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Elite Status

Comparing US Airways Special Dividends To American Elite Rewards

July 31, 2013

The impending merger of US Airways and American Airlines naturally sparks speculation about what will happen with their elite travel programs and what benefits will still be available for each. I recently took a close look at American’s Elite Rewards and how to qualify, so wanted to do the same with the US Airways Special […]

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Determining What Spending Counts Toward United’s Premier Qualifying Dollars

July 29, 2013

Following Delta’s lead, United  announced earlier this year that they would start instituting a new revenue-based elite status program in 2014. As a recap, in addition to flying the normal amount of Premier-qualifying miles or segments for each elite tier, US-based United Premier members will need to either spend $25,000 dollars a year on a United MileagePlus credit card […]

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Top 10: Premium Credit Cards for High Rollers (Or Those Who Think They Are)

July 23, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. Credit cards are kind of like automobiles – there’s a wide range from your cheap, no-frills […]

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Maximize Monday: Airline and Hotel Elite Status Matches and Challenges

July 22, 2013

On the heels of some legacy airlines revamping their elite status programs to include a revenue-based element, with United Adding Premier Qualifying Dollars and Delta Adding Medallion Qualifying Dollars, I wanted to give readers an update of all the ways to status challenge and status match so that they can take advantage of elite status before having to […]

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Determining What Spending Counts Toward Medallion Qualifying Dollars

July 10, 2013

Delta announced earlier this year that they would start instituting a new revenue-based Medallion elite status program in 2014. As a recap, in addition to flying the normal about of Medallion-qualifying miles or segments for each elite tier, US-based Delta SkyMiles Medallion members will need to buck up and either spend $25,000 dollars a year on […]

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Aeroplan Announces Major Miles Devaluation, New Credit Cards and Elite Spending Program

July 1, 2013

Air Canada’s Aeroplan Rewards program is launching some major changes to its program starting January 1, 2014, including a big devaluating overhaul of mileage award redemptions, signing a deal with a new credit card partner, eliminating mileage expiration, and instituting a new revenue-based program of elite status benefits. Award Chart Changes There were several major […]

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Maximize Monday: Using Hyatt’s Partnership With MGM Resorts For Cheap Las Vegas Stays And Elite Status

June 24, 2013

Last week, Hyatt entered a partnership with MGM Resorts, opening up 12 properties in Las Vegas where Hyatt Gold Passport members can now earn and redeem points, as well as earning stay/night credit toward elite status qualification, so I thought I would take a look at how Hyatt Gold Passport members can maximize this new […]

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New Revenue Based Elite Status Programs: Key Details And My Take On The Winners and Losers

June 20, 2013

This week United joined Delta in instituting revenue requirements for their elite status program. While many of the comments about these changes have been negative, these aren’t necessarily bad for everyone. Based on the spending and mileage requirements for each tier, United and Delta are basically saying that you need to spend at least 10 […]

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United Adding New Revenue Requirements: Premier Qualifying Dollars

June 18, 2013

Airlines are big copycats. This can be good for the consumer when one airline has a fare sale and others match, but it can also be bad when one airline adds a fee or reduces benefits and others match. Earlier this year, Delta announced they would be adding a revenue requirement to re-qualify for elite […]

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Should You Be Content With The Airline Elite Status You Have Or Go For More?

June 16, 2013

TPG reader Lou is mapping out his airline elite status strategy for the rest of the year. He’s already achieved the top tier on United and is pondering whether or not to go for elite status on a second airline. He asks: “It’s June and I just qualified for Platinum status on United Airlines and […]

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American Airlines Discontinuing Soft Landings for AAdvantage Members

May 22, 2013

Historically some airlines, like American, have given “soft landings” to elite members who didn’t quite re-qualify for their elite status. Instead of dropping these elites to the cold hard world of non-elites, they’d drop them down a level to hopefully keep them engaged and wanted to keep their business with the airline and earn back […]

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My Virgin America Elevate Gold Status Ends – So What?

May 20, 2013

Back in December, Virgin America was offering status matches to the elite flyers of America and United, so I was able to match from my Executive Platinum status on American to Elevate’s highest (of two) status tier, Gold. My new status was good for four months, until April 30, 2013. In order to have extended […]

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My SPG Platinum Requalification Gift Choice: Double Starpoints or 35% Award Discount

May 7, 2013

Starwood offers elites who requalify for their tier in 2013 a choice of elite gifts. Golds who requalify (10 stays/25 nights) get the choice of a 25% discount on one award stay or double points for a month, and Platinums (25 stays/50 nights) get the choice of a 35% discount on one award stay or […]

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Maximize Monday: Avoiding Airline Fees

May 6, 2013

As airline fees continue to rise on everything from ticket changes/cancellations to carry-on bags, to lounge memberships to on-board snacks, now is the time to pay more attention than ever to how much you’ll be paying to fly and how you can get out of some of these fees so you can maximize your travel […]

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My Frequent Traveler University Presentation on Delta – Status, Upgrades, Awards

May 1, 2013

In addition to my seminar on the best credit card deals, I gave a second talk at Frequent Traveler University this past weekend on why Delta is still an airline program of value entitled, “Making the Most of Delta – Status, Upgrades and Awards.” The whole point is that there are still plenty of ways […]

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Targeted American Status Match and Challenge Promo – Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum Offers

April 30, 2013

Loyalty Lobby reports on three targeted American Airlines promos that offer Gold, Platinum and Executive status matches and challenges to former elites looking to regain their status as well as packets of 500-mile upgrades. The offer is instant elite status through August 31, 2013, as well as the chance to extend that elite status through […]

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Video SRQ: How Do You Maintain Status On So Many Different Airlines?

April 28, 2013

TPG reader Michael is wondering how you can maintain status on multiple airlines while still frequently booking travel using miles: “I have only discovered your blog in the last year (since gaining status for the first time). It seems like you take a lot of trips on miles, so I wanted to ask (maybe naively) […]

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American Releases Lucrative 2013 Elite Rewards: Easier Qualification and More Choices

April 24, 2013

Elite Rewards is American Airlines’ incentive program for its elite flyers who go above and beyond their status qualification thresholds by offering them gifts such as high mileage bonuses, additional systemwide upgrades and the ability to gift elite status to friends and family among other benefits. In the past, you would just get your Elite […]

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Targeted Offer: 50% United Elite Miles Bonus

April 17, 2013

United sent out a targeted offer to certain elite members for a 50% bonus on Premier Qualifying miles on United-operated flights from now through May 23, 2013. To qualify, register with the link provided specifically to you by United and purchase a roundtrip ticket in United Global First, United First, United BusinessFirst, United Business or […]

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My Elite Status Conundrum: American vs. Delta

April 17, 2013

For some reason, I just can’t manage to stop flying Delta. For the past year I’ve been trying to shift my loyalty from Delta to American, which you would think would be easy with all of Delta’s negative changes – like an impending shift to a revenue-based elite program, hacked Same Day Confirmed Benefits, an […]

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Hyatt Extends 1,000-Point Diamond Welcome Amenity To International Hotels

April 15, 2013

Hyatt Diamond elite status (25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year) includes a bunch of valuable perks such as a 30% points bonus, room-available upgrades, Club lounge access, free breakfast, four annual suite upgrades, complimentary internet access, a 48-hour room availability guarantee, late check-out, a dedicated customer service line and a welcome amenity […]

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SRQ: Which American Express Cards Give Starwood Gold Status

April 7, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. TPG follower Andy tweeted a question about Starwood Gold status: “‪@thepointsguy which Amex plat gives SPG gold status? Biz, Personal or Benz?” Although it isn’t marketed well, all three American Express Platinum Cards: Personal, Mercedes-Benz Personal and […]

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Starwood’s YOUR24 Platinum Elite Benefit Is More Like 50/50

April 4, 2013

When Starwood Preferred Guest enhanced its elite benefits last year, one of the perks was the benefit awarded to Platinum members who reach 75 nights or more called YOUR24. YOUR 24 is the ability to check in any time you want and check out 24 hours later (or at the same time on your check-out date). […]

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Last Minute Reminder: Use Your Upgrades and Free Nights Before They Expire!

February 28, 2013

Many upgrade instruments expire tomorrow, so it is best to use them today before you lose them. I have a couple Hyatt suite upgrades to burn that I will use on future bookings (and hope I don’t have to cancel them). I also realized that my two free nights in a suite for getting the […]

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