Travel Tuesday Top 10: My Miles, Points and General Travel Wishlist for 2013

by on December 25, 2012 · 16 comments

in American, American Express, Delta

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It has been quite a year for the points and miles world, with lots of juicy credit card and mileage bonuses (and not one, but two American Airlines double EQM promos!). I’m still not sure whether I’ve been naughty or nice this year (I have been cheating hardcore on my long-term fling with Delta), but here are my wishlisht items for this Christmas. If none of these work out, I’ll just take a Gulfstream G5 jet or at a very minimum a Delta Private Jets card that comes along with Diamond Medallion Status!). Feel free to comment with your most realistic wishes in 2013.

In no particular order…
SP5_reasonably_small1) Delta decides not to change toward a revenue based frequent flyer program. While I’ve begun to limit my exposure to Delta by attaining elite status on American, United and Virgin America as well, my main concern is that if they successfully devalue their program, others might follow. Let’s keep a good thing going and not rock the boat with trying to change the industry. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

2) Hyatt decides to do a major program improvement to be more competitive with Starwood Preferred Guest. I’d like to see a cash and points redemption option, award stays counting towards elite and suite upgrades on awards stays.
TSA Precheck logo TM
3) More TSA Pre-check locations around country. I’ve been spoiled with this great expedited security feature and would love to see it standard at every airport int he US.
4) Amex adds US Airways as a partner and makes Starwood at transfer partner at a 2:1 ratio instead of 3:1.
Citi Thank You
5) Citi adds transfer partners to Thank You program including American Airlines, Hilton and Alaska.

6) US Airways and Delta relaunch their lucrative Share Miles promotions that sell miles at 1.1 cent apiece.

7) British Airways wakes up and realizes their fuel surcharges are insane and lowers them – at least for economy redemptions which currently make absolutely no sense since it can be cheaper to buy tickets than redeem and pay hundreds in taxes and fees.

8) There are more stellar credit card sign-up bonuses of at least 75,000 points and minimum spending requirements are lowered across the board.
9) Vanilla Reloads to be sold all over and you can buy with credit cards.

10) American Airlines does not merge with anyone and emerges from bankruptcy as a standalone carrier. In my opinion, the less airlines, the more we all pay in fares so I’d like to see four major US domestic airlines (United, Delta, US Airways and American) and it seems like American is trying to do this.

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  • gary leff

    I love all of these wishes. All except 3, 5, 6 are something of a long shot.

    Hyatt will likely do some things to improve their program but I’d take issue with the framing ‘Hyatt decides to do a major program improvement to be more competitive with Starwood Preferred Guest.’

    Hyatt already offers CONFIRMED AT BOOKING suite upgrades for Diamonds — all Diamonds, not just 50 night a year Diamonds, even status challenge temporary Diamonds! — four times per year up to 7 nights at a time. I’d love to see these offered on award nights but i don’t expect it.

    Still, Hyatt ALSO offers the best values for point upgrades. Starwood requires double points to redeem for suites. Hyatt is ~ 50% more. And Hyatt offers cheap points upgrades on paid nights as well (must pay Hyatt Daily Rate but SPG has rate restrictions too, doesn’t let you confirm until 5 days out, and in some cases charges 10 TIMES as much).

    Hyatt has a better breakfast benefit — you don’t give up your points amenity to get it, and it isn’t Continental, and in fact when there’s no lounge it’s up to 4 people for full breakfast.

    Hyatt is more lucrative for in-hotel spend, and their top tier hotels are more reasonable for redemption.

    That said I do like SPG’s cash and points awards and that award nights are eligible for 50 night plat suite night upgrades. And that Starwood does upgrade to suites if available at checkin when not redeeming suite night upgrades or points, while this sometimes happens with Hyatt it is not a published benefit.

    I think Hyatt made huge strides a few years ago, cut back on the bonus points, and hasn’t introduced huge innovations recently (though getting rid of white ginger is kinda huge!). So it *SEEMS* like they’re falling behind. But I really don’t think that they are in any sort of side-by-side analysis.

  • T Nick Usalis Knight

    I think you should have wished for more credit card companies getting in on the deals. (now mainly the big 4)

  • Kbulo1

    Ughh, so many typos.

  • Socalac1983

    What are we gonna do? Can’t even read it??? Glad we have an English teacher around! Thank you for pointing out the typos Kbulo!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ron B.

    How ’bout Chase adding promotional mileage transfer options ala Amex?

    Isn’t there a 5th major US airline by the way?

  • Sfobuddy

    Delta decides not to change toward a revenue based frequent flyer program

    So this IS happening? I missed that confirmation post ;-)

  • thepointsguy

    United, US Airways, Delta, American unless I’m missing something

  • thepointsguy

    Agreed- and even for the newbies like US Bank to loosen up a little bit with approvals

  • thepointsguy

    I didn’t say Hyatt was a terrible program- it would just be better if you could use suite upgrades on awards and they counted point stays towards elite status since they have relatively so few properties, it is hard (for me at least) to retain status and still use points.

    A boy can wish!

  • Ron B.

    Re #10: I know that Southwest doesn’t have a lot of (any?) aspirational travel or a first class offering, but don’t you think they have an impact on the fares we pay on the routes in which they compete?

  • Jackdany

    You’re not a boy you hobbit

  • Larry

    Club Carlson realizes the error of its ways and changes bank partner from US Bank to a modern, progressive cc issuer like Chase.

  • cdubz

    Usair grand slam

  • thepointsguy

    Yes- that too!

  • thepointsguy


  • oneeyejack

    how do you transfer thank you points to american, hilton or alaska?

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