This week I received two curious promotional emails from United. One was for a mileage promotion where I could spend $400 for 7,800 (bonus) miles, or $900 for 19,900 (bonus) miles. Certainly not bad for topping off an account! Granted, I have a hard time rationalizing flying on United where my status is complimentary thanks to their relationship with Marriott versus Delta where it’s earned with butt-in-seat miles.
If I were Premier Gold, where the Economy Plus seating was available at booking, and Economy Plus offered the same perks as Delta’s Comfort+ Seating I would definitely be open to taking United up on this offer. It certainly doesn’t hurt that SFO, IAH, and LGA have Centurion Lounges in their United terminals.
The second email I received was from a new partnership between United and BP that allows you to earn miles whenever you fill up your tank. The frustrating thing here was that even though I attempted to register, it insisted that I couldn’t. Guess I’ll stick to discounted gas at BJs!
Has anyone else received these offers? Going to take United up on their offers?
Delta has been sending out letters to inform customers that they have been notified of a security breach of 7.ai, the chat service they (and other companies) use. At this moment it’s unclear just how many customers were affected, but there is the potential that it could be several hundred thousand customers.
The good news is that no passport or government ID information was impacted, and the scope of the breach is limited to the customer payment information. The culprit seems to be malware present in 7.ai’s software that was present between September 26 and October 12, 2017 that allowed for unauthorized access to form-fields when manually completing a transaction on any delta.com desktop platform at the time. The specific form-fields that were targeted were: name, address, payment card number, CVV number, and expiration date. This breach was limited to the desktop platform. The FlyDelta app, mobile delta.com site, and other systems were all unaffected.
The better news is that Delta has informed us in a timely manner (they were told on March 28th, they released the response website on April 5th, and they have been sending letters to SkyMiles members since). They have also reached out to AllClearID to offer complimentary two year credit monitoring for all SkyMiles members as a precautionary measure.
As always, keep a close eye on all your credit card statements and get in touch with issuers if you see anything questionable!
As much as I was upset by the news of the merging of Starwood with Marriott, and I’m still not thrilled by the prospect, therecentnews really is the best case for what we could hope for from an SPG member perspective. There are definitely some frustrating points involved, particularly for partner members (Delta and United alike), those that receive status from credit cards (American Express Platinum, for example), and those that focus on stays over nights to attain status.
Adding a spend “qualification” to receive Ambassador service does make sense given the property footprints of Starwood versus Marriott, but putting the price in USD is questionable as Gary points out. For those that spend a lot of time in countries with drastic currency conversion rates, it might require a ridiculous number of days to attain this tier of status. Bundling Your24 with this tier is also a little frustrating, but again with the substantially increased footprint, I can understand wanting to make this more exclusive.
Given Marriott’s relationship with United, the announcement that the relationship with Delta will be ending soon isn’t really a surprise. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed earning points with both at the same time, so this will be missed. With old Platinum Premier Elites, when this tier was invitation-only, receiving Untied Gold, it’s unclear if there will be a new influx of United Gold members as well.
I appreciate that the new Lifetime Status qualifications are based on nights and years, not on points/spend. Plus: breakfast at more properties which can save a decent chunk of change. All things considered, it could be much worse!