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Mileage-earning Strategy after Making MVP Gold 75K

Mileage-earning Strategy after Making MVP Gold 75K

Old May 15, 14, 9:28 am
  #1  
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Mileage-earning Strategy after Making MVP Gold 75K

Hi all,

I'm about to requalify for Gold 75K after a trip I'm taking today. What is your mileage-earning strategy after reaching the highest elite tier? Do you keep banking your miles with Alaska's mileage plan (with 100% bonus for Golds) or do you start accruing miles on other programs such as Delta or American to make status there?

The majority of my flying is international on Alaska's Skyteam partners (Delta, Air France, KLM) and British Airways.

I'm interested in your thoughts...

Thanks.
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Old May 15, 14, 9:50 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by koopas View Post
Hi all,

I'm about to requalify for Gold 75K after a trip I'm taking today. What is your mileage-earning strategy after reaching the highest elite tier? Do you keep banking your miles with Alaska's mileage plan (with 100% bonus for Golds) or do you start accruing miles on other programs such as Delta or American to make status there?

The majority of my flying is international on Alaska's Skyteam partners (Delta, Air France, KLM) and British Airways.

I'm interested in your thoughts...

Thanks.
I would status match to *A to diversify my options to redeem, even with the spend component to UA's program. Making 75K in ~6 months is more than enough spend to make it worth while.

You already have access to DL, AA, BA, EK, CX... reward inventories through Mileageplan.

Start earning on UA and you'll get access to LH, LX, TG, NG... and have the whole world pretty much covered.
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Old May 15, 14, 9:54 am
  #3  
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Whats the point in having 75K status if you arent going to use it? I dropped to Gold and did 1K on UA.
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Old May 15, 14, 10:02 am
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are you buying J on the partner (DL/KLM/AF) flights? if not, you might want to look at diversifying to a program that offers international upgrade instruments. however, i agree with CDKing, if you aren't going to leverage your status, why have it?

for me, a commensurate 100K per year traveler, my strategy now is to try to maintain mid-tier status on both UA and AS, and trying to buy J or premium economy on whoever is cheapest for my international travel.
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Old May 15, 14, 10:32 am
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Do you fly internationally? If so, I would move all of those travel over to an airline within an alliance that works best for you.

If not, then assess what airline fills the gap well for you that AS can't fill and explore that airline's program for those trips.

Sounds like you fly well north of 100K a year, at this rate probably close to 175K, so it is a good idea to diversify.
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Old May 15, 14, 11:20 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by MonThruThurs View Post
I would status match to *A to diversify my options to redeem, even with the spend component to UA's program. Making 75K in ~6 months is more than enough spend to make it worth while.

You already have access to DL, AA, BA, EK, CX... reward inventories through Mileageplan.

Start earning on UA and you'll get access to LH, LX, TG, NG... and have the whole world pretty much covered.
You checked out what UA redemption rates for partner J and F are these days? Ouch.

Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Whats the point in having 75K status if you arent going to use it?
50K RDMs + 100% bonus RDMs. If you're pulling in 150K EQM on AS, that's a couple of CX F roundtrips a year, plus extra.

That being said... I'd probably look at BA...

Originally Posted by koopas View Post
Hi all,

I'm about to requalify for Gold 75K after a trip I'm taking today. What is your mileage-earning strategy after reaching the highest elite tier? Do you keep banking your miles with Alaska's mileage plan (with 100% bonus for Golds) or do you start accruing miles on other programs such as Delta or American to make status there?

The majority of my flying is international on Alaska's Skyteam partners (Delta, Air France, KLM) and British Airways.

I'm interested in your thoughts...

Thanks.
BA allows for Avios upgrades into Y+/J/F without copays. This is a big one. Avios also work well on AS/shorthaul Y. BA Gold (if you can pull it off) might be a logical pairing with AS MVPG75K.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; May 15, 14 at 11:25 am
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Old May 15, 14, 11:23 am
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Thanks for the comments. At this rate, I'll be flying close to 200K a year, with most of the miles stemming from international J-class business travel.

I hear the point "Why get 75K status if I'm not going to use it?". I chose AS as my main FF program because I'm Seattle-based and fly Skyteam a heck of lot to Africa (DL/AF/KL), sometimes BA to switch it up (though BA has spotty coverage for my destinations). While I'd love to build some miles in a *A program, I just don't see lots of connectivity from Seattle to North/West Africa as Air France dominates those markets. UA also isn't that big in SEA...

I also do fly Alaska for the one-off biz trip to the East coast but I do take AS for personal trips, particularly up and down the coast. It's nice to get upgraded virtually all the time and to benefit from the MVPG fee waivers, particularly for award redemptions -- I do earn and burn quite efficiently and am quite fond of the choice and quality of AS partners (CX, I'm looking at you!).

Thanks again for your input.

Last edited by koopas; May 15, 14 at 11:48 am
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Old May 15, 14, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by MonThruThurs View Post
You already have access to DL, AA, BA, EK, CX... reward inventories through Mileageplan.
AS miles only get access to partner saver award inventories. Few are entusiastic about redeeming at 'standard' or 'peak' levels but it may be useful.
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Old May 15, 14, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by koopas View Post
I hear the point "Why get 75K status if I'm not going to use it?". I chose AS as my main FF program because I'm Seattle-based and fly Skyteam a heck of lot to Africa (DL/AF/KL), sometimes BA to switch it up (though BA has spotty coverage for my destinations).
The main reason gold is high enough for me is, other than 50K bonus miles, 75K doesn't get you anything that Gold wont, if you primarily fly partners.
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Old May 15, 14, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by koopas View Post
Thanks for the comments. At this rate, I'll be flying close to 200K a year, with most of the miles stemming from international J-class business travel.

Thanks again for your input.
Interesting. There is always LH via FRA or UA to IAD then South African to DKR/JNB or Ethiopian to ADD if you decide to join a *A program.

75K and top tier status with *A airline is a good way to diversify. Heck, I think you will easily make HON status with LH.

Last edited by golfingboy; May 15, 14 at 12:23 pm
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Old May 15, 14, 12:30 pm
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"I would status match to *A to diversify my options to redeem, even with the spend component to UA's program. Making 75K in ~6 months is more than enough spend to make it worth while. "

That's great and then when you have a legitimate need to change, you'll have no options for a status match. I'd avoid that advice. The top tier status on someone like United is 100k miles. That's the only way to get a 100% match, so by doing it, you're costing yourself miles. The only way I see that making sense is if you would hit 100k miles and it wouldn't cause you to have a lot more stops.

You travel AS for a reason I'm guessing. Unless you want to start spending a lot of time sitting in SFO changing might not be a good idea.
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Old May 15, 14, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ou81two View Post
Unless you want to start spending a lot of time sitting in SFO changing might not be a good idea.
Not sure if you read the OP's synopsis of his/her travel pattern... Mostly flies international paid J to different regions within Africa and on occassion travels on AS for leisure up and down the west coast along with the once-in-awhile business trip to the East Coast.

Not sure what SFO has to do with it as the OP's travel patterns does not require connecting in SFO. The OP is with AS due to AS's extensive partnership with international partners particularly BA/AF/KL [seems like OP flies to Europe directly from SEA then onto his/her destination].

Nobody is saying the OP should dump AS for UA/*A, AS will still be the primary airline for domestic travel, but split the international travel between AS's partners and Star Alliance [LH] or one-stop to Africa trips on UA via IAD.
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Old May 15, 14, 1:00 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
The main reason gold is high enough for me is, other than 50K bonus miles, 75K doesn't get you anything that Gold wont, if you primarily fly partners.
Sounds like the OP does spend a bit of time on the West Coast and to the East on AS as well (lower % of miles) but having top tier for upgrades does help. Just this morning I cleared AS871 the redeye from HNL to ANC, which I am grateful for (moved just last week after my first upgrade cleared- but only two seats open under T-48). A friend flies a bit as MVPG but seems to miss out of upgrades to/from ANC as MVPG. I think as a 75K that would help a lot.

As for the OP- that is quite the pace you have set! If you're having luck burning & earning on partners easily I'd be inclined to keep with AS. Diversification can work well, but if its working now, why change?
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Old May 15, 14, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by koopas View Post
Thanks for the comments. At this rate, I'll be flying close to 200K a year, with most of the miles stemming from international J-class business travel.

I hear the point "Why get 75K status if I'm not going to use it?". I chose AS as my main FF program because I'm Seattle-based and fly Skyteam a heck of lot to Africa (DL/AF/KL), sometimes BA to switch it up (though BA has spotty coverage for my destinations). While I'd love to build some miles in a *A program, I just don't see lots of connectivity from Seattle to North/West Africa as Air France dominates those markets. UA also isn't that big in SEA...

I also do fly Alaska for the one-off biz trip to the East coast but I do take AS for personal trips, particularly up and down the coast. It's nice to get upgraded virtually all the time and to benefit from the MVPG fee waivers, particularly for award redemptions -- I do earn and burn quite efficiently and am quite fond of the choice and quality of AS partners (CX, I'm looking at you!).

Thanks again for your input.
I think TK and LH should have some coverage at north/west africa? They both have flights to SEA.
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Old May 15, 14, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by fishywang View Post
I think TK and LH should have some coverage at north/west africa? They both have flights to SEA.
Turkish does not.
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