The Sky Is The Limit With The Right Frequent Flyer Programme
Malaysian travellers have been embracing frequent flyer programmes in growing numbers – taking advantage of the special benefits and privileges that come with them. With the large variety of frequent flyer programmes currently available, it’s important to know what features and benefits that one can get out of each of them.
Are you looking to save money by converting your air miles into free tickets and other benefits, or looking for an upgrade without paying an arm and a leg?
Don’t crack your head over it as iMoney has already done the homework for you and compared all the major frequent flyers available.
1. Membership fee
While most frequent flyer programme is free, programmes like Marco Polo Club charges you a membership fee. It may not be worth it unless you are a frequent flyer with Cathay Pacific. As Cathay Pacific is famous for its China destinations, it could be a worthy investment for businessmen who travel there often .
2. Age limit
Though both our local airline carriers do not fly to a long list of destinations, they still hold the lowest age requirement for earning air miles. These frequent flyer programmes would be suitable for individuals traveling with children.
3. Earn points
Points accumulated would differ according to the credit cards, travel class, flying distance, tier status, or products and services offered by participating partners. As for BIG Points, double points are available when using the BIG Prepaid Visa Card for a one-time fee of RM10.
Frequent flyer programmes generally have a long list of airline or non-airline partners through which one can earn and redeem points. The more partners a frequent flyer programme has the more opportunity you will have to earn air miles and also greater choice when it comes to redeeming your reward points.
Most frequent flyer programmes have credit cards from a partner provider linked to them. These reward credit cards are a great way to earn frequent flyer air miles on your everyday purchases.
Some frequent flyer programmes offer more credit card options than other, so be sure to compare the available cards before you choose a programme. For example, you can earn Enrich Miles using Standard Chartered WorldMiles Card, RHB Travel Money, CIMB Enrich Gold and earn KrisFlyer Miles using Maybank KrisFlyer Amex Gold. For Enrich Miles and BIG Points, you earn points only for flight ticket and other add-ons purchased online. However, for KrisFlyer Miles, you can still earn air miles from offline purchases, but lower when compared to online purchases.
4. Redeem points
Based on the redemption benefits of all four frequent flyer programmes, BIG Points and Krisflyer Miles would be more beneficial for individuals on holiday travel as it creates opportunity for travellers to redeem free flights, upgrade their travel comfort, redeem hotel stay, choose preferred seats, extend ticket validity and obtain complimentary stopovers.
On the other hand, Enrich Miles, Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles would be more suitable for individuals on business travel as travellers get to enjoy benefits of lounge access, reservation, baggage and redeeming fewer miles for business and first class travel redemption for companion travelling on same itinerary.
5. Expiry period
When people sign up for frequent flyer programmes they usually like to save up for larger benefits which require more points, such as long haul flights. The trouble is most programmes have an expiry date on points which can limit your earning potential. If you know it will take you a while to earn enough points to get the rewards you want, then you should opt for a programme with the longest expiration for points or one which allows you to extend your expiry date.
6. Added benefits
Frequent flyer programmes usually have different membership levels or tiers which depend on how many points you have and how often you fly. As you move up the tier levels, your ability to earn points increases and your benefit level may also increase. You can judge a frequent flyer programme on how easy it is to move up the tiers. Take into account what each tier grants you in comparison to other programmes. Pooling rewards points with your family is a great way to boost your earning potential.
Getting a free flight means a huge chunk of your travel budget slashed! With the upgrades you can make for free, you can now travel like the rich and famous with business and first class seats, gain access to lavish airport lounges and priority treatment, which are just the tip of the reward iceberg. Paired with a frequent flyer credit card, everyone can earn points quickly and easily.
Just like any financial decisions, budgeting for your travel must be done carefully and strategically. Choose the right frequent flyer programme that suits your travel need, whether you are a frequently travelling entreprenuer or just to feed your appetite for global adventures, there is a programme for you. Who says catching the travel bug is bad news for your wallet?
Note: Asia Miles is an unaffiliated programme linked to the Marco Polo programme. When you join the Marco Polo Club, you are also entitled for Asia Miles membership. Marco Polo benefits are redeemable based on membership tiers, whereas Asia Miles benefits are redeemable based on air miles.