Airline Loyalty Cards

Airline Loyalty Cards

There is no loyalty program that is ideal for every flyer. So, what makes a frequent flyer program the best?  Though this is the case, choosing a frequent flyer program that best suit, your lifestyle gives you a chance to earn and redeem points that make your choice of the airline worthwhile.

When choosing a frequent flyer program, there are a myriad of factors to consider including flight prices, flight options and the process of earning and redeeming the loyalty points. You may also consider the class you fly in; if you fly in first class, you may prefer a program that offers points based on the dollars spent instead of miles flown. If you do not travel frequently, you can choose flights that offer points based on purchases rather than trips. Basically, the frequent flyer program offers you free flights on points, first class or business upgrades, free services, and items and also cover you in case of emergencies such as lost items.

Main Players in the Market

Fact is there are many frequent flyer programs in and out of Australia that choosing the best may be a daunting task.Below is a list of the best in the market:

Airline Alliances

Star Alliance

This is perhaps the most renowned and the most comprehensive airline alliance in the world. The alliance is made up of 28 airlines with over 22,000 departures each day. It serves about 200 countries around the world. In itself, Star Alliance does not offer a loyalty programs but travelers earn points when they travel using any of the Star Alliance member airline. The most popular airlines in this alliance include Air Canada, Asiana Airlines, Air China, US Airways, Air New Zealand, Thai Airways, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines among others.

The points are earned based on the miles you fly as long as your ticket is on the eligible class. The more miles you get the higher in the ranks you move towards the silver and gold status where you get more benefits. The points you earn can be redeemed across the network.

One World Alliance

One World Alliance is smaller than Star Alliance. However, it has a number of popular airlines in its network notably Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, British Airways, American Airlines, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific. The member airlines offer loyalty programs which the flyers can earn and redeem when traveling on any airline in the network. In one world, flyers strive to earn the one-world tier status which is earned after attaining a threshold of flights set by the specific airlines in the alliance. With the points, you can earn best airline lounges around the world.

Sky Team

Sky Team has a network of airlines flying to and from 178 countries around the world covering 1000 destinations in at least 15,000 flights daily. Some of the most popular carriers in this alliance include Alitalia, China Southern and Korean Air, Air France, Vietnam Airlines and Delta Airlines among others. Loyalty points/miles are earned through joining a frequent flyer program for any of the member airlines. The miles can be redeemed for free flights and for Sky Team lounges all over the world. To get to earn status miles, which will get you access to the benefits of elite and elite plus members.

Best Frequent Flyer Programs for Airlines

  1. Velocity Frequent Flyer: Offices located in Virgin’s Australia and the winner of the 2013 Freddie Awards Program. The program was named the best in elite programs and in redemption in Asia/Middle East/Oceania region.
  2. Singapore Airlines: It is renowned as one of the airlines with the best services in the world. To this end, their loyalty program KrisFlyer enjoys the reputation of being consistent and rewarding.
  3. Emirates Skywards: Based in Dubai, Skywards is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines. The frequent flyer program members enjoy partnership benefits with Japan Airlines, Qantas and Korean air among others.
  4. Etihad Guest: With offices located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Etihad is also one of the fastest growing airlines. The airline has partnered with Virgin Australia, American Airlines, Korean Air and New Zealand among others.

Earning Points and managing them

The most popular way of earning points is by flying. Here, points are offered based on the terms that the airline has set. Some of the ways to earn points through flying include compiling distance traveled, money spent, fare type (first class, business or normal), route and the membership level (elite or elite plus). The other popular way of earning points is through the use of the airlines credit card. For the credit card to earn points, it must bear a rewards feature. You may also get bonus offers.

In most instances, points can be transferred to family members and friends. Here, you must reach a given threshold. The points may expire after a given period and thus the need to use them before that period catches up with you.

Some loyalty programs require you to pay registration fee and yearly fixed charges while others don’t. Redeeming points is easy through the specific airline or through a partner airline when booking tickets.

Date posted: 3rd June, 2015

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