Upgrd 23: You've got questions, we've got even more

This week we discussed a number of listener questions about frequent flyer and hotel programs. In addition to written questions received via email and on the upgrd.com site, we recorded a few questions in person at a recent SFO dinner.  Some questions include:

  • Is the standby option (via a different routing) some sort of 1K only perk?
  • Which hotel program is best for someone residing in Canada that might not be eligible for US based credit card pomotions?
  • What to do with United SWUs?
  • Where to post miles after crossing 100,000 elite qualifying miles?
  • Ben answers "How to get travel credits instead of a free ticket" in denied boarding situations on this blog
  • and more...

Please write additional questions for our next Q&A discussion. Also, a new survey will be up at upgrd.com/survey shortly.

Download MP3


spkg January 9, 1970 at 06:52 am

Thanks for answering my questions guys, i really appreciate it.

I going to go with the IC hotel group as my primary hotel chain, with SPG as a secondary. I should travel enough to make top teir on both programs, and i remeber from last week's podcast, that Ben mentioned with ICH, the more you stay the less points you'd get per stay, so i think what i'm going to do is only stay the 50 nights needed for RA, and leave the rest to SPG.

I've also signed up for the Canadian MBNA SPG credit card pretty much just for the signup bonus, the annual rate $0 so it dosen't really matter, the card only gives 1 point per 2 Canadian dollar, and no bonus for SPG spending, so i don't really see myself using it very often.

Keep up the good work guys, and make sure you let everyone know when you're planning to do that DEN vs ORD "walk-off".

and Ben, I'll be the sixth person to buy your T-shirt. ;)

BarkinJ June 13, 2009 at 01:51 pm
  1. If you're only earning hotel points with stays (and not with credit cards or anything else), I'm not sure why you guys wrote off Hilton so quickly. I stay at Hiltons a decent amount. I think a number of their properties are pretty good (and pretty consistent), and the earning rates aren't bad. Not to mention the double-dip, which I like (especially if you just double-dip Hilton/Hilton, which gets you to free stays pretty quick).

  2. The guy who asked about where to credit 25-35k miles after he hits United 1K... If he def. wants to be flying United metal (and taking advantage of his 1K status), then your advice was great. But if he's willing, his flying patterns as he described them (all transcons out of SFO, plus a trip to Asia) are ripe for an American challenge. Depending on the specifics, he might be able to get himself to AAdvantage PLT, and at the very least GLD. The Asia trip alone might get him what he needs. Of course, that means choosing to fly several flights w/o the advantage (or aadvantage, heh) of his United status, but some people like the protection afforded them by having elite w/ two legacy carriers in totally separate alliances.