Which frequent flyer program should you join?

Published on November 27th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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If you are someone who enjoys travelling frequent flyers are something that will come in handy. You can gain points for every time you swipe with your credit card and unlock features that will enhance your travelling experience. But with so many frequent flyer programs to choose from how do you compare them to get the best program that gives you top value? Here are five things that you can do to find a program that fits the bill.

Are you a jet-sitter or a jet-setter?

How you choose a frequent flyer program will be based on these two things; whether you are a jet-sitter or setter. A jet sitter book flights for holidays or that rare occasional trip, therefore you are most likely looking for frequent flyer programs that will give you a chance to bag free flights or discounts to ease the financial cost. A jet-setter spends most of their time sitting flying from place to place which means that you will be looking for the finer things that flying has to offer to make that trip as comfortable as possible. This means getting lounge access, free upgrades and added perks that come with having a status rated credit card that helps unlock them. You would want to align with a frequent flyer that offers things that agree with your taste and needs.

Is it worth the cost?

Frequent flyer come with different rules and regulations, meaning that you won’t have the same standard set across all programs. Some frequent flyer program come with no costs, but others do. For example, the one off for Australia’s most used airline, Quantas, has a one-off fee of $89.50. Some programs have terms and conditions stating that if you don’t use your points in a given period they could expire; therefore it is important that you always check whether your points have an expiration date or not.

Solidify your alliance

When choosing a frequent flyer program, you need to check if its rules and ways of gaining points is something that works with your flying patterns. You will also need to look into things such as specials, promotions, also expiry dates that come with your points. However, the more important thing is to choose a program that has a good alliance with other airlines that you are most likely to use. Most frequent flyer programs are affiliated with other airlines that will help make your connecting flight cheaper or help you harness the more rewards. If you are not careful and fly with non-associate flights you could be penalised next time you use your frequent flyer points to book a flight.

Not a frequent flyer but want to gather points for when you do fly?

Accumulating a pool of points that will give you access to bag a free flight or upgrade to platinum status to access luxury lounges takes time if you are not someone who is constantly in the air. There is no need to ditch the thought of joining a frequent flyer program just yet. Plenty of frequent flyer programs have joined forces with credit card providers to give you alternative ways of gaining points. By checking what eligible purchases are approved by these frequent flyers you can swipe almost anywhere to gain access to points without leaving the ground.

Always compare your options

Whether you are choosing an airline with the best frequent flyer program or a credit card that moulds to your travelling needs it is important that you compare. Go for something that is affordable according to your financial needs. Sometimes the best way to choose a frequent flyer program along with a credit card that will help you gain points is to see how each will work for you in the bigger scheme of things. If you are purely signing up for a card based on its rewards system you will find yourself stuck with a card that drains you financially.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

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