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Airmiles/Upgrade

England
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Airmiles/Upgrade

Hi

I'm looking to get a CC with the best reward in terms of airmiles so I can upgrade from PE to Biz on flights to San Fran in 18 months time. I want either a MasterCard or a Amex/MasterCard duo. Will be spending £5K a year on Amex and £10K on MasterCard. Don't mind BA or VA. Obviously a sign up bonus will factor as well.

Would like members thoughts and any tips would be more than welcome.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

BA Amex Premium Plus. It's only 25,000 Avios return to upgrade each of you to business class/Club World.

£15,000 p.a. on the Premium Plus card (£150 annual fee) will earn 22,500 Avios. If you can put £3000 on it in the first 3 months then you'll get a 25,000 Avios welcome bonus. There are some other benefits too but I'll keep it clean by just attaching the link below.

https:/…

You can always buy the Avios shortfall you have if there is one. You're not really spending a whole lot to be honest, whilst some miles are better than none you're having to invest to game the system. You may be able to buy business class tickets for a reasonable price during the inevitable summer sales that BA and other transatlantic carriers have.

Availability for upgrades is not guaranteed.

Edited: 02 January 2014, 16:03
UK
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2. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

I think from the words you used*, that you are being wildly optimistic about the odds of getting upgrades, UK-SFO is one of the hardest cities to get upgrades for,as OP2002 says "Availability for upgrades is not guaranteed." but I'd say its much worse than that unless you are very very flexible or happy to book PE and then wait to the very last minute in the hope some availabilty comes up because it can come up in the last few days.

18 months time would be summer, so that makes it more difficult.

For example, on BA i see only 5 days between now and October when there is any availability outbound, and 3 of those days are in October. You can probably look on the VA website and see, but I have a feeling VA's availability cant be any worse than BA's.

* Had you put "so I might be able to upgrade" rather than "so I can upgrade" implying you think its a slam dunk. Apologies if i read too much into your wording but dont go into it expecting its going to happen for a specific route for specific dates.

Edited: 02 January 2014, 16:17
England
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3. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

Thanks for your comments OP, and for the link. A long story but I won't be using the Amex as often as a MC or Visa.

As we would be booking the tickets 6 months in advance i would also play around the dates to get the upgrade.

England
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4. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

Joe - you are right I thought it would be a given. Mmm food for thought that. The phrase 'you don't get owt for nowt' springs to mind. Thank you for your response.

UK
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5. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

IME airmiles are best when you have real flexibility on dates AND destinations. If you are looking to go at a certain time to a certain place, unless you get lucky, its probably not going to happen. As an example of the flexibility I mean, a few years back I was going to Hawaii on miles, couldn't find any availability, went elsewhere instead and went to Hawaii the following year.

Also that availability of only 5 days in the next 10 months is outbound only, you have the problem of matching that up with return availability as well, odds that it happens to match up with your expected span of dates is pretty low ! And I was looking for one ticket if you are looking for say two, for all I know there might be zero availability anyway.

Its better with other routes, this is a bad one, people occasionally come on here and have a rant about it which is how I happen to know :-)

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

If you've booked premium economy you can always monitor award availability and call to upgrade nearer the time. Only takes a few minutes to check each day, I've had luck getting upgrades (albeit not on the SFO route and from CW->First not PE->CW) a couple of days before travel.

newcastle
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7. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

Your best bet for a quick win is the amex gold rewards card (fee free for first year) with a 20,000 bonus if you spend 2k in the first 3 months (these are membership reward points which convert to avoid 1:1)

London
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8. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

I would recommend the BA one as well.

Virgin has the advantage that you can upgrade more than one class, whereas BA will only let you go up one level (and sometimes not at all if booked in WT)

However, availabilty is much, much more limited on VS

I agree with Joe that the best value is to buy WT+ and upgrade to CW.

I tend to track availability in CW by looking at availability for the next few days. You can sometimes get an indication of when award seats may become available (especially if you track the loads as well using expertflyer or something similar)

Ayr, Scotland
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9. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

We managed to get two CW seats on BA to San Francisco in April 2012 but I think we were really lucky. (100k Avios plus a companion ticket and about £1100) Booked 10 months in advance but availability on this route is much less now.

Are there any other US cities you would consider? Much more availability on other routes. We are counting the weeks till our first First to Boston ;-)

London
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10. Re: Airmiles/Upgrade

Or go indirect and use AA for the shorter hop.

You can do the same with VS/Delta if you decide to go down that route.