I love credit cards so much! v2.0 (see first page for add'l details)

trstno1

Never look back darling. It detracts from the now.
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Can anyone offer advice or point me to a good resource to learn about booking flights to the UK using AA miles? A friend of mine just lost his wife after a prolonged illness. She is from the UK and they have many friends and family there. My friend would like to take their two middle-school-aged kids to the UK over winter break (~12/21 - 1/4) for a second memorial, and I've decided to use my AA miles for his trip. Of course, this is a short lead time and an expensive time to travel, and I have not done any research regarding the pros and pitfalls of using AA miles to travel to the UK. They would be flying from Des Moines (DSM) to Manchester (MAN) or possibly to LHR and catching a train. I've got 190K AA miles in my account, and my wife has 90K miles. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

hsmamato2

<font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
Joined
Mar 28, 2005
We waited 3 years between kids because DD was ~20 months before I could even contemplate another baby. For a while I thought we were one and done!
ha! we waited 5 YEARS between babies b/c of #1 (whom we love very much!) :rotfl2: and in spite of that we still traveled with the little monster angel:littleangel: I figured it was either stay home with a high needs baby,or go out and do what I wanted with my high needs baby..... either way I wasn't getting any sleep anyway!:rotfl::crazy::love:
 
  • hsmamato2

    <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2005
    You are a far braver soul than I am to drive in Manhattan. I won’t even cross the GW bridge; I do the Tappan Zee/ Mario Cuomo workaround if I have to travel out that way.

    Will be doing another mother/daughter nyc trip myself this weekend. We are not sure if we will have the energy for a show Saturday night because we are doing the Hard Hat Tour of Ellis Island in the afternoon, but Mean Girls does sound great.We are booked at the Holiday Inn Express Times Square (with points, of course.)
    I drove into/out of NYC exactly once. and got lost,and it was awful. Now I take the train in,and walk or whatever for everything else. never again!
     
  • *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    Can anyone offer advice or point me to a good resource to learn about booking flights to the UK using AA miles? A friend of mine just lost his wife after a prolonged illness. She is from the UK and they have many friends and family there. My friend would like to take their two middle-school-aged kids to the UK over winter break (~12/21 - 1/4) for a second memorial, and I've decided to use my AA miles for his trip. Of course, this is a short lead time and an expensive time to travel, and I have not done any research regarding the pros and pitfalls of using AA miles to travel to the UK. They would be flying from Des Moines (DSM) to Manchester (MAN) or possibly to LHR and catching a train. I've got 190K AA miles in my account, and my wife has 90K miles. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    So sorry for your friend's loss. How generous of you to offer your AA miles to fly him and his children home for the holidays. I did a quick check on AA for your dates (Des Moines to London) and found the following:


    Miles Required Per Passenger:130,000 x 3
    Total Award Miles Required:390,000

    It may be cheaper to use Avios to book the flights, but I'm not certain you'd have enough points to do it that way either (best way to check would be to login to BA website).

    Maybe suggest they fly to London on their winter break when less people will be traveling?
     

    hsmamato2

    <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2005
    For those wondering if we're experiencing a slow-down in activity here on the thread... The r/churning daily discussion thread is discussing the same issue today.

    Duff, A moderator over there shared this:
    In the last year, we haven't had much positive news to comment on - no new earth-shattering card introductions, no major program mergers, stuff like that. What has been newsworthy is all negative - 1099s for referrals (which mostly only affects vets), Amex self-refer clawbacks, Serve shutdown, etc. Without new things to comment on, it's all just generally variations on the same questions like "If my P2 is an AU on my CSP can they get a CSP bonus for themselves?". Less novel content leads to fewer contents. And people are more likely to downvote because we have much better search tools now than we did a couple years ago - if you can't use the tools provided here, how good at this hobby are you going to be? And searching eliminates questions because people found their answer by searching.

    Churning is definitely in a lull right now. We're in an era of simple strategies for those still playing the game. We are over 3 years removed from the introduction of the CSR and 2 1/2+ years since the 100k bonus went away. This was a major "needle mover" for churning. It attracted many new people to the game. I'd venture to guess that since that time we have seen more people fall away from this hobby than join it. Reasons for why I'd think that:
    • Concern over credit score and myths that churning hurts it: It was nice to earn a few bonuses but being a "real churner" is scary to many people
    • Fees and Interest: We all assume nobody is paying any fees or interest in the game but the truth of the matter is that some people are not paying their cards off in full every month. It's possible that there are even some among our group here that are incurring these "costs of the game" and just masking it to play along.
    • Lack of Organization: Churning typically requires a high degree of organization. You have to keep track of when you signed up for cards, the MSR, did the bonus post, multiple payment dates, etc. It would be interesting to know the average shelf life of a churner. They always say the average career of an NFL player is less than 3 years. I wonder if the same might be true of churners?
    • Scarcity of Opportunity: going along with my last bullet point, I also wonder if people hit 5/24, run into an Amex popup or 2 and just start to think this isn't worth the hassle anymore.
    • Perhaps one more reason is what Duff spoke to: a generally negative news cycle. Perhaps the plethora of bad news events has just resonated with people and they just don’t find churning to be worth it any more with so many rules and issues.
    So a fun discussion topic for US here today: Do you think CC Churning is in a lull? Do you agree with my reasons? Do you have any other reasons? And why are YOU still here and any other thoughts?

    EDIT: Should I take the lack of responses to this in the first 20 minutes as an indication that our thread is dying too? 🤣 🤣 🤣
    EDIT2: I've been told my discussion topic is not "fun" so I will strike that word, LOL!
    well...I'm never 'here' daily,since IRL acitivities usually preclude that....I'm still 'here' b/c I've been doing this stuff for 8 years (at least) now, and I find this thread (and our reddit stuff) to be the nicest place to read about things,and learn little tidbits of information. I don't know about 'lull' or not,since I've never been directly in the center of the fire,I've always hung around the cooling outer edges,and the new stuff just gives me something to think about,since I have never just jumped into the new stuff right away anyway...all this to say I'm boring,always have been.... I think the folks who 'just do it' all the time don't have new stuff to say,so that makes it quieter? and those who just showed up for the quick bonus and got bored are gone already due to any or all of the above noted factors (my biggest guess is a lot of people get drawn in my the bonus without a good plan to keep it all organized,and PIF monthly etc) IDK about you all but I still learn things all the time on these threads.....
     

    mechteach1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2019
    @mamathompson we have a 2010 Toyota Sienna that is still going strong and fits 7. Not a cool car but I love it.
    I want to buy a used Sienna! I miss my old mini van so much
    We finally got rid of our 2004 Sienna about a year and a half ago. That thing was a workhorse!

    FYI - Check your Albertsons/Safeway J4U account or app:
    (Happy Gift Card Stuff)
    I just checked, and it is available on my Randalls account as well.
    FWIW, I stopped by my Randalls on the drive in this morning, and they had variable load happy guys, up to $500. I only did $200, but the 10% worked just fine on that (plus I got a $10 off coupon for my next shop of $100 or more, which would be very useful if I shopped at Randalls for things other than GCs!)

    Can anyone offer advice or point me to a good resource to learn about booking flights to the UK using AA miles? A friend of mine just lost his wife after a prolonged illness. ...I've got 190K AA miles in my account, and my wife has 90K miles. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    I'm not an AA expert, unfortunately (I fly *A more), but I just wanted to say how amazing you are to do something like this for your friend. I did a little searching, but since that is one of the most expensive times of the year to use miles, I didn't have a lot of luck. The cheapest I could find to anywhere in the UK was 65k miles each from DSM (If they could leave on the 17th, that goes down to 30k each; or 47.5k on the 24th; but the latter involves arriving on Christmas, of course). Coming back, it's the same thing. There are some 30k returns on 1/5, but they involve 33+ hours of flying and multiple legs.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    A potential workaround for Amex Support Links for those unable to generate them currently - if anybody tries this please report back:

    Here’s the link to try:

    Here’s where it was reported on reddit and the process to attempt to replicate:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/dlgboa/_/f4qdx47
     
    Last edited:
  • smmco

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2019
    The 12 of us flew coach to Japan on JAL last October (over a year ago already!). We didn't die. Honestly I rarely fly anyway so any free flight is appreciated.

    I know my goal is ANA business next year but I understand that particular availability will be VERY hard to come by from what I've read. First class seems to be easier to get but I won't have the URs for that, so if we end up in coach... oh well. It'll still be a "free" flight!
    I've flown business and coach to Europe. Obviously business is better, but when you think about its only 10-12 hours out of your life. My typical day at work is 12.5 hours. Do they have premium economy? That might be a good option.
     

    smmco

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2019
    Can anyone offer advice or point me to a good resource to learn about booking flights to the UK using AA miles? A friend of mine just lost his wife after a prolonged illness. She is from the UK and they have many friends and family there. My friend would like to take their two middle-school-aged kids to the UK over winter break (~12/21 - 1/4) for a second memorial, and I've decided to use my AA miles for his trip. Of course, this is a short lead time and an expensive time to travel, and I have not done any research regarding the pros and pitfalls of using AA miles to travel to the UK. They would be flying from Des Moines (DSM) to Manchester (MAN) or possibly to LHR and catching a train. I've got 190K AA miles in my account, and my wife has 90K miles. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Can they get to a hub and then fly to London. We live in an AA hub and I see flights for 3Ok to London. Honestly, I think the time of year they are going is a big problem.
     

    ten6mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2012
    I've flown business and coach to Europe. Obviously business is better, but when you think about its only 10-12 hours out of your life. My typical day at work is 12.5 hours. Do they have premium economy? That might be a good option.
    I am not sure... will have to check!


    On another note... I've almost met the MSR on this (my first ever) Amex and I had my DL stay (hotel, upgrade to AP) that I used it for. Totally helped with my MSR but I hope they don't expect me to put that kind of spending on it that quickly going forward...
     

    mechteach1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2019
    Can they get to a hub and then fly to London. We live in an AA hub and I see flights for 3Ok to London. Honestly, I think the time of year they are going is a big problem.
    Great thinking! Unfortunately, I checked over that same time period from Chicago (which looks to be about a 5 hr drive, so not the end of the world), and didn't see anything much better. One 30k flight to CDG on 12/18, and that was about it. :( I agree that the timing is really rough for them.
     

    GZanta77

    (fka: uksaint)
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2018
    Can anyone offer advice or point me to a good resource to learn about booking flights to the UK using AA miles? A friend of mine just lost his wife after a prolonged illness. She is from the UK and they have many friends and family there. My friend would like to take their two middle-school-aged kids to the UK over winter break (~12/21 - 1/4) for a second memorial, and I've decided to use my AA miles for his trip. Of course, this is a short lead time and an expensive time to travel, and I have not done any research regarding the pros and pitfalls of using AA miles to travel to the UK. They would be flying from Des Moines (DSM) to Manchester (MAN) or possibly to LHR and catching a train. I've got 190K AA miles in my account, and my wife has 90K miles. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Sorry to say - but with AA having moved to Dynamic pricing, you are really going to struggle to find anything reasonable flying out the week before Christmas. I fly back to the UK quite often at that time of year and usually have reward flights booked at least 6 months out. It is possible, but unlikely that these prices will come down.

    I see nothing under 175k miles per person to MAN and 130k to london on AA. If you have any access to Delta miles - best I can see is 65k out of Chicago and via Atlanta for Dec 23 - Jan 8.

    I really admire that you are willing to give up your miles to help this family, and am sad that I cannot offer a more helpful answer. I really hope you can find a way to make something work.
     

    DisneyMandC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2015
    I am back from Ohio where DH and I had an absolutely amazing trip!! He ended up reserve champion (second place) out of 78 horses in his class!! This was a huge accomplishment for him and we were shocked and thrilled. His horse was so great and am glad that after all the drama it took to get there that it worked out great!

    In tragic news for my budget, I spent an obscene amount of money on buying stuff for DH after he did so well. In good news for CCs, I now only have about 5k left to get to 15k for my FN on Hilton Surpass lol.
     

    DisneyMandC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2015
    Barclays just called and approved me for the Jetblue Biz! Asked a couple questions about my business, but nothing too in-depth. Just how long I'd had the business, how much I earned, etc. He said his real reason for calling was because I put down my revenue from the biz as $5500 and my income as much higher. I told him I worked a full time job and that this business was my side hustle and he said he understood and figured that was the case but just needed to verify. Card should be here soon!
     

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