3 Things You Didn’t Know About Airline Miles and Hotel Points

Airline miles, hotel points and status are some of the biggest perks in consulting. First class travel, suite upgrades, and free international vacations (through airline miles and points) are all things you can achieve after spending some time on travel projects. Want to maximize your earnings potential and reach top-tier status as quickly as possible? Check out these 3 tips:

Take advantage of Status Challenges and Status Matches

Almost all airline and hotel loyalty programs offer status challenges and status matches to members of most consulting firms. A status challenge can allow you to reach top-tier status in fractions of the time. For example, Delta’s status match challenge allows you to get their Medallion status if you have status with another airline! On Delta and other airlines, the higher status you have, the quicker you earn airline miles. As soon as you join the world of consulting, be sure to check with your firm to see what status challenges and matches they offer.

Transfer points from your Corporate Card to Airline Miles and Hotel Points

Most consultants rack up thousands of dollars of expenses each month in travel and food costs alone. Transferring points earned through your corporate credit card (typically American Express) will allow you to rake in airline miles and hotel points really quickly — most point transfers are 1:1.

Pro Tip: For most AMEX Corporate Cards, you are not automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards program. This costs $90 out-of-pocket and is a worthwhile investment if you spend over $750 in expenses each month.

Airline miles and hotel points are (and should be) worth more than 1 cent each

People typically consider miles and points to be worth about 1 cent each, but if you’re smart about how you use them, you can easily get 2 cents or more out of each point. When planning personal travel, be sure to compare both the cash price as well as the number of points needed to redeem.

For example, the JW Marriott in Cabo San Lucas costs ~$300/night. If you’re trying to redeem points, you’ll be set back 50K points/night. This gives you a half-cent value on each of your points and is not worth it — book this reservation with cash! I recently stayed in a all-suite resort property that cost over $2,000/night by redeeming 60,000 points, giving me a value of 3 cents per point.

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