Today is the worst day of the year for airline elites.

For many, today is the start of celebrations looking forward to the new year. New year’s resolutions are put into play, and friends and family gather to reminisce on what was accomplished the 365 days prior. However, if you’re an elite member with an airline, today is the one day of the year you dread, and you might not be toasting to it with champagne…

Today, elite status qualifications reset to zero.

You’ve worked hard for your Delta Diamond status: You’ve spent your required dollars, and you’ve flown over 125,000 miles. Now, today, January 1, you’ve spent nothing and have flown nothing (unless of course you are rolling over miles). Your mileage balance resets to zero, and you begin the quest of requalifying for 2016.

For American Executive Platinum members, the same goes for you. Your 100,000 miles go poof in thin air, and you start the year with some big goose eggs. Over the next few months, you’ll work to fly just to keep that coveted elite status card that entitles you to free systemwide upgrades, award redeposits and more.

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If you’re a United flyer, and others, you’ll go through the same routine. The clock restarts today, and a new year of challenges begin.

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So, what ways can you help start the year off on the right foot, and make sure you retain your elite status for 2016?


  • Get the Delta Reserve Card and add an additional 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles to your account. Spend more on this card and earn additional MQMs.
  • Rollover Medallion Qualifying miles from last year.
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  • Spend $40,000 or more on your Citi Executive AAdvantage card and earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (as well as 4, 500 mile upgrades, too).


  • If you happen to have a legacy Presidential Plus credit card, you can earn Premier Qualifying Miles. However, this card is not open to new applications, so if you don’t have it, you’re stuck.

All this said, you can find my personal 2015 elite status strategy plan here.

So, start 2015 off strong by working on your airline elite mile balances sooner rather than later. You don’t want to be stuck at the end of next year short a few miles to retain your valuable premier benefits.

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  1. Joey says

    Not sure if I understand why today would be the worst day for airline elites. Everyone knows the elite charts for qualifying sets to 0 again today so it’s expected. Either way, have a happy new year and I hope you reach your 2015 goals!

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