There’s a great, really useful post on Milepoint that I thought I had blogged about months ago but I couldn’t find a post when searching so I must have only thought I shared.
The Milepoint post outlines how to use the SkyGuide Executive Privilege Club, at $20 for a year, to secure free lounge access and some various and sundry other privileges. (I may have need to buy lounge access for some domestic South America flights, hoping for a shower after an overnight arrival.)
The program will reimburse you for up to 12 airport lounge day passes. At ~ $50 each, that’s $600 of reimbursements for $20. They also provide reimbursement of health club passes (12 per year up to $25 each).
Sign up for membership using one of the links below.
- $19.99 per year with no auto-renewal
- $2.99 for the first two months, $29.95 for the first year, auto-renew at $89.95 (you can turn off auto renewal online)
You manage your membership here. If you sign up at a customersvc.com link (eg the second one above but not the $19.99 with no auto renew) then you can go to this website right away in the same browser window after signing up and you’ll see your member number and account information right away. Signing up at timeinc.com (the $19.99 option) will involve a short delay. This is where you can cancel online for a refund or stop auto renewal. Of course you can call to do this as well.
Pay for lounge day passes using an American Express card at the airline-operated lounges of your choice (or online ahead of time) and submit the receipts to SkyGuide Executive Privilege Club via certified mail. Reimbursement checks arrive in 4-6 weeks. There was a brief period of time where they limited you to one lounge pass per month, but that restriction is no longer in place, in theory you could sign up at $2.99, max out the benefits within two months and then cancel.
How does this make sense for them? They sell their mailing lists, you’ll probably get lots of junk mail. And they make the reimbursement process cumbersome enough that lots of people won’t bother. Keep copies of paperwork, and follow instructions to the letter.
- You must send your receipts individually via certified mail, no bundling receipts in a single envelope with a single form.
- The receipt needs to be dated and show it’s for a day or one-time pass.
- The receipts must be in your name — you can’t pay for other people.
- You’re required to pay for passes with an American Express card.
If the receipt doesn’t have your name on it, doesn’t show payment with an American Express card, or doesn’t show it’s for a day pass the reimbursement could be denied. There have been plenty of reports of successes with Delta and with American. I don’t know what United’s new day passes, purchased in-club only at present (I believe online purchases have ‘temporarily’ gone away with the new United website). I suspect this will work fine with online purchase through Alaska Airlines, but haven’t tested it.
As noted in the Milepoint post, you can use lounge and health club day pass purchases towards minimum spend requirements for various American Express cards to earn signup bonuses (and it should work just as well with Citibank or Bank of America-issued Amex cards as for true American Express-issued ones)
And because Executive Privilege club membership is for twelve months, while the 12 reimbursement limit is per calendar year, you could actually squeeze 24 passes out of a single $20 membership.