Airline mileage programs

I just applied and got the United Explorer card, 60k miles.

It's at least the 3rd time I will have this card, both times getting the welcome bonus miles.

But the main reason I got it this time, I need to renew Global Entry and it will reimburse the fee.

The annual fee is $95 but free the first year.
 
Global Entry costs go to $120 in October, be interesting to see if cc increase their reimbursement rate.
 
How are ya'll getting "lifetime" statuses with airlines ?
 
How are ya'll getting "lifetime" statuses with airlines ?
If you are a Million Miler on Delta airlines you get Lifetime Silver status. Silver gets you free baggage and preferred seats in coach. That's about it these days.
 
We moved away from any CCs or “points” programs that couldn’t be converted to cash a decade or so ago, & haven’t looked back. Life was different when I w*rked & flew weekly, but no longer. Now we pick up ~$1K in cash per year from points conversions & avoid airports whenever possible.
 
I have a goodly number of credit cards that I use for various items, since most emphasize different things for their highest cash back amounts. I only use cash back cards since retiring ten years ago. We don't fly any more after I did so much for years, and my wife always hated flying anyways so it was easier for her to stop. So airline cards means nothing to us. If it isn't within a 700 mile drive or so, what I am comfortable doing in one day, we don't need to go. Fortunately living in the South that opens up quite a bit of the country that we prefer anyways.
 
We are currently in Rome and flew here Business Class with miles at a 3 cents/mile redemption rate. Our hotels are paid with points as well. We are cruising with our kids and grandkids in July and I got the pre and post hotel rooms, all paid with points. We follow 10x Travel and you can still get good redemptions. We get a Companion pass with Delta yearly and use it to fly up and visit our out of state grandkids.
 
The good ol' days are gone for Airlines and credit cards. For over a decade, was able to get outstanding miles and credit card bonuses, up until a couple years before the pandemic. Luckily my work got me to UA Million Miler recently. I made a point to focus most of my International leisure and business trips on United over 18 years. Now I'm hoping United stays solvent and doesn't water down its Million Miler benefits over time as well. At least I made it, over the last several years was worried United would 'move the goal posts' - they didn't. Of late I dont/cant travel enough to make Gold status on United anyway - its all about dollars spent on the airline. Its been Silver Status for 2 years following one Make-Up year from United giving Gold status for 2021 (pandemic fading year). As others have noted, ticket prices having been going up with inflation as well.
 
How are ya'll getting "lifetime" statuses with airlines ?
I'm lifetime Diamond with Delta. Flew over 4,000,000 miles with them. I was in their top 5 customers for 25 years.
Don't fly as much now but just last month there was a handwritten note at my seat from the crew thanking me for my business. The previous flight, they quietly handed me a bag with a bottle of wine. I still have access to their concierge service and the club rooms at no charge as well.
 
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There are two separate issues when it comes to airline milage programs:
1. Status with the airline: The higher your status, the more you are likely to be helped when things go wrong. I have a friend who has a very high status with United (Chairman's circle which is even above Global Services). such people have a special concierge who will help them with pretty much anything related to flying. However, unless you have high status, you don't get this benefit.
2. Hacking credit card bonuses to get free or reduced cost trips. By being strategic, you can get free or cheap trips as several posters on this thread have mentioned using credit card bonuses.

One thing that milage programs are not good for is free upgrades. There are many passengers who pay for premium seats so upgrades are becoming less frequent.

My wife and I don't travel a lot but when we do it's only at the front of the plane. And when we do, we just pay for business or first class seats. We don't really try for status but since we live close to a United hub, we wind up with silver status since United tends to have the most nonstops for our destinations.
 
About 8 years ago I flew to Japan on American, and figured I'd upgrade to Business with points when I went back. Looked like I could do it for about 200k round trip for two at the time. I've pretty much always flown AA, and they are convenient for my location.

DH and I are looking to go back this year...now those two business class seats are 700k points. My 250k I've saved up since then is pretty useless.
 
I've traveled first class round trip from the east coast to Hawaii and Vancouver on points alone, accumulated mostly through their credit card. Points can also be used for the Admirals Club lounges, and other things, not just flights. When booking flights, I look at the discount travel sites to get an idea about fares, then book directly with the airlines. When we flew to Hawaii in December, we used DH's Capital One points for first class. Since they are related to the dollar amounts, it paid to shop around, but American's first class air fare was just over half the cost of other airlines at the time. It is easier to change flights without penalty or to get a refund if you do it directly with the airline.
 
We use the "Chase Universe". We had stacked up 750,000 points just before the pandemic. Our high end Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 fee per year), was giving 50% bonus on points when used for travel through their portal. Because travel stopped, they applied that bonus toward groceries and dining out. We went 6 months without paying a dime for groceries, and more than a year eating/drinking out for free. (750,000 points is over 10 grand in statement credits) Here's my "strategy" which I typed up for some relatives a few years ago...

FIRST, my wife has a BOA (Bank of America) 3-2-1 card for personal groceries, etc. that gives us this cash back scenario: (We get a check for about $300-$400 each year).

1% = everything except... / 2% = grocery / 3% = all online shopping
Then…

Chase Sapphire Reserve: costs $550per year. We get a $300 travel credit which brings the net to $250 per year but we also get (got) the following:

100,000 point signup. ($1,500 worth of airline tickets if used through their portal) We get 1 point for most purchases but 3 points for any meal, entertainment or travel related purchases. THEN...we use the Chase Travel portal to buy plane tickets. We get a 50% bonus for doing so. So right out of the gate, our 500,000 accumulated points will buy us $7,500 worth of tickets. It doesn't end there. We use Southwest Airlines, which is the ONLY airline that has an out of whack point system. Usually 1 point = 1 penny. With them it's 1.6 cents per point so we get 60% bump up vs. 50% by doing so. We end up using less than 20,000 points to get a $300 ticket.

Chase Freedom Card - Now called "Flex", choice of "unlimited" that gives 1.5% for everything, or "freedom flex" that gives you 1% for most things, with a rotating quarterly 5% bonus.

This Freedom Flex is our "go to" card. Very simple. EVERY non travel related expense in our house and 2 businesses goes on here. We THEN transfer the points to the Sapphire because we get the 50% bonus when we use sapphire points via the travel portal. This card also has quarterly bonuses. usually things like gas, groceries, Amazon, Walmart etc. and the bonuses will be 5 points vs. 1 point which translates to 7.5 points through the portal

I also use Chase Ink Bold, and I still get one every other year when sign up bonuses come on. They give 5 points for cell, cable, etc. anything tech related (even netflix). I sign up, get the 50K-100K signup bonuses (worth $750-$1,500 via Sapphire transfer/travel portal), then put all my tech stuff on it, then kill the card a few months later to clean up my open accounts and get ready for the next "kill".

To supplement, I get Capital One cards every so often. My wife and I each got a Cap One card, just this past Christmas, each having a 50,000 signup bonuses. One for cash/account credit, one for gift cards. Plus I signed up for Amazon's Amex at the same time which gave us $100 credit on my Amazon account. So just for signing up for 3 cards, I netted a little over $1,100 just in time for Christmas. I did have to put 3K in 3 months on each of the Cap One cards. (These minimums for the signup bonus are about all the evidence I need that every human being that's interested in getting an edge should own SOME TYPE of business)

We’ve gone as long as 5 years without paying out of pocket for plane tickets. Now that we’ve semi retired and aren’t spending 10K a month it's going a little slower but it’s still a great return for the little bit of time spent organizing.
 
How are ya'll getting "lifetime" statuses with airlines ?
I did a lot of business travel on AA and they used to count ALL mileage towards Million Mile status- base miles, bonus miles, those earned through the shopping portal and through AA credit card purchases. They then slammed the window down (with 6 months notice- gotta give them credit for that) and said only flying miles counted beyond a certain date although previous non-flying miles still counted. I was close enough that I was able to get there with flying, shopping and charitable donations. I still lean towards them on domestic flights since I save on checked bag and seat selection fees.
 
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How are ya'll getting "lifetime" statuses with airlines ?
I am not sure how I got it to be honest. I was never a road warrior but tended to travel in AA and also had an AA credit card until about 5 years ago. Seems I have been "lifetime" advantage gold for at least 20 years.

But my points stash came through American Express. Those were the days!
 
We are currently in Rome and flew here Business Class with miles at a 3 cents/mile redemption rate. Our hotels are paid with points as well. We are cruising with our kids and grandkids in July and I got the pre and post hotel rooms, all paid with points. We follow 10x Travel and you can still get good redemptions. We get a Companion pass with Delta yearly and use it to fly up and visit our out of state grandkids.
Nicely done! There are still plenty of deals out there. I follow 10X Travel along with a few others. I listen to the podcasts on my daily walk.

Just finished a week-long walk through the Cotswolds. Lucked out and didn't have to wear our rain gear at all. Fairy tale beautiful place. Flying BA home non-stop from LHR to Seattle in business booked through Cathay Pacific for $700 plus 122,000 Amex miles for DW and I. Cash price when I booked were in the neighborhood of $10,000 each. That's crazy value.

We've never been to Boston so we're using the Delta companion pass for a 4 night holiday in August. Flying in first so the Delta Reserve annual fee was worth it again this year IMO. We'll visit the Sky Club in MSP on the way. Booked the InterContinental for 4 nights with IHG points (4th night free) at almost a penny a point plus $32 per day. No taxes on the stay and we can cancel up until the day before.

Finished booking flights for a Sri Lanka & Borneo trip next March a couple of days ago. QSuites on the way out and China Airlines (via Taipei and in business) home with reasonable taxes. Not crazy value but very good. Transferred Amex to Qatar and Amex to Air France for the China Airlines flight. Was also able to get good value from Amex to BA to book Sri Lanka to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines. We'll pay cash for the KUL to Borneo to SIN flights.

Safe travels Karen!
 
I did a lot of business travel on AA and they used to count ALL mileage towards Million Mile status- base miles, bonus miles, those earned through the shopping portal and through AA credit card purchases. They then slammed the window down (with 6 months notice- gotta give them credit for that) and said only flying miles counted beyond a certain date although previous non-flying miles still counted. I was close enough that I was able to get there with flying, shopping and charitable donations. I still lean towards them on domestic flights since I save on checked bag and seat selection fees.

6 month notice? When I log into AA ,it says "loyalty points" reset to zero every March 1st. I have had my AA frequent flier # since 2002. It appears that my flight miles form the past are not worth anything to them.....
 
How are ya'll getting "lifetime" statuses with airlines ?
I am lifetime "Gold" with American Airlines, not that it gets me much these days. I did this by accumulating 1 Million Miles when I was a flying road warrior during my working years. I currently have 1,338,315 miles with American. I had many co-workers who would have earned more miles than I did.
 
I am lifetime "Gold" with American Airlines, not that it gets me much these days. I did this by accumulating 1 Million Miles when I was a flying road warrior during my working years. I currently have 1,338,315 miles with American. I had many co-workers who would have earned more miles than I did.

Those are the number of miles you have available to redeem? Or is there somewhere else where it shows your total miles flown?
 
6 month notice? When I log into AA ,it says "loyalty points" reset to zero every March 1st. I have had my AA frequent flier # since 2002. It appears that my flight miles form the past are not worth anything to them.....
"Loyalty points" are something else and my eyes glaze over when I try to figure it out. I just keep flying AA when it makes sense. If you go to your account and select "Activity" in the "Overview" section you should see a Million Mile status total. I'm at 1.2 million even though I have only 10,533 loyalty points.
 
Those are the number of miles you have available to redeem? Or is there somewhere else where it shows your total miles flown?

No, that is not the amount available to redeem. It's the amount of miles flown/earned in my lifetime with them. I'm not sure they show the total to everyone unless they reach the Million Miler status, but perhaps.

I can see it by drilling into my AAdvantage Account "Activity" using a computer. See attached screen shot.
 

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No, that is not the amount available to redeem. It's the amount of miles flown/earned in my lifetime with them. I'm not sure they show the total to everyone unless they reach the Million Miler status, but perhaps.

I can see it by drilling into my AAdvantage Account "Activity" using a computer. See attached screen shot.

Thanks!

I found it. Apparently I have 57,207 Million Miler, odds are I won't be hitting a million my lifetime. :D
 
Had to look since did not know my AA miles. It is 1,171,659 going back to 1987.

I am really not sure how that could be right.

I do appreciate free checked bags, free upgraded seats, and somewhat earlier boarding for me and members of my party.

My available miles are mostly with British Airways. When I book in AA through BA I still get my AA status.

Also, you can fly basic economy and still have the same privileges.

It is a small but nice benefit but makes it painful to fly united or delta, though I have points with them and most carriers, but no status.
 
Had to look since did not know my AA miles. It is 1,171,659 going back to 1987.

I am really not sure how that could be right.
Mine added up from a lot of business travel, frequently between the US and London, Zurich and India in Business Class, plus credit card spending. It wasn't deliberate but plenty of AA flights connect from my home airport (Kansas City) to Chicago and DFW, providing access to other destinations. I got over the million-mile mark by making some generous donations to the Susan G. Komen foundation through AA and they accidentally credited us (that includes other posters on the Flyertalk site) with 10X what they promised pre dollar and had the class not to correct it.
 
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