All of the popular points and miles blogs advice you to do one very important thing before you set up your «points strategy»: Define what your travel goal is.
So here it is: I wanna go to Australia at some points, and I wanna fly first class. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, and on a revenue ticket that would cost me somewhere between 35.000 and 70.000 Norwegian kroner (equal to 4.000 – 8.000 US dollars at current rates).
That is highly unlikely, so if that dream is ever going to come true, it is going to have to happen with bonus points.
Unfortunately the availability of credit cards with decent points/miles accrual here in Norway is limited. The Bank Norwegian credit card gives you Cashpoints with Norwegian Air, which basically is a cashback on flights with the airline, as well as a slight return on all of your other purchases (1 Cashpoint = 1 NOK).
As Norwegian does not offer any better product than their Premium cabin and does not participate in any alliance, this is not a very valuable currency for me.
The other option is of course Star Alliance partner SAS, which offers a few co-branded credit cards on their own, as well as sells points to DNB, Norway’s largest bank. Point earnings vary from 10 points per 100 kroner to 25 points on the most exclusive credit cards.
With my current card I’m earning 15 points/100 kroner, which earns me enough points to never pay cash for any domestic tickets in Norway (which are 10.000 points return).
According to the SAS Star Alliance award chart, a return First class ticket to Australia would cost 240.000 points. That, too, sounds pretty unlikely to happen any time soon at my current rate of points accrual.
So what to do? Well, first of all there’s a credit card that can help me make this happen, and that is the SAS American Express Platinum.
At 1800 kroner per year, the card is definitely not a bargain, but that will first of all increase my points earnings to 20 points/100 kroner, in addition to giving me lounge access through Priority Pass and some other perks.
What makes the card extra attractive, however, is the possibility for a so-called Companion Ticket. If you manage to spend 100.000 kroner on the card within 12 months, you get the opportunity to book an award ticket anywhere in the world with Star Alliance, including premium cabins, at half the normal point price. That would make the dream journey possible at 120.000 Eurobonus points, a considerably more realistic sum.
Unfortunately I don’t qualify for the card juuuust yet, as it comes with a more or less strict income requirement. It should be obtainable in a month or two, however.
So here we are. The goal is defined. Now I’m gonna go out and enjoy the journey to get there, starting with Miami on SAS next week. Stay tuned!