Elite Status

Category Archives for Elite Status.

Booking a luxury trip with points and deals

My son has just completed high school and will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall to study computer science.  Early in his junior year his guidance counselor told him that he wouldn’t get admitted to U of M since his grades were a bit lower than U of M’s accepted student average.  Three straight A semesters later, he was admitted, and I couldn’t be more proud! When he completed classes, he had…

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Is the Andaz 5th Ave overrated?

I recently spent a weekend at the Andaz 5th Ave in New York City. I was excited about this stay; not only had I read the many positive reviews of this hotel over the years, but the location of the hotel near Bryant Park and the New York Public Library hold a significance for me. I proposed to my wife on the steps of the library because it has long been a holiday tradition of ours…

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Amex Platinum for Less (2017 edition)

Amex Platinum for Less

The Amex Platinum card comes with a slew of useful benefits such as lounge access (Centurion Lounge, Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass Select lounges, etc.); elite status with Starwood (and, therefore, Marriott too), Hilton, National Car Rental; free unlimited Boingo Wifi; annual $200 in airline fee reimbursements; Global Entry fee reimbursements; and more.  You can find a nearly complete checklist here: Amex Platinum Checklist. You get all of that, and more, for “only” $550 per year.…

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Family mileage running for Star Alliance Gold

In the post “Hunt for Star Alliance Gold” I described why I wanted Star Alliance Gold status (lounge access!), and I told the story about a crazy Rube Goldberg-ish approach to status matching that I attempted. The match to Taj to Shargri-La to Singapore status approach ultimately failed, but a reader named Geo left a very interesting comment: If you travel often with your family, look into crediting to Egyptair Plus, apparently you can pool…

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Rocking Fairmont credit card free nights and elite benefits

Chase’s Fairmont credit card is no longer available to new applicants, but I know that many readers signed up for the card in January when I posted: The other Chase card you should consider today.  Since my wife and I signed up for the card I’ve had a chance to study up on some of the amazing opportunities that these cards offer.  Presented below are suggestions for getting huge value from the card’s free nights…

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No, Delta didn’t add limits to earning status through spend (myth busted)

Last week, Rene’s Points announced that Delta had implemented new restrictions to how many MQMs (elite qualifying miles) could be earned through credit card spend.  This was based on language in a cardmember agreement amendment that Amex sent out to Delta Platinum and Delta Reserve cardholders.  I disagreed with Rene’s interpretation.  I believed the new language to be a clarification rather than a change.  My interpretation was proven over the weekend when a new Miles…

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Hunting for Star Alliance Gold

On March 1st, my free status match to Copa Platinum status went kaput.  When Copa first created their own loyalty program there was a brief window of time where status matches were free and easy.  Then that stopped.  But, thanks to the match, I enjoyed having Star Alliance Gold status for over a year.  This gave me access to Star Alliance lounges whenever I flew airlines within the alliance.  So, when I flew United domestically,…

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Marriott Mobile Check In: Does it help or hurt upgrade chances?

During a recent trip to Austin, I had the chance to try out Marriott’s new mobile app.  My family of three had booked a four night stay in a single room at the JW Marriott using a conference rate.  Since we would be there a reasonably long time, an upgrade was important to us. Previously, I’ve always avoided using Marriott’s mobile check-in since I worried that it might mean losing out on upgrades that are…

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Delta companion tickets and awards now upgradeable

Travel Companion Tickets

Beginning today, April 6, Delta companion travel has become more attractive for Delta elite members and their companions. Companion certificates previously were not upgradeable either to Comfort+ or to First Class, but they are now eligible for for Medallion upgrades based on the status of the higher-tiered member.  Similarly, companions traveling with elite members “will be eligible for Complimentary Upgrades not only on paid tickets but Award Tickets, Miles + Cash tickets, and Pay with…

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