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Here it is: the most exciting latest news of Frequent Flyer Programs!

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Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

Iberia has announced to move later this month to a revenue basis in its Iberia Plus program. After the switch, base members will earn 5 Avios per Euro spent (what is superior to the 4 miles per Euro spent at the Air France KLM and Lufthansa programs Flying Blue and Miles & More) and elite members will earn up to 8 Avios per Euro spent. British Airways has confirmed to mirror the move in 2023 in the Executive Club. While the system is straight forward, the main question is whether British Airways flights will also switch to a revenue basis for Iberia Plus members or stay on a mileage basis and vv – and likewise with the other IAG programs by Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus and Vueling since currencies can basically be moved freely between the programs. While the base accrual rate of 5 miles per Euro suggests that there will be no unilateral winners or losers with that change, some interesting opportunistic scenarios can actually open up here thanks to these flexible relationships between the different IAG programs.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

Star Alliance is now about to launch its own co-branded credit card – in Australia. The Visa card lets you earn Star Alliance Points, which can then be converted into miles/points of any Star program, from where they can be redeemed according to the corresponding program rules. In a nutshell, there are more rewarding credit card offers if you just look at accruing a maximum of points, but the sweet point of the card (which is not cheap, but with an annual fee waived for the first year) is that you can qualify for Star Alliance Gold status in the program of your choice by meeting a minimum spend threshold. In the first year, this is a very low 4,000 AUD, but for renewing the status afterwards, a more serious annual spend of 60,000 AUD will be required.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

All eyes are now turned to Qatar and Qatar Airways as major sponsor of the FIFA World Cup spent a lot of time to ensure to get things right. But they also understand that there will be a time after. And as such, they are running a promotion in their Privilege Club, together with another event sponsor, Visa: Many tickets purchased by December 21 for travel between January 15 and March 31, 2023 and charged to any Visa card earn a bonus, whereby the amount depends on the point of sales. The highest bonus of 100,000 miles is awarded for tickets sold in India for flights in Business or First Class to Europe or North America. But even lower bonuses, such as 6,000 miles for Economy Class flights out of Europe, are still enough to secure at least one free short-haul flight by using the possibility to switch the miles between other Avios programs, such as British Airways’ Executive Club.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

Not a lot of mainline airlines do a full revenue-based redemption since this puts award pricing out of control for the loyalty departments. Turkish Airlines is no exception to that rule, but they have a small revenue component in their Miles&Smiles award offering: When redeeming award tickets on Turkish Airlines, you can opt to pay an additional mileage amount to cover taxes and fees of 100 Turkish Lira. When this offer was introduced, the price to do so was 4,000 miles. But they now face another issue. While the Turkish Lira traded below 4 for 1 USD five years ago, the currency is now devaluated and worth just below 19 for 1 USD. As such, Miles&Smiles could “improve” its award offering by cutting the award amount for 100 TRY to 1,000 miles. But don’t get excited too quickly and do the maths as this still represents a value per mile of a bit more than half a US cent only.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

As Turkish Airlines with such offers, more and more airlines move to a more direct option to convert miles into cash. Air France KLM’s Flying Blue is the latest example by offering the possibility to holders of their co-branded American Express card to transform miles into a cash credit with a conversion rate of 1 mile to 0.4 EUR cents. While this might be in line with other programs offering such options, it remains a no go for members from a value perspective. British Airways’ Executive Club used to be one of the programs with the richest option at that level, at least for its UK-based members. By converting miles into points of the Nectar program, where points have a direct cash value, members could get 0.8 UK pence per mile – which came closer to a value some customers might have been willing to accept. That conversion rate will though change tomorrow, taking the cash value down to 0.67 UK pence per mile. This is still superior to what most other programs would offer, but risks pushing the deal on the other side of the acceptance line.