I was on 1010XL with Richard Miller earlier tonight in Jacksonville talking Jags, London and more. Check it out!
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I cannot imagine a scenario where Tim Tebow is a Jacksonville Jaguar. Even if he is released.
We got our man.
I’ve made it clear from Day One that we pledge nothing less than to deliver the first Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville.
Wheels Up Duval: Chapter 2 – JAX -> LHR -> JAX
In Chapter 1, we covered how Jaguars fans can replicate the NFL On Location package for 2013’s game at Wembley Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers for less than half the official rate, saving thousands of dollars. Now, it’s time to start cutting even deeper as we roll on towards our goal of $500 per person for a 2-person trip.
The biggest cost component of the trip is, doubtlessly, airfare. We found a number of roundtrip options, including tax, on Delta for $1,077. This number can be brought down all the way to nearly $200 if you have good credit and are willing to take advantage of some insane offers from Citi and American Airlines. No, I don’t get a referral of any sort for this and yes, I’ve already done this for myself.
The first step is to go to this link. This is a special offer that gives you 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage points after spending $1,000 on either a Citi MasterCard or Citi American Express in the first four months you have the card. The card also entitles you to a free bag when traveling, 10% of your miles back on any award travel and a companion pass that lets someone else travel free with you on a domestic flight if you spend more than $299 on that flight.
What makes this an even more exceptional opportunity is that it’s possible to sign up for both of these cards in order to earn a total of 80,000 miles just for spending a couple grand on your regular expenses over the first few months you have the cards. To do this, you need to sign up for both cards at the same time using two separate browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox. This outstanding page from Million Mile Secrets has the specific steps for you to follow. Please note that even though he references 50,000 mile deals, these appear to be expired. This works with the 40,000 mile link I provided above, though, so my advice is to use the 40,000 mile offer following Million Mile Secrets’ steps. If you don’t already have an AAdvantage member number, make sure to get one before applying for these cards, as you have to indicate which rewards account you’d like these miles to be deposited to once earned. Also, it’s possible if you’re married for both you and your spouse to separately apply for both of these cards.
So what can 80,000 miles get you? This chart from AA has the answers. Scroll down to North America to Europe and prepare for your jaw to drop: Off-Peak travel requires just 20,000 miles each way. While not all mileage programs are created equally, AAdvantage is often comparable to Delta Skymiles, through which this trip would typically cost 60,000 miles each way. Note the off-peak dates for AA travel to Europe from America: October 15 through May 15, an insanely long “off-peak” season, and one that aligns perfectly with the Jaguars game on October 27th.
You can go here to look up various travel dates. I’ve had my entire family follow these steps, and we’re tentatively planning to stay for a week around the game. Because fares are booked as one-way components, it’s possible to fly into one city and fly out of a different one. For example, we may choose to fly into Paris or Edinburgh initially and fly out of Heathrow at the end of the trip, beginning and ending in Jacksonville.
An important word of warning: while travel on British Airways is almost certain to be a better experience than traveling on American, and is possible through American’s OneWorld mileage program, British Airways charges tremendous fees and fuel surcharges for award flights. It’s CRITICAL therefore when putting together your personal itinerary to not select flights that include “BA” as one of the flight components. If you do, your taxes and fees will skyrocket to above $700, instead of around $200.
In this example, you want the AA and AA flight, not the AA and BA one, unless you’re comfortable paying a much higher fee due to BA’s fuel surcharge.
There are many flight possibilities available. Your taxes and fees will shift somewhat, but I made a sample trip that connects through Miami on the way out and through O’Hare on the way back, originating and ending in Jacksonville and London Heathrow. This itinerary costs 40,000 miles and $197.10, a more than $800 savings over booking travel on the cheapest cash flight. What’s more, if you sign up for both cards like I did, you’ll be able to do the exact same thing in 2014, or fly to other destinations like Japan.
A final note on the credit cards: people are often hesitant to sign up for more credit cards than they feel they need, believing it harms their credit. It’s true that opening a new account can ding you 5-10 points in the short term, say for the next 6 to 12 months. The reality, though, is that 30% of your FICO credit score is calculated based on credit utilization. Because of this, signing up for more credit cards can actually improve your credit in the long run.
Let’s say you spend $2,000 a month and have $10,000 of credit availability. You have a credit utilization ratio of 20%. If you open new cards driving your total credit line up to $20,000 but spend the same $2,000 monthly, your credit utilization would now be 10%, which is perceived as twice as good by the FICO formula. If you’re looking to refinance or obtain a new auto loan imminently and don’t have a solid credit history, this might not be a good idea for you. If you’re not in the market for a big loan in the next 6 months, though, I would highly recommend this method, with the caveat that I am not an expert in the field by any means.
If you have any questions, please contact me and I’ll be happy to help you however I can!