Which SPG 50-Night Platinum Benefit Should I Choose in 2016?

TPG reader Alex email me to ask about Starwood elite benefits: “Which SPG 50 night benefit would you choose? I wasn’t impressed by the suite night awards I chose last time, as they never cleared. I’m also not worried about re-qualifying next year, so the 5 nights of elite credit aren’t worth much to me.” When Starwood introduced choice benefits for…

Is It Easier to Earn Airline Status with Miles or Segments?

TPG reader Matt sent me a message on Facebook to ask about strategies for earning elite status: “I’m trying to earn Delta elite status; is it generally more cost-effective to aim for the mileage or segment requirements? It seems like mileage would be easier, but I’m not sure, since I can get cheap, short segments from Atlanta.” Since Delta and United offer redeemable…

Is the Mileage Run Dead?

Mileage runs have long figured into frequent flyers’ strategies, allowing them to earn thousands of redeemable rewards with a single, cheap, long-haul fare. Now that American Airlines is set to become the last major US carrier to switch to a revenue-based earning system, mileage runs may no longer seem like a viable option. TPG Contributor…

Strategies for Meeting Your Elite Status Goals in 2016

With the halfway point of 2016 fast approaching, it’s crucial to have your elite status qualification strategy nailed down. TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen shares some of the top tips for meeting revenue, segment and elite-qualifying mile requirements. We are coming up on the midpoint of 2016, so with almost half of…

Will the AAdvantage Program Waive Revenue Requirements?

TPG reader Alex sent me a message on Facebook to ask about AAdvantage elite status: “If my address is not in the US, do I still need to meet American’s EQD requirements to earn status in 2017?” After holding its ground for several years, American Airlines recently announced that it will follow Delta and United by adding a revenue component…

Should I Try to Match Status with Every Airline and Hotel?

TPG reader Michael sent me a message on Facebook to ask about status challenges: “I have Platinum status with American Airlines and Gold status with SPG. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t try to match status with all the other carriers and hotel groups? I figure I might as well get benefits from every hotel and airline; Delta won’t know if I try…

Which Flights Count Toward a Status Challenge?

TPG reader Jason emailed me to ask about the AAdvantage status challenge: “If I initiate a status challenge with American Airlines, do existing reservations count, or can I only count flights booked after the challenge begins?” Status challenges are a great shortcut to earning elite benefits with both airlines and hotels. By completing a specified amount of travel during the challenge…

Can I Stack Elite Status and Credit Card Baggage Benefits?

TPG reader Ken sent me a message on Facebook to ask about checked bags: “Can I combine the benefits of my AAdvantage Gold status and my AAdvantage Platinum Select card to get two free checked bags?” There are plenty of ways to avoid fees for checked baggage. Many co-branded airline credit cards offer a free checked bag for the cardholder…

Should I Take a Mattress Run to Complete a Status Challenge?

TPG reader Hunter sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning Marriott elite status: “I’m currently two stays away from completing the Marriott Platinum challenge. I normally spend about 50 nights each year with Marriott, but I don’t have any plans to travel before my challenge period ends. I found a local hotel where I can…

Earning Elite and Award Miles with American, Delta and United

In light of news that American will change the way customers earn bonus miles and status in the AAdvantage program, TPG Contributor JT Genter takes a look at how the three major US carriers stack up. Last November, American Airlines revealed plans to change to a revenue-based mileage program. Earlier this week — almost 7 months after…