Elite Status Planning for 2023

Amex Delta Business Reserve Card – Special Edition

It’s the last week of 2022, so let’s revisit my June post about status planning for 2023.

Below I’ll recap my June 2022 elite status plan and provide an update on each:

Airlines:

Delta Platinum Medallion – the good news here is that as long as I spend at least $25,000 on a Delta co-branded card each calendar year, I should have this status at least through early 2025. Why? Because Delta rolled over Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) in 2020 and 2021 due to covid. I expect to have about 170,000 MQMs at the end of 2022 and even as they subtract 75,000 MQMs each year (the amount required for Platinum Medallion status) and roll over the remainder, I will have at least two more years and likely three more years (based on earning some more MQMs each year) of this status before I really need to worry about my Delta strategy. The $25,000 spend waives the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) requirement for achieving Silver, Gold or Platinum status. I still need to spend about $4,000 more to hit my $25,000 for this year, but that should not be a problem.

12/2022 UPDATE: Completed the spend and with a special Delta Amex Business authorized user promo, I will easily hit the $25k spend waiver again early in 2023 (and earn a ton of SkyMiles in the process). I hit the 170k MQM number as predicted so I will start the year with 95k MQMs, more than enough to re-qualify for Platinum again in 2024.

United Premier Silver – The only reason I have this status is because United grants it to anyone with Marriott Titanium status. I have taken advantage of this status a couple of times to get Economy Plus seats and free checked bags on United. I will get one more chance to do this on our trip to Ireland later this year. I expect to lose this status when I lose Marriott Titanium status (see below).

12/2022 UPDATE: As expected, I will lose Marriott Titanium status at the end of January and my United Premier status goes with it. As it turned out, I actually received a bonus of United Premier Gold status thanks to a Bilt promotion, but that also expires January 31, 2023 as I will not be flying United before then to keep the status.

ANA Mileage Club Platinum – I did a status match to receive this, mainly because it comes with Star Alliance Gold status which gets you and a guest lounge access when flying domestic United flights (which I don’t use often but it can come in handy). I’ve also realized that it will help in securing ANA award tickets as the status grants more availability for award tickets. I will have this status through March 2023 but unless there’s another status match, it will be gone after that.

12/2022 UPDATE: This status did help me gain access to more ANA award availability and we have a great trip booked for June 2023 in ANA business class. We also used the Star Alliance Gold status to gain access to United and Air Canada lounges on some trips this year where we otherwise would not have had access.

Hotels:

Marriott Titanium – This is the second highest Marriott status and requires 75 elite nights. In 2020 and 2021, I somehow achieved this status thanks to 30 elite nights for holding two Marriott credit cards plus some covid-era double elite night promotions. This year, I currently have only 35 elite nights (including the 30 from the credit card) with plans for only about five more nights at Marriott properties. The good news for me is that this year, I finally qualified for Lifetime Platinum status, which gets me some good elite benefits for life at Marriott properties (or at least until they devalue the status). I no longer need to worry about staying at Marriott properties just to maintain status so I will be Platinum from now on. This of course will lose me the United Premier Silver status, but that’s OK.

12/2022 UPDATE: I will end up with 47 nights, which is kind of annoying as I am only three nights away from a Platinum elite bonus where I could select five suite night awards. On the other hand, those things hardly ever clear and I just can’t be bothered mattress running considering I am now Lifetime Platinum and will always have those minimum level of benefits on all my stays.

Hilton Diamond – I hold the Hilton Aspire card which automatically grants this top tier Hilton status. The card has good benefits that make the hefty annual fee worth it, so I will be holding on to it and the Diamond status for 2023.

12/2022 UPDATE: I actually qualified for Diamond status independent of the Aspire card thanks to reduced covid-era qualification criteria. In any event, I’m keeping the Aspire as the card continues to pay for itself easily.

IHG Platinum – This is another status granted by holding a credit card, but IHG does not give Platinum Elites much, just a few extra points and possibly an upgrade (more likely overseas). I am somewhat intrigued by the recent changes to the IHG program, but their US hotels are not great in most places, so I’ll probably just use my two credit card free night certificates and make an occasional stay with the stash of points I still have from the credit card sign-up bonuses several years ago.

12/2022 UPDATE: I actually received a temporary bump to IHG Diamond status for the last few months of 2022, and my daughter got to take advantage of the free breakfast amenity when I used my last expiring free night certificate for her stay in Orlando this month. I’ll be back to Platinum and just use my free night certs next year when and where it makes sense.

Hyatt Globalist – This is the one where losing it hurts the most. I love being a Globalist, even though I’ve only had the status for a little over a year. It’s not easy to attain (60 elite night credits are required) and it’s hard to spend your way there (the Chase Hyatt card only gives two elite nights for every $5,000 spend). That makes the benefits so much sweeter: dedicated concierge, breakfast, club lounges where available, space available upgrades, no resort fees or parking fees on award stays plus free night certificates and guaranteed upgrades earned at status thresholds. But, I don’t think I will re-earn this status for 2023. I just don’t have many trips projected for 2023 that will take advantage of Globalist status so I might as well let it go. I can always try and earn it next year if my plans change. I should qualify for Explorist, the mid-tier status, so I will at least have some elite status above the average Hyatt guest.

12/2022 UPDATE: Well, I managed to requalify after all! We had an unexpected 10-night stay in New Jersey when our daughter needed orthopedic surgery. Thanks to a new manufactured spending option, I also spent more on the Hyatt credit card to earn some more elite nights. In the end I earned all the 60 night benefits including the free night certificates and suite upgrade awards. I’ve already applied three of the SUAs for our upcoming Southeast Asia trip in June.

Rental Car Status – All of my rental car statuses either come directly from credit cards having the status as a benefit or from status matches that I can easily do again if needed. I expect these will all remain for 2023: National Executive Elite, Hertz President’s Club and Avis Preferred. I mostly use National for domestic rentals and Hertz for international rentals.

12/2022 UPDATE: Nothing much has changed here. I haven’t heard about any downgrades of my status.

2023 Projections – Delta Platinum, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum. Farewell to United Silver, ANA Platinum, Hyatt Globalist (unless they grant some sort of extension).

12/2022 UPDATE: Delta Platinum, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Platinum. Farewell to United Gold, ANA Platinum.

I have given it some thought about going for American Airlines status now that you can achieve it via spend with their Loyalty Points program. In the end, I just don’t see the value as we fly AA or their partners only a few times per year. We live near a Delta hub and we have to face that fact.

12/2022 UPDATE: No change in this thinking, although I will go ahead and do the Hyatt promo status match for AA which gets me temporary Gold status for 4 months.

Good luck in your status planning and don’t forget to get it all done by 12/31 (except AA which allows until the end of March for some strange reason).

If you enjoyed this post (or have questions), let me know in the comments or send me an email at emptynestermiles@gmail.com. If you are thinking about opening a new credit card, please use one of my links.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s