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My travel is still down from what it was pre-pandemic. It’s picking up, but still behind where I thought it would be this year. 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 started a new job in February and have had business trips a few times a month. For fun, I’ve taken trips to Florida, San Francisco, and Peru. I have three upcoming trips to Europe and a decent number of business travel booked in Q4. 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 Q3 2023 stats:
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles®
Current Status: Platinum Medallion®
Goal: Diamond Medallion®
Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs): 78,565
Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs): $17,870
I need to reach 125,000 MQMs and $20,000 MQDs to reach Diamond Medallion®. I’ll be at 115,593 MQMs and $25,056 MQDs with what I have booked. I have to book a few more flights for the rest of the year and those will get me over this threshold.
Prediction: I still feel good about qualifying for Diamond Medallion® this year. I’m taking most of my business trips with Delta and I have three upcoming trips to Europe.
United Airlines MileagePlus
Current Status: Premier 1K®
Goal: Premier 1K®
Current Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs): 20
Current Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs): 12,079
I need to reach 18,000 PQPs and 54 PQFs or 24,000 PQPs. With what I have flown and booked, I’m over 12,000 PQPs and was at 20 PQFs by the end of Q3. I have another 1,789 PQPs and 4 PQFs booked this quarter. I am a Million Miler, so I know I won’t drop below Premier Gold®.
Prediction: I will not reach Premier 1K® by the end of the year and will drop to Premier Platinum or Gold. I have not been flying United enough, and will have to make do with Premier Platinum or Gold. I book tickets in F/J, but will miss the PlusPoints for upgrading family.
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. Since then, I’ve flown Spirit a few more times and have another flight to Tampa in a few days.
Prediction: I have a few more Spirit flights this year and the status is locked in, anyway. I’ll have Free Spirit Gold in 2024.
World of Hyatt®
Current Status: Globalist
Current Qualifying Nights: 58
I need to reach 60 nights by the end of 2023. I have 2 more nights coming up that will make me hit Globalist in October.
Prediction: I will retain Globalist status.
Current Status: Titanium Elite
Goal: Titanium Elite
Current Qualifying Nights: 46
I have only stayed at 18 nights at Marriott properties in 2023. I received 25 nights from holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and two nights from an earlier global promo. I have a good number of nights booked in Q4, but am shy of the 29 I’ll need to maintain Titanium. 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 may or may not retain Titanium Elite. If I get close, I might mattress run for the last few mights.
Current Status: Gold
Current Qualifying Nights: 4
I hold Gold status with Hilton Honors as a benefit from having The Platinum Card® from American Express. I stayed four nights this year at Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts (review here) and Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World (review here) and the Hilton Heathrow Airport (review here). I have two more upcoming Hilton stays, but it doesn’t matter as 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 mostly 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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