There have been plenty of big changes in the travel world over the past few weeks. We had changes from American Airlines that we expected, but didn’t expect until next year (maybe that’s hope?). To follow that up, we had Marriott surprise everyone by swooping in to snatch up Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Pizza in the News is back to discuss it.
These changes are sure to cause a lot of confusion and disappointment amongst travelers. The folks at Fox News’ Happening Now had me back on today to discuss how these changes affect people, and what we can do to avoid some of the impact.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
While there’s no silver bullet, here are some things to consider going forward that should keep you ahead of the pack:
- Remember that most miles are earned through credit card spending, not actually flying. Even though the airlines are awarding fewer miles for flying, you can still get there by spending using the right credit cards.
- Diversify, diversify, diversify. This holds true for both American Airlines and the Marriott/SPG merger (and pretty much any other program). Consider a credit card like the SPG American Express card or some of the cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Those allow you to transfer points to a number of different airlines and hotel chains.
- If you can’t meet the revenue requirements that some airlines have instituted, consider status in one of their overseas partners. In the past year, 3 Star Alliance airlines (Aegean, Copa and Avianca) have all offered status match programs that give you generous benefits when flying on United Airlines.
- Hotel chains are starting to get into the status match game with the announcement of the Marriott/SPG merger. Both Hilton and Hyatt have offered very generous status match opportunities in the past couple of weeks.
- If you have a big balance of Starpoints, you want to find valuable redemption opportunities prior to the completion of the merger. There’s a reasonable chance of a major devaluation, and the strong reality that Marriott just doesn’t have points that are very valuable overall.
There will undoubtedly be major changes in the world of miles and points again, but that doesn’t mean you have to take the worst of it.
And, just for fun, some classic headshots from the appearance.