Do you fly frequently? Then you know how heavy these trips can be on your pocket. For this reason, many airlines have started offering a reward program that allows you to collect points in your credit card and redeem them as free miles for your travel.
A few popular frequent flyer programs are offered by Etihad, Emirates, American Express, Virgin Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas. Choosing a reward program can be very confusing, because then you will have to commit to that airline and book all your trips through it. For this reason, you need to be very careful before choosing a program. The rule of thumb is to go with the program you are comfortable with the most and can understand easily. However, for your ease, we have come up with five steps that will help you select the right frequent flyer rewards program:
1. How Frequently Do You Fly?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Your loyalty to a certain airline will not go unnoticed, which means you will be on the receiving end of many benefits and your points scale will move up pretty fast. Even if you fly once a month or quarterly, you need to get a reward program that allows you to collect points in other ways. A few companies give you extra points on the purchase of mobile phone contracts and petrol. So, check out the earning potential of each program and then chose wisely.
2. Which Airline Do You Prefer?
If you look at Australian airlines, 99% of them offer a worldwide alliance network. This way, if your preferred airline has partnered up with another airline, then you will collect a few points from these too, if you deviate from your usual airline choice.
3. Figure Out the Minute Details
We cannot stress enough the importance of choosing a reward program that you are comfortable with. The program must deliver more with less effort, which means you have to figure out everything about how the program works. Pay attention to crucial details such as how fast you can redeem the points, expiry dates, statuses (memberships starting from Silver to Gold and Platinum) and the benefits each status will bring to you.
4. Is Your Credit Card Compatible?
Certain airlines have partnered with credit card companies to provide frequent flyers with further ease in collecting points. For example Virgin Australia offers benefits to flyers holding the Velocity Card and Qantas do the same for holders of ANZ card.
5. Look for Upgrades
When you reach a certain point level, a few airlines either offer you a free trip or something else. Figure out the membership extras and the timeline when they are offered, at what level. Some other benefits of membership extras include lounge access, priority check-ins, point bonuses, and baggage allowances.
Remember, all you need to do before choosing a frequent flyers reward program is to make sure that you are familiar with all its details and know when to use the points in favor of what benefits.