Monday, February 24, 2014

Frequent Flier Programs are Changing

Hope y'all had a great weekend! We spent the weekend working in the yard and upgrading flowerbeds for the spring! I have to say, if I ever became an expat I think yard work is one thing I will miss! Anyway, on to today's topic of frequent flier programs...

Looks like airlines are making it harder to earn and use rewards miles. Both United and Delta have changed the way you will qualify for Silver/Gold/Platinum statues but they have also upped the amount of miles you'll need to get you that free flight…bummer! As of this month, Delta’s mileage requirement for round-trip business-class reward tickets for travel from the United States to South Asia has been raised to 140,000 miles from 120,000 miles. And some business-class reward tickets to Europe on United now require 15% more miles than before. United is also raising the number of miles required for first-class reward travel on Star Alliance partner airlines by 18.5% to Europe and Japan, and by 20% to the Middle East.

The other change to the programs is now members who live in the United States need to spend a certain amount and fly a certain amount on United or a partner airline to achieve any sort of frequent flyer "status".

Premier Silver: spend $2,500 annually and fly 25,000 qualifying miles annually
Premier Gold: spend $5,000 annually and fly 50,000 qualifying miles annually
Premier Platinum: spend $7,500 annually and fly 75,000 qualifying miles annually
Premier 1K: spend $10,000 annually and fly 100,000 qualifying miles annually

Delta has also done the same thing with their SkyMiles:

Silver Medallion: spend $2,500 annually and fly either 25,000 qualifying miles or 30 nonstop flights annually
Gold Medallion: spend $5,000 annually and fly either 50,000 qualifying miles or 60 nonstop flights
Platinum Medallion: spend $7,500 annually and fly 75,000 qualifying miles or 100 nonstop flights
Diamond Medallion: spend $12,500 and fly 125,000 qualifying miles or 140 nonstop flights

Both carriers waive their spending requirements if a loyalty program participant runs up $25,000 a year of purchases on a carrier co-branded credit card. You can read the whole article on this topic here.

This new way of accumulating miles makes the infamous "mileage runs" no longer worth it.

This will seriously affect how we fly since we have finally stated to accumulate enough points to cash in on free flights, looks like we'll need to save a little more.

Will this affect how you travel and fly?

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