Part Two in the series “How to travel the world in luxury at budget rates using loyalty schemes”
Image (c) IKIW.org
That’s easy – all of them. It won’t cost you a penny but will take a little time, so I suggest you go through this list and sign up to a few of the schemes each day. It may seem odd to become a member of Alaska Airlines loyalty programme but you never know when you may be able to use the points. In a recent promotion I swapped some miles I received as a sign-up bonus with an obscure airline in a country I’d never visited into the US Airways programme and received extra points as a result. There are also opportunities to trade or exhange points across schemes or into a third-party programme – more on this in a later article.
Another reason to join now is that some loyalty schemes require you to already have been a member for a certain period (US Airways is 12 days, for example) before you can buy points online in one of their special promotions – don’t get caught out here.
The major frequent flyer programmes
Aer Lingus Gold Circle
Aerolineas Argentinas Plus Program
AeroMexico Club Premier
air berlin top bonus
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France Flying Blue
Air New Zealand Airpoints
Air Tran A Plus Rewards
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Alitalia Club Mille Miglia
All Nippon Airways ANA Mileage Club
American Airlines AAdvantage
Asiana Asiana Club
Austrian Airlines Miles & More
bmi Diamond Club
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Airways Asia Miles
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
Finnair Finnair Plus
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia Iberia Plus
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
KLM Flying Blue
Korean Airlines Skypass
LOT Miles & More
Lufthansa Miles & More
Malaysia Airlines Enrich
Norwegian Norwegian Reward
Olympic Airways Travelair Club
Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Privilege Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Swiss Miles & More
TAP Air Portugal Victoria
United/Continental Airlines Mileage Plus
US Airways Dividend Miles
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin America Elevate
Note that this list and the links within it were valid as at 9 March 2014. The airline industry is a fast-moving one so changes can occur – we will do our best to keep this list up-to-date.
Managing your points
Now you’re probably wondering about keeping track of all those accounts – don’t worry, we’re way ahead of you. There are several online point management systems but I recommend AwardWallet. You can sign up for AwardWallet which will give me a bonus if you later upgrade, which is nice. But it costs you the same, so why not help us keep this site going? Anyway the free version is sufficient for most users and you can enter hotel, car rental and shopping programmes too. Once you have input the information you can access a single screen with all your points displayed, and by clicking on “Update all” you are able to check your accounts for any transactions in one go. You can also download an app for both Android and iPhone.
Watch this video for more information:
In this post we’ve explained why you should join all the frequent flyer programmes out there, provided links to them and how to manage your accounts.
That should be enough to keep you busy for a while.
In the next article in this series we’ll provide a jargon-buster to help to navigate frequent flyer terminology.
This is Part Two of the series: “How to travel the world in luxury while paying budget rates using loyalty schemes”.
Part Three is here: Frequent flyer jargon buster – what are they talking about?
Part Four is here: Frequent flyer essential concepts – what you need to know
Part One is here: The basics: What is a frequent flyer scheme and why should I care?