Travel: Five Backdoor Hacks to Win Elite Status at Hotels and Airlines - - PressFrom - US

TravelFive Backdoor Hacks to Win Elite Status at Hotels and Airlines

20:35  24 may  2019
20:35  24 may  2019 Source:

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A comprehensive study of every aspect of elite status on US domestic airlines , from upgrades and fee waivers to priority check-in, partner perks and miles. These perks come with “ elite status ” and many people who fly regularly go to extreme lengths to gain or improve their status at their preferred airline .

As an AAdvantage elite status member, enjoy a world of benefits designed to make your travel experience more enjoyable. EQMs represent a percentage of the actual miles flown (including applicable minimum mileage guarantees) based on the airline and the booking code purchased.

(Bloomberg) -- First-class and suite upgrades. Club-lounge entry. Access to priority services. The perks of elite status are harder and harder to come by as airlines and hotels continue to evolve their loyalty programs.

Many airlines have instituted both flight and spending requirements that can top 125,000 miles and $15,000 in airfare purchases each year. Likewise, several of the major hotel loyalty programs have implemented more stringent stay requirements to reach their highest strata of status, thinning the ranks of elites even further.

However, just because it seems more difficult, does not mean it actually is. In fact, it might be even easier than ever to achieve a lofty level of status thanks to unique partnerships among airlines, hotels, and credit cards—and the right strategies to use them to your advantage. Here’s how.

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Enjoy all the benefits of elite status at your favorite hotel , including complimentary room upgrades SPG will not offer you the challenge if you were Gold or Platinum status holder within the last five years Having elite status at a hotel is worth the hassle. You’ll get access to a variety of perks like

I get alot of value from both airline and hotel elite status , but I recognize that for many travelers, the benefits of elite status don’t justify the extra cost and If you have an advanced understanding of how air travel works, you can replicate many of the benefits of elite status : 1. Use travel hacks to get free

Tactic: Airline-Hotel Alliances

Frequent travelers can leverage elite status they already earn with a hotel or airline into elite status with its partner, all with little or no extra effort.

One of the newest of these affiliations is between American Airlines and Hyatt. Now, travelers who have elite status with either the airline or the hotel can earn both frequent-flier miles and hotel points on both flights and stays.

“As we talked to our elite members in particular, the ability to earn points when flying and miles when staying in addition to the respective program benefits was something that we heard loud and clear,” says World of Hyatt senior vice president Amy Weinberg. “The new partnership is a way to offer more rewards throughout the travel journey.”

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Looking to earn elite status with an airline ? Here are tips and tricks to do it faster. Alaska Airlines is one of the few programs left that offers a standard status -match program, and So even if you didn’t fly United in the past year but are a Marriott stalwart, this might still be a good backdoor to status .

Earn Status Miles on Turkish Airlines and other Star Alliance member airline flights. After your second year of membership, purchase up to 5,000 Earn Miles from flights operated by Turkish Airlines and other Star Alliance member airlines , as well as program partner hotels and vehicle rental companies.

Hyatt elites at the mid- and top-range Explorist and Globalist levels are also being offered 90-day grace periods of American Airlines AAdvantage elite status plus the chance to extend this status through January 2021 by completing “challenges.” These deals involve flying a certain number of miles or segments and spending a predetermined amount of money on airfare within 90 days, rather than having to complete the normal requirements over the course of a calendar year.

AAdvantage’s invitation-only ConciergeKey elites are being offered outright Globalist Hyatt status, which comes with benefits such as free breakfast during stays, club-lounge access, points bonuses, and dedicated customer service. AAdvantage elites at other levels have been extended trial periods of Hyatt status and offers to earn ongoing status based on stay activity within a 90-day period.

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Earning elite status with a hotel chain or airline can make travel infinitely more comfortable and rewarding. The traditional route to elite status , earning the base number of points or night credits needed for each elite tier within a hotel chain, requires a substantial investment of time and money.

Gold status with SPG is much like Silver status with airlines – yes, it is a carrot, but more a If you’re staying at Starwood Hotels for any frequency or length of time this year you should really should be aiming Five elite -qualifying nights, which can contribute to re-earning elite status for the next year

RewardsPlus is a similar link-up between Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus. The hotel program’s Titanium and Ambassador elites receive automatic United Premier Silver status, the airline’s lowest level, which is usually achieved by flying 25,000 miles or 30 segments and spending $3,000 on airfare in a year; perks include free checked bags, seven miles per dollar earned on airfare instead of the normal five, priority service at the airport, and access to Economy Plus seating at check-in. United elites with Premier Gold status or higher, meanwhile, enjoy complimentary Marriot Gold elite status. That usually requires staying 25 nights in a year, and includes benefits like a decent shot at room upgrades, and check-in points bonuses.

Five Backdoor Hacks to Win Elite Status at Hotels and Airlines© Photographer: Zack DeZon/Bloomberg edition-hotel-times-square-01.jpg

Tactic: Automatic Status With a Hotel Credit Card

Most hotel credit cards these days grant at least a basic level of elite status by simply carrying a specific product in your wallet.

For example, instead of having to stay 10 nights or more each year, folks with the World of Hyatt credit card ($95 annual fee) receive entry-level Discoverist status in that program. The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card ($89 annual fee) confers mid-tier Platinum status without having to stay 40 nights in IHG properties each year.

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Most elites earn status via the traditional method of many days in the air and thousands of dollars spent. The matching airline will ask for proof of your status , usually via a photo of the front and back of your membership card and a mileage statement showing your recent activity.

Earning elite status with your preferred airline can make travel more comfortable and more United loyalists earn lifetime elite status at the following levels: 1 million miles flown = lifetime Premier Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels , car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card from Chase ($95 annual fee) and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant from American Express ($450 annual fee) both include automatic Gold status. Those with the Brilliant version can also boost their way up to Platinum status (normally achieved by hitting 50-plus nights each year) by spending $75,000 or more on the card in a calendar year.

With the launch of a new range of credit cards in 2018, Hilton even began offering its top-tier Diamond status as a benefit of the $450-per-year the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. It is the only hotel credit card at the moment to offer top-tier status automatically. However, folks with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend, whose annual fee is a mere $95, can spend their way up from automatic Gold status to Diamond by making $40,000 or more in purchases in a calendar year. Diamond status usually requires 30 stays or 60 nights a year, and confers perks such as a 100% earning bonus on Hilton purchases (for 20 points per dollar versus the normal 10), complimentary breakfast at all hotels, executive lounge access, and the chance to gift elite status to another Hilton Honors member.

Five Backdoor Hacks to Win Elite Status at Hotels and Airlines© Photographer: Zack DeZon/Bloomberg edition-hotel-times-square-07.jpg

Tactic: Spending Bonuses With an Airline Credit Card

When it comes to airlines, the credit-card elite-status formula is more dependent on spending.

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If you currently have elite status with another airline we will give you the equivalent Medallion Status for three months – complimentary. Plus, you’ll even have the opportunity to extend your Status past three months if you successfully complete the challenge by flying a certain amount.

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For example, Delta fields two cards that allow consumers to earn Medallion-Qualification Miles (MQMs), which count toward elite status, through both sign-up bonuses and everyday spending. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express card ($195 annual fee) has offered as many as 10,000 MQMs along with SkyMiles (miles you can use for award tickets) as part of its sign-up bonus. Cardholders can rack up an additional 20,000 MQMs by spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. The more premium Delta Reserve card ($450 annual fee), which gets cardholders into Delta Sky Clubs when flying the airline, has offered sign-up bonuses including up to 10,000 MQMs along with bonus SkyMiles. Cardholders can earn up to an additional 30,000 MQMs by spending up to $60,000 in a calendar year.

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard ($450 annual fee) includes perks like Admirals Club membership for lounge access at the airport. However, its most valuable benefit for some might be the opportunity to earn 10,000 elite-qualifying miles after spending $40,000 in purchases each year—just the bump certain fliers need to hit the next level of status.

JetBlue Plus ($99 annual fee) cardholders, meanwhile, can attain the airline’s Mosaic status for a year after spending $50,000 or more on purchases annually. Mosaic status typically requires earning 15,000 flight points (equivalent to spending $5,000 on airfare), or flying 30 segments and earning 12,000 flight points within a calendar year. Mosaic benefits include waived change and cancellation fees, extra bonus points for airfare purchases, priority treatment at the airport, and the opportunity to redeem points for Even More Space seats at a discount.

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Several major hotel brands offer lifetime elite status for meeting certain stay/points requirements — see if you could qualify at your chain of choice. There’s no sweeter feeling than checking in to your hotel after a long flight and having the receptionist recognize your elite status , thank you for your

A status match is where elite status you already have with one chain, is granted by another chain in hopes of luring your business over. are there any hacks to get hotel perks? fast track to hotel status five ways to get hotel elite status how can i Airlines Are Officially Ditching First Class, And Fast…

Five Backdoor Hacks to Win Elite Status at Hotels and Airlines© Bloomberg Inside Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Ahead of Earnings Announcements

Tactic: Unbranded Card Programs

Apart from airline- or hotel-specific credit cards, the product with perhaps the most lucrative elite-status potential is the Platinum Card from American Express. Cardmembers can enroll for automatic Gold status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. That makes the Platinum Card an especially attractive prospect for premium travelers (its annual fee is $550, after all) who want to split their loyalty between two of the biggest chains in the world without having to commit to one program or the other.

The FoundersCard meanwhile is a membership club with around 30,000 members, rather than a credit card. Designed for entrepreneurs who travel frequently, its benefits evolve over the course of each year and have included Hilton Honors Gold status, Caesars Total Rewards Diamond status, and a trial period of Marriott Gold status in the past, as well as outright Silver status with Cathay Pacific. Joining costs $95, and the annual membership fee is $595, though discounts are easy to find online or through individual member referrals. Other benefits may include deals on certain airline partners like British Airways and JetBlue, as well as on rentals from Silvercar and purchases at AT&T Wireless and UPS.

Five Backdoor Hacks to Win Elite Status at Hotels and Airlines© Bloomberg Travelers At Reagan Airport Ahead Of Thanksgiving Holiday

Tactic: Tap Your Corporate Travel Department

Just as you earn frequent-flier miles when on a business trip, businesses can also earn different types of points based on spending with American Airlines, Delta, and United—points which can be redeemed for elite status, club passes, award flights, and upgrades for employees.

With American Airlines’ Business Extra program, for example, companies can redeem 3,200 points (equivalent to spending $16,000 on airfares) to confer AAdvantage Gold status on an employee. Delta Silver Medallion status requires 120,000 Delta SkyBonus points (equivalent to spending $4,000+, depending on fares).

Marriott Has a Secret, Invite-Only Elite Status Called Cobalt

Marriott Has a Secret, Invite-Only Elite Status Called Cobalt Members must be approved personally by Marriott's CEO for this super-elite status.

Gold status can go by various names, but, essentially, once you reach this elite level with one airline , you will enjoy reciprocal benefits with their alliance Rather than use my miles for the trip, I bought that Economy ticket and used my Star Alliance Gold status at that time with Turkish to enter the Senator

Hotel chains also reward travel planners who book meetings at their properties. For instance, through Hyatt’s Meeting & Events program, members who book three, 10 or 20 meetings can earn Discoverist, Explorist, or Globalist status, respectively. With IHG Business Rewards, bookers can earn three points per dollar spent on accommodations, meetings and events for participants. That means they can earn the program’s top-level Spire Elite status by spending just $25,000 on events.

Corporate travel planners and departments often do enough business with specific airlines and hotels that they are given complimentary elite statuses to bestow upon company employees. While these are typically reserved for senior executives or frequent travelers, other employees can always check with their travel department and see if there are any unassigned statuses they might be able to claim.

Related video: Best Credit Cards for Travel (provided by GoBankingRates)

To contact the author of this story: Eric Rosen in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Justin Ocean at [email protected]

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©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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Marriott Has a Secret, Invite-Only Elite Status Called Cobalt.
Members must be approved personally by Marriott's CEO for this super-elite status.

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