As a follow-up to the previous post about my goals for 2018 credit cards, I now want to talk about my goals for achieving or maintaining elite status. As I mentioned, 2017 was my first full year chasing credit card points and accumulating miles. With that came the chance to earn a lot of really valuable elite statuses. I want to quickly go over what I received this year in terms of elite status, and where I intend to focus my business for the year ahead.
2017 Elite Status Inventory
Marriott Platinum: Through work travel I was able to easily accumulate Marriott nights. In order to get to Platinum quicker I utilized the Marriott Road-to-Platinum Challenge and fast-tracked my way to Platinum status. SPG Platinum: SPG, like Ritz-Carlton (not mentioned), has reciprocal programs to Marriott — so my Marriott Platinum got me SPG platinum.Hyatt Discoverist: I had Discoverist last year, but just barely was able to retain it this year. Delta Platinum Medallion: Classic butt-in-seat flying. No one compares to Delta when it comes to IRROPS, or irregular operations. There may be some downfalls when it comes to points and partner earnings, but it’s nice to be able to rely on an airline when you travel on them weekly. United Premier Silver: Through the Crossover Rewards Program, my SPG Platinum status gives me United Premier Silver. I was able to utilize this on a recent flight to get upgraded to First Class on a short United Connection flight.
2018 Elite Status Goals
1) Hyatt GlobalistMy first status goal of the year is Hyatt Globalist — which is strictly 60 nights (no stay requirement). Even though a lot has been said about the switch to the World of Hyatt program, I am a believer in Hyatt. The quality of hotel, service, and experience is always above par, no matter what brand I am staying at. With my current work assignment I have a Hyatt property close by and hopefully achieve Globalist with more than half the year to focus elsewhere.2) Delta Diamond MedallionThis is one that I am definitely still up in the air on (no pun intended). There are some unknowns ahead, and specifically where I live is a major question mark on that list. My home airport will largely determine what airline I use on a weekly basis, but if still possible I would definitely want to remain a Delta loyalist, and ultimately hit Diamond Medallion for the first time. If circumstances change, I want to hit top level status with that airline. My weekly travel never requires a ton of miles, rather I am usually having to complete 2 segments just to get to my destination (another large reason Delta is so reliable). But one of my goals this year is to complete some international travel, and whichever airline I choose to give my loyalty I want to be able to credit some large mileage runs to. 3) Marriott PlatinumI’ve already worked out the math, and with Hyatt’s 60 night requirement for Globalist I am looking at 4-5 months to hit the threshold. Once I’m able to achieve that I will go after Marriott Platinum — the reciprocal benefits are hard to beat. Something that I will look into is the possibility of buying back Platinum status. If I could utilize my work travel to gain status at Hilton, for example, then buy back Marriott Platinum I could really maximize my statuses going forward. 4) Southwest A-List Preferred/Companion PassThis will have a lot of bearing on the airport that I end up calling home. While I really love the international travel potential with the larger airline alliances, Southwest’s Companion Pass really is the best travel perk on the market right now. If I am able to travel with Southwest for a large part of the year, then get one of the Southwest Chase Credit Card’s 60,000 point sign-up bonus’, I don’t think the Companion pass is too far away.This should be quite the year ahead in travel. Not only do I intend on racking up the credit card points, but I also plan on taking full advantage of every opportunity I have to become an elite traveler.