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Old 10-25-2003, 04:52 PM   #1
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Where to redeem points? (Interesting decision...)

Wanted some advice.
I have 52,000 Diners club points that will expire soon (my company stopped paying for the annual fee, so I'm closing my account.) A major factor is that I will probably be travelling for about the next year every week between LGA and BOS.

UNITED
Currently have 27,000 miles. No status, most likely will not be flying regularly. May earn 200 weekly miles with rental car (National or Avis).

US Air
Currently have about 27,000 miles. Silver status, most likely will be earning 1,500 miles (incl 50% bonus) every week (US Air Shuttle) for the next 45 weeks?

DELTA
Currently have about 3,000 miles. No status. I could fly Delta Shuttle instead of US Air for the next 45 weeks (and may be forced to b/c right now it's a bit cheaper than US Air - but no one's said anything yet). But it would take a while to earn status.

My goal is to be able to earn free flight(s) to asia, and I would specifically like to fly on Singapore Air b/c they're so cool. Singapore air is in the Star Alliance with Delta and United. However, a US Air rep said that they gearing to enter the Star Alliance by Q1 or Q2 2004. My options include:

-Redeem points with US Air and continue to fly with US Air on the likelihood they will enter the Star Alliance. I will reach a balance of 120,000 within a year (assuming current status). However, if they don't enter the alliance or if something bad happens to them, then I'm stuck with a lot of not-very useful points.
-Redeem points with Delta and fly Delta shuttle. I'm guessing within a year I'll end up with about ... 80,000 Delta miles? with about 26K in United and US Air. Hopefullly enough for a trip to asia and 2 domestics in the US.
-Redeem points with United and continue to fly with US Air. That would give me about 53,000 w/United and 95,000 with US Air by the end of the year. I could go to Asia if US Air enters the alliance. If not, I would be fairly close with United and have a lot of free domestics with US Air. Also, risk reduction thru diversification.

The first option seems the most effective, however I'm not sure of US Air's stability and there's a risk that for whatever reason they don't enter the Star alliance.

Another question: is it generally better to redeem points for miles or hotel points? I could also redeem my points for about 15,000 Starwood points or 30,000 Marriot points. I will be staying either in a Sheraton, Marriot Courtyard, or Marriot Residence Inn for about the next year. But that's another post...
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Old 10-25-2003, 06:23 PM   #2
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Why not just spend the extra 2 nights in a hotel every week and save all the money you would spend on flying back and forth?
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