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Travel Tip: How You Can Reach Elite Status With Frequent Flyer Programs

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Image Credit: Alessandra Taryn

In the airline frequent flyer game, it’s all about elite status.

I’m talking about earning enough miles or spending enough money to get to that next exalted level.

But how do you get there?

It’s getting more difficult.

Each airline has added new restrictions.

American, United, and Delta will award five to eleven miles per dollar spent when you use their credit cards.

You can also earn a half mile to three miles flown, depending on the fare you pay.

Now what about redeeming that free ticket?

There are new restrictions as well.

In the old days, at least one stopover was permitted on a domestic flight.

That allowed smart travelers to increase the value of their award ticket and stay in a second city on their trip.

Not anymore. On Delta, a stopover of more than four hours requires more miles.

Are there any perks left?

At the highest levels of American and United, you get four or six upgrade certificates per year.

Those are really worth it on long international flights.

For more information about frequent flyer programs, check out:

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