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My travel is nowhere near what it was pre-pandemic. I used to fly weekly, sometimes three to five flights in a week, plus multiple trips to Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. There were years when I flew over 300,000 miles butt-in-seat and stayed in hotels more than 250 nights. Those days feel like a distant memory.
I recently started a new job and I’ll have a fair amount of business travel, again. For fun, I’ve planned a few trips to Palm Springs, Italy, and Peru in the coming months and I know I’ll be planning more vacations. At the end of each quarter, I like to check to see how I’m pacing and to review if the goals I set in the beginning of the year still seem attainable. Here are my Q1 2023 stats:
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles®
Current Status: Platinum Medallion®
Goal: Diamond Medallion®
Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs): 29,316
Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs): $6,088
I need to reach 125,000 MQMs and $20,000 MQDs to reach Diamond Medallion®. I’ll be at 35,535 MQMs and $8,211 MQDs with what I have booked. Flights the rest of the year will get me over this threshold.
Prediction: I feel good about qualifying for Diamond Medallion® this year. I’m taking most of my business trips with Delta and I’ll look for trips to Europe or Asia to boost the MQMs later this year.
United Airlines MileagePlus
Current Status: Premier 1K®
Goal: Premier 1K®
Current Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs): 1
Current Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs): 3,182
I need to reach 18,000 PQPs and 54 PQFs or 24,000 PQPs. With what I have flown and booked, I’ll be over 7,000 PQPs and at 10 PQFs by the end of Q2. I am a Million Miler, so I know I won’t drop below Premier Gold®.
Prediction: I will reach Premier 1K® by the end of the year and retain the status. I have moved a lot of my flying to Delta, so I know Global Services will not happen (I don’t really miss it after years of watching the program degrade, but I do miss the pre-boarding and lobby at ORD a little).
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit®
Current Status: Free Spirit Gold
Goal: Free Spirit Gold
Current Status Qualifying Points (SQPs): N/A
I earned the status through a status match and it’s good until December 2024. I wanted to try Spirit, so I flew from Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) to Tampa International Airpot (TPA). I then learned that Spirit flew direct from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Atlantic City International Airport (ACY). I had to be there for a business trip, so I booked that roundtrip. Those three flights including fees for the Big Front Seats, were enough to qualify for the challenge I had entered.
Prediction: I don’t know if I’ll be flying Spirit anymore this year, but the status is locked in if I need it. I won’t be going out of my way to fly Spirit to retain status after 2024.
World of Hyatt®
Current Status: Globalist
Current Qualifying Nights: 22
I need to reach 60 nights by the end of 2023. I have 11 more nights coming up in the next few months and think that I’ll hit Globalist by late summer.
Prediction: I will retain Globalist status.
Current Status: Titanium Elite
Goal: Titanium Elite
Current Qualifying Nights: 30
I have only stayed at two Marriott properties in 2023. I received 25 nights from holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and two nights from the current global promo (more info here). After I have Hyatt Globalist secured, I’ll start staying more at Marriott properties. I have four nights booked in Q2. I am Lifetime Platinum Elite, so I know no matter what I won’t go below that level. I was Ambassador pretty much since it was introduced by SPG. The program has been diluted so much that I no longer strive for this level with its minimal benefits above Titanium Elite.
Prediction: I will retain Titanium Elite.
Current Status: Gold
Current Qualifying Nights: 3
I hold Gold status with Hilton Honors as a benefit from having The Platinum Card® from American Express. I stayed three nights this year at Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts (review here) and Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World (review here). I have another night booked at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport, but that will likely be my last Hilton stay this year. It doesn’t matter, I’ll retain the status because I get it as a credit card benefit.
Prediction: I’ll retain Gold status from carrying The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Anthony’s Take: I’m on track to retain the status levels that I want to maintain. My priorities have changed over the past few years and I’ve shifted accordingly with United becoming second to Delta and Hyatt leapfrogging Marriott for my preferred programs.
Anthony’s Credit Card Picks: When I’m staying at a Marriott hotel, I want to maximize my points earned. My card of choice is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. With it, I earn six Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. It also includes up to $300 statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month ) for dining in restaurants worldwide. Plus, a free night award that I can redeem at any Marriott hotel with a redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points. Rates & fees. Terms apply.
I love the lounges where The Platinum Card® from American Express grants me access. It has had a prominent place in my wallet for many years now. While it does have an annual fee of $695, it provides many travel benefits and will always be my go-to for lounge access (both Delta Sky Clubs® and Centurion Lounges) and booking airfare from the airlines to earn 5x points (up to $500,000 per calendar year). Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
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