If you have read The Beginners Guide you know that getting two different cards and using them in tandem leads to the highest mileage balances. How High? 100,000 miles split between two cards is pretty damn good. 100,000 miles can take you round trip in Business Class from the US to Europe, South America or parts of Asia.
Its the Holiday season and I find that this is an ideal time to sign up for cards. Spending is natural in the holiday season and you might as well be rewarded for your spending by using a card giving you 50,000 miles in exchange! As always, only spend money you have but use your credit card for all spending so that you are earning points and miles for every single purchase. I think the best combo out right now is the British Airways Visa Signature Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
British Airways Avios is currently my favorite airline currency. You don't have to use British Airways miles on British Airways. They are partners with: American, US Airways, Iberia, TAM, LAN and many more. You can use their miles to fly any of these airlines and often for less miles than the individual airlines themselves charge. Chase is offering the British Airways Visa Signature card which offers 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 within three months. The Earning Points & Miles guide offers lots of insight on how to accomplish this without over extending. I recently used 50,000 British Airways miles to book an American Airlines Business Class flight to South America.
Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite go to card. Not only does it look...awesome and is made out of metal, it comes with fantastic features and tons of points. After spending and adding an authorized user (you can keep the card in a sock drawer) you yield a minimum of 48,000 points. I personally used the card for travel and dining purchases which yielded me 51,286 points for the initial bonus. You can then transfer Chase (Ultimate Rewards) Points to British Airways giving you a combined mileage balance of 100,000 or more miles.
US Airways, American, Delta and United all charge a minimum of 25,000 miles round trip for a flight within the United States regardless of destination. British Airways uses distance based mileage awards meaning the cost in miles is based on distance. You can fly from New York to Florida for only 15,000 British Airways Miles (Avios) round trip on American or US Airways. If you used US Airways or American miles, as discussed this would cost you 25,000 miles! If New York to Florida is your cup of tea these two cards would yield you 6 round trips and a one way flight. There are tons of ways to use miles and as always it's all about what you are looking for. These miles can take you in Business Class to most of the world so if you are planning a big trip this could be a great way to go for free!
Want to add 20,000 points to this total bringing it to 120,000 total points? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a very easy trick!