overall, I would say to maximize miles as suggested with the banks that don’t seem to mind and tiptoe a bit more with Chase.

  2. I’m just another reader who wants to thank you for your quantitative approach to breaking down award miles. I look forward to your future posts!

    As someone who flies out of ATL, I’d love an analysis of Delta Skymiles…but I think I know how that analysis would turn out. 🙂

  3. Another ATL flyer here. Unfortunatley Delta doesn’t seem to offer much value. I have grabbed a stash of Southwest and a stash of Avios. The Avios are of limited value flying out of Atlanta. It will open up a few carribean routes i am interested in but the best value will be to hold onto it and use for short hauls elsewhere in the world. Since ATL is not a big One World hub the ability to get a “free” one way via stop-overs is pretty limited.

    • You might want to look into BA’s flight from Atlanta to London. Then you could have a free oneway all the way to Hawaii. Yes fuel surcharges would be $300-$400 more than flying to Europe on AA, but there are three huge advantages of flying this route.

      1. Free oneway to Hawaii
      2. BA’s business class is flat beds, while AA’s is angled. This alone is worth a few hundred dollars in my opinion.
      3. Direct to/from Europe. Direct flights are awesome, and you don’t have to deal with customs at JFK then fly to ATL. It’s nice to do customs at your home airport especially if you have Global Entry.

  4. the taxes and fuel charges make me want to puke when i think about it. As a sample RT I get the following

    100000 Avios + $ 1,102.93
    90000 Avios + $ 1,362.93
    75000 Avios + $ 1,742.93
    60000 Avios + $ 2,132.93
    50000 Avios + $ 2,382.93

    So even if i give up all the avios I earned with my CC app I still would have to fork over $1100 for a business class ticket. with a value of 1.7 cents per point the RT would cost me $2800, which could be argued is a good value because that ticket would cost 4k and I get a free $900 OW Hawaii ticket. I would essentially be saving $2100.

    However this is a bit of an issue for me. Between my wife and I we would blow all our Avios miles, and only be able to get both of us tickets. I have 2 children also so business class redemptions are kind of out of the realm for me. On the other hand traveling with 4 I can take a few coach trips for the whole family with nowhere near the taxes and fees. Not quite as comfortable, but a much better redemption in my case as i want to travel as a family. For example I am eyeing ATL to GCM:
    16500 + ~$100 per person. for a ticket that is normally 600 or so per person. I am also looking at ATL-MIA the drive down to the Keys for 9000 + $5. normally 300 or so per. With trips like these I can take multiple trips and eek out a larger value for my points, or at least more trips. More trips for my dollar are nice.

    • I don’t mean to use the Avios to take the BA flight from ATL to LHR. I mean to consider using AAdvantage miles for the trip, to take advantage of the free oneway stopover. Example dates:

      January 16
      HNL-DFW 5:50 PM – 5:10 AM
      DFW-ATL 6:30 AM – 9:35 AM

      March 16
      ATL-LHR 9:40 PM – 9:45 AM

      20,000 AA miles and $245 in coach
      50,000 AA miles and $373 in business

      Not half bad when you consider that HNL-ATL is 17,500 or 37,500 miles on its own, and BA business class is a fully flat bed.

      • Once I get my house refinanced I will be trying to build miles in more programs. I don’t have any AA miles at this time though. That may work for me in the future.

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