How Does Star Alliance Gold Differ from United Premier Gold?

TPG reader Doug sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Star Alliance elite status: “Does United distinguish between Star Alliance Gold and Million Miler lifetime Premier Gold?” Airline alliances offer a lot of opportunities to award travelers, including more ways to earn and redeem miles, and the chance to earn elite benefits across multiple carriers. However,…

Do Million Milers Get a Head Start on Elite Qualification?

TPG reader Erica sent me a message on Facebook to ask about million miler status: “I’m about to hit one million miles flown with United, and I’m a little confused about lifetime Premier Gold status. Does this mean that I only have to fly 25,000 miles each year to get to Premier Platinum, or 50,000 miles for…

Can I Get Marriott Rewards Gold Status from a Credit Card?

TPG reader Angela sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning Marriott status: “I stay with Marriott a lot for work, and I have a Marriott card that gives me Silver status. Is there another card that can get me Gold status (like the Business Platinum Amex for SPG and Hilton)?” Hotel loyalty programs offer quite…

Hilton HHonors Matching Status Through March 2018

Update (4/21/16): You may be able to successfully request a match through this link. Update (4/20/16): Hilton is currently experiencing issues with its status match website, which redirects to the homepage for the time being. However, status matches are still available. To request a match, simply email your proof of status with a competing chain, proof…

When Should I Start an Airline Status Match or Challenge?

TPG reader Russ sent me a message on Facebook to ask about matching elite status: “When is the best time to status match to another program? I have AAdvantage Executive Platinum status through February of 2017, and I’m wondering when I should match to Alaska Mileage Plan.” Status matches and challenges are a great shortcut to earning…

Will I Earn Elite Credits When I Pay with Miles on Delta?

TPG reader Daniel sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning elite credits on Delta: “Will I earn elite credits when I use Pay with Miles to buy a Delta ticket?” Award flights generally don’t earn miles or elite credits, which is one reason why you may be better off paying cash for airfare when prices are…

Last Chance to Request a Status Match with United

It’s not uncommon for airlines to offer status matches or challenges in an attempt to lure high-value flyers from other airlines. However, United’s current program is ending soon. You’ll need to submit your request by March 31, 2016 to take advantage of the airline’s current status match + challenge. If you’re looking to switch loyalties — especially with the changes American Airlines is making…

What’s the Difference Between Award Miles and Elite Miles?

TPG reader Matt emailed me for help making sense of his frequent flyer account: “In 2015, I earned over 27,000 Elite Qualifying Miles on American Airlines, but I don’t understand what that means in terms of redeeming for flights. What’s the difference between award miles and EQMs?” Loyalty programs use a lot of special lingo that takes some getting…

Do EQMs Earned from Spending Count for a Status Challenge?

TPG reader Chris sent me a message on Facebook to ask about the American Airlines status challenge: “If I spend $20,000 on the AAdvantage Aviator Silver card, do the elite miles I get count toward an American Airlines status challenge?” Status challenges can be a great shortcut to earning elite benefits with both airlines and hotels, especially if you already have…

Can I Stack Elite Night Credits from Marriott Premier Cards?

Update: Chase wrote in to clarify its terms and conditions, letting us know that it is indeed possible to stack elite credits. Here’s what a Chase rep had to say: “A cardmember can combine the elite credit benefits from a Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card and Marriott Rewards Premier card to be eligible for the…