Contributors to this thread:
Airfare choices/credit cards
After many years with a Cabelas Black card, I think that I am about ready to consider a new credit card (I only ever have one). Thinking about a credit card that will give me a good deal so my charges can be put towards airfare. While Alaska Air had a decent deal about a year ago, I am specifically focusing on longer flights......probably Africa first, Australia second. Does anyone know of an airline that flies to both continents, which offers a credit card where purchases can result in free miles, to reduce the cost of airfare. I know that Delta flies to Africa....do they fly "down under" as well? Do they offer a credit card?
Amazon offers cash back which you can use to purchase the flight. Around 5% on Amazon purchases, 2 or 3% on fuel and groceries, and 1% on all the rest.......might want to check those numbers to be sure, but it is somewhere around those.
With my Alaska Airlines miles, Emma Lee and I flew to Africa last year. First Class, on Emirates. The most decadent flying experience in the world! Alaska Airlines' (Bank of America) Visa card is a pretty good deal. A lot of useful partner airlines. I've used miles to fly to Australia and NZ as well. I have TWO Alaska Visa cards; Em has TWO. Thus we get 4 companion fares (@$100) as well.
One of the Citi cards pays you 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay the card. You may do better with a card like that and spend the rewards where you decide vs a dedicated travel rewards card.
Good stuff, guys!! Thanks....
I utilize 2 cards. Delta Amex and Capital One. I get miles on Amex and money payback on the other that can be used on air flights.
Outside of the US an AMEX card is not worth a crap. Their merchant fees are too high and businesses will not use them. I have found this to be true in Africa and Europe. VISA and MC are the cards that are readily accepted outside of the US. My Capital One does not charge fees for foreign charges and that can also save money.
Just my $.02 (no pun intended).
I also travel outside of US with both VISA and MC as card machines are not always reliable and maximum daily charge amounts on cards can sometimes leave you short on purchase totals.
I've had a Delta AMEX since 2006 and have taken business and first class flights to Africa, Australia, Caribbean three times for my wife and I, Ecuador for my wife and I. That's a lot of money saved. That said I charge nearly everything I can on it but as referenced above you need to have a Visa or MasterCard since many vendors don't take AMEX.
I started with the Capital One card a year or so ago. I've been charging as much as I can on it. It was the best rated card at the time for airline miles, that can be used on ANY airline. Right now, I have enough to cover one of our tickets to Namibia next year, about $1400 dollars worth I think. Doubt I'd ever spend enough on it to get an upgrade to first class though.
I have a cap one we use overseas for the good exchange rate... but you dont get the big promo rate up front from airlines like Alaska ( my primary personal card) which is getting me free flights to AK this yr and has some good partnerships as mentioned. For my biz card i do chase cash back.
About fifteen or twenty years ago, I got a cap one business card because of the airfare benefits with any airline. My last trips to OZ, Africa and Alaska were free. I do spend thousands a month on it, so points add up fast. Usually keep over a million miles on the rewards segment.
Look at the Delta reserve card. I carry it and it pays off if you put a significant amount of money through it. $60,000 per year.
PM me if you would like to discuss in detail.
I have the capital one spark business card. It pays 2% on ALL purchases. Since I charge about $30,000/month thru my business, that means I get $600/month back
Capital One Venture card is all I use. You can fly any airline at any time. You can use it for any form of travel expense... so hotels and rental cars count.
I just liked the simplicity of it... points add up and can do anything with them.
After years with a MasterCard.... I couldn't take it anymore. Felt like they fought me every time I tried to use my points
If Africa is your first planned trip, few would argue that the very best flight to Africa is on Delta with its non-stop flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. All other airlines require a fueling stop that is somewhere out of the way and add anywhere from quite a few to a great number of hours to an already very long flight. The very best way to earn a lot of Delta miles quickly is through an introductory credit card offer. I believe AMEX is the only card that earns Delta miles. The best sign-up offer currently available to the public is for 35,000 miles (AMEX Delta Skymiles Platinum Card), but I can refer friends to that card and they can receive 70,000 miles instead of 35,000. The deal requires you to have fairly good credit to qualify, and you must spend $4,000 on the card over the next four months. Most everyone spends at least $1,000/mo on things that can be purchased with a credit card, so that shouldn't be a problem. The annual fee will be $195, but you will also receive a $100 statement credit if you purchase anything from Delta within 4 months, which will counteract half the fee. This year, there were a lot of Delta flights available for 80,000 miles round trip to South Africa, so after spending the $4,000 you would have 74,000 miles and practically have enough! Spend $6,000 more before you want to buy the airfare and you should have enough for many of the flights offered (planning ahead is the key to getting lower mile flights, as you would expect). Even if you don't spend anything on Delta to get the statement credit (which is easy to do, you can even buy a gift card online I believe), paying the $195 fee for an airline ticket to Africa is a pretty damn good deal! If you're interested, PM me your email address. I have to request AMEX to send you a link for the offer (it will come straight from AMEX and not from me, but will have my name mentioned). You MUST apply for the card before July 26, so if you are interested PM me as soon as possible so I can request that they send you the link. You can look at all the terms when they send it to you and decide if it is right for you. Marvin
Delta, Dulles to Johannesburg $906 round trip
I use Chase Visa(Chase Rewards) and it can be used for any airline, hotel, rental car, etc......I can go online and have my flight, hotel or rental car booked in a matter of minutes if necessary. I have been using it for years and I have never had an issue. There may be better ones out there, but as easy as things have been with Chase I am not looking to change.
I'm a big fan of Chase Rewards too, but they aren't always the best option. It's nice to have another option to see which is the better value each time you book something. For example, while checking African flights this year, it took in excess of 50% more Chase points to book the same Delta flight as it would take if using Delta points. Some years, that's not the case. If you have to spend the same dollar to earn the same point, why not check a few options each time you plan a trip, then book using the fewest of your hard-earned points possible, to save those points for another time when they purchase more value? I also don't see anything wrong with holding more than one credit card at a time. There are often great reasons to have more than one, since on a trip one could be corrupted or receive a fraudulent transaction, then you are stuck with nothing if you only have the one. I also apply for different family member's hunts with different cards (such as in AZ), therefore I know exactly who was drawn when the credit card is hit and don't have to wait for 10 days for G&F to load the results.
StickFlicker: There is a direct flight to Joburg from New York JFK without any stops on South African Airlines. FYI
Good info flicker.....I just haven't researched it that much. We have a fairly large company and probably 25 cards in the field buying fuel and misc supplies. I normally have enough points banked for most any trip. If I only had one card I'd look more into it.
Bowbender, SAA is a cattle car. 2 round trip bad experiences. Will never do again.
Alaska airlines Just ended the code share with Delta so it's harder to use their miles now.
In some cases with Alaska Airlines it's cheaper to buy miles and use them for a ticket than it is to buy a ticket. It doesn't always work out, but for many of the "in state" flights within AK it sure does.
Safari: I agree with your statement. The sad thing is that just about every carrier has gone to hell in a handbag. Not much good to say about any of the airlines anymore both domestic and international. The whole thing makes me want to SCREAM !
Medicineman I did the same thing and stopped using the Cabela's for most part and just go 100% with Capital One. I've got everything I'll ever need from Cabela's anyway. Capital One just paid for my son and daughter to fly with me to Orlando next week and that's way better than a new Sitka coat or socks.
I got a BA card years ago, before DAL did their non-stop to JO-burg, tried to use some points for the family...what a hassle. BA is associated with AA, so can use them domestically, after dealing with those morons, I'm cancelling my card and NEVER doing airline miles again.!! Blackout dates, can't do this, can't do that...friggin scam..much better to get cash back and pay for a ticket, IME..
Although the DAL card deal from Marv sounds tempting..( there I go again...)
Dang...If they (Ak airlines) ended their share with Delta, it will be REALLY hard for me to use my remaining miles, unless I'm willing to drive 6 hours.