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Frequent Flyer/Loyalty Programs – How to Rack up Rewards Faster
If you travel often for business, taking advantage of the many frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs can reap huge rewards. Earning points or air miles can get you everything from free flights, upgrades, hotel stays, meals, car rentals and more – and best of all, it’s FREE to sign up.
But the loyalty program landscape is constantly changing, making it tricky to get the most bang for your buck. The most recent trend is a switch to a “revenue-based” model. In simple terms this means instead of getting more perks for distance, you get them based on how much you actually spend. This can make it more difficult to rack up points, but not impossible.
1. Join every reward program you can and track them all with Award Wallet – a free tool for tracking all your reward programs in one place.
2. Get a credit card with travel rewards. This is the fastest way to rack up additional points fast – just be sure to pay off the full balance each month or suffer the consequences of higher than average interest rates. Be aware that you may also have a minimum spend each month to get point bonuses.
3. Stay Loyal. These schemes only work if you actually pick a brand and use it more than once. Depending on your hub and where you usually travel, especially for business, you should choose an airline that goes all the places you need it to, and a hotel chain that lives in the cities you need to be. Staying local also gets you to elite status, which is where the point and mileage bonuses skyrocket to between 25-100%.
4. Join an Alliance. Most major carriers belong to either Star Alliance, Skyteam, or One World. If you join one of these and need to fly a different airline than you normally do, keep it in the alliance to make sure you earn your points.
We can help you stay on top of your frequent flyer memberships and alert you when you have enough air miles for a freebie. We offer this service as a benefit to all our clients who book business travel with us. If you are looking for a new travel management company this might just help you decide to use us.