Big changes are coming next week to Delta SkyMiles, a rarely-discussed perk that can get you free flights on United and Citi’s new cards are rumored (again) to be coming soon. All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).
The points and miles sewing circle is abuzz again! This time it’s due to a reddit post that spoke of “big changes” coming to Delta SkyMiles, with an announcement of said changes happening next Thursday, 9/14. We’re assuming that we’ll see an increase in mileage-earning rates, increased inventory of value-priced awards and more confirmable upgrades. Just kidding, it’s Delta, after all. There’s already been rumors of a cut-back to SkyLounge access for Amex Platinum and Delta Reserve cardholders. Many folks, including Greg the Frequent Miler, also think that there will be a continued move towards revenue-based earning and elite status and the elimination of Medallion Qualifying Miles except for million miler status. Eye of the Flyer tosses in their two SkyPennies here.
One of the most random, bizarre and incredible frequent flyer program sweet spots is United Airlines Excursionist Perk. According to United, “the Excursionist Perk is a free one-way award within select multi-city itineraries. Members who book an itinerary with three qualifying or more one-way awards will be eligible to receive one of those one-way awards for free.” In practice, when your travel begins and ends in the same region, you can get a free one-way within a single region of the world that isn’t your region of origin. I first heard about back in the day when Greg and Nick started writing about the counterintuitive ways to maximize. Greg used this award-booking alchemy to amazing effect in the 40K to Far Away challenge, where he booked “open-jaw” tickets in the US for 10,000 miles each and was able to get long-haul flights in Africa included for free. I’m always surprised at how rarely the Excursionist Perk is discussed, given the outsized redemption possibilities, but MileValue wrote a post spotlighting the perk this week that’s worth taking a look at.
There’s nothing that get the points and miles blood flowing like rumors of an exciting, new card coming down the pike. Last year, our old, crazy pal Citi created a stir by filing for trademarks on two new cards: the Strata Elite and and the Strata Premier. I’ve been waiting for Citi’s re-entry into the wonderful world of ultra premium credit cards ever since the ill-fated Prestige stopped accepting new passengers (although those who still have the Prestige, like Greg the Frequent Miler, love it). I was so confident, in fact, that I included it was one of my 2023 predictions. That looked like a sure bet back in April, when there were…wait for it…rumors of the new card’s imminent launch. Well, it’s August now. We’re still waiting and I’ve been getting a little nervous that Citi’s going to give me a big “L” on my 2023 crystal ball-gazing. Luckily, Doctor of Credit reports that the launch is again supposed to be imminent. Or that’s the rumor, anyway.
Capital One created a stir last year with the opening of the first ever Capital One Lounge in Dallas (DFW). Almost immediately, the lounge garnered extensive praise. When I had a chance to visit last year, I was blown away and considered it one of the best domestic lounges that I’d been to…a blessed contrast to that airport’s overcrowded Centurion
Sardine Can Lounge. Two additional Capital Lounges have been under construction in Denver (DEN) and Washington-Dulles (IAD) for feels like a decade or so. But, the wait’s over. As I’m sure a few folks who read the interwebs have noticed, C1 gave some folks press tours of the new lounge this week and also marketing photos around. We couldn’t make the tour, but Gary at View from the Wing did and gave his thoughts on the new digs.