Giveaway: $1,000 And Elite Status

This is just a quick reminder that National Rental Car is sponsoring a giveaway for readers of One Mile At A Time as part of their One Two Free promotion.

FIVE winners will each receive a year of Emerald Club Executive status, along with a $200 American Express gift card.

Entering is easy:

  • Telling me how (or if) program loyalty has changed the way you travel will give you five entries
  • Sharing a link to this post on Twitter (or RT mine) will get you an additional entry
  • Following me on Twitter, or visiting the blog Facebook page will each get you an additional entry

Here’s the catch! You have to complete these activities via the box below. Click “+1 Do It” and follow the instructions in order to have your entry tracked. If you don’t use the app, I won’t be able to track your entries.

You don’t have to sign up for anything to use the app — just enter your name and email address so I can contact you if you win. You can sign in through Facebook if that’s more convenient, but it’s not a requirement.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until 11:59PM Eastern time on Saturday, November 22, 2014 to enter. The five winners will be randomly selected and announced on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.

Good luck, and thanks to National for sponsoring the giveaway. Make sure to read the official post for tips on how to maximize the One Two Free promotion and National status in general.


  1. Certainly program loyalty has changed the way I travel, especially with respect to hotels. Your BB is nice and all, but do I get any points?

  2. I’d say that loyalty programs affect my travel from two perspectives, business and personal travel. For business, I drive my flights and hotel stays toward my preferred chains, if at all possible, with 1-2 backups. This means that my personal (read: family) travel tends to be on my primary airline and hotel chains via points.

  3. Loyalty programs have altered my travel in that I try to get the most amount of value through points rebates for a particular stay as i can among my preferred chains

  4. My husband travels for work and we’ve been able to take some very nice trips on points because of that. I work the promotions, status and even credit card affilation so that the points add up more quickly.

  5. Loyalty programs have absolutely impacted the way I travel. I am going on two mileage runs to get status before the end of the year!

  6. Loyalty programs help me focus on a specific brand to accumulate points for as a goal to maximize benefits!

  7. Program loyalty introduced me to the possibility of traveling in an entirely different way. I’ve never looked back!

  8. Who would’ve thought I’d ever go for the *longest* route when booking air tickets? Thanks loyalty programs!

  9. Program loyalty has definitely made me focus more on who I travel with. It is now a matter of best rewards and greatest value through the specific loyalty programs.

  10. Loyalty programs have definitely driven my choice of airlines and hotels when I travel. To a lesser degree, rental car programs have some influence on my choices.

  11. We tend to fly the airline we have status on (Delta), the preferred hotel chain (Hyatt) where we hold Diamond status, and usually rent cars from National where we have Executive status (but due to Nstionals heavy handed and sneaky way of forcing FT to delete the codes thread, I’m reevaluating this.

  12. I have noticed that with Program Loyalty regardless of airline, hotel, etc has given us a higher respectability as well time savings across the board. This means I definitely will take advantage of a brand I have the highest membership with!

  13. I am strictly a small potatoes flyer, and have no status. I remain loyal to two airlines and concentrate my points there. I appreciate the free bags and lounge passes which are sufficient perks for a minimal cc fee each year. I have travelled to Europe twice on miles, and have many more miles to spend. That alone will keep me concentrated on those two…..

  14. Loyalty programs are a two edged sword. They keep me coming back, but I have higher expectations in return. Before I started loyalty programs did not have the same expectations.

  15. It definitely made me more attentive in maximizing my points miles to get the most benefits and of course appreciate every bit of it.

  16. Loyalty programs give me the elite status that liberates me from the drudgery of traveling with the hoi polloi!

  17. Loyalty for airline/hotel programs has led me to use alternate airports and otherwise adjust travel plans to stay with my preferred airline/chain.

  18. The UA devaluations definitely transferred all of my travel to AA. And the DFW centurion lounge helped too! The benefits of loyalty at AA are keeping me there for the foreseeable future.

  19. I have a little loyalty to airlines and hotels since I have miles/status, but I don’t rent cars often enough to get loyal to any one company, I always just go with the cheapest.

  20. My reluctant loyalty to a specific airline who shall not be named has made me question how much more I’m willing to spend to get access to better partnerships/alliances for the type of awards that I most want to access. Once I became loyal to one airline, I was able to make a more informed choice about whether I wanted to remain loyal to them long term based on their partnerships and treatment of elites rather than who has the cheapest ticket to my destination.

  21. The new motto is more is less. Give less service and get more passenger money. Getting to the point of driving instead of enriching the airlines. Heading back to the 1920’s as fast as possible with profits uber alles.

  22. Loyalty programs have altered the way I travel because they’ve allowed me to become smarter about my choices, both by making me dig deeper into T&C to find benefits I can make use of and helping me get more bang for my buck.

  23. I left Delta a few years ago because of program changes after they merged with Northwest… and I’ve stopped using some hotel chains. So program changes can affect my loyalty, but i always try to take time and think things true. Often, accepting the devaluations is better than switching and starting from scratch.

  24. Hotel loyalty programs have changed the way I look for hotels, and not necessarily for the better. I sometimes skip favourite hotels in a city to chase ones in my program in order to maintain status, and often wish I didn’t need to.

  25. Loyalty programs have influenced me almost my entire life. I was given an AAdvantage number before I turned 1 year old and yet, I have never achieved a status level! It’s been 32 years! My mom is Platinum for life now, so that’s my goal!

  26. Loyalty programs have made aspirational travel possible for me and my family. I am so tied to American & Oneworld I may never fly Delta or United again.

  27. I tend to use companies where I have elite status because of the recognition and added benefits. And so the cycle continues – the more benefits I receive, the more I use the program.

  28. First of, is being conscious of how I make decisions when it comes to traveling. And then it’s about expectation. Rather than settling, I know I can have a different experience if I just alter my decisions a little bit. It’s no longer just about getting from point A to B, but how. And finally, knowing it doesn’t have to cause an arm + leg. It’s an additional twist to traveling! 🙂

  29. Getting a Southwest Companion pass took some of my family’s domestic air travel away from Delta (ATL based flyer)

  30. Elite status has made my travels even more valuable. Getting upgrade to first class and hotel room upgrades really make it worth it. (US Airways, IHG, CC)

  31. Loyalty programs have essentially changed every aspect of my travel behavior. I will almost always pass up the most convenient (or direct flight) in order to put my business on my preferred carrier. I will take extra connections or add several hours to my overall duration because I realize that doing so will ultimately provide more points, and a better experience in the long run, by way of upgrades, protection during IRROPS, reduced fees, and priority on all sorts of lists.

  32. While I am not fond of recent changes, loyalty programs essentially drive all my travel decisions to choosing those brands only when I travel so that I earn the most points and thus am able to have more points for future travel for me and those I love.

    I almost always fly and stay only with brands I have status with in order to maximize earnings.

  33. I remember 2009 when I was so excited about my full-year status match to Delta Gold Medallion. So much has changed – and that about says it all. 😉

  34. Loyalty for hotel programs has made me use alternate hotels and adjust travel plans to stay with my preferred chain.

  35. Loyalty programs haven’t really changed the way I travel. I try to save up points and earn free travel when I can, but I’m not as diligent as I’d need to be to really take advantage of the programs.

  36. I’m pretty new to this game. Before, I would just book the cheapest flight/hotel without realization of what I could get by choosing a brand. Now I shop for the deal and the most points.

  37. Loyalty programs have caused me to consolidate my travel choices to one or two major programs in a category. Ironically, it has also caused me to seek out more boutique options-if my main loyalty programs aren’t an option I will forgo a chain for a unique experience.

  38. Car rental loyalty programs offer next to nothing in terms of great benefits. Hopefully, IF i win this, things will change!

  39. Loyalty programs definitely have changed the way I travel since I will prefer and pay a small premium for specific brands that I have points/miles with. Otherwise, I would go with the cheapest.

  40. I have been fairly loyal to AA; now I am super loyal, as Delta’s program is in the dumps and United is just about as bad.

  41. Loyalty programs have not changed the way that I travel. I focus on accumulating the miles and points for specific destinations.

  42. I was very loyal at national car rental before, because you can always find last minutes special deal at airport national wide. But recently I had neighborhood ONE-FOR-TWO promotion not post on my account make me reconsider if National car customer service is good.
    I rented enterprise at 28th Oct with national club number, didn’t see the points after 1 week and email customer service asked why The customer service’s explain surprised me, they said my browser cache has problem, I should log out and login to fresh page to see it. First, I am 6 years web developer, I know how webpage works, I totally knew it was that issue. Second, why they didn’t check their system to check my points and then make a conclusion? Third, it’s very easy to verify my report, they can use my club # and email address to login to see it. Unfortunately, the customer service is too lazy to do so and blame it’s customer’s fault. After I cut the screen shot and explain to them how webpage works and let them to login my account to see if they can see the new points, they told me they will manually put the points after 7 business days. Today is 11/20, I haven’t see them yet. too tire too deal with it. I already have 400 points, plus this 200, I can get a free day. How much effort I should deal with them for the one free rental day?

  43. The most tangible part of reading your blog–I now have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and I can’t wait to begin using the benefits of its flexible points, and worldwide acceptance.

    I would’ve never had known about this card had I not read your blog!

    (PS–the font on your blog is my favorite and the easiest to read).

  44. Elite status definitely facilitates how I travel now, as I start first looking at specific chains or brands. I have an upcoming trip to four different countries, and am staying at InterContinentals in three of them because of my Ambassador status. Can’t turn down a free upgrade!

  45. Loyalty used to heavily effect my travel patterns. I was a FB Plat for years, and would fly only carriers that earned EQM for that program. After massive devaluations across carriers, I have become almost unaffected by loyalty. I now prefer to buy F/J if it works, which in many cases it does when I don’t limit carrier choices. If anything, I stick with National d/t Executive status.

  46. I began to collect miles a while ago – but not like I am now after reading your blog and others. It allows my wife and I to travel for next to nothing. It also helped off set the cost of our family vacation earlier this year by paying for hotel rooms for the 5 of us.

  47. You always have to be price-sensitive, and realize what the costs and benefits of your loyalty entail. But there are still many ways to benefit from elite status and sticking with several core travel brands.

  48. Loyalty programs have definitely changed the way I travel. Earning points/miles from work travel that translate into free flights/hotels/rental cars on vacation is a huge benefit. I spend a lot of the year on the road so having a loyalty program that also provides immediate benefits during my travels in addition to the points/miles earned goes a long way in swaying where I stay. If I know that more stays and earning status means I have breakfast and internet taken care of at the hotel for example, I am more likely to seek out that brand.

  49. It’s definitely changed the way I’m handling things. I thought credit cards were the bane of existence, but smart spending and responsible paying on time means more bonuses for me. I wish I entered this market sooner because I fear it’ll be much more difficult to achieve elite statuses for all these airlines.

  50. BA’s flexibility made trips I didn’t think I’d ever do possible, like piecing together three-continent awards to hit a fare mistake.

  51. It has help me earn miles or points that has allow me to travel more than I would have if without these program. And a more incentive to spend more and live more than I would have!

  52. Loyalty programs changed the game for me. I first got involved in miles & points about 5 years ago. Now, it has not only allowed me to take FANTASTIC trips at almost no cost, but it became somewhat of a hobby for me. I enjoy it. In fact just last night this happened: 1) Scored a refund of 28K points due to filling out a Club Carlson survey (it was a rotton stay and I told them why). 2) Scored a free BRG night from Choice Hotels at one of their “Ascend” collection properties for next year. 3) United changed the time, flight number, and aircraft of a first class award ticket that I bought for 50K miles. The new plane didn’t have first – only economy plus, but it was still a nonstop so I didn’t mind. To make a long story short, I convinced them that they had to refund me 37,500 miles, since there was now saver awards available on that flight. They agreed. Not bad for one night! GOT TO LOVE THIS GAME!

  53. Loyalty programs have definitely changed the way I travel. I’ve certainly started to trying to align my spending for airfare with one airline (or alliance) in order to try and get those premium upgrades every now and then….even just an economy+ seat is nice in this day and age.

  54. No change or redeposit fees for award tickets as a United 1K. Being able to speculatively book any award flight at any time, with fear of penalty is HUGE.

  55. I am pretty loyal to Southwest, simply because they fly to locations I tend to favor and have no cancellation fees.

  56. Since becoming involved in the point game, particularly with hotels in Hyatt and SPG, I am more point sensitive than $ sensitive. I would rather pay $100 for a Hyatt hotel stay with a one-time 3,000 point bonus, than to book the same room for free at 5,000 points, or through Priceline where I could perhaps get the room for $60 but be given the worst room in the hotel.

  57. Loyalty programs allow me to travel and save money with benefits such as free breakfast (Hilton Gold Status with the credit card)!

  58. Program Loyalty has allowed me to enjoy a free trip to Vegas and soon an almost free trip to my home country Uganda at a time when many of my friends and family will be having their weddings. It’s been a great year!

  59. Loyalty programs have changed the way i travel by allowing me to travel more frequently. All of the international travel I have done in the past 3-4 years has been on points/airline miles.

  60. Chasing miles isn’t quite as much fun as it used to be, but I find myself focusing more on hotel reward programs.

  61. Loyalty programs allow me to turn my business travel throughout the year into amazing family vacations during my summer.

  62. I primarily travel on OW or *A airlines as to collect miles on airlines with destinations and routes that work for my travel patterns. For this reason I avoid Spirit, Frontier, Jetblue, and Delta as they don’t fit my loyalty redemption needs and as such no desire to gather miles.

  63. Loyalty programs have helped me to fly to and stay in places for free or at prices that I would have never been able to afford as a married Disabled Vet on SS. The promos alone from some of these programs have not only granted my SO and I free/near free top tier status in their own programs but in some of their partner programs as well. Programs such as Hyatt’s and Hilton have done us wonders as well as Hertz and Nat’l (at times). Free bkfst can be a major benefit on vacation. Points and miles are the main ingredient to where we go,stay and how we get there.

  64. I particularly like reward programs that include free Internet and other tangible benefits (for hotel programs) or upgrades (for airline programs).

  65. I have been saving miles since the beginning of AAdvantage. I always had great travel privileges, but as miles and points became much easier to accumulate, I made bigger moves. I’ve never done MS, probably won’t ever, as I can usually make spending goals very easily. But, I do look at travel very differently now, then I ever did before.

  66. Loyalty program has not only changed the way I travel, but also the way I live. It really gives a big bonus for us middle class people, who may not be able to spend tens of thousands on aspirational trips.

  67. I probably travel more as a consequence, but also make it a point to travel with an airline in the alliance that my frequent flyer program is in.

  68. freq flyer programs have definitely made me more loyal to just a few brands. When I stay in a different hotel or fly a different airline I feel like I am missing out.

  69. I live in South San Jose and drive to SFO just to get to the United hub, for mere flights down to LAX and SAN. However, as UAL has devalued their Mileage Plus program, I’m now more willing to end my drive up the 101 at SJC and hop a Southwest flight down to Southern California. So, while program loyalty used to dictate my travels in a much more stringent fashion, the devaluation now has me rethinking it.

  70. Loyalty most certainly affects my travel patterns. I also look at the business practices of a carrier/chain and try to reward those with my loyalty who are less greedy than others. You know, that truly value my business as a human being customer rather than the cash in my wallet.

  71. For me, status is about making travel more comfortable or convenient. With rental cars, this means making the rental process fast and smooth and being able to pick a nice vehicle.

  72. Loyalty benefits have made me concentrate on two major hotel chains and three airlines to concentrate points/miles in what I think are the most rewarding programs for my personal situation.

  73. Absolutely. Loyalty should be rewarded, and I’m glad it is.

    Hundreds of thousands of miles and points is great, BUT…where these programs shine, is when everything falls apart and goes completely wrong!! That’s when elite status rules and they usually go out of their way to smooth out the wrinkles!

    So yes, it greatly changed the way I use to travel, and I give my business primarily to one airline alliance (Oneworld), and two hotel programs (Hyatt and Starwood). I usually go between Hertz Gold and National, so would love one of the National Emerald Club Executive Memberships 🙂 and of course an American Express Gift Card.



  74. Accruing thousands of MR points and achieving Diamond with Hyatt has allowed me to stay at properties I once thought were never possible. Loyalty does have its perks!

  75. All else equal, loyalty programs tilt the scale for me when choosing a travel provider. If a company offers an inferior product or is outrageously priced, I won’t use them.

  76. I’ve used Southwest’s loyalty program to visit my girlfriend throughout a very strenuous four years at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Through both credit card offers and mile accumulation, it allowed me to see her more than buying tickets alone, changing my life in a way!

  77. Loyalty program provides an opportunity to arbitrage on the cost of travel as the miles/points “currency” allow me to take trips that I would not be willing to pay for in terms of dolalrs

  78. Loyalty programs have altered the way I travel by making sure that I choose based upon brand rather than driven by price.

  79. Loyalty programs in general cause me to first look at the programs where I have status. If I can get a reasonable deal with one of those programs, the status makes life sometimes significantly better. 🙂

  80. Loyalty programs definitely change the way I travel! I find it hard to search for anything that won’t fit into one program or another now.

  81. Loyalty programs are just a piece of the puzzle when deciding how to travel. It all comes down to price and value when factoring in the loyalty programs

  82. We just got back from Thailand and was upgraded at every hotel we stayed at. Loyalty Programs are the best.

  83. Loyalty programs totally change the way I travel. I will always check for my favorite airline, hotel chain, car rental company first before considering alternatives. It also makes making reservations easier because I’m more familiar with their company and options.

  84. Program loyalty has made me go out of my way to stick with brands as long as I feel the loyalty is a two way street.

  85. Loyalty programs have made me think about brand loyalty more than price often times. Also makes more aspirational trips a reality.

  86. Loyalty programs have opened up the world to me: with some strategy and planning, I’ve taken about a trip a month for the past year, which I absolutely would not have done were it not for these programs.

  87. Loyalty programs changed our lives forever. Very Loyal to AA, Hyatt, United…The whole world is at my fingertips thanks to these programs.

  88. Loyalty programs has improved the quality and comfort of my travel. It encourages me to stay loyal to certain brands.

  89. As a 50 car plus a year renter, no one has a better selection or better rewards than national. The staff are pretty much always great and you rarely get into a car that stinks.

  90. Loyalty programs have changed my entire way of traveling. It has changed how I view the cost of traveling and the hassle factor of traveling. I am currently on a three week Asian tour with my family of four. Traveling at a fraction of the original cost in class of service I would not otherwise be able to afford.

  91. I love Loyalty programs however I have noticed that over the years their value has gone down, I still love them and am loyal to those that I participate with.

  92. loyalty programs have definitely changed the way i travel- i can fly in business and first class which was never possible before! i also tend to stick to more chain hotels when in a big city.

  93. Program loyalty has led me to pay more for certain points, but it has also taught me to stick with those companies most loyal to me as well (which is a dwindling few).

  94. Aeroplan has changed my travel & opened up the world to me, minus the YQ scamcharges. Mini-RTW was something I never dreamed of, or Business-class for cheap

  95. Loyalty programs have changed the way I plan our travels. We are only leisure travelers, but have collected and used miles for many free flights. More recently we’ve started focusing on hotel points, too. This has enabled us to stay in more upscale properties for free, instead of more moderate lodgings. And get there in Business Class instead of economy!

  96. How have frequent traveler programs changed the way I travel? I’ll gladly take a one stop flight on American over other direct flights any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  97. How have frequent traveler programs changed the way I travel? I’ll gladly take a one stop flight on American over other direct flights any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

  98. Loyalty programs have made me appreciate that little benefits can make the overall travel experience much more tolerable (if not yet quite enjoyable). Now that I travel a lot more for work, it makes sense to have status with an airline for the ability to change flights last minute without fees, or have hotel status for the occasional better room, or car rental status for the nicer cars. All of these add up to where I don’t dread the experience of being away from home for several days at a time.

  99. Having enjoyed AA Gold I will complete another year of Gold for 2015 by the end of the year. It has
    changed my perception of sticking with American whenever and wherever I fly and trying to connect
    also thru airport where I have access to Centurion Lounges as I don’t want to pay for Admiral Club
    Membership. Bonus miles and dedicated Phone Line also keep me coming back to AA.

  100. Loyalty programs used to have an effect on me, but they have been devalued so much that I just look for the best values now

  101. Program loyalty has definitely changed the way I travel. I only use travel services in which I am a member of their loyalty program. This is due to both the earnings and the status that it affords. I’ve also been able to take trips I only dreamed of via the miles and points earned.

  102. Loyalty? None on either side. But gaming their programs let me get top elite status in at least one hotel, and mid-level in others plus a few airlines. And thus my family and I travel in better style.

  103. I focus on Alaska Airlines because (1) they are my hometown airline, and (2) I can get upgraded most of the time. I am also loyal to Avis, but they have been tough of me lately. Bad experience in Austin last weekend.

  104. Frequent flyer programs have allowed our family to take numerous first class trips that we could not normally afford.

  105. Loyalty programs changed how I travel when I traveled more frequently. Now, not so much … but I still look for loyalty angles for the best deal.

  106. program loyalty has literally halved the cost of my vacation whilst at the same time diversifying the locations of the areas I have visited

  107. Loyalty programs have changed the way I travel: as of now, I focus on a single carrier to accumulate miles and get status, and have saved a lot this way.

  108. An Amex co.branded cred card introduced me to the HiltonHonors loyalty program. Now that I travel w a child, I look for Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites. Love having a kitchen, even if it’s just for a popcorn snack or hot chocolate before bed.

  109. Definitely our National elite benefits of choosing any car from the aisle and only paying the reserved midsize rate has improved the way we do our weekend getaways.

  110. My use of loyalty programs has changed over the years. At first, I was a member of any club I could find. I’d sign up with a program as my work sent me on flights around the country. Over the years, I realized I could earn more by sticking with fewer programs and raising my status level instead. Now, I have more control over choosing flights/hotels when I travel for business, so I pick those that fit into my loyalty programs if at all possible.

  111. Loyalty programs get me out of the airport faster–like with the Emerald Aisle–and into my my hotel room sooner!

  112. program loyalty has definitely allowed me to get more out of my traveling than otherwise, with upgrades, access and other perks. it makes traveling easier, more enjoyable and sometimes even cheaper too. it really does pay to be loyal!

  113. Loyalty makes such good sense to get a consistent travel experience no matter if you show up at 2am in Topeka or 8am in Atlanta. I don’t want to learn 10 different types of processes, forms, and websites. I want to get a car and hotel room.

  114. Program loyalty allows me to get upgrades and other perks such as access to their lounges. Definitely makes travel more enjoyable.

  115. I try to only plan travel when it is one of the following:

    Burning miles or points in an exceptionally good way
    Earning miles or points in an exceptionally good way
    A deal or a steal too good to pass up

  116. SW Companion Pass has allowed my wife and I to travel much more frequently (and more cheaply) than we had in the past.

  117. Definitely loyalty programs have made me VERY loyal and dramatically influenced my vendor selection. Marriott, Delta, National are my trinity of frequent travel!

  118. No question for me, loyalty programs have given me a lot of focus regarding all aspects of travel. Sure, it’s yet one more consideration, along with price, convenience, and availability, but I consider the programs worthwhile.

  119. Loyalty programs have definitely driven my choice of airlines (Southwest for domestic travel and best deal using miles for international flights) and hotels (Starwood and Hyatt) when I travel with my famliy.

  120. Loyalty programs used to change my purchasing habits: I’d buy United tickets almost exclusively in order to get both redeemable and elite-qualifying miles. But for 2015 and on, my purchases will get me next to no redeemable miles. Moreover, elite status has been devalued to such an extent that it is no longer worth it for me to struggle to get Silver or Gold status. So I am no longer loyal to United.

    However, I still accrue lots of points with credit cards, which make possible elite cabin international flights.

  121. it’s definitely made my travel life a lot more fun and crazy. things that i never cared about before are so important now! but it’s ok, i get to reap the benefits

  122. It really has made me more loyal to certain programs in the “race”to status… it’s kind of an obsession/hobby!

  123. Loyalty programs have definitely changed the way I travel! However, it isn’t because I’ve found a brand I like or want to patronize a company to get perks. I love racking up points and spending them while giving the least amount of money possible to these (usually) giant corporations. It’s my way of sticking it to the man–especially if I get a free upgrade 🙂

  124. Loyalty programs cause me to think twice about choice of airline and hotel. Before I considered my options based only on price, but now I look at program benefits that add value and increase the worth of my travel dollars.

  125. Since I get elite benefits for paid flights, I usually pay cash for my own flights now and always give miles for free flights to the family.

  126. Because of loyalty programs, I take extra time in planning my travel to make sure I’m getting the best deal with the greatest rewards. I love it!

  127. Loyalty program ties me closer to a particular airline/hotel chain/rental car agency… sometimes not in a good way 😉

  128. Well, I have definitely been steering my business and personal travel to certain airlines and hotels due to loyalty programs. For getting points as well as to achieve status.

  129. Was never really into loyalty programs until a few years back, but boy has it changed. Before it was whatever is cheapest, now I chase miles that I’m low on, and also what lounge access I have at the airport (according to airline).

    Even for work, I choose whatever loyalty program that would benefit me most (as long as it’s not tooooo much more expensive)

  130. I used to chase loyalty (though low level loyalty – talking US Airways Silver). Loved the benefits but barely flew 25,000 miles a year. Now, though loyalty is nice, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue are nicer (though JetBlue will soon not be as nice). A correlation is what planes you will be flying. Delta with personal IFEs are always better to fly on; Southwest 737s are always better than commuter jets. And empty planes are always better than packed planes (wish I could figure that one out easier).

  131. I try to fly my favorite loyalty programs as much as possible but price is always a factor since it’s all leisure travel.

  132. I do not travel enough for loyalty programs to make a difference in my travel. I do work for a hotel chain that goves points but not when employees stay~

  133. I’m a frequent Southwest flyer, and their recent changes inspired me to…use my miles before the changes took effect!

  134. I fly AA and mileage earning partners exclusively on paid tickets. It’s written into my work contracts. Then use Amex and Starwood points for reward travel on routes not accessible or too surcharge expensive (ie. BA reward flights connecting through the UK) on OneWorld flights. Pick one airline, and stick with them. It works. Adds up to two to three super long-haul vacations per year in first or business… plus the huge Starwood upgrades nearly every time.

  135. They make me stay loyal to two brands in each segment, hotel, airline, car rental etc. I use points to splurge

  136. Absolutely, love giving my business to a company that rewards me with perks! I belong to several programs and always looking for more.

  137. Loyalty programs have definitely impacted my travel. I may not have had the inclination to fly from HNL to WAW and back via SIN and AKL in Business Class had it not been for loyalty programs. I also would never have sampled the Singapore Airlines on-board product at the front of the cabin.

  138. I definitely prefer giving business if there are perks involved although I do find it difficult to maintain levels across some loyalty programs. During years where the combination of my personal and business travel are high I do well so it allows me to upgrade my trip. In this way it has changed me for the better.
    I’m more loyal to my credit card offers/promos then to any loyalty programs specific to airlines though.

  139. Program loyalty has definitely changed the way I travel. Now instead of booking flights to wherever I want to go and just enjoying the destination, I have to relent and decide on how much mileage I am getting and whether it will bring me closer to an elite status milestone!!!

  140. hotel and airline loyalty programs have certainly changed the way i travel. I will almost always look out for how to get to my next destination faster. I am fiercely loyal to SPG and being a PRO also does make hotel stays very comfortable for me and my family.

  141. I will almost always look for a certain brand at hotels since I am status with them and expect to be upgraded and get some nice amenities. Also, with being loyal- the points accumulate and Ive stayed at expensive resorts for free!

  142. Loyalty has totally changed how i travel. I always look to fly AA and rent from national due to my status with those companies.

  143. Will only fly AA due to the elite benefits they offer to mid-tier elite members. Big fan of the 500-mile stickers.

  144. Now I find myself trying to stay at a hotel I know I have status with, instead of just choosing any hotel.
    Always nice to be upgraded.

  145. I always stay at Hilton or Marriott hotels as they always give a free breakfast, and amazing upgraded rooms (some of the time). I am switching my loyalty from
    United to American once I pass the 2M mile mark. Despise the minimum spend!

  146. Well, it is nice to cut the rest of the travelers in the boarding process, and the little waiting clubs can be pretty refreshing during a say 5 hour layover in the middle of Texas!

  147. Taking advantage of the Emerald Club and the “One Two Free” Promotion is enticing, but the rental rates for Emerald Club is much higher than the competitive rental agencies.

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