I always get a little reflective during this time of the year. I’ve never put my finger on exactly what it is. Christmas is over along with all of its over-commercialized, over-hyped, over-something hubbub. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy Christmas and visiting with family, but I could do without some of the “let’s out gift each other” drama. Now it’s time to start thinking about next year and whether or not airline and hotel status really matters to me.

Fact: I had enough BIS miles to attain SkyMiles Platinum without a single bit of Amex spend help. Factoring in the additional MQMs I earned with my Delta Amex, I’ll be rolling over 26,000 MQMs towards next year’s status. Assuming I continue flying a the same level as last year, Platinum is assured, and perhaps even Diamond. MQDs become a factor in 2014 for the 2015 program year, and I’m OK there too. I spent enough with Delta for Platinum status without the need for the $25,000 “MQD waiver” and I don’t expect that pattern to change in 2014 either. My Delta Amex spending may become a factor in 2014 if I find myself on the cusp of making Diamond Medallion. While $7,500 in Delta spending is pretty easy for me to attain for earning Platinum status, the $12,500 threshold for Diamond may be a stretch.

Hotels on the other hand are never a sure bet for me when it comes to status. I’m currently a Marriott Gold, and I will be again next year. I’d thought that might be going away earlier this year, but a spurt of Marriott stays later in the year boosted my stay count. In the end, hotel status doesn’t matter as much to me and I’m much more likely to pick a hotel based on convenience of location, amenities, and maybe even style as opposed to whether or not I’m making progress towards elite status with a chain. I enjoy the trappings of status, for sure, but it matters less to me with hotels than airlines. I do want to play more with Starwood this year though. Hopefully, my travel patterns will cooperate. I miss the W. 🙂

Looking ahead to 2014, I do not see much change for me. I am very pleased with my treatment as a Platinum Medallion with Delta SkyMiles. I feel well cared for when traveling with Delta. Fee waived SDC, Economy Comfort, and award redeposits have proven useful, and I look forward to trying out some of those improved upgrade instruments too. I’ll save the award availability conversation for another post. I’ve also been pleased with my experiences with Marriott. If nothing else, you know what you’re going to get with Marriott. Are there more lucrative rewards programs in hotel stays? Yes….but Marriott has been working out OK for me and my travel needs. Are you looking at changing things up with your travels in 2014?

-MJ, December 28, 2013