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Interesting question Mark. I read somewhere sometime ago, some guru saying that if you collect points etc stay with those that you are going to use the most. The point being that you will get the most benefit by remaining loyal to a particular brand or group of brands.
I have just acheived Gold on BA, there were a number of circumstances which enabled me to travel more, a family matter which meant I had to come home between visits and having the opportunity to upgrade to First for less than £400 round trip. Otherwise I would have stayed Silver. Looking at travel needs over the coming year in conjunction with current work loads and family holidays, I can see me keeping it for another year beyond the new one that will start now.
So as I go up with one, I go down on Hilton Hhonors to Silver, I missed out by one stay. So I am Silver, which after a stay after Easter will only need me to stay once to retain it, but I would not bust a gut to go for gold again.
I also have FlyingBlue and BMI, but I doubt there will be much activity to get excited about on these this year.
Going back to hotels, over the years my Priority Club yoyo’s between Blue and Gold, although I do pay the $75.00 for the Ambassador which even if one stays once over a weekend it pays for itself.
So I suppose its a case of swings and roundabouts, up with one, down with another.