Good morning and welcome back to the Daily Drop, the Smörgåsbord of newsletters. We gather up a variety of travel tips, tricks, and news and lay it all out for you to devour.
Here's what's on the bord today:
✈️ American Airlines status challenge
🚂 Delta adds train routes to flight itineraries
💳 In partnership with Bilt Rewards
🤣 Fun travel meme
✈️ Another amazing status challenge??
’Tis the season of status challenges, apparently!
American Airlines has recently launched a new status challenge that grants you instant status and allows you to maintain or even elevate that status by completing certain requirements.
It’s actually pretty complicated, so I’m going to do my best to explain this without making you take the day off of work to wrap your head around the details. I mean, you’re still welcome to take the day off of work, I’m happy to vouch for you.
Here's how you can take advantage of the status challenge:
Step 1: Enroll in the offer
There are two ways to do this first step. One way is to go into your online American Airlines account and check your “Promotions” tab, where the offer may be waiting for you to easily enroll.
If you don’t see it there, simply call American Airlines at 800-433-7300 (their customer service line) and ask for your personalized status challenge offer.
Depending on your history (or lack thereof) with American Airlines, you may receive an offer for a higher or lower tier of status challenge, it depends on their algorithm.
Step 2: Extend or renew that status
Once you enroll, you’ll have the status for a four-month period. During those four months, you can either extend or upgrade your status by earning the following numbers of loyalty points:
Gold: 10,000 points
Platinum: 25,000 points
Platinum Pro: 42,000 points
Executive Platinum: 67,000 points
Although the points requirements above are only a third of what you’d need to earn normally to achieve each status tier, the timeframe is also one-third of the normal timeframe, so it balances out.
As a reminder, you can earn qualifying points by flying with American Airlines, using their dining program, using the AA shopping portal, or even spending on a cobranded American Airlines credit card.
This is great, because you have no shortage of ways to earn status, plus you get to enjoy the benefits of the gifted status for that four-month period. So even if you don’t end up extending or upgrading your status, this is a great way to enjoy some nice perks while flying on AA over the next four months.
Step 3: Extend or renew that status (see step 2)
This is where it gets a little confusing. If in step 2 you renew or upgrade your status, you’ll have that status for another four months with the same opportunity to either extend or upgrade the status… again.
Additionally, if you don’t earn enough points to renew your status, you’ll be downgraded to the status tier below your current tier and still have one last chance to extend your status during the final four-month period.
So let me sum it up:
After registering, you’ll have some level of status. Over the next two 4-month periods, you’ll have the chance to either extend that status or upgrade that status by earning the required number of loyalty points.
I think this could be worthwhile to pursue if you either fly with AA a lot or if you wanted to explore elite status for the first time without all of the crazy requirements.
🚂 Delta adds train routes to flight itineraries
So I learned something new today - Delta has been offering rail connections on flight itineraries for the last year, but only to two Belgian cities and only when flying into Amsterdam.
The reason I learned this is because last week they expanded this program significantly to include another 20 rail connections from a number of other European cities.
Here’s a summary of where you can now connect by train with Delta:
2 cities in the Netherlands
7 cities in the U.K.
4 cities in Italy
7 cities in Switzerland
Basically how this works is that you can do a search from a U.S. city to a European city. If Delta doesn’t serve that city, you might have the option to fly into one and take a train to your final destination, all on the same itinerary.
Because the train is attached to your flight itinerary, you’ll automatically be rebooked onto a different train if your flight is delayed or rescheduled.
In terms of the value here, there are plenty of instances where booking the flight and train together with Delta is cheaper than booking the same exact things separately.
Here’s a quick example of what a flight and train route looks like on the Delta search page:
Overall this is a cool development. Lufthansa recently added trains to its network, and Star Alliance as a whole has plans to make trains a bigger part of its network.
In the future, it would be really cool to see the ability to earn/redeem airline miles with trains. For now, unfortunately, such a thing isn’t possible…
💳 This newsletter is brought to you by Bilt
We’ve talked about Bilt a few times in this newsletter, which makes it even MORE exciting to be partnering with them to bring you today's edition.
In case you need a quick refresher, Bilt is the program that makes rent day feel like Christmas (who knew that was possible, right?).
That’s because with the Bilt Mastercard you can earn up to 50,000 points per year just for paying your rent. You can then use those points to book travel with over 100 different airlines and hotels.
The card also earns 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, 1x points on rent (with no transaction fees, by the way), and 1x points on everything else.
But I haven’t told you the best part yet…
Every month on Rent Day (the first of the month), those earning rates are DOUBLED, making the Bilt card competitive with many of the best travel cards out there in terms of earning rates.
Oh, and it won’t cost you a penny to hold because the card has a $0 annual fee.
The only catch with all of this is that you need to make at least 5 transactions per month to get those bonus points. That's hardly a catch in my mind, but it's important to know so you don't accidentally miss out on getting your hard-earned points.
Think this all sounds too good to be true? I don’t blame you, it sounds ridiculous. Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me 👇
If you rent your home and DON'T have the Bilt card, you should at least look into it, because you're missing out on a lot of potential free travel.
🤣 Perfect travel meme
That's all I got for this week. I don't know why, but it feels like it's been a crazy long week. Maybe it's all these amazing promos that have been showering down on us lately. Or maybe it's because I've been flying around Europe every day and not sleeping... I guess we'll never know!
Do you have any travel plans for the weekend? Are you as excited as I am about the Bilt card?As always, let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on the social media.
Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to sharing some exciting news with you next week... *cliffhanger*