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Throughout the course of the year, we’ll be keeping up with several TPG readers as they work toward meeting various travel goals. We kicked off this series with Heather P., who’s hoping to open her first travel rewards credit card in 2018.
Today, let’s meet Bryan O., who has a specific trip in mind. (Comment has been lightly edited for clarity.)
My goal is to continue saving for a round-the-world trip. I’m shooting for 2 business class tickets through Singapore at 240k miles each. Currently I have about 300k Ultimate Rewards points and ~40k in Singapore accounts so not too far off, relatively speaking! Hoping that we’ll have enough to book by end of 2018 for travel maybe the following year.
A handful of frequent flyer programs let you redeem miles for around-the-world itineraries, typically with a maximum number of segments and stopovers allowed. Of course, you could always piece together an award itinerary that takes you around the globe, but redeeming your rewards specifically for an around-the-world trip can take out some of the guesswork — not to mention there’s something pretty satisfying about locking in this type of trip. Singapore’s round-the-world award option lets you visit up to seven cities served by Star Alliance airlines.
Between his balance of KrisFlyer miles and Ultimate Rewards points (which transfer to Singapore KrisFlyer at a 1:1 rate) Bryan currently has enough rewards to book one business-class around-the-world award through Singapore — and he’s just 20,000 miles short of one first-class award (360,000 miles) or two economy awards (180,000 miles each).
This trip will be much more fun when shared with a companion, of course, and we don’t blame him for wanting to ride in comfort, especially when some of those flights will be on the long side. Bryan is currently about 140,000 miles short of the required 480,000 to book two of these awards in business-class, and he’s luckily given himself plenty of time to earn the extra rewards — he’s not planning to travel till 2019, though he would like to book by the end of this year.
Luckily, Singapore KrisFlyer is a partner of all four of the major transferable points programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. That means he has tons of options for earning the Singapore miles he needs. Our next step will be checking in with Bryan to learn which cards he currently has in his wallet, which ones he may be considering applying for, what categories he spends the most in and more. And we’re pretty curious about which destinations he’s considering for this around-the-world ticket, too.
Of course, he could already have a strategy for earning those 140,000 miles in place, but we’ll be here to offer advice along the way — and to share his progress a few months down the line!
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees