Hi all - I am faced with a rare opportunity right now, one which I am hoping some expert travelers can help me out with. Essentially, I am starting from scratch as a FF, but have the ability to very quickly build up significant miles. I'm just trying to figure out the most efficient way to do this. First, the facts/limits of my situation: 1. My home airport is DEN (meaning United, Frontier and Southwest are basically my choices) 2. I will be traveling internationally extensively over the next 6-8 months - which therefore means United is really my only choice leaving DEN if I want to build any sorts of a points balance that means anything. 3. The majority of my travels will be to Asia, using Singapore as a base, and then bouncing from there. Less frequent trips will be to Mexico. 4. I intend on booking all trips on my AMEX SPG card (I don't have and don't want any other airline cards). 5. My goal(s) are to obtain status as quickly as possible, so that I can get upgraded to Premium Economy or Business as much as possible (less concerned about first class right now), and to be able to bring my family along on a couple of trips as soon as possible. Now, the questions: 1. I can get to SIN on UA with one stop (DEN -> NRT -> SIN), but budget wise the best I can pull off right now is Econ Plus. Should I suck this trip up a couple of times in order to get the quickest Silver or Gold status on UA? 2. Alternatively, I can take UA to either LAX or SFO, then hop on a Star Alliance partner - SQ or Eva - and complete the trip from there. Benefit is I can pull off Premium Econ on them now, for basically the same price as the UA trip above. Downside is potentially not getting full credit for the flights on UA, given the booking requirements to get the Premium Econ now. Shorter term benefit that could result in longer term loss. Is Prem. Econ - and a slightly longer trip time - worth getting off of UA for a few round trips? 3. Given my location and cc restraints, is there a different option I should be considering? 4. Finally, I dug through a bunch of old posts around similar questions, but didn't see anything current (given UA's recent changes to their FF program). But if I missed something and am asking a stupid newbie question, feel free to shame me and point me in the right direction! Thanks!