Just weeks away from the end of the year, I find myself one long trip short and $1,000-$2,000+ short Of reaching silver status with both Delta and United.As I pointed out on another post, this year I did not begin flying until April. As things stand right now, it would be easier to reach status with United by taking a weekend trip to California on business class. The other option would be to leave things as they are and request a Marriott challenge in February of next year. Once, I reach platinum with Marriott, United would give me silver status, and SPG would bring Silver-lite Delta benefits.The importance of having a strategyIf you add my miles and expenses from Delta and United, I would be in a very different situation. In reality, we need to exclude the extra 10,000 miles I got from Delta’s credit card, but even in that case, my total elite qualifying miles would be close to 24,101 miles and $2,707 elite qualifying dollars. In such case a very short trip would easily put me in silver territory. This highlights the importance of airline alliances. If instead of flying on Delta’s partners, I had flown on Star Alliance members exclusively, today I would be less than 1,000 miles and $300 from reaching silver status.To be honest, what makes the idea of reaching lowly silver appealing for me would be the sense of adventure. I have never traveled just to get miles! However, planning a weekend in LA or San Diego as part of the mile run would be cool.Is entry level status worth it?In my case, silver status would mean that I could drop my United credit card since it would give me priority boarding. Although my colleagues who are silver find themselves getting upgraded to United’s lackluster premium economy for free rather frequently, my guess is that most of the time such upgrades mean empty middle seats. Getting upgraded to business is rather unlikely.Things to consider 1 Craft your travel strategy early A. Stick to one alliance for work and leisure travel
B. If suitable, take advantage of cards that offer elite qualifying miles
C. Explore the possibility of a cost effective yet enjoyable mile-run
D. If you travel for business, look into a status challenge
E. Analyze if putting $25,000 on an airline credit card makes sense as this would except you from the required amount of qualifying dollars usually up to platinum 2 If you don’t reach status, don’t sweat it!

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