Want to rile up frequent flyers who earn elite status the old fashioned way? Let’s talk all about shortcuts to airline elite status. Whether you’re starting from scratch and need to generate elite status without setting foot on an airplane or you’ve already got status and you’d like to parlay that into great benefits with a new suitor, this week we talk about how to fast track yourself to the top.
Elsewhere on the blog this week, read about Greg, Nick, and Stephen’s elite status plans for 2024, what’s in Greg and Nick’s wallets, how you can get yourself two years of Delta elite status from your couch, and a lot more. Watch or listen to this week’s podcast below or read on for more from this week at Frequent Miler.
Frequent Miler on the Air Podcast
02:28 Giant Mailbag
04:43 Nick-a-culpa: Air France actually does have an award chart
11:53 Card Talk: Frontier Airlines World Mastercard
22:00 Mattress Running the Numbers: SimplyMiles stack for Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express
29:04 Award Talk: AA enhancements
29:50 Apply systemwide upgrades online
30:24 Earn miles when paying for upgrades
31:20 Cancel basic economy and get something back for $99
32:13 Loyalty Point choice benefit
34:58 Main Events: Shortcuts to airline elite status
35:00 What is airline elite status?
38:36 Lots of shortcuts exist
39:36 Having credit cards to get perks
41:56 Earning elite status through credit card spend
47:11 Shopping for status
49:56 Status matches
50:47 American Airlines status match
54:44 Delta status match
56:05 United status match
58:18 Alaska status match
58:38 Turkish status match
01:05:58 Southwest A-list status match
01:08:47 Buying status
01:13:27 Other ways to get elite status
01:17:00 Air France: earn XPs without flying
01:18:29 Question of the Week: Is it safe to complete spending for stuff on 12/31?
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This week on the Frequent Miler blog…
Delta just can’t give away status to enough people. In a move that calls into question my prediction that Delta will announce a change this year to make status harder to achieve in 2025, Delta has launched a new status match promotion whereby you could get almost two years of Delta elite status with a match and credit card spend alone. Indeed, what makes this match interesting for many is likely the fact that it can be completed with minimal flying or even without flying at all. Personally, I’m not eligible for this because I did a Delta status match challenge within the past three years (and I rarely ever fly Delta, so this deal probably isn’t for me), but I find this interesting because it essentially flies in the face of what I predicted.
I’m chasing less status in 2024 than in previous years. For the first time in quite a few years, I don’t have Marriott Platinum status. I think I probably won’t requalify for Hyatt elite status (unless I decide to get very spendy on the credit card). I’ll probably surrender to American Airlines Gold status after extending my current Platinum Pro status for another 4 months. The one that has me really intrigued though is the Turkish Airlines status match because the requirements to keep valuable Star Alliance Gold status for two years are quite reasonable. I hope I can make this match happen and I may either mileage run or rebook an existing set of flights to make this work.
Stephen’s 2024 elite status plans differ pretty significantly from Greg and I in large part because he has so many organic hotel nights. That makes it relatively easy for him to hit meaningful levels of elite status in multiple programs. Still, it sounds like there will be a fair amount of planning that goes into how to allocate his stays to hit the goalpost in several directions at once.
Greg’s wallet is different than I would expect if I didn’t talk to him on the podcast on a weekly basis. Because we talk about cards weekly, I knew that his wallet focuses strongly on Citi points, but it still surprised me when I read it again. Don’t get me wrong, I like Citi points for some purposes, but now that currencies like Capital One and Bilt partner with Turkish and Capital One partners with Wyndham (and buying Wyndham points probably makes more sense anyway), I just can’t get very excited about Citi. On the other hand, Citi points can be worth 1c per point and Greg is effectively earning 5% back on a lot of spend, so I can see the case for someone points-rich to focus on Citi the way he does.
My wallet is a little scattered these days, but one major change has been a big shift in spending to the Altitude Reserve card. I had held out on this card for years, but it is becoming such a key daily driver card for mobile payment for me. I probably need to make some key adjustments (one easy one would be just leaving the Wyndham Business card in our van so it’s always there when we need gas) and there will be some adjustments coming imminently because of Amex employee card bonuses, but this at least tells the story as it can be told right now.
On the first Wednesday night of every month, we do a live Ask Us Anything on Youtube where you can literally ask us anything you want. Unfortunately though, y’all ask us more than we can possibly answer in the hour allotted. Stephen has been following up after our events to publish a rapid-fire list of answers to questions we couldn’t get to live.
I’ve driven the road to Hana once — and while it was certainly as beautiful as all of the tourists clamoring for a peak at its twists and turns might have you believe, I’m not much on hairpin turns and white-knuckle driving. But this post from Tim reviewing the now-Hyatt property in Hana manages to just about convince me that I should stomach the drive one more time to spend a little while basking in Hawaii of yesteryear.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Don’t forget to keep an eye on on this week’s last chance deals.