Contact

For press inquiries: press@milevalue.com

Do you want to hire the MileValue Award Booking Service? Go here.

Is your question related to which credit cards you should get for your next trip? You want a free credit card consultation.

Can your question be posed in 140 characters? @milevalue

Are you asking whether a certain award routing is valid with United miles? Please read this first.

Are you asking why you are getting an error on united.com? Here’s the likely answer.

For all other general questions related to miles, points, awards, hotels, airlines, status, or travel: questions@milevalue.com

To share tips and tricks (which I will keep secret if you ask), to talk business, or to contact Scott personally: scott@milevalue.com

To contact Bill personally: bill@milevalue.com

204 Responses to Contact

  1. When using Avios for AA first class on a two class plane, I believe you are charged “3x” the coach amount since they base the redemption on the name of the class of service “First” thus 3x vs. how many sections on the plane. I.E. First on a two or three class plane cost you the same, I believe, 3x coach? Man I hope I am wrong please advise . . .

    • Great catch. Unfortunately you are right. Avios seems to be charging 3x American economy class for American first class even on two-cabin planes. I’ve updated all my Avios posts to reflect this information.

    • I have friends in the UK can someone post a website that works BEST for them ..
      THANK YOU
      Jeff

      • I don’t know of such a site. I think the ability to earn miles in foreign countries is so limited as to make such sites non-existent.

  2. Hi Scott,

    As an avid and savvy miles expert w/ accounts in numerous frequent flyer programs, I thought I’d draw your attention to our tool: http://www.milez.biz

    We recently launched the site and are hoping it can be a reference tool for the many frequent flyer members out there. Some programs make it very difficult to even figure out how many points are required for award flights (e.g. the Asian programs usually involve a calculation based on distance flown) and there was no real way to compare the rates either.

    With milez.biz you can cross-compare over 50 frequent flyer programs.

    For example, to compare all the LA to Melbourne rates, click here:
    http://www.milez.biz/en/list_rates.php?f=lax&t=mel

    Best regards
    ph

    • I was going to make a chart with a similar function before I saw your site. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel though, so I’ll play around with your site, and if it’s the amazing resource it looks like it could be, then I’ll link to it here.

    • I have asked at least two persons who write about travel. Each one said they did not know although there was a bit of news on this saying that frequent flyer mile bonuses are taxable. I can get you their names and the outfits they are affiliated. My question is are frequent flyer mile bonuses taxable when received as a result of opening a credit card account? According to one report Citibank was supposedly sending a 1099 to the IRS valuing each frequent flyer mile awarded at a value of $0.25/mile. And once I heard that I said to myself it is not worth it to me to seek frequent flyer mile bonuses if I am going to have an additional $6,250 taxable income (25,000 miles x $0.25). So maybe you can answer this question for me. Are frequent flyer mile bonuses taxable?

  3. Hi. I’m a million mile reader and really enjoyed your interview and perusing your posts. How do I sign up to receive email from you when you post something new? Thanks! Sal

  4. I am trying to do your two minuet a day plus two more for interactive stuff but I only got pages of information that are too detailed off the bat. How do I zoom in on your tutor;ail on understanding the entire thing? I talked toy your mom who gave me the website. Id am very interested in all your info, as I have used my miles pretty well to go many places but certainly never flown for free inn first class. So, essentially, how do I plug in to the two minute a day for a month program?

    • The first substantive post in that series will be posted tomorrow morning Pacific Time. Check back every morning to be involved. Alternatively, along the side of the home page is a link that says Free First Class Next Month. If you click that, all posts in that series to date will be displayed.

  5. hello; i’m new to all this, am attempting to use the southwest deal. i created a rapid rewards account and am trying now to purchase something on target through the rewards portal. (i do not have a southwest credit card). will southwest credit my account if i go through their portal to target to purchase something? the cs rep said i have to use a credit card, but neither you nor the rr website indicates that.
    help!

    • I think most people (maybe everyone) who has used a shopping portal has had no problem using a non-branded card. So I think you would get the points. But I can’t guarantee it, so decide whether you want to take that risk.

  6. Wow, even though I have been traveling around the world for business for 30 years I am amazed how out of touch I have been on this world of frequent flyers and earning miles. Your site has already opened my eyes to new ways to earn miles and to make sure I am getting the best value for my miles. Thanks for your site and I look forward to visiting often.

  7. I will follow your site with great interest.
    Cheers & good luck with your site
    Gary Magill.

  8. Gary:

    How often should you cancel & reapply for the Barclay’s card? Do you get the 40K points each time? Also, I have 100K Delta miles. Do any of the FF programs trade Delta miles for their miles?

    Thanks.

    • You do not need to cancel your existing US Air Mastercard to open a new one. You should be able to get, and many people have reported getting, a new one and new bonus every 91+ days, but YMMV. I get one every other 91 day app-o-rama. You will be denied initially. Just call up the reconsideration line and give a plausible reason you want two. (“I like to keep different types of spending on different cards.”) You will then be approved if your experience follows most people’s.

  9. Fannie Schapiro

    Can you please send me a referral for the AMEX Platinum card with 50k bonus points offer? Also, I can’t find the posts describing how to get $400 in airline gift certificates with this card.
    I love your website. Thank you!

  10. Hi,
    Quick question that I didn’t see answered in the AAdvantage Stopover series (thank you for writing!) My hypothetical: I book LHR-JFK-SFO with a three-month stopover at JFK. I fly LHR-JFK, and then I want to change the date of the JFK-SFO flight. Am I allowed to do that for free?

    Thanks very much!

    • You can make changes for free even after travel has commenced as long as you don’t change the origin/destination airports and there is award space available at the mileage level you booked.

      Note that if you make a change within 21 days of departure, there is a $75 fee.

      In your hypothetical, after you fly LHR-JFK, you can still change the date of the JFK-SFO leg for free as long as you can award space.

  11. I recently got the Alaskan Airways cards , 1 for myself , 1 for my wife . I know these are churnable every 4 months or so. My question , do I cancel then reapply or just reapply again for both of us. I know to watch to see what offers are available from BOA and Alaskan , so to what the offers will be

    Is this the same procedure you`d use for Hawaiian Airlines ??

    Thanks

    • In general with churnable cards, you do not have to close the account. Of course, banks don’t want us to churn, so rules or norms can change at any time, and your mileage may vary.

  12. Free Class Next Month links are all end up to 404. The tags are working, but the full list of link list doesnt work for some reason.

  13. You just made the list. The list of websites that I will be checking everyday. All those UA RT’s wasted where I could have been getting a free one way tacked on at the end. Kudos to Mommy Points for sending me here.

    • Every time I wrote a post, I heard the haters saying, “You’ll never make the list. You can’t do it.” Looks like I proved them wrong.

      Thanks.

  14. I only carry Citibank Advantage credit cards (gold and platinum,MC,Visa and Amex)as I was trying to get elite status. Currently I had available 175,000 AA miles and 595,000 AA elite qualifying points. I need your advice: what shall be the next steps? Shall I continue using the AAdvantage citi cards or shall I also apply for hotel cards etc. I will love to reach elite status but I only travel once a year around USA (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada) and once a year to Europe

  15. I only carry Citibank AA miles as I was trying to get elite status currently I had available 175,000 miles and 595,000 elite qualifying points. I need your advice: what shall be the next steps? Shall I continue using the AAdvantage citi cards or shall I also apply for hotel cards etc. I will love to reach elite status but I only travel once a year around USA (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada) and once a year to Europe. I like used my miles for up-grade to first class after I buy the cheapest coach seat available. Right now I am a gold member but I guess only for one year.

    • I don’t recommend buying a paid ticket then using miles to upgrade. I think you’ll get better value by simply using your miles to book premium cabin awards. I think you should definitely diversify your miles’ holding by signing up for credit cards with good sign up bonuses. That way if AA doesn’t have the availability you want, you can use another type of mile. Or as you mention, hotel cards can be a good way to get free nights that cut down on your business expenses.

      • Hi Scott:

        Thanks for your reply I will follow your advice as I am real lost; know how about the best way to reach life time status?

        Dora

        • As of last December, the only way to earn lifetime status is through actual butt-in-seat (flown) miles. I think you said you had 590,000 lifetime miles, so you need 410,000 more flown miles on AA or a oneworld partner to get lifetime Gold!

  16. You might like this one. On the British Airways website, I tried for a booking using Avios from DFW to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their computer gave me: DFW to Madrid to London to Buenos Aires. This would use most of my remaining life span.

    • Yeah I have been seeing South America to Europe to North America routings on Qantas. I’m sure Avios would love you to book that since they’re now distance-based.

  17. hey, great site,
    i want to fly hkt-hkg but i want to get to spend -24 hrs in bkk i noticed that on united they offer a few variations of that stop overbut how would i be able to pick a variation of flights that are not offered together the way i want them yet they are available with different options.
    for eg they offer leaving hkt 8am together with leaving bkk at 4pm and they also offer leaving hkt at 3pm and bkk at 9pm but i want to book a one way leaving hkt 8am and bkk 9pm?
    thanks

    • Call United, and you can book it the way you want it, no problem. You will incur the $25 phone booking fee.

  18. Maybe you have a suggestion for me, before I call United.

    I found a great booking on United.com as follows and took the one-way, so I would not lose it, planning to get the return later when I could find the best routing:

    Nov 12, UA920 SFO-IAD then 3 hours later LH415 IAD-MUC then Nov 13 SA265 MUC-JNB all Business Class for 80,000 miles + $32.20 each for two people.

    I got the E-tickets, on Jun 10, 2012.

    Then, on Jun 23 I received an email from United changing my flights as follows:

    Nov 13 UA408 SFO-IAD (leaving 3 hours earlier !!!) and then on Nov 12 (a day before I get there!!!) LH419 IAD-FRA then same day LH104 FRA-MUC and finally SA265 MUC-JNB arriving the same time as the original flight.

    Obviously I have to call United, but firstly how can they expect me to get to SFO 3 hours earlier – I’d have to leave home at 3:00 am – and who wants to dreidel around Europe when I had that nice non-stop IAD-MUC? So, I looked online at the LH415 IAD-MUC and it’s still there, 5 minutes later than before, but with only Economy seats using miles.

    It looks like they wanted to steal my Business Class seats and just bumped me off for no other reason.

    What is my recourse? Can I demand they get me my original booking? This new one is unacceptable to me. I took hours finding those non-stop legs.

    • I don’t fully understand the old itinerary versus the new one. But I would certainly demand getting on the flights closest to my original times in the same class as service. If the first person and her supervisor can’t accommodate, hang up and call again.

  19. Philadelphia to dublin on aug13 returning from London on aug 21 2 passengers student and senior. Can you get me prices and I will book.

  20. Hey Mr Travel guide- these posts are so well written that I see why your blog has been such a success out the gate. I’m going to model future posts after this on my own site!

  21. Howzit from Fukuoka, Japan.
    Would love to join your HNL meet up but won’t be back in the islands until Aug 1st (thru Aug 26th). Please let me know if you plan any meetings around that time.
    Mahalos.

  22. Just found your site and I love it! I have something I need help with. I booked an award flights (for my husband and I) from my home small airport (Florence, SC which only has US service) to Rome in January using the off peak awards. I got envoy class going and economy returning for a total of 42,500 miles. I have been notified that USAIR has changed my flight and I have not yet “accepted” those changes. Since booking those flights (on our individual accounts)I have found your site and done a bit more research. I know know that the envoy class on the flight to Rome is a 767 and not as nice as some the other planes. Looking on the United site (which I have no status other than having an account), I found a return flight from FLR to ClT on Luth. My question is can I change the return to this flight because they “changed” my flight and keep the arrival flight or do I cancel and rebook or should I just wait for more award seats to open up and change then? Thanks, Coleman

    • 47,500 miles I think you mean. I would be shocked if they let you change either since you got off peak rates, which are only applicable on flight operated by US Air. But US Air agents are clueless, so trying to make the change will only cost you time (and maybe your sanity, talking to these agents.)

      • Actually it was 42,500 as I got the 5000 discount when I used my USAir mastercard! Thanks so much…I may just make the call. I really enjoyed and learned a lot from your blog…so glad I found it!

  23. Point huntress

    I am wondering if I am allowed a stopover on a one-way award redemption? I need to fly SYD-AKL stop AKL-LAX with aa mileage redemption in Qantas. Thanks for your expert advice!

  24. hey! First off just want to give you a BIG thank you for all your work on this site. It is really much appreciated and will def donate to the cause soon! I had a quick question. I have aroun 52K Membership reward points and the annual fee is about to hit on the card, i called they said i couldn’t transfer it to a no fee membership reward card, so I was just going to liquidate all the points out. Whats the best value I can get out of these points?? Any help would be much appreciated!
    thanks!

    • It depends. The best deal is either Delta, Avios, or Virgin Atlantic. Choose based on your value of the points and where you have a glut of points and where you have a dearth.

      I value Avios the most highly of the three choices, so I would transfer there. Avios are good for short haul domestic, direct flights on American. But if you want a transpacific or transatlantic flight, transfer to Delta.

      If you want hotel points, transfer to Virgin Atlantic, and then transfer to Hilton. 1:1 MR to VA, 1:2 VA to Hilton, so you’d get 100k Hilton points.

      • I was thinking Avios too.. I just applied for that BA 50K/50K offer so i thought maybe ill just add it on there. I have toooo many hilton points already i think im good for awhile on that haha.. I wish Avios points are more useful or international flights.. the taxes are such a bummer :/ Thanks for your help! much appreciated!

  25. Your Comments are “off” in your latest post about Southwest’s four cards.

  26. Just put you in my RSS feed. Already very impressed and glad I did it.

  27. Just want to thank you for all your hard work. I read all the travel blogs and I have to say, yours is the most informative, best written, and the one I trust the most. If I had to chose one, it would be yours. Thanks for all the tips!

  28. I agree with Linda. I think your blog is the best.

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on using award miles to fly from the US to Tokyo for only 12,500 one way (probably only works outbound). (I believe the trick is that it books a fare that uses Tokyo as a “layover” enroute to somewhere in the US/Canada/maybe Mexico/maybe Caribbean (maybe somewhere else).

    Thanks!

    • I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to, but if you flew LAX-LHR, then LHR-LAX then LAX-TYO on one award, that would be adding on LAX-TYO for 15,000 miles

  29. If I book ewr-cun-ewr- lax (open jaw) and after flying first two legs i want to change lax to hnl can i also do that ?

  30. I put in lga-yow-lga and then added lga-lax
    all were 25k availability but it priced at 50k. why ?

  31. yes. isnt that the structure of free add on ?

    • It is. But the distance between the two points of an open jaw (in this case LGA and LAX) can’t exceed the distance of either the outbound or the return. Your open jaw distance exceeds the distance of your outbound by a substantial margin.

  32. thanks. one more questions.. I tried to book san diego-ewr open jaw and stopover in ny then ny-mbj-ny 3 months later.. why wont THAT go through ? (united)

    • The distance between your open jaw cities is longer than the distance of one of your legs is the problem. BOS-NYC, NYC-MBJ, MBJ-NYC works fine for instance.

  33. I dont understand. bec ewr-cun-ewr (stopover)- hnl 3 months later worked fine
    so why wont sd-ewr (stopver)-ewr-mbj-ewr 3 months later work ?

  34. I am talking united in the last two posts not delta

  35. I am new to the Avios game. How do I go about seeing if there is availability on AA for flights from LAX-PLS (Turks ad Caicos ) with a stop in MIA to connect. Outbound 4/23/13 returning 4/28/13. This is a family trip/ wedding and there are specific flights that my daughter has in mind. As of now I have 50,000 Avios and a little over 100,000 MR points to use/ transfer. Coach is acceptable. I think the r/t cost from LAX s around $770 per person. I would rather se points.

  36. Hey Scott, I think your readers would appreciate more detailed information and transparency. For example, a free first class flight isn’t free because of the taxes and fees. And it might cost 35,000 miles plus taxes and fees to South America off-peak, but there’s also the visa/reciprocity fee not everyone knows about. I’m just trying to help make your blog better for everyone. Appreciate what you’re doing.

    • I agree it would be better to include all information. But I also want to strike a balance with catchiness, hence Free First Class Next Month. I mention taxes in every post about specific awards, and include a section for taxes on my calculator. As for visa fees, dozens of countries charge them, and I don’t want to research them for every post. I hope people check them on their own at travel.state.gov like I do when I travel. Thanks for the comment; I don’t want to mislead anyone, and I’ll try to do a good job informing people about everything.

  37. Hi there,
    it’s my first online reservations with united.com. my question is how easy it is to change, add, or delete a segment? can I change from one segment to 2 or more segments? how about book a one-way now and add a return later to complete a roundtrip? Can I do all these online?? Thanks very much. I love and read your blogs every single day. Fred

    • You can do all of those online usually. But they will incur fees. Do you have a specific change in mind.

      • My plan for next July 2012. My family of 4 like to travel… from LAX-PER-SYD, MEL-LAX. Is this a legel route? I used to be able to plug in 3 legs at united.com and it worked ok until up to last week. It keep telling me to check the rules. 2ndly from LAX to PER, we like to have long layover at HKG and SIN to explore the cities. Can I add the segments in later online or do I have to call? and since coming back at the end of July, the flights are not availble yet, can I book the 1st one way now and add the return when they’re availble later all online? Since on Star Alliance from PER to SYD, I have to fly Air Newzealand from PER to AKL then back to SYD. Kind of a back track, is it legal?? Thanks much. Fred

        • Backtracking is fine as is routing any way you like. BUT the total length from LAX to SYD cannot exceed 10,343 miles (MPM of 8,994 * 1.15). Route however you like (and can find space between LAX and SYD without exceeding 10,343 miles.

  38. I meant 2013.

  39. I am interested in 2 things: 1) reach elite life status with AA
    2) Maximized Marriott rewards points
    can you tell me what I shall do to achieve this 2 goals?

    • 1) AA recently changed lifetime elite qualifying, so you can only earn it with miles you fly. So the only suggestion is to fly paid AA flights.
      2) Redeem Marriott points at destinations that are mis-categorized into lower categories than they should be. I’m not the best person to ask what specific properties are mis-categorized.

  40. hey bro, i know you use amex prepaid cards with chase ink bold. I just got a chase ink plus and wondering if you know of a safe limit of how much to spend on each card. thanks man!

    • No one knows what will catch Chase’s eye. I think you should worry about the total and the percentage of your spending on the Ink card that it makes up. I would probably look to keep my totals around $1,000 and 30% maximum, but who knows whether that’s too conservative or too aggressive. Err on the side of being too conservative because you don’t want a Chase-ban.

  41. I consider myself a pretty seasoned points dude. I have no trouble finding and booking complex itineraries for myself, etc, but I still do take a lot from your blog as opposed to the “other guys.” You do a lot of fresh content–not re-hashing the best offers of the day. I particularly enjoyed your “best value” post about finding the sweet spot with certain airlines. Some of us spend so much time trying to accumulate the most miles possible, and then just trying to find O/I space to redeem with, that we really miss WHICH PROGRAM we should be redeeming through. So I commend you for your fresh take approach and hope that you’ll be able to keep it up. PLEASE don’t let your blog degenerate into one credit card offer after another.

    One suggestion if I might be so rude: it might make the homepage easier to read for first time readers (which I am as of today) if you cut off stories and made people click through for the full article (“after the jump”). It’s a good deal of scrolling on the home page right now for just a few blog posts.

    • I think I would prefer that style too. Honestly I don’t know how to implement it on wordpress. It’s probably easy, and I should look into it. Thanks for the suggestion and support.

  42. My son and his wife are planning trip to Thailand in Dec Jan. They already booked RT on low cost fare to bangkok, We have two accounts with about 29K avios miles in them that we’d like to let them use for travel within se asia if they want to go to vietnam or cambodia. would these miles help? I also have some amex miles to supplement as needed. thanks!

  43. Aloha, When setting up a 91 day churn cycle is it best to cancel current cards prior to applying for new ones or wait till approved to cancel. Was going to cancel my wifes Citi card after we meet minimum and I saw miles posted~2months in and specialist went into red flag questions asking about miles???

    • Never cancel within 6 months of opening. You should cancel about 9 to 11 months in if you don’t want to pay the annual fee.

      • I was wondering about the proper things to say and not to say when you are canceling cards. In the past I have been offered 1-5k miles for not canceling that day?
        I have a good credit, what would be a OK # of cards to have at any one time. I think I have 5 now, so when my 91 days hits and I apply for 5 more spreading the applications around to citi, chase, american express. So that means I would have aprox. 10 cards? Can you elaborate a little more on this. Just tryiing to avoid being turned down. Thanks

  44. Aloha, Just got my first 50k Avios, get another 50k in a year. Thanks for the tip. Wanted to know if you had any suggestions for a trip using those 100k Avios flyn outa either Honolulu or Kona. Never used Avios before and just looking for some ideas, wouldnt mind using it on a nice room islanding hopping or been wanting to head towards bora bora or papeete Tahita sometime.

    Also been racking up some Hawaiian miles thanks to you! aprox 100k. Any creative ideas for those? Was thinking of doing the Hilton switch,? for a nice room sometime. Also have a friend in Manhattan, was thinkn of tryn out that new route Hawaiian has nonstop from HNL to JFK. Thanks again!! Scott—Big Island

    • I think the Hawaiian miles would be awesome for HNL-JFK r/t at 35k or to get down to Tahiti (55k r/t I think). The Avios will be best used for flying American or Alaska to the west coast, namely KOA to Oakland, Seattle, San Jose, LAX, Anchorage, and Portland. That would be 25k r/t.

      I wouldn’t transfer those Hawaiian miles if you want to go to NY or Tahiti; they’re great for that.

  45. Hello Mile Value:
    I am trying to learn about US Airways stopover allowances on award tickets. My wife and I live in Philadelphia, and I was planning a trip over president’s weekend to San Francisco, and there’s plenty of availability for Saver First Class. A simple routing PHL – SFO round trip has plenty of availability. However, am I leaving flights on the table by just booking it like that? Should my return flight to Philadelphia just be a stopover with another flight booked somewhere else? I’m not really sure if I have any flights for just the two of us planned after that, but should I book at least a one-way somewhere just in case things fall in to place? Can you tell me what options are available? Should I be booking something before the first flight from Phl – SFO, or do I risk my whole itinerary being canceled if I no-show that. Thanks, and I enjoy your blog very much !!!

  46. I was wondering about the proper things to say and not to say when you are canceling cards. In the past I have been offered 1-5k miles for not canceling that day?
    I have a good credit, what would be a OK # of cards to have at any one time. I think I have 5 now, so when my 91 days hits and I apply for 5 more spreading the applications around to citi, chase, american express. So that means I would have aprox. 10 cards? Can you elaborate a little more on this. Just tryiing to avoid being turned down. Thanks

    • There is no max number of cards you can have. Issuers have a max amount of credit they’ll give you, and some have a max number of cards. In that case, you can cancel some as you get approved for new ones through reconsideration lines. In practice, you’ll max out at around 20 if you do 5 four times a year and cancel almost all after 11 months.

  47. Aloha, was wondering if you have heard anything about a new Chase offer coming in the next couple of months. I have the BA avios, also explorer card–was thinking of doing the Hyatt card but dont want to miss something good. Read on a couple of other sites that there may be something in the works. Not sure if I should wait, or possibly call in to have them split up some of the existing credit if denied. What are your thoughts.
    Thanks again for all the support. Scott –Big Island

  48. Before I jump in and do something I will regret (after you come out with a blog post two days later), I thought I’d ask if there are any Flying Blue (Air France) tricks (ala AA and UA) to get more out of my one way from CDG-LAX. I am going to toy with Delta, but the cost of the Delta r/t is 3x the AF one way, so I doubt that will pencil out. Thanks…really enjoy the blog.

  49. I am trying to book slc -> nrt, nrt -> sin, mnl -> slc as 1 stop over and 1 open jaw.
    I can do it oct but no June to July?
    I can find economy saver award if i look at it per segment
    but then when i piece it together as 1 multi city the economy saver award is not showing up

    what is up with that?

    thank you for your reply.

  50. Can you email the mistake , rather than put it in the blog ??

  51. Hi,

    thanks for the great info on the site. on this card:
    “American Express*- 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $3,000 in spending within 3 months. ”

    I’m pre-arrpoved, but my spending limit is $5k in 3 mos. you mentioned a referral, is it still available?

    thanks,
    David

  52. i want to buy 100k us miles( because of its promotion).
    i want to use these for the travel of 2 adults and 2 children(both 6 years old) from mumbai, india to manila, philipines by buisness class singapore airlines with a 3 day break in singapore. adult is 30,000 return. i think kids are half. then do i need only 90,000 us miles?

    also what are the approx taxes? can u do the booking in singapore airlines?

  53. Can I use my AA miles to book an AirBerlin flight? I can see the flight availability on BA.com and on Airberline.com but not on AA.com. Would I just have to call AA and do it on the phone?

  54. Scott,
    What are the rules or procedures on checked baggages??? Especially an itenerary involves multiple layovers. When do we have to pick up our bags and re-check in again for the next segment? And we can we check our baggage all the way to the destination? Layover time? overnight? going from one airline to different airlines? flight delays? cancellations? etc….????? Even for a 15-20 hours layover, I don’t like to carry all my luggages around all day.
    Thanks,
    Fred

    • They should check the bags through all the way for 15 hr layovers. Confirm with the airline.

      • How about from one airline to another airline? over night flights? When do we have to pickup our bags and re-check in again? My last trip to Cancun Mex. we had to pick up our baggage in Atlanta and re-check in for our domestic leg to lax.

        • You always have to pick up your bags, go through customs, and recheck when entering the USA. Ask the airline about your specific ticket. In general, you won’t have to pick up your bags if you’re flying on one ticket on one day. You will have to recheck on new tickets and when you have a day or more between flights.

  55. This is a question: Can I use a one-way AA award from Tokyo with a stopover in HNL enroute to Buffalo, NY?

  56. Scott, I see that on your Leaderboard, you value US Dividend miles at 1.95 cents/point. Why is that so high? I’ve got 152k and would love to trade them for some other currency. I’ll be at the Chicago Seminars next month. Are you making arrangements for your “followers” to meet you and have some time to possibly do some ‘bartering’? How is your award booking service going? I’m thinking of using you for an Asian trip next year.

  57. Hi! I have a question about the current AA promotion of progressively greater mileage bonuses when flying US/Canada to Europe, now through the end of January. My home airport is IAD, and my only direct flight option is BA to LHR. I can get a RT ticket in a fare class that qualifies for the mileage bonus for about $1400. I calculated that if I was to fly 4 RTs before the end of January, between the bonus and the miles I naturally earn I’d get about 180k miles. That makes the miles approximately 3.2 CPM. Is it worth it to spend about $5550 to get approximately 180k miles?

    • No, I would not spend 3.2 cents per mile. If you would get status benefits or enjoy the trips, this could be a great deal. But if you’d only be flying for the redeemable miles, it’s a bad deal at 3.2 cents each.

      • Thanks for the info! I am new to all this and I am glad I checked with an expert! Too bad I’m not a business traveler, and would get all those extra miles for free…

  58. I am new to points/miles accumulation so will probably make plenty of mistakes in the process.

    As one of my first cards, I applied for the US Airways Dividend Miles Premier World Master Card (80K points) using a link from one of the FF blogs. The application does say it’s for Chairman’s Preferred Members only – but others said it worked for them.

    Now I’ve gotten an e-mail that says I was approved for the US Airways Dividend Miles Master Card. I have no idea what/if there are any bonus points for this card. And if not do I even need to keep or go ahead and close it?

    Should I call the reconsideration line to discuss this? And how do I approach this?

    Thanks.

  59. When trying to book a united award with a free oneway to Hawaii, the availability of all flights seems to be greatly reduced.
    From you example itinerary:
    Available flights shown for IAD->MUC; ZRH->IAD is much greater than HNL->IAD; IAD->MUC; ZRH->IAD.

    The IAD->MUC leg shows 25 available flights when not using the free one way to Hawaii, but only 9 when trying to include the free one way.

    Are these missing flights available when booking over the phone?

  60. I am planning to buy a car in January using cash. Is there any way I can get frequent flyer miles buying this car?

    • Not if you buy it with cash. You can ask the dealer if you can buy it with a credit card, but he will probably charge you extra if you do, wiping out any miles benefit.

  61. Is there any way to maximize this flight with a free one way?

    IAD>KIX KIX>DPS DPS>IAD

  62. Hey Scott
    I tune in to all the major blogs, and there is a lot of chatter about the various rewards Cust. Svc. Desks. Delta horrible/laughable etc. but I miss and haven’t seen any of the bloggers address this issue head-on, especially with the most commonly used FFPs. Since you have the most penetrating, logical and informative analyses, would you like to have a go at this? It would be very informative for all of us eager listeners! Specifically: UA, US AIR, AIR CANADA, BA, DELTA AA, ALASKA AND KOREAN, and SWA. Tx
    Bob dailey

  63. First, very excited to have just utilized my first free United one-way, so thanks a ton for the free 1/2 transcon trip!

    Second, I have a ton of BA Avios and was hoping to utilize them to book a trip on Iberia for my parents and their friends (I have an Iberia Plus account open for 3 months). Can’t seem to figure out how to use Iberia points to a) acquire a ticket for someone other than the account holder and b) acquire more than two tickets (one being the account holder) at a time. Any insight?

    Thanks!

    • I’ve never booked with Iberia, but you’ve definitely found a good use for Avios. I would just call Iberia and ask these questions.

  64. I really enjoy following all the interesting info in your blog. I follow many fellow bloggers, but have never seen an article on the merits / demerits / and other aspects of travel insurance, as it relates to losing one’s miles, used for the award.

    Perhaps this topic is not important for you young guns
    - but I bet a significant %age of your readership are mature travelers, with hard earned miles.

    Miles, we dont want to lose as a result of an unfortunate, family or health problem necessitating cancellation of our award booking, either prior to the outward flight or prior to the return leg.

    Any ideas on how some of the mature ( healthy / rich ) bloggers out there handle travel insurance needs would be appreciated. No one wants to have to forfeit miles.

    Travel insurance probably, wouldn’t be involved ?? – particularly in the case of prior to the return leg.?

    Please consider this topic suggestion.

    Thanks

    • If it’s before the outbound, you can cancel for $150. If it’s before the return, I would assume you would move the return, so you could get back home sooner. This would cost $75 to $150. I don’t think travel insurance is a good deal when the change fees are so low.

  65. Quick question about Royal Jordanian award redemption. Have you noticed any trends with regards to the airline releasing any class of tickets closer to the flight date? I’m one month away from a one-way from AMM-TLV. I’m using AA miles and have been checking BA’s website several times a day since August with no luck. Beginning to lose hope and really not looking forward to paying $435 for a 45 minute flight!

  66. Hey, What is the long term effect on your credit score on getting airline cards and canceling them 7 months later.
    Here’s a scenario: you have a credit score of 750. You go thru 3 credit card churns with 4 cards for each churn (12 cards total). Then you cancel all the credit card 7 months after approval.

    • Most people see a short term hit to their credit score, but long term it is flat or up since having a lot of cards helps your score in several ways: higher available credit line, more payment history.

  67. Hi Scott!

    I had a question regarding booking award tickets for myself and my travel partner, who is from New Zealand. We will be flying on Qantas through the OW Alliance. Do I need any other information besides her name and birthdate? I did a faux booking and it seems that’s all they’re asking for, but I didn’t know if this would prevent any type of hang-up when we go to check in and they realize she’s a different nationality.

    Thanks
    Kristin

  68. I need to purchase 580,000 miles ( amex – qantas ) to put into my qantas FF account how do I go about this and how much will it cost ?

  69. One more quick question regarding award ticket taxes on AA. How is that calculated? I have tickets from SYD-CNS and WLG-SYD-LAX, with taxes in the $25-40 dollar range, and yet for the last flight I’m needing, skipping over to New Zealand via CNS-CHC, the taxes have nearly tripled to $115.

    Curious about such a steep jump? Thanks!!

    • Ask for a breakdown from the agent, or if you’re online, click for the tax breakdown. International flights can be very expensive in taxes depending on the countries. The UK, Germany, and others have exorbitant taxes while the US has pretty low taxes for instance.

  70. I have a business and purchase product inventory from overseas (China). I typically send bank transfers but would like to pay via credit card for both rewards and protection reasons.

    They sent me an invoice via paypal for $5,000 but unfortunately my Gold Amex Business Open Rewards card didn’t go through. Any tips on how I can pay for inventory with overseas vendors using my credit card?

  71. How come my comments aren’t posting?

  72. Hello Milevalue. I was wondering if you could post about using Korean Air Skymiles or Virgin Atlantic Miles on Partner airlines to avoid the fuel surcharges. I’ve searched the Korean Air Section on Flyertalk and still am not 100% sure how this would work. I assume I find flights on partner airlines, then call them and use my KE or VA Miles which would lead to much lower fees/taxes on US carriers. An example would be using KE miles on Delta or Alaska domestically. A thorough post on this sort of thing would be very much appreciated. Thank you for your consideration and well done on your amazing blog

  73. I applied for an Ink bold Card and was denied and called the business reconsideration line and was denied by the business analyst and also another analyst besides her.
    I bought products to sell online and she still denied me do to a new business with no income and projections don’t count.

    She said I cannot apply for any business cards with Chase for 3-5 years.

    What can I do to get reconsidered without jeopedising my personal Chase accounts?
    Also please place me on your e-mail list for daily updates if you have such a service!

    Thanks, Terry 10/22/12

  74. I just found out about your website when I was looking for the AirTrans offer for a free flight. I guess it expired last month but at least I found your site during my search.

    Can I sign up somehwere for emails for the latest good deals?

  75. Just making sure you had not forgotten about your follow up article on getting to Tahiti / Bora Bora. I am interested in the follow up specifically regarding AmEx Membership Reward points as you mentioned in the note on this article:

    “Getting to Tahiti with American Airlines Miles
    Posted on October 23, 2012 by MileValue | 13 Comments
    Look for a post tomorrow on getting to French Polynesia with Delta miles, Hawaiian miles, and AMEX Membership Rewards.”

    I am sure you have had other things going on but your teaser comment definitely peaked my interest and you did a great job at making me return to your blog regularly to look for the follow up article :-)

    Thanks! Love the blog!

  76. I am using Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads to help meet the minimum spend requirement on an American Express Business Gold Card (the $5,000 in 3 month version which is still a little steep for me). Could you tell me what you think a safe amount of ATM withdrawals and bank transfers would be?

    I am trying out the bill payment with a small payment on a Citibank card. I decided not to try paying American Express as I was afraid they might notice and decide to give me a Financial Review. Any thoughts on whether it is safe to pay credit card bills?

    I do not like that I cannot download Bluebird transactions into Quicken or schedule bill payments for later in the month!

  77. For some reason, I stopped getting any updates to your feeds on my google rss reader. I need my daily milevalue post!

    I get an error when trying to add your feed again using google rss reader as well.

    Maybe this broke as part of your site redesign?

    The last post I got was “Master Thread of Which Airline Gift Cards American Express Reimburses”.

  78. Yes, it was just fixed. I got a flood of new milevalue posts that I am excited to read.

    Thanks!

  79. I will be travelling between CPH and ORD this summer as well as between SFO and CPH.

    The first will be a new route for LOT’s 787, the latter a new route for SAS. Any idea of any award seats will be available for either of these– and if so, with United miles or only with SAS or LOT miles?

    Happy to use your service if it looks I will not chasing windmills!

    • I don’t know off the top of my head. Fill out the form with all the details if you’re interested in us checking. If there isn’t space, you don’t pay.

  80. I missed a minimum spend requirement on my citi business aa card by a few dollars. I checked earlier and I was over the spend, but I guess something dropped off later. I’m kicking myself for missing it.

    My question: Since I applied for the card but didn’t receive the bonus, could I apply for the card again and get the bonus the 2nd time? Or would I have to wait the 18 months before I am eligible for the bonus again, even though I didn’t actually unlock it?

    Thanks

  81. Hi, I recently had to travel with us airways for the first time, 2 months ago. I went to 3 cities. So naturally I went to sign up the dividend program and didn’t thnk twice about star alliance etc.

    But now I le the USA, I had time to research and and read through your site (thanks btw’ great info) and found that Aegean is the best option for international travellers like me who is overseas a lot of times.

    My question is: is it too late for me to closed my us airway dividend account AND THEN credit the miles onto my Aegean? Coz I just find leaving my miles on us airways such a waste…. Please advice how or what I can do. Thanks so much.

  82. Hi,
    I’m traveling to China and I want to use my AA miles. When I go to check out flights at aa.com, there are flights from my airport: sfo to beijing and shanghai, but I am trying to fly to the smaller cities like wuhan or xian. Is there a way to do that? Thanks

  83. I have a question about United awards. We are flying one-way only from Beijing to New York. However, we would like to route through Zurich for less than 23 hours. So our award trip would be PEK>ZUR>JFK. Do you think this is allowable for 32,500 award miles in economy?

  84. Hi, can i use my US airways Div miles to book award tickets on business class for someone else? Thanks.

  85. Thank You

  86. Scott, I want to buy miles to travel to BKK next summer, which program miles do you think has the best value in for Business class. I have some miles across a few programs but wont have enough by next summer, so I m looking into buying miles but want the least cost and redemption. could you help. Thanks

  87. Hi Scott:
    I think I’ll be booking a first class/business class award trip from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv in about 3 months for travel next December. Five of us are traveling, and I’d like to get at least 2 up front and if I could not get more availability in Business/First, the three teenage kids could sit in coach. I can also fly from locations within 2 hours such as Washington or Newark, and I guess JFK. Is there a Sweet Spot award to Israel? Obviously, the non-stops from Newark on United or Philadelphia on US Air jump out at me, but I believe their business class is 120k round-trip. I definitely don’t have enough US air miles, but I suppose they’ll be selling their miles for under two cents per mile soon enough. I can probably scrape together enough United miles through combining my Ultimate Reward points with my United balance (currently around 500k combined). I have about 280k AMEX MR points. Should I consider any of their (AMEX) partners for better redemption rates? Also, about 200,000 SPG points, but was saving for some ski vacations. I guess I would transfer 100k SPG points if it made sense. I also have a few hundred thousand miles on both AA and also BA, but their fuel charges are discouraging me (at least at the outset) from pursuing those airlines. Thanks Scott. I enjoy reading your blog.
    Any thoughts or suggestions, other than pulling the trigger on using United miles?

    • I think you should look at it the other way around. Which airline will have space and do I have those miles? Finding space for 5 on the same flights can be a challenge. But all the airlines will charge you about the same number of miles to get there.

  88. Hi Scott, Many thanks for fresh info! Been in the game for a few years, found your blog about 10 months ago and now check daily. I recently tried booking on UA Charoltte-Toronto-London-Munich- Krakow then Berlin-London-Toronto-Cleveland-Charlotte and hoping for free OW of CLT-PHL. United wouldnt allow the CLT-PHL leg. I booked without but am willing to pay change fee, play the continental phone lottery and hope to change to get the other leg. Is it legal under Uniteds Star Award rules? Thanks for any help!

  89. HI, is it possible to transfer delta sky miles to priority club?

  90. I am using ANA website to research a trip to Asia/Australia. I am able to go from SEA-ICN-SYD-SEA for 75k on economy. I can also get SEA-ICN-SYD-SIN-SEA for 100K on economy. However, when i try to add HKG after SYD instead of SIN, I get an error message. What am I doing wrong? Thank you.

  91. There are 3 in SEA-ICN-SYD-SIN-SEA. This is the option that comes up with 100K economy. In SEA-ICN-SYD-HKG-SEA, there are 3 layovers. This option comes up with an error message. Thank you.

  92. I want to go from JFK-SIN-MDC-SIN-JFK in Sep using SQ and it says that SQ5274/5273 (operated by Silk Air) serves SIN-MDC-SIN. However, United website gives me an error when I put MDC as my destination. Do you think I would be able to book this with an agent on the phone by giving the flight #?
    Also, would I be able to have a stopover in SIN on the way there or back without change the mileage requirement?
    Thanks!

  93. Karin Melick-Barthelmess

    Please help me to figure out how long a stop-over can be on US Airways flights. I am currently thinking of ORD-FRA open jaw for 3 months – IST-ORD. Or shall I go ORD-FRA-3 months stop-over-FRA-HKG-destination-LAX (or SFC)-ORD. Does such a long stop-over work? How do I work a US-Europe-Asia flight? Thanks.

  94. Karin Melick-Barthelmess

    I receved an error message to my posted email. So here goes again: How long can a stop-over on US Airways be? I am thinking SPI-ORD-FRA-3mos. stop-over-FRA-HKg-LAX-Ord-SPI. Is this allowed? Thanks.

    • There is no maximum length to a stopover. The only thing is that all award flights must be completed within one year of booking.

  95. Hi,
    I’m really interested of taking advantage of the 20K AA miles to Europe (instead of 30K) using the international gateway one-way domestic ticket method……however, I’m not interested in flying that one-way domestic initial leg of the trip…..is it OK to book it (so that I can get the 20K miles) and not fly on the one-way……..and just wait for the actual European flight that I am interested in?
    thanks.

  96. how do I work a free one way with this itinerary
    June17-13
    lax-nrt
    nrt-bkk-sgn(stopover)

    sgn-icn-lax(home)
    Dec-27-13
    Lax-orlando free oneway

    will this work

  97. Dear Scott,
    I am a new subscriber to MileValue, and have been very impressed by how thorough and valuable your website is proving to be. I have one question based on a parenthetical comment you made in your recent post on Hawaii. You said ” (The reason Hawaiian miles are worth less is their lack of partners, junk long haul first class product, and lack of destinations.)”

    Please elaborate on this, as I have recently booked a first class JFK to HNL trip on Hawaiian Air using my Aadvantage points. What’s the story on Hawaiian’s first class service?

    Thanks,
    Steve Sadowsky

  98. Hi, I’m leaving the country for a year so I would like to cancel all the airline cards I’m not using. I have a couple cards that have only been open for a little more than 3 months. Would you advise me not to close them down for another few months? It would be much easier to do it now in America then in another country, but if it will affect my previous points, then I would not do it.

    • Hold off if you’ll have internet access abroad. You can call the US for 1 cent per minute over the internet or call the companies collect to cancel in a few months.

  99. Scott – Awesome site! I sent you an email with these quesions, but not sure if this is platform is more convenient as others may have similar questions:

    1) Looking at booking 3 roundtrips from IAD to Abu Dhabi in Etihad first class (this is a relatively new route for them). In your experience, how has the award availability been holding up over the past few months? And then how about Abu Dhabi to Maldives in terms of availability?
    2) Since IAD is my international gateway city, can my free one-way (before the IAD-AUH leg) be LAX-DCA on Alaska? Or even a Caribbean first leg, such as Barbados-MIAMI-WAS?
    3) Final question – does the ‘free one-way’ have to be a direct flight or can it have a connection such as my example above (Barbados-Miami-WAS)?

  100. can we use alaska air miles?

  101. I will take a business trip to Singapore the last week of June 2014 and want to take my wife and two teenage children along, then go to japan for a one week vacation and return home. We can fly out of Washington DC or PHL. Work will purchase my basic ticket which I hope to upgrade with miles. I would like to take the family on miles, in business if possible, and at a minimum in economy plus. My question is what programs to focus on accumulating miles in over the coming months. Once my wife and I complete our spends over the next few months and receive bonuses on our most recent cards I will have 115K Avios, 100K United, 100K UR, 90K MR, and 60K USair. She will have 125K Avios, 50K United, and 40K USAir. We will be able to do another round of CC applications in June.

  102. Hello,

    Although I knew that I could tack on a free domestic one-way when going from home city to intl city (thanks to this website), I only just realized that I could also tack a free domestic one-way when coming back from intl city to home city. Unfortunately, I already used my miles when booking intl city to home city……is there any way I can tack on the free domestic trip one-way trip retroactively?
    thanks.

  103. Would the following be a valid routing on United. . . my wife wants to see machu pichu on the way to the world cup, and we would like to use a free one way to europe later on. I have eliminated the connections and just provided the main segments. Thanks for your help!

    (1) Orlando to Lima
    - destination
    (2) Sao Paulo to Orlando
    - 1st open jaw out of SP
    - stopover MCO
    (3) Orlando to Barcelona
    - 2d open jaw to BCN

  104. Could you please write a post regarding best strategy for Caribbean island hopping? thanks!

  105. I am looking for flights for 2014 using United miles. The first two legs are open, however, United has not released space for the third leg, nor the return portion of my route for the dates I am looking for.

    I want to book JFK – YVR – NRT (stopover) – BKK

    Would I be able to book JFK – YVR – NRT, as the route is now open, then later on change my booking to reflect the following round trip award:

    JFK – YVR – NRT (stopover) – BKK (dest)
    SIN – LAX – JFK

    Question 1: could i change my one way award to reflect a roundtrip award allowing me to add in a stopover and open jaw

    Question 2: would i be able to add in the stopover at NRT to my previous booked one way award

    Question 3: would i just incur the $75.00 award change fee, as opposed to the $200 redeposit fee.

    • You should be able to change the award and pay just the change fee. Changing from a o/w to r/t will get you the r/t bells and whistles (stopover and open jaws).

  106. Hi Scott,
    I was rummaging through your trip reports and I would like to South Africa…however Cape Town not JNB. Here’s my question. I read you said it’s hard to get to South Africa on miles. I have US Airways miles. Do you know if it’s possible to go JFK to CDG stop; CDG>Cape Town and then back home Cape Town>JFK?

  107. Hi Scott, I have a question regarding an incoming trip. I have booked the following trip in business on Qatar airways using AA miles.

    BLR-DOH-ORD(Dec 2nd), and after a stopover, i continue this to ORD-HNL, on Jan 25th. Do you think it will be possible to change the last leg from ORD-HNL to PDX-HNL after reaching Chicago? If so, will AA charge me a fee? If i am not wrong AA does not charge you a fee, as long as the origin and destination are same. I asked this because i live in PDX, and AA only allows stopovers where you enter USA. Thanks for your help.

    • It should not be possible. You’re never allowed a hole in the middle of your return. But you might as well call and ask.

  108. Hi Scott,
    Regarding to http://milevalue.com/anatomy-of-an-award-first-class-in-a-thai-a380-for-65k-united-miles/
    I am wondering why you didnt book the routings via europe between south east asia (in this case BKK) and central asia like India to even save more miles on first class oneway UA award.
    Example: BKK-FRA-Deli india . Have you ever tried that? Is there a restriction for that?
    How about BKK-FRA-DXB instead of TLV?
    From their chart, first class award between central asia and southeast asia would be lower, around 50k for first. Thanks.

  109. Hi Scott,

    How about the BKK-FRA-DXB? You also tried and it failed too? Thanks.

  110. I have tried to send Scott an email and it keeps getting returned as the email scott@milevalue.com does not seem to be valid. Is this the correct address? I received a notice of an award.

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