Welcome to the Miles, Points and Travel Hacks Weekly Round-Up
for the week of December 11th
Each week we sift through all of the posts, blogs, PR, hyperbole and rumors, boil it down and share the best stuff with you. It’s beginning to look a lot like…. that crazy rush at the end of the year to reach elite status and feast on discounted points and miles. This week we’ll take a look at what’s out there that makes us want to break out our credit card. So, let’s get going.
Alaska Airlines Sale and Contest
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are one of the best travel currencies out there. They dropped down a notch back in March of 2016, when they announced a massive devaluation of the program for their partner, Emirates. Even with that move, there is still a lot of great value to be had with Alaska. Alaska partners with British Airways, Delta, American, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Korean and several more. First Class on Cathay can be had for a very cheap 140,000 miles round trip from the US to Asia, and that’s quite a deal.
Until December 31, 2016, you can buy Mileage Plan miles and get a 40% bonus on purchases of 30,000 miles or more. That’s not quite as good as the 50% bonus they feature from time to time but still a good deal. That’s about 1.9 cents each and they are conservatively valued at around 2 cents. You can access this deal right here. There is also a contest going on that will award 1,000,000 points to the winner and 500K and 250K to 2nd and 3rd place finishers.
Starwood Points Have Great Value
Now that the Marriott/Starwood merger is complete, elite status on either/both programs delivers a lot of value. Starwood points have always been one of the most valuable travel currencies as they transfer to great airline partners like Singapore Airlines, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Virgin, Asiana, Alaska, ANA and many more. Plus you can use or transfer your Starwood points for award stays at Marriott and Ritz Carlton properties.
Through December 31, 2016 they are having a sale on Starpoints that offers a 25-50% discount. This offer is somewhat targeted as the discount percentage changes based on your user profile. The non-discounted rate for Starpoints is 3.5 cents each and Starpoints are conservatively valued at about 2.2 cents each so it makes sense to buy them if you can get at least a 40% discount. Another good thing to remember is that Starwood will give you a 25% bonus when you transfer Starpoints to an airline program in increments of 20,000 (yielding 25,000 points). Transfers are limited to 79,999 per day so be sure to do some advance planning if you have a specific redemption in mind. You can access this offer here.
Delta Expands Their Elite Status Match Program
Of the 3 US major airlines, Delta is considered the best run. Their financial performance has been excellent and lately they have been introducing lots of changes to their Medallion program, their planes, lounges and other benefits. Diamond or Platinum Medallion status is definitely worth having, particularly if you live near a major Delta hub like Atlanta, New York, Minneapolis, Detroit, Salt Lake City or Los Angeles. If you have elite status on another airline, Delta has expanded their Status Match program to welcome even more airline elites to the Medallion program. It’s fairly simple and straightforward per the chart below.
FIRST, CONFIRM YOUR COMPARABLE STATUS WITH THE SKYMILES PROGRAM:
Delta SkyMiles Medallion Status
Air Canada Altitude Status
Super Elite 100K
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Status
MVP Gold 75K
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club Status
American Airlines AAdvantage Status
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club Status
British Airways Executive Club Status
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles Status
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Fly On Status
Lufthansa Miles & More Status
HON Circle Members
United Airlines Mileage Plus Status
If you have status with another airline not listed above, you may still be eligible for this challenge. Please submit your information below to confirm eligibility.
Delta SkyMiles Medallion Status
6,250 MQMs or 8 MQSs
12,500 MQMs or 15 MQSs
18,750 MQMs or 25 MQSs
You won’t be able to match Diamond Medallion, but Platinum still provides nice benefits and enhanced access to upgrades. To maintain Platinum status you do need to earn 18,750 within 90 days of receiving your status match. A couple of trips across the Atlantic or Pacific in Business Class / Delta One will accomplish that easily. Further details on the program are available here.
That’s all for this week. I hope you find some good value to enhance your own travel here at the end of 2016. As always, if you have any good tips, rumors, whispers, hints or observations, please send me an email – email@example.com