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Elite Status

Delta Raising Medallion Qualifying Dollar Thresholds in 2015

October 9, 2014

In yet another bold move to undermine its frequent flyers, Delta is increasing the amount of Medallion Qualifying Dollars you’ll need to spend in order to qualify for elite status starting in 2015 for 2016 Medallion qualification. Delta is increasing the MQD requirements for earning 2016 Medallion status, which is based on flights flown between January 1, […]

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Credit Cards that Offer Elite Status for Car Rentals

September 29, 2014

At a time when elite benefits are shrinking and those that still exist are becoming more elusive, I’m appreciative of any elite status that I can get and maintain the easy way, even for rental cars. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses credit cards that let you circumnavigate the elite status requirements at rental car agencies, so you can reap the […]

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Should I Switch From United Premier 1K for More Upgrades?

September 28, 2014

TPG Reader Kyle tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m a United Premier 1K based in San Francisco (SFO). There are too many 1K members in San Francisco, meaning I miss too many upgrades. Does it make sense to switch airlines?” A lot of things are happening for elite flyers this year. First off, United and […]

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Earn 250 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles for Hilton Stays

September 26, 2014

Hilton and Delta just launched a promotion similar to the one they had last year, offering 250 Medallion Qualifying Miles per stay of two nights or more and double miles between October 6, 2014 and December 20, 2014, up to a maximum of 10,000 MQMs when you select Delta as your Hilton HHonors Double Dip partner. These MQMs are in addition to the […]

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Credit Card Benefits to Maximize Before 2015

September 23, 2014

As I’ve often said, one of the great tragedies for travelers is letting loyalty points and frequent flyer miles expire, and I think the same goes for unused credit card benefits. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen will guide us through some of the best offers and benefits whose days are numbered, to help you make […]

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Targeted Offer: Delta Gold and Platinum Medallion Fast Track

September 19, 2014

The airline elite status landscape has shifted dramatically over the past year with both Delta and United implementing revenue requirements and overhauling their mileage-earning formulas. All that has a lot of flyers reevaluating their elite status strategy and calculating every dollar of airline and co-branded credit card spend as they look to their future travel […]

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Why Elite Upgrades Are Harder to Get & How To Work Around It

September 16, 2014

Earlier today, the New York Times published an article by Billy Witz titled, “Flight Upgrades Much Harder to Secure, Even for Elite Travelers,” in which I was quoted. As I point out, airline upgrades are behaving much like the rest of the economy where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, […]

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How Can I Earn AAdvantage Platinum Status Besides Flying?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Tim tweeted me to ask: “‪@thepointsguy: Does American Airlines offer alternatives to obtain Executive Platinum status? If so, who do I call? I am currently an AAdvantage Platinum member.” We’re more than halfway through 2014, and I know that many elite travelers (myself included) are looking at their elite status qualification requirements, as we only […]

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50,000 SkyMiles Bonus for Amex Delta Cards Ends Tomorrow

September 6, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Delta Gold and Platinum cards are no longer available. View the current offers here: Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business, Platinum Delta SkyMiles. Just a reminder that the limited time offers for the American Express Delta cards are ending tomorrow; if you’ve been thinking of signing up, now is the time. The […]

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How Can I Keep Delta Medallion Status If I’m Short MQDs?

August 31, 2014

TPG reader Julie tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy “Any ideas for someone who has enough Delta MQMs but is about $1500 short on MQDs? I want to maintain Silver Medallion Elite status and I have an Amex Platinum Delta card.” For United and Delta flyers, the elite status game got a little bit harder in […]

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Will Delta Reserve MQMs Qualify for Platinum Challenge?

August 31, 2014

TPG reader Matt tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy “I’m on a Delta Platinum Challenge, can I sign up for the Delta Reserve American Express credit card and have those MQM’s qualify for the challenge requirement?” Airline Elite status matches and challenges are a great way to leverage your current status and quickly earn similar status on another […]

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Hilton & Hyatt Elite Status Beyond Diamond: the Weekly Wish

August 21, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: Hilton and Hyatt elite status beyond Diamond. I tend to analyze every purchase, hotel stay, and airline ticket to make sure that I maximize my return from a points & miles standpoint. […]

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Count Change Fees as MQDs/PQDs – the Weekly Wish

July 31, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: count change fees towards elite qualification on United and Delta. It sure seems like 2014 has been the year of the “$” in the frequent flyer world. Delta started the […]

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Lifetime Hotel Elite Status: a Hilton HHonors Proposal.

July 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen begins a new column called The Weekly Wish, where he’ll look at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Each hotel chain has its own unique ways of attracting and maintaining profitable customers. These methods can include enhancing on-property benefits, expanding ways to earn and redeem points, and introducing […]

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Expedia Launches Expedia+ Rewards

July 10, 2014

Expedia has had a rewards program for a few years now, where members can earn up to 2 points per dollar on flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages. These points can then be redeemed for travel with no blackout dates, or can be used to bid on special redemption offers. This week Expedia announced that they […]

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Enterprise Rolls Out New Enhancements to Its Loyalty Program

July 8, 2014

Driven by a highly competitive rental car market, Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently announced some sexy new enhancements to its Enterprise Plus loyalty program, including points earning/redemptions in Europe, the option of receiving an e-receipt following a rental, and status match opportunities. First launched in 2012, the Enterprise Plus program earns its members one point per qualifying dollar spent on Enterprise rentals, and free rental […]

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Ticketing Errors, Schedule Mix-ups, and Wrong Destinations

July 8, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at common ticketing errors, how to avoid them, and how to survive them if they happen to you. As a travel enthusiast and die-hard soccer fan (still smarting from last week’s dramatic US-Belgium result), I couldn’t help but cringe when I read about the Australian couple who thought they had booked […]

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Should I Aim for Delta Diamond Status Instead of Platinum?

July 6, 2014

This week TPG reader Lev tweeted: “@thepointsguy I’m at 80K Delta MQMs so far this year. Is reaching for Delta Diamond Elite Status vs. aiming for Delta Platinum Elite Status more worthwhile than before, given the planned 2015 changes? (I live by JFK airport.)” The general trend that I’ve seen with airline elite status is […]

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Status Matcher Helps Travelers Attain and Keep Elite Status

June 30, 2014

Yesterday I answered a reader question about airline status matches and challenges, and I mentioned a website called Status Matcher, which provides a bounty of information about the status match and challenge policies of most airlines, hotels, and even auto rental companies (hat tip to TPG reader Ali who introduced me to the site!). I think this website […]

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Should I Accept An American Airlines Platinum Status Match?

May 18, 2014

The Pacific Northwest is the place to be based these days. Flyers in Seattle and Portland have been benefiting from the battle between partners-turned-rivals Delta and Alaska, and it looks like American is muscling in on the territory now as well. Portland-based TPG reader Edwin got a targeted offer from American this week, and Tweeted me […]

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Virgin America Double Status Points On Transcontinental Routes, and Dallas Love Field Sale – 50% Off Main Cabin Select and First Class

April 25, 2014

Earlier this week, Virgin America announced a double points promo on transcontinental flights in honor of Star Wars Day (yes, I’m being completely serious). To qualify, register here to book and fly between April 29 and June 11, 2014, and you will earn 100% bonus points for every qualifying flight. But what’s even better is […]

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Airline and Hotel Invitation-Only Elite Status

April 17, 2014

We’ve covered elite status at various airlines and hotels, including series on American, Delta, United and US Airways, as well as hotel-program comparisons, and the ways in which airlines try to one-up each other’s elite strategies, but have you ever wondered if there’s something more elite than elite? Like the black card of hotels and […]

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Which Delta Platinum Medallion 2014 Choice Benefit Should I Choose?

April 1, 2014

When you hit Delta Platinum and/or Diamond Medallion status, the airline offers you a choice of benefits called…Choice Benefits, unsurprisingly. Every year I requalify, I strategize about just which benefit holds the most value for me, and this year threw a couple curve balls at me, and all Medallions. As of March 1, 2014, Delta […]

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Why Would Delta Rather Fly Empty Business Class Cabins Than Upgrade Elites?

March 26, 2014

Along with many of the other negative changes Delta has announced over the past year including award chart devaluations, revenue-based elite requirements, and a new revenue-based mileage-earning system that will go into place in December, the airline also changed up how it hands out upgrades to elites back in December – and I’ve been hearing […]

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