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My travel patterns have shifted over the past few years like most of the world. Where I was once traveling weekly for business, I now am on a few flights per month. Leisure travel has maintained its pre-pandemic cadence, but I find myself thinking about how to maintain status more (since I can’t rely solely on business travel and then just enjoy the perks on my vacations). I recently wrote about where I ended up in 2023 (more here). Here are my 2024 goals.
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles®
I qualified for Diamond Medallion status this year. I have shifted a lot of my flying from United Airlines and have generally been enjoying flying on Delta, Air France, and KLM. Delta is switching to a revenue-based model next year and miles flown will no longer be part of the qualifying equation. This works in my favor as I buy First and Business Class tickets, so I should be able to hit the revenue goal faster.
2024 Goal: Retain Diamond Medallion
I flew JetBlue for the first time in over a decade this week. The plane was old and dirty and Wi-Fi was spotty. I’m not going to let this one experience make me never want to fly them again, but I also won’t be prioritizing flying the low-cost carrier. I took advantage of the status match (Mosaic 3) that JetBlue offered earlier this year and got the JetBlue Plus Card to extend my status until 12/31/24. It will be interesting to see if Spirit and JetBlue merge and what a combined status will look like.
2024 Goal: Try Out Mint and Let the Status Go
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit®
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. I have flown Spirit a few times after my initial flights and find it convenient, inexpensive, and the Big Front Seats are fine for short hops.
2024 Goal: Retain Free Spirit Gold
United Airlines MileagePlus
I was a Global Services member with United for years and Premier 1K® for many more. After many flights with inedible food, poor service, and inoperable Wi-Fi, I got tired of United and mostly moved on. I flew enough to reach Premier Platinum® and I’m fine with that. I knew going in that since am a Million Miler, I wouldn’t drop below Premier Gold®. I always buy First/Business Class, so the perks were limited and I have shifted so much flying to Delta. I’m happy I reached Premier Platinum® and will fly United likely even less in 2024. There is a chance that I will shoot for Premier 1K® if I hit Diamond Medallion early enough, but I’m not going to fly extra to reach it.
2024 Goal: Maintain Premier Platinum® or go back to Premier 1K®
World of Hyatt®
I reached 62 nights at Hyatt hotels this year and have had some great experiences as a Globalist. The program continues to work for me and I find most of my Hyatt stays (especially at Andaz and Park Hyatt locations) to be enjoyable.
2024 Goal: Retain Globalist
I stayed 32 nights at Marriott properties in 2023. I received 25 nights from holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, 15 nights from the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, and eight nights from some promos. I spent a good number of nights and maintained Titanium thanks to the credit card nights above. I am Lifetime Platinum Elite, so I knew no matter what that I wouldn’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.
2024 Goal: Retain Titanium Elite
I hold Gold status with Hilton Honors as a benefit from having The Platinum Card® from American Express. I stayed six nights this year at Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts (review here), Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World (review here), Hilton Heathrow Airport (review here), and the Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World (review here).
2024 Goal: Retain Gold Status
Anthony’s Take: I will look to maintain the status levels I earned this year when qualifying for 2025. United is the only wild card as I might shoot for Premier 1K® just for the PlusPoints to be able to upgrade family and friends. We’ll see what 2024 brings.
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.
(Featured Image Credit: Amgun.)
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