Talking Points with Thrifty Traveler: March 23rd

Talking Points With Thrifty Traveler

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Our weekly series, Talking Points with Thrifty Traveler, is designed to help readers answer any questions they might have for the Thrifty Traveler team. The questions can be anything from credit card points & miles, travel recommendations, flight questions, or anything you want us to answer. Have a question? Email me at [email protected] to be featured in our Friday Talking Points segment.


I have both the business & personal version of the Delta Platinum credit card. To hit the $25,000 medallion spend waiver, does it have to be spent on one card or can it be combined from both cards? – Sajo K. 

If you hold the Platinum version of the Delta SkyMiles credit card from American Express, you can receive a waiver for your medallion qualifying dollars (MQDs) by spending $25,000 on the credit card in a calendar year. The waiver will help you meet Silver, Gold & Platinum Medallion status with Delta (Diamond Medallion waiver is $250,000 of spend annually). To learn more about achieving Delta Medallion status, see our post on the topic here.

If you hold both the personal and business versions of the credit card, you can not combine the spending to count towards the $25,000 MQD waiver. The full $25,000 annual requirement must be spent on one credit card.

Right now is a great time to take advantage of the welcome offers on both the Gold and Platinum versions of the Delta SkyMiles American Express cards. These expire on 4/11/18.


Can I use SkyMiles to upgrade into business class for a deal I just booked with TT premium? – Andrew T. 

This is a great question, as generally upgrade policies with the airlines are confusing. Your chances of being able to apply SkyMiles for an upgrade to a Thrifty Traveler Premium deal are slim. Basically, Delta doesn’t allow upgrades to ticket classes “L” “U” “T” or “E”. Your ticket class can be found on your reservation within your Delta account. Read more about each of these ticket classes below:

L = Transoceanic or Domestic (deeply discounted fare). Award mileage cannot be used to upgrade this class of service. *Only Medallions receive domestic upgrades on this fare.

U = Coach discounted web fare (domestic & international) Award mileage cannot be used to upgrade this class of service. *Only Medallions receive domestic upgrades on this fare.

T = Transoceanic or Domestic. New lowest fare typically for fare matching competitors. Award mileage cannot be used to upgrade this class of service. *Only Medallions receive domestic upgrades on this fare.

E = This is Basic Economy. Medallion members will not receive paid or Complimentary Upgrades to first class, paid or complimentary Preferred Seats, or paid, or complimentary Delta Comfort + when flying on a Basic Economy fare. When you purchase Basic Economy, you will typically enjoy the lowest fare, but seats will be assigned after check-in and you will not be able to change or refund your ticket after the Risk-Free Cancellation period.

 Thrifty Tip: Holding One of the Delta co-branded credit cards is a great way to beat Delta Basic Economy.


Do you recommend transferring SPG points to my United Airlines Account?  – Zach S.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points are some of the most valuable around. Not only are you able to use the points for hotel stays at both Starwood and Marriott properties, but you can also transfer SPG points to over 30 different airline partners at a 1:1 transfer ratio.

On top of that, you will receive a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer. For example, if you transfer 20,000 SPG points to American AAdvantage, you will receive 25,000 American AAdvantage miles. Transfer 40,000 SPG points? You will receive 50,000 American AAdvantage miles.

United Airlines is one of the only Starwood transfer partners that doesn’t offer a 1:1 transfer ratio (2:1 ratio). That means if you were to transfer 20,000 SPG points to your United Airlines MileagePlus account, you would only receive 10,000 United miles. For this reason, you should absolutely avoid SPG transfers to United as it is a surefire way to devalue your hard earned SPG points.


Bottom Line

Have a question you want answered? Send them to [email protected] to be featured in our weekly segment, Talking Points with Thrifty Traveler.


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