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Allegiant announces Allways Rewards, a brand new loyalty program for leisure travelers

Aug. 18, 2021
6 min read
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Allegiant — the popular Las Vegas-based low-cost carrier — just introduced its own loyalty program, Allways Rewards.

This is the first time the airline has delved into the loyalty space, and brands it as "the first airline loyalty program designed specifically for leisure travelers." This comes after months of rapid expansion for Allegiant, wherein the airline has expanded its footprint to include dozens of new routes.

I had the chance to talk with Scott DeAngelo, Allegiant's chief marketing officer, to discuss the new loyalty program. So in this article, I'll give you a closer look at Allegiant Allways Rewards and discuss how you can earn and burn points with the program. Then, I'll give you a look at my chat with DeAngelo and discuss how Allways Rewards came to be.

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An overview of Allegiant Allways Rewards

(Photo by keithbwinn/Getty Images)

Allways Rewards takes a very straightforward approach to airline loyalty. You earn and burn points like a cash-back credit card. You'll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all Allegiant purchases, and 2 points per dollar on purchases over $500. These points can be redeemed at 1 cent per point toward anything Allegiant sells on its website in any increment.

This means you'll earn $1 in rewards if you buy a $100 ticket on Allegiant's website. Then, you can use this for $1 off a hotel booking made on Allegiant's website. Or, you can use it to save a dollar on your next Allegiant flight with no blackout dates. This gives you ultimate flexibility in how and when you redeem your points.

While this seems relatively straightforward, there is an interesting wrinkle that sets Allways Rewards apart from other airline loyalty programs. The person who purchases a ticket will earn points for all passengers on that reservation. This means that someone spending $800 on round-trip tickets for a family of five would earn the entirety of the 1,600 points for the ticket.

This is likely to be helpful for families, alleviating the need to manage multiple Allways Rewards accounts for each individual family member. Instead, as long as one traveler is always purchasing flights, all the points are deposited into a single account — and they can then be used all at once for a future trip. This streamlines the process for redemptions and makes it easier for families to actually use the rewards they earn.

You'll start earning Allways Rewards points on all Allegiant flights booked after the program launches on Aug. 19. However, if you have an existing reservation booked before this date (but flown afterward), you are still eligible to earn — but those itineraries will need to be manually processed.

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Finally, Allegiant's current cobranded credit card will start to earn Allways Rewards points and be rebranded under the Allways Rewards name. Likewise, everyone who currently has an Allegiant account will be automatically enrolled in Allways Rewards, effective immediately.

Related: Southwest vs Allegiant: What it’s like to fly a low-cost airline during a pandemic

How Allegiant designed Allways Rewards

Allways Rewards isn't your typical airline loyalty program. (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

When I talked with DeAngelo, Allegiant's CMO, he told me they took inspiration for the Allways Rewards program from companies outside of the travel space. Most notably, he said that Kohl's Cash and Target RedCircle played a role here — which makes sense, given that they're effectively cash-back rebate programs.

DeAngelo told me the program can work similarly to a Starbucks gift card. When you have a couple of dollars left on a card, you're likely to go in and spend more than what's on the card. Or if you have $25 in Kohl's Cash, it brings you through the door. Allegiant is taking a similar approach to drumming up travel demand with Allways Rewards — if someone has accrued 3,000 points (effectively a $30 discount), they might be more likely to book that $60 flight.

DeAngelo also zeroed in on the fact that this program is aimed at leisure travelers, especially those who may discard airline loyalty programs under the impression that they'll never earn enough for anything of substance. Those who fly a handful of times per year can start using their rewards immediately instead of taking years to save up enough for a free ticket.

As an example, he pointed to a college student that flies home twice per year and goes on an annual spring break trip. This traveler would earn points on those flights and then can put those rewards to use at the end of the year — potentially for a discount on a flight home for the holidays.

He also told me that a currency-based loyalty program takes a lot less work on the backend. There's no worrying about award fare classes or major accounting hurdles. Instead, members can simply use their rewards to get a discount on any flight, hotel or car rental they desire. This is very simple for the user — but also more economical and less complicated for Allegiant to maintain.

Finally, DeAngelo indicated some interesting things in the pipeline for Allways Rewards, too. Two potential features we could see before the end of the year include a 5% flight discount for members and the ability to pool points with other members.

Stay tuned to TPG — we'll keep you posted when we know more.

Related: 12 packing hacks for flying low-cost carriers

Bottom line

In past, I've reported on why I'm not a huge fan of cash-value loyalty programs. But this time, I have a slightly different view. The program is clearly focused on leisure travelers, especially those who take to the skies just a handful of times per year. This is made clear when you consider that the person buying flights for a family earns all the points — and you can redeem any number of points for a discount, no matter how small it is.

So while the Allways Rewards program isn't going to get you a lie-flat seat to Europe, I think it will suit many of Allegiant's customers. I'm excited to see how the program evolves over time with new benefits, promotions and more.

Feature photo by Angel DiBilio / Shutterstock.com

Featured image by (Photo by Angel DiBilio / Shutterstock.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more