Coming this Week: Spotlight on Non-Legacy Frequent Flyer Programs
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A lot of my content is geared towards the 5 major US airline frequent flyer programs (American, Continental, Delta, United, US Airways). Collectively, they have millions of members and constitute a majority of domestic flights.
However, many frequent flyers have been switching to low cost carriers (like Southwest and AirTran) and boutique carriers (like Virgin America and JetBlue). Note: I refuse to call JetBlue and Virgin America low cost carriers, because their fares are routinely more expensive than legacy airlines and they generally provide better service (like a boutique hotel).
Understanding their frequent flyer programs become challenging, because they all have different currencies, whether its miles, points, or credits earned for each flight. In general, they are not distance based like the legacy carriers, but more flight and revenue based.
This week, I will highlight two different programs each day and add them to my scorecard section of my site (which will be rich with content by the end of the month), which will continually be updated as airlines enhance/devalue their programs. At the end of the week, I’ll rank them based on 1) flexibility 2) ability to earn/redeem 3) Value of awards
Monday– Southwest Rapid Rewards, Sun Country UFly Rewards
Tuesday– JetBlue TrueBlue, Spirit FreeSpirit
Wednesday– Virgin America Elevate, Midwest Miles
Thursday– AirTran A+ Rewards, Frontier EarlyReturns
Friday– WestJet Dollars, Porter VIPorter for all of my Canadian points junkies 😉
I understand this list does not cover every non-legacy airline, so if you’d like me to cover another program, feel free to comment below.
I look forward to showing love to some of the red-headed step children of frequent flyer programs!
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees