Happy New Year! I will make this quick since most of you are hung over. I get a lot of questions about a roadmap of what I should do if I started churning today. Here is I would do with a clean slate:
- Get the American Express Platinum (40k), Business Platinum (100k), Mercedes Platinum (50k), Premier Rewards Gold (25 k), spread it out over the year to make the spend for the bonuses
- Call in or submit online to ask for the SCRA to have your $1,570 in annual fees waived, also get your priority pass and global entry
- Select the preferred airline here, and use the gift registry/card trick for a total of $700 in credit, select from the airlines listed above
- Pool the 215,000 MR points and spend it on your selected airline for $4,300 in airfare via AmEx Biz Pt
- Decide where to go with $5,000 in airfare in your selected airline.
You could fly ORD to HKG almost 7 times round trip with this method and make United 1K Primer Status with 15,574 PQM per round trip (assuming PQD waiver for living overseas). This is because AmEx books and reimburses you with a statement credit for all flights so they are all considered revenue flights.
United is pretty strict regarding overseas addresses. They want documentation such as orders or a utility bill to verify APO/FPO address. They also use USPS address change updates to get rid of your address when you move, and for good reason! Look at what these guys want for PQDs just to qualify for status:
If you are stationed in Okinawa you can take the cheap Peach flight to HKG for $150 round trip, and then connect in HKG to fly home. Keep in mind if any segment of your itinerary is on a partner airline (like ANA) you won’t be able to use the gift registry balance. Take advantage of your Priority Pass lounge access while in HKG, the free dim sum is amazing.Please use the referral links above or here to support the site: American Express Platinum (40k), Business Platinum (100k), Mercedes Platinum (50k), Premier Rewards Gold (25 k).
Thanks for the support!