International Travel

Frequent Flyer Miles Getting Harder to Use

posted by Customs & International Trade Law Blog May 16, 2010 0 comments

Are you also having a tough time turning in frequent flyer miles to travel internationally?  My wife and I will travel to the beautiful area of Tuscany, Italy, this summer. I wanted to fly non-stop on Delta or Continental, or their code-share partners, but their roundtrip frequent flyer mile minimum requirements were very high – 90,000 and 100,000 miles, respectively!   Instead, I turned in 60,00 frequent flier miles  on American Airlines to get each of the tickets, paid $80 in "taxes" for each, and am flying on American Airlines’ code-share partner, Iberia Airlines, through Madrid. 

In years past, I had used only 50,000 frequent flyer miles on AA, Delta, and Continental to fly roundtrip from the United States to many countries in Europe.  Now, airlines want me to use double the miles, and charge me $20 per ticket for having to bother them by telephone to book the trip.  Since I live in South Florida, where American Airlines is the dominant carrier at Miami International Airport, I still have the AA Mastercard, of course, but charge on American Express whenever I can.

Fortunately, I have long had the Starwood American Express card, which allows me (for free) to move 20,000 Starpoints to get 25,000 frequent flyer miles on most airlines.  This is by far the best credit card I have ever used (yes, even better than the AMEX Platinum credit card).  After all,  I need to start saving for next year’s trip to Vienna, Austria.

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