The best trick to get upgrades and save money? Be an elite traveler. Airlines and hotels offer elite status to encourage loyalty, and as part of the temptation, they include upgrades, perks, freebies, fast tracks and all the things which make travel so much better. Believe it or not, there are ways to join the “elite” without becoming a crazy traveler. Here’s how to experience the good stuff without flying around the world a million times…

Take A Status Challenge, It’s Faster And Requires Less Travel…

A status challenge is an opportunity to “fast track” to all the benefits that generally require a years travel in an accelerated period of time. Not every airline or hotel offers them but many do. In these challenges, often one long distance vacation is enough to secure benefits for the next year including upgrades, lounge access, complimentary wifi (hotels), breakfast (hotels) and more. I recommend checking out the American Airlines Status Challenge

Get A Credit Card With Instant Elite Status Included…

Credit cards are great for airlines and hotels and great for us too. Since the credit card world is competitive, top cards come chock full of amazing benefits and elite statuses. There are many cards which offer instant hotel elite status from top brands like Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and more or airport lounge access programs. Grabbing one of these also then allows you to “status match” your elite status with other brands, making you elite with everyone!

Take Advantage Of An Easy Program To Earn Status And Then Match…

Some programs require very little work to reach a low tier status, which can include thousands in annual savings and benefits, making travel far more glitzy. For example, British Airways regularly publish truly cheap business class fares and taking just one round trip and one more one way flight in a year can earn Bronze status, giving you benefits on tons of their partner airlines including American, Cathay, Japan Airlines Qantas, Qatar and more… 

Use Airline + Hotel Bonus Promotions To Your Advantage…

The theme here? Airlines and hotels are competitive. As such, they will tempt you into booking by occasionally offering double, triple, quadruple, 10x whatever miles and status points for certain flights, hotels and opportunities. By receiving these communications (or following this blog and learning about them) you’ll hit the beauty of elite travel faster and for less money. Good combo.

Book More Connections Or Crazy Routings On Plane Tickets…

For those that don’t know, some people go to extra lengths to hit their airline elite status. Part of that is the occasional “mileage run”, where you book as cheap a ticket as possible to a destination as far away as possible, often returning the same day, solely in hopes of getting as many elite status points for the least money and time. Short of that, you can always look to take that extra connection or obscure flight routing to rack up some extra points…