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This is an installment in my Istanbul: End of Year Mileage Run with Dad series. Posts include; Cheap Istanbul Flights: From $576 Total Roundtrip on Delta from JFK, Help Plan My Long Weekend in Istanbul, Flight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in Coach, Hotel Review: Westin Excelsior Rome, Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Spa Room, Istanbul Eats and Excursions.
My Dad emailed me about a month ago asking if I knew of a way to get 7,000 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles cheaply? I immediately emailed him back that he could get the Amex Delta Reserve Card and he’d get 10,000 MQMs with his first purchase – which will post towards 2011 status as long as he spends it in 2011.The card costs $450 a year, but gives SkyClub access, higher upgrade priority and a free companion ticket (including first class) every year. The benefits can greatly outweigh the annual fee, especially in the first year since Delta is selling 10,000 MQMs for a whopping $895!
However, that same evening I caught wind of ~$550 fares on Delta/Alitalia/KLM to Istanbul. I’ve never been and I know my Dad hasn’t either so I thought this would be a great chance to rack up elite miles and use some of the hotel points I’ve amassed this year through various promotions.
In the end, I was able to build in 3 nights in Istanbul and 1 night in both Rome and Amsterdam. I’ve been to the last two and have friends/tons of recommendations, but I have been so busy I haven’t done much research on Istanbul. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone disliking Istanbul, so I’m sure we are going to have a great time.
So as always – I’d like to hear from the legions of sage TPG readers – what should we do for four days in Istanbul? While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.