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Welcome to another in a series of helping “regular” families travel using miles and points.  One of the reasons that I started Points With a Crew was to show that it was possible for regular folks to take their families on vacations that they might otherwise not be able to do, using miles and points.  Here are a few of the previous posts helping regular families

naplesA family of 5 heading to Naples

Recently, my coworker Ronn talked with me about helping his family of 5 head to Naples, Italy to visit some family that will be moving there shortly.  He is looking to travel in spring 2018, so nearly 2 years from now.  While that may seem like a long ways off, it’s actually good to be thinking ahead!  The more flexible you can be with your dates, times and locations, the cheaper you can fly (and that can hold especially true for finding award availability!)

We met up the other day to talk through a few strategies, and I pointed him in the direction of my Beginner’s Guide along with a few other basics (that many of you probably already know)

Planning some initial credit card signups

I recommended that he focus his efforts on getting enough miles for his family to travel one way in each of 2 different currencies.  Although you do give up some of the stopovers that you are allowed with some roundtrip award tickets, the added flexibility is IMO worth it.  Plus 2 different tickets by definition allow you to open jaw, should you desire.

(SEE ALSO: Stopover, layover, open-jaw? What are they and what’s the difference?)

Plus it’s a lot easier to get 125,000 miles (or so) in 2 different currencies than to get 250,000 miles in only one!

Which cards to get

My recommendations for him were

  • One direction: Focus on Chase points, with an aim to redeem on United miles, Singapore miles or Flying Blue.  So Chase Sapphire Preferred (to open up Chase transfers), and then perhaps something like a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, Citi ThankYou Premier (if going with Singapore or Flying Blue miles), or United card (for United miles)
  • Second direction: Focus on Alaska miles, to fly with either American or Delta.  With Alaska miles, you can still book a 20,000 mile off-peak one way to Europe on American (for now).  And while you can’t fly one way with Delta using Alaska miles, it’s certainly possible that would change between now and March 2017.  Alaska also offers a free stopover even on one-ways, and their cards are eminently churnable (at least for now!) so that might be a way to visit a 2nd or 3rd city on this European trip

So over the course of the next year or so, Ronn and his wife might sign up for 4 or 5 new cards and put the regular spending they’re already making on these new cards, and with those signup bonuses, they should be able to get enough miles to make this Naples trip happen!

Note that this might NOT be the recommendations I would suggest for you.  I always recommend that, like Ronn did, you FIRST figure out WHERE you want to go, and only THEN sign up for cards.

As always, if you want to apply for these or other cards and support Points With a Crew, I appreciate when you use my affiliate links.

Looking to plan a trip and want some advice on which cards can help make it happen?  Get in touch – I’m happy to help!  More suggestions for Ronn and his familiy?  Leave them in the comments!

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