Why it's better to buy your frequent-traveler perks than earn them

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Aug 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    The travel industry long ago abandoned the claim that their frequent-flyer and frequent-guest programs have anything to do with business travelers. Despite the moniker, frequent-travel plans are profit-generating marketing vehicles aimed at selling you credit cards, dining, phone service, coffee, flowers, chocolate, and just about anything you or the travel industry can imagine.

    But travel executives haughtily continue to insist that their elite levels, the programs-within-the-programs status tiers where the richest benefits reside, are all about rewarding frequent business travelers for loyalty. And to outsiders, the carefully nuanced layers of elite status are protected by daunting levels of required activities. To qualify for the special status each year, you apparently must fly tens of thousands of miles, spend dozens of nights in hotels, and rent countless numbers of vehicles.

    Unless, of course, you simply bribe your way in.

    If you carry the right credit card or lay out enough cash, program managers will happily waive their published travel requirements and usher you into their elite levels, which are almost always named after a gem or a precious metal. In exchange for the appropriate form of baksheesh, you'll be showered with status benefits: car upgrades, free airport club access, free breakfasts and WiFi, room upgrades, and, of course, a bonanza of bonus miles and points.

    Read More: http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjourn...08/how-to-buy-your-frequent-flyer-status.html
  2. RestlessLocationSyndrome
    Original Member

    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    I think this article brings up some good points... especially if you aren't the most loyal or the heaviest of business/leisure travelers. However, if you are, there is little you can do to buy the benefits you receive as a top tier for most of the best programs out there (Hyatt, SPG, AA, UA etc.).

    At the end of the day, many people will get the cards listed for some of the good mid-tier benefits but it's not like the really good benefits are truly for sale.
    2soonold and sobore like this.

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