All of you who are expereinced at this little game called frequent flyer miles know that over the weekend all those counters of miles and points reset to zero for the new year. That is always the challenge, no matter how well you did during the last year, you have to start all over again on 1 January.
Those of us in the military don’t randomly hope that we will meet our goal of silver, gold or unobtanium status by mere luck, but instead make a plan. Military folks are the world’s best planners. So much so that I am convinced that we throw away more plans in a year than the rest of the corporate world makes in a lifetime. If you ever need confetti for a party, go see a planner, they will have recycled their old plans into bags of that stuff.
I plan my frequent flyer goals each year on what I call a Flight Plan. Here is the simple Excel spreadsheet that I use to track my planned flights on two airline programs which include columns for flying on partner airlines and applicable bonuses. See if it works for you. I am not having any luck with making the link below live, so copy into your browser and it should open up the folder for you to access the file.
I put the numbers in red until I acutally fly and then overwrite the number of actual credited miles in black as they happen. This will give you a fair idea of what level you can achieve by year’s end. It also will tell you whether you will be slightly short and require a mileage run or an emergency vacation to put you over the top by 31 Dec. Note too that at the bottom you can put non-flight ways to get EQM. For example, I get 5,000 EQM on United if I spend $35,000 on my United Mileage Plus VISA card. I make a point of making this goal every year since it is actually quite easy to spend that much on everyday items and end up with EQM so I can re-qualify easier.
I made separate columns for flying the airlines “metal” or the actual airlines plane, as opposed to a partner airline that credits to that airline since there are times when you get rewarded more for flying the actual airline’s planes. For example, Alaska will make you an MVP Gold for flying 40,000 miles on thier planes, but you need 50,000 miles to make gold if you include partner airline miles.
Change the headings to what airline or hotel programs you are using and let me know how it works for you.