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This works when you carry top tier status with One World
This past year I attained One World Emerald status with American Airlines’ Executive Platinum status. I’ve since abandoned American for Alaska, but am utilizing the rest of this year’s benefits as best I can. One of them that I wasn’t aware of relates to award bookings and seat availability on Cathay Pacific. Cathay blocks availability to seats to those passengers who aren’t top tier when trying to pick a seat in advance. I figured this was exclusive to their own program, but it’s not. You can access those seats with Emerald status with any partner program. Lemme show you what I mean.
When your ticket is first booked, your Alaska number will be populated. Change it to your One World airline that holds status.
Typically when booking a Cathay First Class award with Alaska you will only gain access, in advance, to seat 2D
This is where my mom sat on her surprise, Around the World trip. As you can see, this is where I was also initially able to sit. After I entered my American status – the premium seats opened up and I selected 1A.
You can see this on ExpertFlyer as well.
My seat is now occupying 1A. You can see 1K shows a P for Premium, as 1A did prior to me taking it, and is reserved for a flyer with Emerald status.
And then in business class
Picking seats in Cathay First.
I’m hoping to take this trip back with my buddy Dave. He will be using Asia Miles whereas I reserved with Alaska. The strategy was to lock my flight up, as Alaska may not have access to another ticket that opens up. Right now, I think the odds are pretty good that our flight will release another seat within 2 weeks of departure ( 5 seats remain in the cabin).
I chose 1A, and I’m hoping he’s able to get 2A – where the following picture was taken. You can see how the A line is shielded from the rest of the cabin, where as the D and K lines are open to one another. 1D and 1K would be great too as we could just lean over and hang out, but having the whole A line would be pretty dope as well.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.