Best travel experience you've gotten for free/low price

For those of you who travel a lot what's the best experience you have had on a flight booked with credit card points and with what airline did you use? Also, with and what credit card did you use to get those points?

I want to go to Japan one day and say up my points so that I'm able to get a first class experience for almost no extra cost.

I'd like to apply Amex Gold card one day and get that welcome owner but they don't have the special offer right now.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >I want to go to Japan one day and say up my points so that I'm able to get a first class experience for almost no extra cost.
    Unless you are running a legit business with employees or do literally all your living expenses on such card, good luck getting that anytime soon. COVID really fricked with CC rewards for many things especially travel.

    >credit card points and with what airline did you use? Also, with and what credit card did you use to get those points?
    Any basic rewards one that has low or no annual fee's, for most CC's that promise big milages are a bust outside the initial sign up. Especially post covid many aren't worth it, don't cash in your points for a flight keep your status and enjoy free or cheap upgrades.

    Often you're better off just doing some extra planning on going through your bills and looking at options to reduce your average monthly expenses then trying to use your CC for all things. Keep in mind many companies have raised the fee's for using credit cards on things like rent, utilities, auto insurance, etc; compared to just direct bank account usage.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Fortunately I have card the BILT mastercard which doesn't have a processing fee when you pay rent and lets you get points on rent.

      I have a trip in Vegas in July but after that I plan on cutting back on spending and just saving until the end of the year, then applying for the Amex Gold if they have the 90,000 point offer

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Best experience I have personally had was first class on Singapore quite a few years ago; it wasn’t free, but it was a complimentary upgrade on a ticket my job was paying for.

    I hate to rain on parades, but I largely agree with the glass-half-empty post above about the limited value of card points. Free stuff only really starts to rain when you have high status with an airline/alliance, and in practical terms that usually means getting sent on a lot of long-hauls that an employer is paying for.

    If you want to get an affiliated card, pick one associated with your nearest hub airline, and go out of your way to fly with them as close to exclusively as you can, along with using the card as much as you can painlessly afford.

    High-end Amex cards seem to be the most generous across airlines/without specific affiliation, but the good ones can have high fees, and Amex acceptability, while a lot better than it used to be, is still a bit lower worldwide than Visa or Master products. And again, you have to put a ton on there to get anything good out of it.

    Issuing bankwise, I have friends who speak highly of Chase and Charles Schwab. My most used cards are from UBS, which is not at all generous with rewards, but has negligible fees for international transactions.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >dad signs me up for United card when I still lived in LA
      >moved to Vegas a year after
      >most of my flights home now are with southwest because >flying into LAX
      should I get a capital one venture or Amex gold/platinum to cover everything else? my current card has a massive dropoff in purchasing power when using points on everything except flights

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        You can get a Southwest card, it's a pretty good deal as far as rewards if you fly on southwest a lot.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >should I get a capital one venture or Amex gold/platinum to cover everything else?
        Sort of your call. I had one of the Amex black cards for a couple of years, and enjoyed a lot of smaller perks (used it for quite a lot of lounge access when flying coach, got a handful of free flights and hotel nights out of it, once got my wife a free pair of comically overpriced sunglasses, etc.). But I left the country and didn’t use it often enough, so they eventually bumped me back down to Platinum when it expired. I still have it, but I barely use it, so I don’t get much of anything out of it anymore. But being as much of a high roller on a platinum (or I guess also gold?) version as you can afford should throw you some decent crumbs.

        I don’t know anything about Capital One except that they used to have ads featuring rampaging Vikings.

        Regarding your United card, if you don’t currently have any status with them, it might be worth overpaying for UA flights home (or to other locations) for a few years if it could get you there. I have always found airline status more beneficial than card points to my overall enjoyment of travel, although the benefits have gotten a lot stingier and more expensive over the past decade. I was only able to maintain it to the point where it felt nice for a few years, when I was a frequent business traveler. Takes some real effort and cash to do it on your own dime.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          > don’t know anything about Capital One except that they used to have ads featuring rampaging Vikings.
          You unlocked an old memory thanks anon

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Fortunately I have a Charles Schwab debit card, it's honeslty a fricking blessing never having to pay ATM fees ever again and being able to invest in one account. I'm not sure if I would get the Charles Schwab Amex Platinum just because $695 is so expensive for someone who only travels twice a year.

      Right now I have an Discover card, Amazon Prime Visa card (which I just used my points for an economy flight) and the BILT Mastercard, but I would love to get the Amex Gold and Capitol One Venture X once I make more money and end my CC rotation with that.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Thanks anon, I'll also look into the Charles Schwab™ collection.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    You gotta rotate cards based on intro offers. I got the AA card and got 60,000 points just using it on my regular bills ($4,000 in 3 months or something?). Redeemed it for a free flight round trip to Colombia, so like an $800 value I'm guessing, with points leftover for a free domestic flight. Without the intro offers, it's not really worth it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      A lot of companies will often look to see if you are a previous customer though. They are getting quite smart about this as well as reducing the usefulness of their flights.

      Status for being a long term or 'have enough points' vastly outweighs redeeming said sign up offers IMO. Getting free bumps in class booked, free checked backs/carry-on's as they are clamping down on this shit, priority at the lines for international flights, and free flight changes vastly outweighs the game of card hopping.

      I often book economy only during check out to be pushed straight to business most the time.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >A lot of companies will often look to see if you are a previous customer though. They are getting quite smart about this as well as reducing the usefulness of their flights.
        Anti-churning rules have gotten tougher, but with the notable exception of Amex, are generally publicly known and easy to work around. It is still no problem to earn hundreds of thousands of points a year on normal spending through sign-up bonuses on an ordinary income. Well enough for multiple international flights per year at low to no cost aside from the annual fees.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        How do you go about getting upgraded? I have around 150k miles on Delta gold Amex and this never happens to me.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I'm envious of all the credit card perks Americans have access to. As a European our credit card perk options are much more limited. No cards give us hotel night credits or free miles.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Credit in America is a scam. You end up spending more than you ever plan on spending because you think you are getting a deal. Be glad you live in Europe where you can fly anywhere on the continent no more than $100

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >You end up spending more than you ever plan on spending because you think you are getting a deal.
        Don't confuse your financial illiteracy for mine.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >envious of fat debt slaves whole sole perk is to consoooooom even more so they can get cheap plane tickets to go to yet another place and consooooom

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    150,000 Amex MR points to ANA will get you round-trip first class to Japan. Get the Gold AND the Platinum. You can do it. I believe in you champ.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I've never used points for flights, only hotels stays as I find more value staying at a nicer hotel. I used to churn credit card sign up bonuses like mad but recently I haven't been spending much to justify knocking out the mandatory spend. I think I'll look into the Venture X later this year whenever I feel like replacing my fence line.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I suggest you don't use the points. They frick with you if you try to scam them. I never use points or buy anything that's on sale. There isn't anything free here unless they've fricked with it. It's true, there's seriously nothing free. We're in hell.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Frick off with your freemason shit.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    ANA first class booked through Virgin with a 30% transfer bonus was the goat. Lufthansa first class when you originate in Germany is still great. Last redemption was round trip J on Air France with a 25% bonus in their new cabin was is stellar.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >what's the best experience you have had on a flight
    The French girl sitting next to me giving me a hand job. Transatlantic flight, nighttime. We've never met before or since. Fun times.

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Having the points is one thing. Having actual availability is a lot harder. The airlines I have experience with, trying to book a premium ticket with points is difficult as the availability of award flights is low in general. First class tickets don't often show up for award availability until just a few days before. You need to be flexible on your travel dates to have a decent chance.

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Venture X was definitely worth it tbh. $750 credit for spending 4k (you can put your yearly taxes on it and drop your withholding to zero for example AND make a small amount of miles back since its %2 and the American tax payment is only a 1.68% fee). You end up paying $395 immediately so that cuts into the benefits of the $750 though. Also I find the portal online to be kinda garbage, or overpriced at times for hotels. Works well for flights though and able to grab up the cheap ones aside from certain airlines like Cebu which for some reasond doesn't show. If you keep it open a year you pay another $395.. but get a $300 credit or flights so it pays out. Lounge access is also incredible so you can eat when you can actually taste food before you get onto the plane.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah I'm in the first year of ownership of a Venture X, zero complaints. I like that it's part of the Visa Infinite tier of perks too. No brainer for anyone on this board tbqh, doubly so if you have a Capital One lounge at your home airport. Well, actually that is my one complaint, wish they had more of their lounges. I think they're up to like, four?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I will try out the Dulles airport one in June. But you also have partner access to most lounges in the world if you make an account.

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