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lrb76
27th August 2009, 01:20
Hopefully someone can help with my query.

A very good friend of my DH has emigrated to Aus recently and has just announced his plans to wed his long term partner in Thailand next year. We were hoping to be able to attend as an annual holiday, as the chances of us getting to Aus with three children any time in the next decade is slim to none! Unfortunately the wedding date they've chosen falls outside the school holiday periods in the uk so it's impossible for both of us to travel. I was hoping that there might be a way to send DH via an airline scheme.

I've put off opening credit cards with the purpose of collecting for any travel scheme as we were in the process of applying for a new mortgage.

I'm now in a position to look for a new card. Can anyone advise me of the best card/scheme for this desination? Obviously it would have to be one with an incentive amount of miles upon opening the account to have a chance of reaching the target by July 2010.

DH uses a credit card for work expenses which currently average at around 10-12k a year but these are likely to increase as his client base has just been added to and he's been told he needs to do more entertaining!

I'm hoping to surprise DH if I find it's an achievable goal!

Any help would be very much appreciated :)

Apologies in advance for how this reads - i'm ready for bed :brushteeth:!

Nana
27th August 2009, 08:15
No sure about any credit card schemes but www.airasia.com do cheap flights from Stansted to Kuala Lumpur and then KL to Thailand. Might be worth a look.

stenroach
27th August 2009, 08:20
You can get a flight as low as 350 to Thailand if you pick your months to travel.

Air asia are not competitive to Bangkok(via Kuala Lumpur). yiu can get a cheaper flight direct.

TSB do an airmiles creidt card, not got one myself, but you do build up miles with spending on the card.

zaqwert
27th August 2009, 10:50
Another option might be the AMEX card through BMI, this gets you 24,000 BMI destination miles. Depending on how much travelling you do you can quickly collect miles.

lrb76
27th August 2009, 11:09
Thanks all. I was thinking about this one but don't know how suitable it is for the destination. I think you can use it with partner airlines but don't know much about airline programmes at all. I was hoping an expert would be along to help. No offence guys - I appreciate all yours replies! Unfortunately we're now in the middle of a house move which means cash is a no go. If it can't be done with airmiles I don't think it's going to be possible :(

I forgot to say we also manage most of our monthly spend on a credit card (paid in full at the end of the month!) so could be putting between 2-3K a month on it.


Another option might be the AMEX card through BMI, this gets you 24,000 BMI destination miles. Depending on how much travelling you do you can quickly collect miles.

stenroach
27th August 2009, 11:44
Your gonna get about 3-4k airmiles with the TSB card per year , using your monthly spend and husbands expenses spend, and of course every 2.50 in tesco vouchers is worth 60 aimiles as well.

You would need 8000 for a return flight to Thailand.

If you do have any Tesco points, you could use them for a virgin holiday to Thailand.

ericaswas
27th August 2009, 13:49
Thanks all. I was thinking about this one but don't know how suitable it is for the destination. I think you can use it with partner airlines but don't know much about airline programmes at all. I was hoping an expert would be along to help. No offence guys - I appreciate all yours replies! Unfortunately we're now in the middle of a house move which means cash is a no go. If it can't be done with airmiles I don't think it's going to be possible :(

I forgot to say we also manage most of our monthly spend on a credit card (paid in full at the end of the month!) so could be putting between 2-3K a month on it.

This card is very suitable for the destination, I have just booked two tickets with Thai Air, and there are other options such as Swiss and Lufthansa as well. In fact, it's even cheaper in miles if you use Bangkok as a stopover to somewhere in China. This means you would do something like:

London - Bangkok - stopover - Hongkong - Bangkok - London.

It's even even cheaper to start in a zone 2 destination such as Copenhagen, but you have to arrange a low cost flight to there first.

Having said all that, there are taxes to pay in cash as well and these can be quite meaty. That is why most people use these miles to get into the premium cabins where the tax is less significant in terms of the experience you are getting.

In terms of Bmi miles:
London - Bangkok in economy - 80K + tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 70K + tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 50K + tax.

People also use the miles + cash deal available:

London - Bangkok in economy - 40K + 270 +tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 35K + 240 +tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 25K + 140 + tax.

In business:
London - Bangkok - 120K + tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 105K + tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 75K + tax.

Biz, miles and cash
London - Bangkok in economy - 60K + 405 +tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 52.5K + 360 +tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 37.5K + 210 + tax.

This last trip is the reason that 37.5K miles is regarded by many as a key amount of miles to accrue as it does this trip or USA in business with a (relatively) small outlay and is achievable from the 24K initial bonus.

However, taxes are likely to be at least 200 for economy and more for business.

So a cheap flight with no fuss, not using miles may be preferable!
Also the bmi scheme may end soon as a result of the bmi/lufthansa merger.

I can give more details or you can find them over at Flyertalk on the bmi board.

lrb76
27th August 2009, 15:33
That's fab and all makes sense I think. We do have some Tesco vouchers left so I will check out the single supps on a Thai holiday with Virgin.

Can I just ask, are your examples all for one way flights? So for a return BC flight via Copenhagen with a stop over it would be 75000 miles plus cash plus taxes??

I''ve briefly visited flyer talk but never seem to have enough time to really get into it. Now that we can get new travel scheme cards I will do some more thorough research. :)




This card is very suitable for the destination, I have just booked two tickets with Thai Air, and there are other options such as Swiss and Lufthansa as well. In fact, it's even cheaper in miles if you use Bangkok as a stopover to somewhere in China. This means you would do something like:

London - Bangkok - stopover - Hongkong - Bangkok - London.

It's even even cheaper to start in a zone 2 destination such as Copenhagen, but you have to arrange a low cost flight to there first.

Having said all that, there are taxes to pay in cash as well and these can be quite meaty. That is why most people use these miles to get into the premium cabins where the tax is less significant in terms of the experience you are getting.

In terms of Bmi miles:
London - Bangkok in economy - 80K + tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 70K + tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 50K + tax.

People also use the miles + cash deal available:

London - Bangkok in economy - 40K + 270 +tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 35K + 240 +tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 25K + 140 + tax.

In business:
London - Bangkok - 120K + tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 105K + tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 75K + tax.

Biz, miles and cash
London - Bangkok in economy - 60K + 405 +tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 52.5K + 360 +tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 37.5K + 210 + tax.

This last trip is the reason that 37.5K miles is regarded by many as a key amount of miles to accrue as it does this trip or USA in business with a (relatively) small outlay and is achievable from the 24K initial bonus.

However, taxes are likely to be at least 200 for economy and more for business.

So a cheap flight with no fuss, not using miles may be preferable!
Also the bmi scheme may end soon as a result of the bmi/lufthansa merger.

I can give more details or you can find them over at Flyertalk on the bmi board.

stenroach
27th August 2009, 16:41
With airmiles, you dont have to pay taxes, BA miles you do.

What month are you travelling?

Return flight and 3 nights in Bangkok hotel nov 2009 693 pounds.

Y+-ou would have to pay airline tax i think, prob about 150 so would need 550 in virgin tokens.

lrb76
27th August 2009, 17:23
Hi Stenroach. Thanks for your reply. The month is July 2010. We could manage 693 and it would fall within the new 700 limits from Sept 1st but I thought all holidays with Virgin had to be for a minimum of 7 nights? I may be wrong though (fingers crossed!).


With airmiles, you dont have to pay taxes, BA miles you do.

What month are you travelling?

Return flight and 3 nights in Bangkok hotel nov 2009 693 pounds.

Y+-ou would have to pay airline tax i think, prob about 150 so would need 550 in virgin tokens.

stenroach
27th August 2009, 17:28
not sure about the 7 nights, sorry.

stenroach
27th August 2009, 17:32
At the moment 7 nights early july is about 850, if you had 700 in virgin by next year, with taxes of 150-200 its still an option, and his accomadation/transfer is paid for as well.

lrb76
27th August 2009, 17:34
Ok here's what I have so far:

900 converted deals with an average of 600 more a month so a potential 2k+ by July 2010. Would prefer not to use these unless I have to though as I was saving them up for a romantic break together, not for DH to ****** off to Thailand on the lash using my hard earned Clubcard points that he doesnt even appreciate. Remind me why i'm trying to plan this again??!

40000 ICH priority club points

approx 9000 bmi miles with the potential for an additional 24000 if I open a credit card
10000 Hilton points on one card
3000+ on the other
3000+ Marriott rewards
3000+ Marriott on another card
3000+ Marriott brothers card

Not sure on the rules re merging these so will check it out. If they charge like Hilton it may not be worthwhile?

Bare minimum in airmiles. So few I don't even know how many and no BA miles.

DH is in uk sales now so doesn't travel much at all flight wise. Does have the odd hotel stay 3 or 4 times a year although these are sometimes booked by the company so they nab the points. I make sure he puts as much incidental spending on his card though as possible :p

Average 2.5k spend per month via which ever credit card i'm advised is best for my plans, between now and July 2010. Approx 25k over 10 months.

What do you all think??

stenroach
27th August 2009, 17:39
You can, at times get a return flight for as little as 350, im sure you could use your marriot points for accoma
dation?????

lrb76
27th August 2009, 17:46
That's what I was thinking too. There is also a holiday inn in Bankok so I could perhaps use the ICH points there too. Or friends could easily sort out cheap accomodation once they new he was attending. I was just trying to do it without fronting the cash if possible as we will still need to find some spending money. Allthough I do hear it's very cheap there?

Virgin is an option although not sure if 7 nights is possible. We have three children and i'd be pulling my hair out after a weekend! He would owe me big time though.....:D!


You can, at times get a return flight for as little as 350, im sure you could use your marriot points for accoma
dation?????

stenroach
27th August 2009, 17:50
Well i wish my missus would let me go to Thailand with me mates..................

Hotels are cheap enough out there anyway

Airmiles would cost 333 unconverted for a flight with taxes paid, thats 1300 odd converted.

lrb76
27th August 2009, 20:39
Thanks Stenroach - think i'll keep my Tesco vouchers as I get a far better rate with Marriott etc and I like the option of the odd free weekend away. There's a new site that i've seen, points.com I think it was called. Apparently you can swap between different loyality programmes to top up the balance that you need. Have you heard of it? I think I will do some more research.


Well i wish my missus would let me go to Thailand with me mates.................. (i'm having second thoughts now!!)

Hotels are cheap enough out there anyway

Airmiles would cost 333 unconverted for a flight with taxes paid, thats 1300 odd converted.

ericaswas
28th August 2009, 11:51
That's fab and all makes sense I think. We do have some Tesco vouchers left so I will check out the single supps on a Thai holiday with Virgin.

Can I just ask, are your examples all for one way flights? So for a return BC flight via Copenhagen with a stop over it would be 75000 miles plus cash plus taxes??

I''ve briefly visited flyer talk but never seem to have enough time to really get into it. Now that we can get new travel scheme cards I will do some more thorough research. :)

My examples are for return flights for one person. That's what makes 37.5K so attractive! If you can pay the cash and get into business class, it makes for a good experience.

I was intending to just go to Bali with my OH, but because the Far East is cheaper, I now have a week in China followed by a week in Bali. I managed to book 6 flight sectors with my BMI miles.

Outward
London-Bangkok in Thai Biz
Bangkok-Hong Kong (no stopover) in Thai First (First counts as Biz as it's not the longest sector)
Stopover to see HK and Guilin
Guilin-Beijing in Economy (no biz available)

Return
Beijing-Singapore in Singapore Biz
Stopover to see Bali
Bali-Bangkok in Thai Biz
Bangkok-London in Thai Biz

All for 105K miles for 2 people (plus 1500 cash/taxes - ouch - but 6 flights, 5 in premium cabins)

It would have been 75K if we'd started from Copenhagen - with less cash component and also less taxes as UK premium class tax is set to rise significantly from November.

ericaswas
28th August 2009, 11:58
Ok here's what I have so far:

900 converted deals with an average of 600 more a month so a potential 2k+ by July 2010. Would prefer not to use these unless I have to though as I was saving them up for a romantic break together, not for DH to ****** off to Thailand on the lash using my hard earned Clubcard points that he doesnt even appreciate. Remind me why i'm trying to plan this again??!

40000 ICH priority club points

approx 9000 bmi miles with the potential for an additional 24000 if I open a credit card
10000 Hilton points on one card
3000+ on the other
3000+ Marriott rewards
3000+ Marriott on another card
3000+ Marriott brothers card

Not sure on the rules re merging these so will check it out. If they charge like Hilton it may not be worthwhile?

Bare minimum in airmiles. So few I don't even know how many and no BA miles.

DH is in uk sales now so doesn't travel much at all flight wise. Does have the odd hotel stay 3 or 4 times a year although these are sometimes booked by the company so they nab the points. I make sure he puts as much incidental spending on his card though as possible :p

Average 2.5k spend per month via which ever credit card i'm advised is best for my plans, between now and July 2010. Approx 25k over 10 months.

What do you all think??

It's possible to get 2 x 24000 bmi miles if you both get cards. And if you have receptive brothers/parents, even more...but maybe not for much longer...

Gizmos
28th August 2009, 12:42
you can merge marriott no problem

http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/tranpurc.mi

lrb76
28th August 2009, 13:07
I want to go now too! That's interesting dc, it might just be achievable after all. If they stop the bmi programme won't they have to compensate anyone who has a collection of points or will they just switch them to the new airlines programme? I'm assuming just from your posts that that isn't quite so rewarding?

If I get cards in say parents names is it ok to use these for someone else's flight??

I'm sure I can find all this info on the flyer talk threads but I'm off to Normandy at 6am so don't have a lot of time. If i can can get an idea of whether it can be done I will contact DH's pals wife and let her know what i'm planning ;)

Thanks so much for your help :)


It's possible to get 2 x 24000 bmi miles if you both get cards. And if you have receptive brothers/parents, even more...but maybe not for much longer...

lrb76
28th August 2009, 13:09
Thanks giz that's great. So looks like I can use DH's points at the point of redemption. Just need to save a few more then to reach 10k combined. Shame I can't use my brothers as i'd nab them in return for negotiating the price of his wedding venue!


you can merge marriott no problem

http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/tranpurc.mi

Gizmos
28th August 2009, 13:19
change the address on your brothers to your address
then say its your son or something ;-)

ericaswas
28th August 2009, 14:09
I want to go now too! That's interesting dc, it might just be achievable after all. If they stop the bmi programme won't they have to compensate anyone who has a collection of points or will they just switch them to the new airlines programme? I'm assuming just from your posts that that isn't quite so rewarding?

If I get cards in say parents names is it ok to use these for someone else's flight??

I'm sure I can find all this info on the flyer talk threads but I'm off to Normandy at 6am so don't have a lot of time. If i can can get an idea of whether it can be done I will contact DH's pals wife and let her know what i'm planning ;)

Thanks so much for your help :)

There's a lot of speculation about what will happen with the Lufthansa merger, most people say that bmi miles will be absorbed into their Miles and More programme. I'll let someone who knows more about that give their opinion, eg Raffles who is suggesting that people could join that scheme in anticipation. But the main loss will be the miles and cash feature which is bmi's unique selling point.

I was going to burn all my miles before that happened, but ended up using miles and cash so that I could possibly get a few more trips out of my stash (gained in the days when you could get more than one 24K offer from taking out and cancelling multiple cards)...but don't tell the OH...

You can use other people's miles for flights, but can't merge them as such. So you would have to book a one way for 18.75K on one account and the return for 18.75K on another. But it's advantageous to book 2 one ways instead of a return anyway. You also need to have authority to use someone else's account...which is another reason I went miles and cash as the authority I had set up on my OH's account wasn't there when I tried to book via the ICC (Indian Call Centre...another story!)

You do have to think ahead, some routes are hard to get, I have booked for April next year, but Thai seems quite easy. It's probably easier than BA where the optimum way is to get an Amex and spend 10000 in a year to get a 2 for 1 ticket - but then of course you would have to go with him...

Have a good time in France.

99redballs
30th August 2009, 21:47
This card is very suitable for the destination, I have just booked two tickets with Thai Air, and there are other options such as Swiss and Lufthansa as well. In fact, it's even cheaper in miles if you use Bangkok as a stopover to somewhere in China. This means you would do something like:

London - Bangkok - stopover - Hongkong - Bangkok - London.

It's even even cheaper to start in a zone 2 destination such as Copenhagen, but you have to arrange a low cost flight to there first.

Having said all that, there are taxes to pay in cash as well and these can be quite meaty. That is why most people use these miles to get into the premium cabins where the tax is less significant in terms of the experience you are getting.

In terms of Bmi miles:
London - Bangkok in economy - 80K + tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 70K + tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 50K + tax.

People also use the miles + cash deal available:

London - Bangkok in economy - 40K + 270 +tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 35K + 240 +tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 25K + 140 + tax.

In business:
London - Bangkok - 120K + tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 105K + tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 75K + tax.

Biz, miles and cash
London - Bangkok in economy - 60K + 405 +tax
London - Bangkok - Hongkong - 52.5K + 360 +tax
Copenhagen - Bangkok - Hongkong - 37.5K + 210 + tax.

This last trip is the reason that 37.5K miles is regarded by many as a key amount of miles to accrue as it does this trip or USA in business with a (relatively) small outlay and is achievable from the 24K initial bonus.

However, taxes are likely to be at least 200 for economy and more for business.

So a cheap flight with no fuss, not using miles may be preferable!
Also the bmi scheme may end soon as a result of the bmi/lufthansa merger.

I can give more details or you can find them over at Flyertalk on the bmi board.

blimey some ones done their homework:clap2:

ericaswas
1st September 2009, 11:44
blimey some ones done their homework:clap2:

all in my airmiles spreadsheet...sad or wha':o

lrb76
10th September 2009, 00:12
Not at all. A damn site quicker than checking the details for every flight i'm sure, especially if the airmiles web site is anything to go by!

Thanks for all your help everyone.
I'm currently in the middle of packing up for a house move, preparing DS for the 11+ exam whilst researching secondary schools and submitting the CAF, helping to organise my brother and SIL's wedding, oh and DD2 starts pre school the day of DS1's exam (:eek:) so chances are I won't be around much for the next month or two.

Giz I hope you won't mind if I bump this thread again when I have more time. :)


all in my airmiles spreadsheet...sad or wha':o