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Don’t make these 6 end-of-year points and miles mistakes


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The end of the year is quickly approaching. Now is the perfect time to ensure you’ve completed your annual points and miles tasks before it’s too late.

With many loyalty programs and credit card benefits, the end of the year is an important time to maximize every opportunity before the next year hits. Here are six essential things to do this month to avoid an (unfortunate) surprise come January.

Check airline elite qualifying metrics

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Status qualification miles and dollars often reset Jan. 1, though American Airlines Loyalty Points reset March 1. If you are only a few miles (or dollars) shy, you might consider taking a flight before the end of the year.

If you can’t fit another flight into your schedule, you might also be able to buy your way into the next level of elite status. Or you might find it useful to add a new credit card to your wallet, as some credit cards can help you earn airline elite status.

If you decide to make a last-minute push for airline elite status, ensure the money (and time spent) will benefit you next year. Here are some guides to help you strategize:

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Related: How to get airline elite status

Check hotel elite qualifying progress

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

You typically have to re-earn your hotel status annually to reap the benefits. So, if you are just a few nights shy of earning that next level of status, it might be worth finding a hotel for a staycation or even going on a mattress run. With school break right around the corner, this could be an excellent opportunity to do something fun over the holidays.

If you need more nights but don’t want to burn through cash, remember that award stays count toward status in many programs.

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Many programs also allow you to work toward status with hotel credit cards. For example, the World of Hyatt Credit Card gives you five qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year. It also offers two additional qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card.

Some hotel credit cards provide high tiers of elite status just for being a cardholder. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card gives you complimentary Platinum Elite status simply for being a cardmember. Also, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card gives you top-tier Hilton Diamond status as a cardmember perk. Terms apply.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you need some tips for leveling up your hotel elite status, check out these stories:

Related: Last-minute tips for locking in hotel elite status

Use your annual airline, credit card and travel credits

The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Vietnam. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Many credit cards offer sweet benefits to help offset the annual cost of the card. If you have any premium travel credit cards, ensure you’ve redeemed all available credits — and if not, make a plan to do so before they expire.

For example, each month, cardmembers of the American Express® Gold Card get up to $10 in Uber Cash and up to $10 in dining statement credits. Also, cardmembers of The Platinum Card® from American Express may need to use the following credits before the end of the year (enrollment is required for some benefits):

Many other cards also offer statement credits that you may need to use by the end of the year. It’s a good idea to check in on your credits and make a plan to use them before they expire.

Related: Don’t let credits go to waste: Your 2023 end-of-year credit card checklist

Meet annual spending thresholds for bonuses

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Many credit cards offer annual perks based on spending a certain amount during a set period. If you are close to meeting the spending requirements on a card with a calendar-based threshold, you might consider using that card more this month.

Some credit card spending bonuses based on a calendar year include:

Related: Free elite status, bonus points and more: Credit cards offering rewards for annual spending

Secure your Southwest Companion Pass

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

One of our favorite benefits in the travel world is the Southwest Companion Pass. This pass allows another traveler to fly with you for (almost) free for the life of the pass.

To earn this pass, you need to earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year or fly 100 segments on Southwest.

The Companion Pass expires Dec. 31 of the year following the one in which you earned it. If you earn the Companion Pass in 2023, it will expire Dec. 31, 2024. However, if you earn the Companion Pass in January 2024, it won’t expire until Dec. 31, 2025.

Unfortunately, Companion Pass qualifying points do not carry over from year to year. If you are close to having 135,000 qualifying points this year, you’ll want to ensure all points hit your account ASAP.

If you earn your final few points from one of the many Southwest credit cards, only purchases through your December statement closing date will count. Points posted within a few days of your closing date count toward the year when the points are posted — not necessarily the year you made the purchase.

For those holding off and looking to earn the Companion Pass in 2024 so it lasts to the end of 2025, make sure not to meet your minimum spending requirements on any new Southwest credit cards until January. Theoretically, you can start hitting the minimum spending after your December statement closing date. Still, we’d recommend waiting until the new year begins to avoid something going wrong with your timing.

Related: 15 lessons from 15 years of having the Southwest Companion Pass

Earn your British Airways Travel Together Ticket

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Although significantly different from the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, British Airways also offers the opportunity to earn a companion pass called the Travel Together Ticket.

To earn a Travel Together Ticket, you must spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature® Card within a calendar year. Doing so will earn a one-time pass to bring a companion on a British Airways award ticket or a 50% discount on the Avios redemption cost when traveling solo.

You are still on the hook for taxes and fees, but this could be a great way to save Avios on a flight to Europe, especially in business class. The Travel Together Ticket will be issued at the end of the billing cycle when you reach $30,000 in purchases and is valid for a reward flight on British Airways taken within two years of the issue date.

Related: How to book award flights using British Airways Avios

Bottom line

With the end of the year quickly approaching, now is the time to ensure you maximize every credit card benefit and earn your desired elite status. It is also the perfect time to confirm that all hotel stays and flights you completed were credited property.

Finally, remember that even though 2023 is not over, it isn’t too early to plan your 2024 strategy. For inspiration on your 2024 elite status strategy, staffer Clint Henderson weighs in on what statuses he’s downgrading and which ones he’s requalifying for.



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Romulo is a renowned American entrepreneur who resides in the United States, recognized for his entrepreneurial vision and inspirational leadership. Born into a humble family, Romulo demonstrated an uncommon determination and a natural talent for business from an early age. After completing his studies in business administration, Romulo ventured to the United States, where he immersed himself in the business world, founding his first company at the age of 25. His bold vision and ability to identify market opportunities quickly led him to success on American Throughout his career, Romulo has played key roles in various industries, from technology to finance, always striving to innovate and create value for his clients and investors. His customer-centric approach and dedication to operational excellence have made his companies industry benchmarks, contributing to his recognition both in the United States and interna In addition to his business achievements, Romulo is known for his commitment to corporate social responsibility. He is a passionate advocate for education and community development, dedicating time and resources to support initiatives that promote equal access to education and gr Currently, Romulo leads a diversified conglomerate with a global presence and a significant impact in the markets where he operates. His long-term vision and ability to adapt to the nuances of the American market make him a respected and admired leader among his peers and competitors in the Unit Outside the office, Romulo is an avid reader and nature lover. He believes in the importance of finding a balance between work and personal life, constantly seeking new ways to challenge himself and grow, both profession With a career marked by extraordinary achievements and an unwavering commitment to sustainable success, Romulo continues to be a prominent figure in the international business landscape and a source of in

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