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Airline Credit Cards Discussion Area
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Old 02-11-2010, 1:55 PM   #1
Former MSE Alana
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This thread is to specifically discuss the content of the

Airline Credit Cards Article

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Last edited by Former MSE Alana; 22-02-2011 at 3:25 PM.
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# 2
richardw
Old 03-11-2010, 8:43 AM
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APD has increased for flights from the UK, some schemes let you book flights on partner airlines in other countries where the taxes, fees and charges are much lower, thus getting more value for miles earned. Doesn't apply to www.Airmiles.co.uk.
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# 3
chattychappy
Old 03-11-2010, 9:35 AM
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Taxes are levied according to departing jurisdiction for each flight. In that context APD seems even worse when you you consider it is only levied on the first half of your return flight from the UK. The return portion is the taxed by country you are flying to. Few countries tax anything like as much as the UK, especially outside of Europe.

This means it doesn't matter where you buy your ticket, or whether your flight out of the UK is outbound or inbound, you will still be caught by APD.

Eg
LHR-BKK return (APD applies on LHR-BKK outbound sector, Thai taxes inbound)
BKK-LHR return (APD applies on LHR-BKK inbound sector, Thai taxes outbound)

CDG-LHR-BKK return (no APD if transit only LHR. French taxes outbound, Thai taxes inbound)

BMI is a pretty good scheme - you can book open-jaw etc. Eg book:

CDG-BKK, BKK-LHR (ie outbound from CDG, paying French tax to avoid UK APD, but return to LHR, paying Thai tax). Of course by the time you've paid for the trip to CDG, it might not be worth it. It COULD be if you are not in London and would have to fly to pick up your BKK flight anyway. (Note if the sectors are on one ticket - eg MAN-CDG-BKK then you will pay UK APD to BKK, but if bought separately MAN-CDG, CDG-BKK then you will pay UK APD to CDG only, and French tax to BKK. You bear the risk of a missed connection in this case. The saving can be considerable for those who wish to fly the long haul sectors in business class).

BMI's scheme is likely to change as it merges with Lufthansa's Miles&More. http://www.flyertalk.com/ is a good site for checking out frequently flyer/airmile schemes.

I think the best airmile cards are where you can combine with your normal flying. If you don't fly much, then take care not to allow the airmile tail to wag the flying dog.
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# 4
tiff
Old 03-11-2010, 9:58 AM
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Flyertalk is ok but its busy and they use terms and acronyms that I dont understand which makes it hard to follow sometimes.
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” - Dave Ramsey
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# 5
chattychappy
Old 03-11-2010, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiff View Post
Flyertalk is ok but its busy and they use terms and acronyms that I dont understand which makes it hard to follow sometimes.
http://www.flyertalk.com/glossary/ may help (there's a drop-down list) if you didn't notice it already.

I fly alot so have got used to the jargon. One problem is it can be US-centric at times as that is where most members appear to be based.
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# 6
globalste
Old 03-11-2010, 10:29 AM
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Default misleading infor

Quote:
The BA Premium Plus Amex* gives 1.5 miles for every £1 spent. With this card the threshold to get the companion flight is £10,000. Miles can be redeemed on BA and other 'oneworld' airlines.
This is misleading.

The Companion Voucher can only be used on British Airways operated flights starting in the UK
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# 7
steadysaver
Old 03-11-2010, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
The BA Amex card is the only one that gives a free companion ticket without any annual fee, but you need to spend over £20,000 in a year to get it.
Again not a very well researched article. The Virgin Atlantic Amex Credit Card (White) also gives a free companion ticket (for travel on virgin) without an annual fee, and your required spend is less at £15,000. A premium economy upgrade is available with a £10,000 yearly spend. Better than the BA card

The Virgin Amex black card is similar to the better BA card, its a cheaper annual fee to BA, with £115, compared with £150 for BA, and you get the companion ticket with an annual spend of £7,500.

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb...EB-51366-63708

Last edited by steadysaver; 03-11-2010 at 11:02 AM.
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# 8
gibbon1
Old 03-11-2010, 1:48 PM
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Cool BA/virgin American express airmiles cards

To make a reasoned decision I need to know :- how many air miles needed to fly to New York, how much would I have to spend with an Amexcard to get myself & companion a free flight to New York, & how much will it cost in taxes? Then I can look at whether it is worth paying the extra £115 (virgin) or £150 (BA) to get double miles. Please can anybody give me this info?
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# 9
michaels
Old 03-11-2010, 3:02 PM
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Looking on BA.com it seems that most longhaul are 50k (US, carib plus central US, South Africa) or more for far east and Aus.

Martin quotes a range of prices to buy additional miles - any idea why this is?

Also he talks about 'sales' for both buying flights and buying extra miles - anyone know anything about these?
Sent from my ...electronic gadget which I am sad enough to think gives me status even though in fact it just shows that I am easily ripped off and a bit inadequate...
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# 10
knightfox
Old 03-11-2010, 7:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chattychappy View Post
http://www.flyertalk.com/glossary/ may help (there's a drop-down list) if you didn't notice it already.

I fly alot so have got used to the jargon. One problem is it can be US-centric at times as that is where most members appear to be based.
Its not that bad the BA side is okay. Virgin is not so bad. There is of course the England section as well.
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# 11
knightfox
Old 03-11-2010, 7:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiff View Post
Flyertalk is ok but its busy and they use terms and acronyms that I dont understand which makes it hard to follow sometimes.
Google acronyms, or ask most people are okay. I often have to google the airport initals as I often forget.

(dont tell anyone though)
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# 12
Former MSE Alana
Old 04-11-2010, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaels View Post
Looking on BA.com it seems that most longhaul are 50k (US, carib plus central US, South Africa) or more for far east and Aus.

Martin quotes a range of prices to buy additional miles - any idea why this is?

Also he talks about 'sales' for both buying flights and buying extra miles - anyone know anything about these?
Hi michaels,

The prices for buying miles on BMI and BA are tiered, so for example on BA it's £31 for 1,000 miles, and £175 for 10,000 miles.

With regards to the sales, the schemes sometimes run them for particular destinations when booking, or when buying miles they sometimes have promotions where they give say 20% extra on top.

Hope that helps,

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# 13
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:31 AM
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Default Virgin Atlantic Cards

Hi folks,

I just want to mention that with the Virgin credit cards the free companion flight can only be used when purchasing a qualifying flight on Virgin (with the cards we mention in the guide you can use the companion flight when redeeming miles).

See here for the terms and conditions:
http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb...ions/index.jsp

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# 14
chattychappy
Old 04-11-2010, 1:47 PM
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A hidden issue in all of this is availability. Airlines often heavily restrict the availability of "free" and "upgrade" tickets. The extent to which they do this is rather opaque. People might be told the flight is "full" or offered to go on a waiting list.

All is not as it seems - certain "fare buckets" will have availability whilst others are full - eg whilst you might be told the flight is full when you try to get your free ticket/upgrade, you might still be able to book it if you pay the normal fare. Same applies for waiting lists where a further complication is that airlines will give priority to their frequent flyers.

Inventory management is a commercial secret, but is often discussed on the website I mentioned earlier in the thread. Certain routings are notoriously difficult to get - airlines generally don't want to "give away" tickets if they can fill the seats at full fare.

I rarely fly BA or Virgin. I have found BMI OK for redemption on other star alliance partners (between Europe and Asia) but only if I'm flexible on dates. My worst nightmare was with Air France when I tried to get a business class ticket between Paris and Saigon. All availability of airmile tickets was blocked for several months at a time.
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# 15
Penelopa.Pitstop
Old 04-11-2010, 3:57 PM
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There's a good promotion for Amex Preferred Rewards Gold Card.
There's a huge discussion about it on FlyerTalk - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...-relaunch.html

It costs 95£ per annum but you can get it via Quidco and it will be £35. Then after getting 20K points exchangeable to miles, you can resign.

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# 16
budgetflyer
Old 05-11-2010, 12:44 AM
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From the article
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/car...t-cards#lloyds
Quote:
Current Introductory Offer

Apply via the Airmiles site* and if you're accepted you'll get a 1,500 mile voucher once you've spent £10 on the Amex. This can be combined with miles collected, yet when redeeming it you must book by 31 Aug 2011 and have one night in a hotel via Airmiles which isn't cheap. See the Free Airmiles Flight section of the credit card freebies guide for full info.
It may be worth pointing out that if you go to the Airmiles site via http://www.quidco.com/insurance-fina...-card-account/ to get the Airmiles credit card then theres £10 cashback available which nullifies the £10 spend requirement.
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# 17
JJJBBB
Old 12-11-2010, 10:28 PM
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Default BMI airmiles completely useless?

I've had a BMI Amex card for a while, and have amassed a load of airmiles. But the airmiles turn out to be practically useless! Every time I've tried to use them, the "taxes and fees" that BMI tacks on top (which consist of far more than just taxes), amount to more than the total fare available on other airlines, or even on BMI itself!

Example: I've just tried to book a roundtrip from London to Vienna. As well as the 9000 airmiles, BMI were going to charge me GBP 113 for "taxes and fees." Of course, taxes aren't anything like that much: I clicked on the link for an explanation and I found that almost have of that charge was a "fuel and insurance surcharge." Meanwhile, going through Expedia, I found the very same BMI flights - same date & time - selling for GBP 103 (total price, taxes and fees included). So paying the fare turns out to be cheaper than not paying the fare!!

This is an extreme example, but in several other cases I've found that BMI's "taxes and fees" are more expensive than the entire cost of a similar flight on a different airline.

Has anyone managed to use the points in such a way that it actually represents a real saving? If so, please tell me how!
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# 18
tiff
Old 12-11-2010, 10:31 PM
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I am no expert and we use American Airlines not BA but we used our points for transatlantic flights, we had to pay tax which came to just over £300 total for 4 of us in October half term, which is a real bargain. I think you may need to go longhaul to get better value?
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# 19
JJJBBB
Old 14-11-2010, 11:55 PM
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Default BMI vs US airlines

Hi, yes I have frequent flyer miles with American (and also with United and Delta), and I've used them in the past for domestic travel within the US.

US airlines, in my experience, charge you only the actual taxes when you redeem airmiles. Which, for domestic travel in the US, are next to nothing. So for example, NYC to the west coast, roundtrip, will cost 25,000 miles + $5.

BMI, on the other hand, adds both the taxes (which admittedly are much steeper in Europe), AND it's "fuel surcharge" which is often enormous, and which I think should be part of the fare. What's more, given what I've just found when I tried to book my Vienna flight, the tax + fuel surcharge supplement seems to be higher when booking with airmiles than when paying the fare.
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# 20
Roger1
Old 15-11-2010, 4:08 PM
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JJJBBB: It's not a case of bmi vs US airlines. In my experience, all European airlines' frequent flier plans charge the fuel surcharge on award tickets, as does Delta for their European members. This applies to BA, Virgin, KLM/Air France, Lufthansa etc etc. And airlines no longer offer 'free' tickets because they are not free. They usually talk about 'award' tickets.

I don't agree that bmi miles are useless. Like most schemes, they are best value when redeemed for business class or first class flights. They are arguably better value than BA, Virgin and the others because you can buy award tickets at half the miles cost plus a cash amount. This can lead to some amazingly favourable prices!

The only downside at the moment is that we are unsure what will happen to bmi's Diamond Club. Some suspect it will be swallowed up into Lufthansa's Miles&More in the next year or so.

I have several airline-linked credit cards. If I were starting afresh, I'd opt for the American Airlines AmEx card from MBNA. This offers 1.5 AA miles per £ with interesting opening offers. AA flight availability is pretty good and their surcharges for award flights are reasonable.
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