A friend of mine told me he once booked a roundtrip flight from NYC to Atlanta for $11. 😳 I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never seen flights that cheap in the states. What’s his secret? Loyalty Programs!
I’m typically #teamflightdeal all day every day. If you saw my post from a few weeks ago about how to find cheap flights, you already know this. But recently I’ve been checking out ways to diversify my travel saving process. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with travel credit card programs because you usually have to spend money before you’re promised the deal or reward. But there are some cases in which a rewards program could be beneficial and help you save lots of money on your next trip and you too could be flying around the country for $11 round trip. I put together a list of things to think about if you’re considering joining a rewards program.
3 Things to consider when determining if a travel loyalty program is right for you:
1. Really Think About How Often You Currently Travel (or will travel in the future)
The most common way to accumulate points is to travel and pay for your trip using your travel credit card. So if you already travel a lot then joining a rewards program may be perfect for you because the points you accumulate can go towards your next flight or even hotel accommodations. For instance, my friend was able to get a cheap flight because he travels often and accumulated a ton of points, which significantly discounted his roundtrip flight from NYC to Atlanta. You can also accumulate points by using your travel credit card at certain restaurants depending on which program you sign up with.
2. Check out the Airline Alliance
There are three major airline alliances: Star Alliance, Oneworld, and Sky Team. These three alliances have airlines with hubs all over the country. Depending on where you live and the airport you will be traveling out of will determine which alliance will be best for you. Also, another thing to consider is the flight route. Not all flights are created equal. Basically not every airline goes to every destination around the world, however, the majority of them will connect you with one that does.
3.Perks and Upgrades
This is probably the most important factor to consider and can be super beneficial in the long run. The more points you rack up the more discounted trips you are awarded, which can include discounts on hotel accommodations as well. The best part about the perks are the upgrades. If you’re thinking about taking a trip around the world to somewhere like Bali, being bumped up to first or business class will definitely make traveling for almost 20 hours not seem so bad.
I recently entered into a rewards program. The program I entered in was through a popular hotel chain and it was completely free. There are free options out there too that will help you save when booking your next trip.
Are you a part of a loyalty program? If so, have you found it to save you a lot of money during your travels?