Using Flyer Miles to get to Africa

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Andy Spencer, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Andy Spencer

    Andy Spencer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    19
    Does anyone have first hand experience doing this and can you recommend a good credit card for doing so? I've searched google, and found a few options but wanted to talk to hunters who have done so.


    thanks in advance
     

  2. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    7,603
    Video/Photo:
    257
    Likes Received:
    5,939
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe
    I have used delta miles to get there before. I got their credit card one time when they were offering 70,000 miles. In off peak time you can get to Joburg for 100,000-110,000 k miles.

    I also have a travel card with my bank, and will be cashing in the money earned for a flight next year.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
    lwaters and Andy Spencer like this.

  3. buck wild

    buck wild SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    765
    Video/Photo:
    241
    Likes Received:
    941
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    SCI Brush Country Chapter
    Hunted:
    Kalahari; Limpopo; Mexico; Texas
    I specifically had a Delta Sky miles Amex- I was able to build enough points in 2015 to get a"free" ticket for 150,000 points. Fast forward to this year, the threshold for Delta summer time tickets went to 300,000 points. No way will I ever be able to keep up that pace- so I ditched Delta, booked on Emirates and sold my Delta Sky miles ( I had 120,000) which I used to apply to my half priced ticket with Emirates.
    A late June ticket for the dates I NEEDED ( I don't have the flexibility to go when the prices are best) Delta was $2,400- same dates with Emirates $1,400. Moral of my story- find something else besides Delta Sky Miles AMEX :)
     
    Hogpatrol likes this.

  4. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,182
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Location:
    DFW
    Member of:
    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
    Used United miles twice... its about 65K miles per ticket to South Africa from the US.. went from DFW to Frankfurt to Joberg both times..

    When we lived in Tennessee we typically flew through United hubs to get anywhere, so we picked up the Mileage Plus Explorer card from Chase bank..

    Now that we are living in TX and are near an American Airlines hub, we have transitioned to an American Airlines visa (also through Chase I believe...).. but havent tried to get to Africa using American miles yet..
     

  5. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,150
    Video/Photo:
    84
    Likes Received:
    2,660
    Member of:
    Dallas Safari Club, Safari Club Int.
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA, Northwest and Limpopo Provinces
    All the above are correct. First you figure out which airline best serves you based on where you live and where you most likely will go. I have AMEX co brand for Delta, Chase Visa co brand for United and Citi Mastercard co brand for American. Once you make a decision, use that card for buying everything you buy on a daily basis. Amex has limits on its daily use because they charge more fees to the business. I have been buying gas on my Chase United Visa for 5 years now. Are you a farmer? Buy all your farm fuel on that card. That's a lot of miles accumulated on just gas and gas is something I am going to buy whether or not I ever fly to Africa on United. But United is a great choice for flying to Europe or Alaska for many reasons unrelated to hunting! If you just want one, make a choice and stick with it for everything possible....just pay it off every month, and your next trip to Africa will cost you much less!
     

  6. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,182
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Location:
    DFW
    Member of:
    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
    +1

    We literally pay for EVERYTHING with our "miles" card other than our mortgage and my truck note.. all of our bills that are set up on auto pay are set up to be paid with the miles card.. every trip to the grocery store.. every tank of gas.. every needless cabelas purchase that I seem to make weekly.. etc.. it all goes on that one card..

    Doing this, its been more than a decade since I have paid for an international ticket for either me or my wife.. we have been to Belize, Italy, Turkey, Argentina, South Africa (twice), and Nicaragua all on tickets purchased with miles within the last 10 years.. and we're headed to Peru tomorrow morning to do some duck hunting and a little tourism.. those tickets were purchased with miles as well..

    Granted I also rack up a good number of miles (40-50K) annually due to business travel.. and used to travel as much as 200K miles a year several years ago.. so I stored up a pretty good bank over time that I have been able to burn through..
     
    ufg8r93 and sierraone like this.

  7. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    360
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    453
    Hunted:
    New Jersey, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, Mexico, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Namibia
    +1 in all of the above but I will add that you can use United miles in South African airways 80,000 for direct jfk to joberg. I have done it only downside is you can’t pick your seats in advance. But saa out all six of us together.
     
    Philip Glass likes this.

  8. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,150
    Video/Photo:
    84
    Likes Received:
    2,660
    Member of:
    Dallas Safari Club, Safari Club Int.
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA, Northwest and Limpopo Provinces
    If you use American and go through London, you can't carry guns. American doesn't have any agreement with the gun moving company there. So if you are renting guns from the outfitter, all is well, because you have to transfer to BA in London if going to Africa.
     

  9. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,182
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Location:
    DFW
    Member of:
    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
    I hate BA as a general rule.. and really am not a fan of American either to be honest.. but living in Dallas, American is definitely the airline of choice.. and their routes in and out of South America are generally the best and most affordable as well (the Peru trip were taking tomorrow and the next Argentina trip we are making in March were a big part of the consideration)...

    When we do our next safari Africa in 2019, we're definitely going to have to figure something out.. London isnt in the cards... I will absolutely be carrying my own rifles.. we'll either have to check into other American code shared options that take us where we want to go without taking us through London.. or if those arent available, we'll just have to bite the proverbial bullet and actually purchase tickets for the first time in a long time..
     

  10. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,100
    Video/Photo:
    113
    Likes Received:
    3,567
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    I don’t do miles. I always get cash back and put it into an “outdoor” account making money. Hasn’t been much the last few years until recently, but it accumulates in an S&P fund. Works for me.
    Good luck in how ever you do it.
     
    Philip Glass and Hogpatrol like this.

  11. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,317
    Video/Photo:
    62
    Likes Received:
    2,061
    Location:
    Seward, Alaska
    Member of:
    SCI, RMEF
    Hunted:
    AK, WY, WA, ID, FL, SD, TX, HI, South Africa- Northwest Province
    I used Alaska Air miles on Emerites for my son and I and it all worked well.
    I have 2 Alaska Air credit cards, one for business and 1 for personal use and participate in every program I can to earn more miles.
     
    sierraone likes this.

  12. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    3,735
    Video/Photo:
    44
    Likes Received:
    6,948
    Location:
    Delaware, USA
    Member of:
    Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA
    Hunted:
    RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX
    I used United/Chase miles for two round trips to Joburg. As posted previously, the gotcha is you can't pick your seats but if you go in midweek, there are empty seats so you can move around.
     
    sierraone likes this.

  13. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    2,239
    Video/Photo:
    53
    Likes Received:
    3,317
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
    Hunted:
    RSA, Namibia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, Zimbabwe, Texas
    I use an American Airlines card due to the fact that AA is all we have here. I am using miles this next trip to get me to ATL then paying to go on Delta. Since the AA and Delta flights can not be put on one ticket it should be fine. Using miles can have its issues however. I had a real mess going to Europe one time where I used points on the first leg and bought the second. We had a weather delay and I had to buy new tickets. Had I just purchased them and put them all on one ticket (by the travel agent) It would have been fine and they would have had to rebook me.
    Best of luck planning your safari!
    Philip
     

  14. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    12,856
    Video/Photo:
    205
    Likes Received:
    9,014
    Member of:
    Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
    Hunted:
    South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    I have used Delta Skymiles to make every trip and book all but one ticket over the last six years. All have been business class tickets with the exception of one ticket that I just bought for my son in Delta Comfort, Full disclosure I travel almost weekly on delta for business so I accumulate miles and status the hard way. Some on AH have actually asked if I lived in the Atlanta airport. The weekly grind pays off as Delta rewards you with additional miles as status builds. For 2018 I am at Diamond status, highest level, so every purchased ticket price gets multiplied by a factor of 11....a $500 ticket becomes 5,500 Skymiles. I just reached Platinum status for 2019 yesterday and picked as my status gift from Delta ....20,000 Skymiles. I will hit 2019 Diamond status by November and I will pick up 75,000 Skymiles as the status gift. Then I buy bonus miles on many flights to build up the total balance. Like @reedy0312 i got the Delta AMX card when they were offering 70,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000. By using that card for all business and personal expenses that initial requirement took two weeks. Then all additional charges convert straight to Skymikes. Delta purchases on the card are multiplied by a factor of 1.5 which builds your total a little. In addition I accumulate points with Marriott Rewards making sure to sign up for additional bonus rewards promotions. I stay in hotels about 100 nights a year. When you get 70,000 points that converts to 25,000 Skymiles and I can do that about three times a year. Hertz rental cars points will convert to Delta Skymiles also. Recently converted 24,000 hertz points into 20,000 Skymiles. So right now with all the programs I’m sitting on about 900,000 Skymiles and should be at 1.2 million by the first of the year. So that would buy several coach tickets to Johannesburg or two business class.
    There are many ways to accumulate points or miles you just have to travel a lot or use Credit cards a lot for business and or personal expenses.
    I know one member here who uses his credit card for his farming business for everything he purchases from seed to fertilizer and the point stack up quickly. Heck a few years ago I bought my wife a new car in another city over the phone and gave them my AMX credit card for the down payment.....points and miles are out there just about everywhere.
    Hope this helps @Andy Spencer. Good luck accumulating those miles.
     
    ufg8r93, cagkt3, wesheltonj and 3 others like this.

  15. Adam Stevens

    Adam Stevens AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    176
    Video/Photo:
    63
    Likes Received:
    245
    Location:
    Fraser Valley
    Hunted:
    Canada, USA, Mexico
    As a Canadian I’ve used my RBC Avion visa for every purchase and monthly expenses I could for the past 5+ years. Even building my house my builder let me use my visa to pay for materials.

    I built up 230k points in that time and 65k is a flight to most major destinations. And 100k for a flight anywhere, up to $2000 ticket price.

    So when time came to book my flight to Harare this September, I was able to book a slightly upgraded seating YVR- HRE. Since they only pay ticket price not taxes or fees instead of booking a 2k flight and the ticket price was 1500. I booked upgraded 2600 and ticket price was 1800.

    That way I got the most out my points and only had to fork up 700$ for the whole deal.

    I was happy with it.
     
    ve7poi and CAustin like this.

  16. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Messages:
    320
    Video/Photo:
    9
    Likes Received:
    374
    Location:
    Brentwood, TN
    Member of:
    Life Member SCI, Director-Music City SCI Chapter, NWTF, NRA
    Hunted:
    SA, Zambia, Tanzania
    Andy, if you will PM me I will give you the name and number of the travel agent I use. She specializes in brokering/buying miles and then finding the best deal going. She sends hunters all over Africa and is just a fabulous person as well. I am sure she can help you out and her fees are really too cheap. I tell her that all the time and usually give her more than she ask for because of the level of effort she puts forth.
     
    Philip Glass and Andy Spencer like this.

  17. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    564
    Video/Photo:
    53
    Likes Received:
    676
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
    Unless you rack up large numbers on credit card expenditures, most mile cards like Delta Amex are really not worth it, IMO. Plus most times they are really a hassle to use. Being a blue collar retiree I can't really rack up huge numbers like many businesses can. Had a Delta Amex card for years. I think I was able use the "mile" maybe once on a trip to Africa. Got maybe $1000 comp value out of it over at least 15 years. The best advantage was maybe getting to be seated 10 minutes earlier than others and getting an extra bag free for domestic Delta connections to Intl- big woop! Intl. flight already allow 2 bags if on Delta or related carriers. Had an issue with the Delta Amex card a couple of years ago- dumped it in favor of straight double cash back Citi. Haven't looked back.
     
    Andy Spencer likes this.

  18. Fjold

    Fjold AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    61
    Video/Photo:
    9
    Likes Received:
    97
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California, USA
    Member of:
    NRA - Endowment Life, SAF - Life, CRPA -Life
    Hunted:
    Namibia 2008 (Khomas Highlands, Kalahari), Zimbabwe 2011 (Zambezi Valley), South Africa 2013 (East Cape) South Africa 2016 (KwaZulu Natal)
    I fly a lot and use my Chase/United Club card, this gets me about 100,000 miles per year. I just booked two business class, roundtrip tickets from Los Angeles to Windhoek for the last week in April for 320,000 miles.

    In the last ten years, I've booked six R/T tickets to Africa and three R/T tickets to Japan on my frequent flyer miles, these have mostly been on Super Saver fares, off peak seasons.
     

  19. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    744
    Video/Photo:
    74
    Likes Received:
    826
    Hunted:
    South Africa, USA, Canada
    80k Miles United from jfk to joberg. I did this 2x, 2014 & 2016. Not all legs direct. Also 80k Dulles to Windhoek this year coming up via partner airline. No hassles or issues on first two flights. All were/are Regular coach class.
     
    Martin77 likes this.

  20. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    744
    Video/Photo:
    74
    Likes Received:
    826
    Hunted:
    South Africa, USA, Canada
    Just returned from Namibia. Flew Ethiopian Airlines via United miles. Only brought bows. No issues either way.
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice