Here is an idea that may work for some of you and give you lounge access on domestic flights. Aegean Airlines is a newer member of the the Star Alliance. They offer Star Gold status at 20,000 EQM. The first 4K gets you Blue status then you have 12 more months to get 16K more and you become Star Gold. As an international Star Member, you can use that status for access to Star lounges domestically as you will be considered on an international itinerary when flying in the US. We used to do this with BMI, but this one is even better.
Get a leg up on the 20,000 by crediting your excess miles end of this year to Aegean and gaining blue status. Then you can easily work another 16K in later in 2011 or do it all in 2011. I have 108K EQM on United this year and won’t make it to the next level to earn extra Systemwides. I should be crediting to Aegean.
And, if I get bumped and pushed into a First Class revenue fare on my next flight, I’ll earn 300% of flight miles. That can make 20K one cross country if you get bumped both ways.
Seems like a doable strategy for those that are over their status limit for this year and looking for cheap lounge access in the future.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49