Which is better - both spouses Gold or one spouse Plat?

 
Old Aug 25, 09, 12:27 pm
  #1  
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Which is better - both spouses Gold or one spouse Plat?

Forgive me if this has been discussed before - I did my due diligence and searched, but I couldn't find this information. (You are welcome to direct me to the correct thread if this is an old topic.)

I will likely reach AA Gold status this year. So I am wondering where to go from here - is it better if we now try to get miles into my wife's account in order to get her to Gold as well, or would we benefit more if I continue earning miles in my account and try to reach Platinum? (The stretch to Gold for her or Platinum for me would be roughly equal in difficulty and time required to get there.)

Neither of us flies for business. Most of our travel is for vacation or to visit family. We travel 2-4 times per year. For international travel, I try to use my AA miles and get seats in J. I usually pay for domestic travel in coach. Pretty obviously, we fly AA or a partner whenever we have a choice (and if pricing is reasonably comparable).

We use 2 hotel programs (Marriott and Starwood), and I collect points with both.

The goal of reaching AA status is primarily to hopefully get little things that would make our trips nicer - upgrades on flights and hotel rooms would be a treat. Avoiding the AA baggage fee would be another treat.

So, do you think we'd be treated better if both of us were AA Gold, or do you think we'd get more perks if I aim for AA Plat and she does not have status? Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 12:37 pm
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If you always travel together, then you will both be better off with you as a platinum IMO. You will have a better chance of both being upgraded on domestic flights and earn more total miles. Also, if you ever travel internationally in economy, you can both use the lounges. The only downside that I can see is that you will earn half as many 500 mile upgrade stickers as you would if you both had elite status.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 12:38 pm
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If you're truly going to be traveling together, I'd say that having one with higher status is more valuable. You will both have the higher status for things like upgrades, lounge access should you travel internationally, at least one will get a snack and a drink on Eagle flights.

Of course, if you guys aren't flying enough to make GLD with travel each year, I'm not sure that the status is going to mean much in practice.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
...
I will likely reach AA Gold status this year. So I am wondering where to go from here - is it better if we now try to get miles into my wife's account in order to get her to Gold as well, or would we benefit more if I continue earning miles in my account and try to reach Platinum? (The stretch to Gold for her or Platinum for me would be roughly equal in difficulty and time required to get there.).

...
I am not sure what you really mean there. Are you asking whether only your wife should travel to get status or only you should travel from now on to get to PLT status? I am guessing you want to do Mileage Runs to reach Platinum for you or Gold for your wife. But if you really just travel together, would be traveling alone from now on to earn the next status?
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Old Aug 25, 09, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by vrbaba View Post
I am not sure what you really mean there. Are you asking whether only your wife should travel to get status or only you should travel from now on to get to PLT status? I am guessing you want to do Mileage Runs to reach Platinum for you or Gold for your wife. But if you really just travel together, would be traveling alone from now on to earn the next status?
I was equally confused until I realized that the OP may be speaking of lifetime status. Certainly 2-4 trips a year in most cases would not even qualify for GLD status as the OP has indicated.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
I was equally confused until I realized that the OP may be speaking of lifetime status. Certainly 2-4 trips a year in most cases would not even qualify for GLD status as the OP has indicated.
I'm wondering if the OP wrongfully thinks AA is like DL and other airlines that let you get status through non BIS means. He was talking about putting miles in his wife's account. Well the only way to status is traveling BIS and they would be together.

That said, my vote is you get PLAT and both of you reap the benefits. Then you don't have to worry about both being gold on the same PNR and what account the stickers come out of or don't come out of LOL

also how on earth does status on AA lead to the treat of nicer hotel rooms? I obviously missed out on that benefit.

Last edited by zipadee; Aug 25, 09 at 1:32 pm
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Old Aug 25, 09, 1:45 pm
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Assuming you will mostly travel together, it's definitely better that one spouse is PLT rather than both are GLDs. One exception, however: if you're going to have a kid and want to travel with him/her in his own seat seat, you'll both need to be elite in order to upgrade all three passengers. One of you will upgrade you and the kid, the other him/herself.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 1:48 pm
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Perhaps we can all press the "pause" button on continued speculation regarding what we think the OP was really asking and really meant, and simply await further clarification from said OP? (crazy, I know...)

Regards
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Old Aug 25, 09, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
Perhaps we can all press the "pause" button on continued speculation regarding what we think the OP was really asking and really meant, and simply await further clarification from said OP? (crazy, I know...)

Regards
Where's the fun in that?

If you are talking lifetime status and if you don't always fly together then I would say gold for each. This is especially true if she needs to check luggage when you are not with her to save the luggage fees.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
Perhaps we can all press the "pause" button on continued speculation regarding what we think the OP was really asking and really meant, and simply await further clarification from said OP? (crazy, I know...)

Regards
I'll speculate on a decision that my spouse and I make; perhaps the OP and spouse travel often on one paid and one award ticket, and the choice is whether to buy the paid ticket for the OP (to get the OP towards Platinum) or for the OP's spouse (to get the spouse to gold).

When traveling together, we both inherit the higher status, so I'd get the highest status possible for one. If you travel separately even occasionally, though, having your own status is nice.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
I was equally confused until I realized that the OP may be speaking of lifetime status. Certainly 2-4 trips a year in most cases would not even qualify for GLD status as the OP has indicated.
Sorry - I should have been more specific.

You are all absolutely right that we don't fly enough to get status each year based on flights. And yes, we almost always travel together.

I should hit the 1 million mile mark this year. That's how I will achieve status, and that is how I will make lifetime AA Gold. Since we only fly 2-4 times per year, I get mucho miles from credit cards, bank accounts, etc. (I am learning quite a lot from all of you. I'm probably going to add about 500,000 miles this year. And I'm not even doing the coin thing.)

My wife is currently at 360K lifetime, and just got approved for a Citi MasterCard (with a 30K bonus for $750 spend). So she will be at 400K lifetime miles soon.

If I'm understanding so far, I think the message is that spouses will do better if one is Platinum rather than if both are Gold.

If you need more clarification, let me know.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 2:53 pm
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Thanks for clarifying GetawaysRus!

If you and the Mrs. are always traveling together, you have been given sound advice by those who have suggested it will be more advantageous if one of you is PLT and the other is GLD.

Most notable benefits:
-Higher priority for PLT over GLDs for upgrades
-Once PLT, you will earn double miles on AA flights, while as GLD, you earn just a 25% bonus.
-When traveling internationally, PLTs have access to the Admirals Club, GLDs do not.
-Baggage fees will not be an issue for the Mrs. as long as you are traveling together. As such you two will be able to check four bags combined without fees.

I'm sure others will point out additional benefits.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
Thanks for clarifying GetawaysRus!

If you and the Mrs. are always traveling together, you have been given sound advice by those who have suggested it will be more advantageous if one of you is PLT and the other is GLD.

Most notable benefits:
-Higher priority for PLT over GLDs for upgrades
-Once PLT, you will earn double miles on AA flights, while as GLD, you earn just a 25% bonus.
-When traveling internationally, PLTs have access to the Admirals Club, GLDs do not.
-Baggage fees will not be an issue for the Mrs. as long as you are traveling together. As such you two will be able to check four bags combined without fees.

I'm sure others will point out additional benefits.
The travel benefits are certainly much better if one is PLT and the other no status than if both are GLD, but the earned mileage on two paid tickets is not too different: 100% (no status) + 200% (PLT) = 300% vs. 125% (GLD) + 125% (GLD) = 250%. Also, the no status spouse won't get 500 mile minimums, so I suppose it's possible if you fly a ton of <500 mile flights that you would come out ahead mileage-earning-wise if you're both GLD. But that's not likely given that you rarely fly at all, so I'd still go for PLT/no status.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by zipadee View Post
also how on earth does status on AA lead to the treat of nicer hotel rooms? I obviously missed out on that benefit.
I got that idea from this thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...ut-flying.html

Here is post #23 in that thread, from pinniped:
I received HH Gold status as a result of being AA Platinum. I had to go to an HHonors.com link and enter a 4-digit code which was printed in the AA Platinum booklet. One year, I don't think this was targeted at all (maybe '01 or so). Anybody could get the status. Note that during '01-'02, there were dozens of easy ways to get HH Gold and a mountain of bonus points, so it wasn't exactly an "exclusive" perk.

I also received SPG Gold as a result of AA Plat. I got a direct mail piece with SPG Gold and AA Platinum branding on it, brand-new SPG number. I called SPG and had them merge my new number with my old one. I recall that I was required to keep the new number active to keep the Goldness. I was also required to complete 1 stay where I earned AA miles directly, then I was allowed to switch to Starpoints. Seemed like kind of an odd promo with odd rules, but I didn't complain.

That reply is dated October 2004, so the information might no longer be accurate. But it makes me wonder if I'd be able to get any hotel goodies if I were to reach AA Gold or AA Platinum.

(I haven't dug through the Status Match master thread to see if there is any information on hotels, but that would be another place to check.)
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Old Aug 25, 09, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
I got that idea from this thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...ut-flying.html

Here is post #23 in that thread, from pinniped:
I received HH Gold status as a result of being AA Platinum. I had to go to an HHonors.com link and enter a 4-digit code which was printed in the AA Platinum booklet. One year, I don't think this was targeted at all (maybe '01 or so). Anybody could get the status. Note that during '01-'02, there were dozens of easy ways to get HH Gold and a mountain of bonus points, so it wasn't exactly an "exclusive" perk.

I also received SPG Gold as a result of AA Plat. I got a direct mail piece with SPG Gold and AA Platinum branding on it, brand-new SPG number. I called SPG and had them merge my new number with my old one. I recall that I was required to keep the new number active to keep the Goldness. I was also required to complete 1 stay where I earned AA miles directly, then I was allowed to switch to Starpoints. Seemed like kind of an odd promo with odd rules, but I didn't complain.

That reply is dated October 2004, so the information might no longer be accurate. But it makes me wonder if I'd be able to get any hotel goodies if I were to reach AA Gold or AA Platinum.

(I haven't dug through the Status Match master thread to see if there is any information on hotels, but that would be another place to check.)
I don't think that the Hilton automatic-gold-for-AA-status is still valid. I know it isn't currently noted in either the AA Platinum or EXP booklets. Occasionally, hotels will send out comp status to targeted AA elites, but we don't know how they target. Once, when my wife and I were both Platinums, Starwood sent my wife a gold card (but not me). But that was once time in over 20 years of elite status between us. I wouldn't count on it.
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