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It’s that time of year again – the valuable perks that top-tier elites have earned with airlines and hotels are starting to expire, and if you haven’t gotten around to using some of your systemwide upgrade or suite upgrades yet, rather than losing them, think about helping fellow members of the points community out by either exchanging them or just giving them away (hey, there’s nothing like a little good points karma).
While some start expiring this week, February 28 tends to be the last day that many of these perks are available, so if you’ve got some sitting around in your account and can’t be bothered to find someone to use them on, I hope you’ll consider giving them to other readers.
Here’s how it’ll work. In the comments section of this post, leave a message with what perks you have – systemwide upgrades, suite upgrades, lounge passes, drink certificates, etc. that you can gift to others who can use them. I can’t create an exchange marketplace myself, but what I would suggest doing is listing what you have including any conditions, such as: “HAVE: XYZ upgrade, expiring XYZ date. Restrictions: For example international vs domestic, fare restrictions, etc.” In your comment, list your email – I would suggest creating a special email account just for this that people can contact you at, and then once your benefit has been spoken for, just leave a reply to your original comment saying: “Completed,” or something like that.
If someone posts a benefit that you’re interested in, you can email them directly and give a quick reason why you need it and make sure you include your travel dates and class of service to make sure you are eligible for the upgrade. Please be brief and respectful!
We’re not going to police the comments and I am not encouraging anything illicit. I want to state very clearly that I don’t condone or allow selling benefits, but if there’s a way that I can help readers fairly trade or barter benefits that would otherwise go unused, I want to do so, so start swapping away! Again, I will not be monitoring your exchanges, so please do not email me specific benefits you are trying to get since I have no way of procuring them for you.
Meanwhile, for reference, here’s a handy list of deadlines of the major airlines and hotels:
Upgrades that were earned based on your 2011 flight activity are valid through February 28, 2013. Upgrades earned based on your 2012 flight activity are valid through February 28, 2014. Upgrades will expire at 12:00 midnight (CT) on the date shown and you must fly by the expiration date. Some people have reported success asking American to extend them, though generally that is not the case.
Transferring to someone else: Call your Elite Service Desk in advance to make the reservation and request the upgrade (the same way you do when you claim a mileage award from your account for someone else). Then the passenger can go to the airport to check in without you being present. If you do not call your Elite Service Desk in advance, the passenger cannot be accommodated at the airport unless you are also present.
DELTA (The systemwide upgrade holder must be traveling, so these are much less useful than other airline upgrade certificates)
Valid for use within or between the 50 United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Mexico on published Economy class fares booked in Y, B, M, H, Q, or K class. Valid for use between Asia, Central America, Europe, India, Australia, North America, South America, and Africa on published Economy class fares booked in Y, B, M class. Upgrades may be redeemed for the named Medallion member and up to one travel companion in the same reservation. The named member and the companion will each require a separate certificate. Valid for a one way upgrade on Delta and certain Delta Connection carrier operated flights. You can also use on Air France/KLM flights. For all terms see this page.
Expiration Date: Certificate expires twelve months from date of issue. Certificate may not be extended, reissued or returned for credit under any circumstances.
Global Premier Upgrades will be deposited at the time when they are earned, and will be valid for travel through the end of the Premier program year for which they are earned. For example, a Global Premier Upgrade earned in June 2013 will be valid for travel through January 2015. Global Premier Upgrades earned via 2011 activity are valid for twelve months from the date of issue. These upgrades can be used on paid, published fares for upgrades from United Economy, United Business or United BusinessFirst to the next higher cabin. Fare classes Z, P, S, T, L, K, G and N may only be upgraded on flights to select regions. See the upgrade regions chart for full details on upgrade eligibility and fare restrictions.
Once the traveler’s ticket has been issued, members can redeem Global Premier Upgrades by viewing the reservation on united.com and selecting the Upgrade Reservation link. Global Premier Upgrades may also be redeemed by contacting United Reservations.
Premier members may request an upgrade for any other traveler using a Global Premier Upgrade, even if they are not traveling on the same reservation. In order to sponsor a Global Premier Upgrade for another traveler, the sponsoring member will need to sign in to united.com using their own account, then search for the reservation using the traveling member’s confirmation number and last name. The sponsoring member can then redeem the Global Premier Upgrade by selecting the Upgrade Reservation link. Waitlist confirmation priority is based on the Premier status of the redeeming account.
Chairman’s Preferred members receive receive 2 electronic certificates each year for one way First Class/Envoy upgrades that you can use for upgrades to or from Hawaii, Europe, South America and the Middle East.
These certificates are issued each year on March 1 and expire at the end of February of the following year (so February 28, 2013). If you’re traveling with a companion, they must be booked in the same reservation and will be processed at the same time as the Preferred member.
Here’s how to use your annual electronic upgrades:
- Purchase your ticket through US Airways or a travel agent.
- Provide your Dividend Miles account number to a Personal Liaison at the Chairman’s Preferred desk to process the electronic upgrade for you and your companion. As always, upgrade eligibility is based on the fare you purchased and is subject to capacity control.
- This benefit cannot be used within 1 hour of a domestic flight or within 4 hours of an international flight.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards