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A Guide to Common Abbreviations and Acronyms in Miles and Points

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Miles and Points Abbreviations and Acronyms

If you are new to the hobby of miles and points, you may be tempted to give up rather quickly.

Or you might feel shy asking “What does XYZ mean?”

Whether you head to the blog, the MilesTalk Facebook group, or even an old-school message board like FlyerTalk, there’s one thing that’s sure: you will struggle to get the hang of the shorthand.

It’s certainly not unique to miles and points!

No matter what niche thing you start out in, there are sure to be tons of abbreviations. In a prior life, when I worked in the pinball industry, there was no shortage of abbreviations and acronyms. How would one not know that TAF was “The Addams Family,” ST:TNG was “Star Trek: The Next Generation or AFM was “Attack From Mars?” An EM? Electro Mechanical. DTD? The ball went down the drain…

Just like in miles and points, one learned the lingo over time.

With that in mind, and with miles and points firmly where I live now, I thought I’d create a list of abbreviations and acronyms for terms that come up a lot at MilesTalk, so there’s a central repository.

Please feel free to either leave any important ones that I missed in the comments or ask me to add one that you are trying to figure out.

I’ll break these into categories where each category is alphabetized.

If you are looking for something specific, remember that you can search inside your browser window. Command + F on a Mac and CTRL + F on a PC are the keyboard shortcuts.

Airline Class of Service Abbreviations / Acronyms

F: First Class

J: Business Class

PE: Premium Economy

Y: Economy Class

Frequent Flyer Program Abbreviations / Acronyms

AA / AAdvantage: American Airlines‘ program

DL / SkyMiles: Delta Air Lines’ program

Aeroplan: Air Canada’s program, often used for Star Alliance bookings via transfer from Amex.

Avios: Frequent Flyer Program for British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling. Each airline has its own version of Avios with slightly different award charts, however you can transfer between them. Bonus: You can redeem for and credit from Aer Lingus flights to either Avios or United’s Mileage Plus program.

LM or Lifemiles: Avianca’s Lifemiles Frequent Flyer program, often used for booking a variety of Star Alliance flights. They don’t pass along fuel surcharges, making them used often for premium cabin redemptions. Transferable from many credit card programs and they have frequent transfer bonuses.

SW: Southwest

UA / MP / MileagePlus:  United‘s program

Hotel Chain Loyalty Program Abbreviations / Acronyms

Choice: Choice Hotels

HH or HHonors: Hilton’s program – Hilton Honors

IHG: Intercontinental Hotel Group’s program.

MR or MB or Bonvoy: Marriott Bonvoy. While MR is also used for Amex Membership Rewards, before Bonvoy, Marriott’s program was simply Marriott Rewards, thus MR.

RC: Ritz Carlton

StR: St Regis

W:A: Waldorf Astoria, part of Hilton Hotels

WR: Wyndham Rewards (rarely used;  Wyndham is  often typed out)

SPG: The old Starwood Preferred Guest program. Was mergerd into Marriott Bonvoy in 2018.

WoH, WOH, Hyatt: Hyatt’s World of Hyatt program

Casino Loyalty Program Abbreviations / Acronyms

MLife: MGM Resort’s Loyalty program, MLife

TR / CR: Caesars Rewards, the rewards program for Caesars Entertainment. Formerly known as Total Rewards, so TR is still commonly used.

Airline Abbreviations / Acronyms

(This is not a complete list – I’m displaying the ones we use most commonly). The abbreviation is actually the two letter IATA code).

AA: American Airlines

AC: Air Canada

AF: Air France (sometimes interchangeable with FB for the Flying Blue program)

AS: Alaska Airlines

AY: Finnair

BA: British Airways

B6: JetBlue

CX: Cathay Pacific

DL: Delta Air Lines

EI: Aer Lingus

EK: Emirates. Home of the onboard shower in 1st Class. Also see: Review: Emirates A380 First Class New York (JFK) to Dubai (DXB)

EY: Etihad. Home of the Etihad First Class Apartment – also with shower. Also see: Etihad First Class Apartments – A380 Abu Dhabi to JFK – review)

IB: Iberia

JL or JAL: Japan Airlines

LAN / LATAM: The LATAM family of airlines

LH: Lufthansa

KE: Korean Air

KLM: Dutch airline KLM 😉

LX: Swiss Airlines

MH: Malaysian Airlines

NH: (but more commonly written as ANA) = All Nippon Airlines (ANA)

NZ or ANZ: Air New Zealand

OZ: Austrian Airlines

QF: Qantas

QR: Qatar (Home of the QSuites – Fancy name for their Business Class product, widely considered the best Business class around).

SQ: Singapore Airlines

UA: United Airlines

WN: Southwest

Other Travel Abbreviations / Acronyms

2x (or similar): Used in context: “This card earns 2x at groceries” means  that it earns double the points that it normally would in this particular purchase category.

AFAIK: As Far as I Know

BA: In context when it’s referring to blogs and not British Airways, it refers to Boarding Area, a collection of frequent flyer blogs.

BD: BankDirect. A online bank that earns American Airlines miles.

CPP / CPM:  Cents Per Point or Cents Per Mile. Used to calculate the return on your award. Example: “I booked a ticket that would cost $10,000 for 200,000 miles, so I got 5 CPM.”

DoC: The famous Doctor of Credit blog

DYKWIA: “Do You Know Who I Am” – refers to a blowhard that thinks their status means they need to be treated like royalty. Also can refer to a famous (or semi-famous) figure doing the same.

EF: Expert Flyer (an advanced tool for locating award availability)

FCT: Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal

FT: FlyerTalk (a message board that used to be the place everyone talked miles and points

GC: Gift Card

IMHO: In My Humble Opinion

HUCA: Hang Up, Call Again –  used when you get a rude or unhelpful phone agent. You make a polite excuse to hang up and then call back.

MSR: Minimum Spend Requirement (to meet a bonus threshold on a new credit card account)

MS: Manufactured Spend (not discussed on MilesTalk. You can Google it…)

MO: Money Order; related to MS, above.

Newbie: Probably you if you are reading this 😉 Someone new to miles and points.

OTA: Online Travel Agency (like Expedia, Hotels.com, etc)

OW: One Way (can also be Oneworld, the airline alliance)

PP: Priority Pass (airport lounge access program)

RT: Round Trip

RTW: A Round the World trip. For example, ANA’s program allows you to book award travel  around the world for a very reasonable amount of miles. Used in a sentence: “I transferred 125,000 Amex MR to ANA to book a RTW.”

SA: In context, either Star Alliance or South African Airways. SAA can also be used for the airline.

ST: SkyTeam. The airline alliance that Delta is in.

TL;DR: Way too much information. “Too Long; Didn’t Read”. Try to simplify your post.

UG: Upgrade on an airline or in a hotel. Also for upgraded status.

WM: Walmart, also used in conjunction with MS and MO.

YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary (different results for different people)

YQ: The airline designator for Fuel Surcharge. Is sometimes still used to refer to surcharges on award tickets even when it’s under another fee line. Example: “The base fare for the ticket was only $20 but the YQ was $500 so it wasn’t a deal.”

Credit Card Rewards Program Abbreviations / Acronyms

C1 or CapOneCapital One

(Also see: Credit Cards That Earn Capital One Miles)

MR: Membership Rewards – American Express‘ program

(Also See: Credit Cards That Earn American Express (Amex) Membership Rewards Points)

TY / ThankYouCiti’s ThankYou program

(Also see: Credit Cards That Earn Citi ThankYou Points)

UR: Ultimate Rewards, Chase’s program

(Also See: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: How to Earn and Redeem with Transfer Partners [Comprehensive Guide] and Credit Cards that Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points)

Personal Credit Card (Product) Abbreviations / Acronyms

Black Card: Refers to the American Express Centurion card

BCP: Blue Cash Preferred Card (Amex)

CFU: Chase Freedom Unlimited

CF: Chase Freedom

CSP: Chase Sapphire Preferred

CSR: Chase Sapphire Reserve

EDP: EveryDay Preferred (Amex)

Green/Gold/Platinum/Centurion: American Express’ Charge Card products

Business Credit Card (Product) Abbreviations / Acronyms

BBP or BB+:Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

CIC: Chase Ink Cash

CIP: Chase Ink Preferred

CIU: Chase Ink Unlimited

Other Credit Card Abbreviations / Acronyms

5/24: The Chase rule that ensures you will be denied for a new credit card with Chase if you have opened 5 or more personal credit cards with any issuer in the past 24 months (Exceptions apply… see this post for more info on the Chase 5/24 rule.)

LOL/24: When someone is so far over 5/24 it’s laughable

AF:  Annual Fee

AU: Authorized User

Amex:  American Express

BofA  / BOA: Bank of America

CFPB: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CSR: Customer Service Representative (used in context, else could refer to Chase Sapphire Reserve)

Chip: The new chips on credit cards that require you to insert vs. swiping

Chip and PIN: The norm in most of the world but very rare in the US, this refers to having to enter a four digit PIN on a keypad when paying for a purchase. The US version is a less secure “Chip and Signature.”

DCC: Dynamic Currency Conversion. A scam wherein a business abroad offers (or in some cases defaults to without asking) to charge you in your home currency. The conversion fee % is always higher than any credit card would charge you and most premium and even mid-tier credit cards these days (with even small annual fees) as well as all Capital One cards do not charge any fees at all.

DP: Data Point (when someone has a personal experience of a particular thing working/not working)

Downgrade: The reverse of the above. To go from a card with an annual fee to one in the same product family without an annual fee. Example: “I had the Hilton Aspire but PCed to the no-fee Hilton Amex.”  (Also see: Upgrade, below)

FX or FOREX: A Foreign Exchange Fee charged by many credit cards, especially those with no annual fee.

GE / PreCheck: GE is Global Entry, the program that allows you to re-enter the USA using a kiosk. PreCheck allows you to use special domestic airport security lanes with reduced annoyances (shoes can stay on, laptops can stay in your bag). Many credit cards offer fee credits for these programs.

HP: Hard Pull on your credit (also known as a Hard Inquiry)

MC: MasterCard

P1 / P2:  When accumulating credit card rewards with a spouse/partner, this refers to Player 1 and Player 2.

PC / Product Change: To change an existing credit card to a different one by the same card issuer. Each issuer has different cards that you can or cannot change an existing one to/from. Generally requires having existing card at least one full year.

SSN / EIN / TIN: Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, Tax Identification Number

Upgrade: To go from a no-annual fee version of a credit card to a more benefit rich version with a fee (or higher fee). Example: “I PCed from the Hilton Amex to the Hilton Ascend.”

WF: Wells Fargo

Is this list helpful? If so, please share it!

Have additions or corrections?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.