Elite Status

upgrade AA coach to business class

How to upgrade AA coach to business class, in advance

One of the best features of the American Airlines AAdvantage program, in my opinion, is that they allow upgrades from coach to business class, or business class to first class on all fares.  This...

To and from Santiago Chile, my favorite Diamond upgrade ever, and a weird Centurion...

On October 8th, my wife and I were discussing options for Thanksgiving week travel.  She and my son would be free from work and school as of Monday afternoon before Thanksgiving.  Maybe we should...
Chase Hyatt credit card w/ $50K spend gives you Explorist status

Hyatt Diamond status: the first benefit of the Marriott SPG merger

Early last week, Marriott announced its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  And, even though Marriott says that they will preserve the best of both loyalty programs, I’m not too optimistic.  Mergers like these...
Marriott SPG

Hey Marriott: Here’s how to keep SPG loyalists loyal

Yesterday, Marriott announced its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  The transaction is expected to close “mid 2016”, but we have no information yet about how or when the loyalty programs will merge.  My...
mileage running

My crazy route to Vegas. Am I done with mileage running?

The majority of this post was written while flying the final leg of my latest mileage run.  Last year, I decided to seek top tier American Airlines status by signing up for the US...

AA Chicago to LA only $40.10 one way!

As reported by Loyalty Traveler, American Airlines is currently offering dirt cheap fares between Chicago and Los Angeles.  Fares can be found for only $40.10 one-way for a flight of 1744 miles. That comes...
Platinum Checklist

A checklist for securing expedited security, hotel and car elite status, two $200 reimbursements,...

A bit of good news for Amex Platinum cardholders surfaced yesterday.  First, it was widely reported that Amex Platinum holders are now eligible for free Hilton Gold status.  Second, we learned that a glitch...

AA vs Delta Part 2: good upgrades, bad food, and in-flight ads

In part 1 of this series, I made it clear: my goal is not to compare the AA and Delta frequent flyer programs.  On paper, at least, AA’s program has Delta beat by a...

The truth about Delta

Delta has long been the punching bag of airline programs for those in the miles & points hobby… for good reason.  For years, their award booking website was famously broken; saver level awards (e.g....
IHG status credit card bonus

IHG signup bonus no longer counting towards status

A few weeks ago, after publishing “How to find the best IHG signup offer: 80K points plus $50,” a number of readers contacted me to let me know that the points they had earned...
25K Choice benefit

IHG Spire: Ideas for nabbing the new 25K Choice benefit without staying in hotels.

UPDATE: It appears that points from credit card signup bonuses no longer count as elite qualifying.  As a result, a number of items in this post are no longer relevant. IHG finally named their new...
SPG card benefits

New SPG card benefits: Do they work for award stays? Authorized users?

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about the new benefits of the Amex SPG cards as of August 11.  As a reminder, the new benefits (and new fee) are: Higher annual fees ($95 vs. the current...
Virgin Atlantic Gold Status

An interesting find on my way to Necker Island

Towards my ridiculous quest to visit Richard Branson’s Necker Island, I signed up for four Virgin Atlantic credit cards.  A week on Necker Island costs 1.2 million Virgin Atlantic miles.  My strategy to get...

Mileage Running for AA Executive Platinum status. EQMs vs. EQPs

Lately I’ve been suffering from mileage-run paralysis.  I need to book additional One World flights in order to re-up my AA Executive Platinum status for 2016, but I haven’t yet picked a strategy.  Should...

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