I finally was able to use my United miles for a trip and surprisingly it only cost me 150K for 3 round trip tickets. Although I have given up on United as an airline because of my travel schedule, that doesn’t mean I won’t use the status that I currently have to my family’s advantage. While doing all this traveling has its benefits, I have decided to do quite a bit of shifting of my loyalties just to make my life easier. For hotels I think I’ll try to maintain status at Starwood and at Hilton rather than solely concentrate on accumulating points at one brand. I’ve definitely found it useful to be Hilton Diamond and SPG Platinum this year. That calls for me to shift hotels mid week to get the necessary stays to maintain my status or at least get Gold in SPG since I still value Hilton more for their perks.
Car rentals basically stay the same since I like the rewards Hertz gives me but good lord are their cars pieces of crap. They definitely keep their cars much too long in their fleets (come on, over 50K?) and that forces me to waste time getting a newer one. While I would like to go to Avis, their rewards are only useful on the weekends an most of the time I need full week rentals. I wish the places I use would stop devaluing their programs. It’s taking more and more trips to get my rewards to mean something when I need to use them or to achieve the appropriate status so traveling doesn’t suck so bad. In the mean time, I need to start working on regaining SPG, Hilton, and American Airline status for 2015, I have another 2 months of no travel coming up in the summer which impacts my ability to make Platinum.