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Maldives set to become the first country to launch its own loyalty program

Sept. 29, 2020
3 min read
Maldives set to become the first country to launch its own loyalty program
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Air miles, hotel points and now Border Miles.

In December, the Maldives will launch its own loyalty program — a first for a country. On Sunday, during a virtual ceremony hosted by the Maldives' Minister of Tourism, the country unveiled its idea for a three-tiered loyalty program, known as Maldives Border Miles.

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Up to this point, there is limited information about how status will be earned and what rewards each level will entail. What we do know is that there will be three levels:

  • Aida (bronze);
  • Antara (silver); and
  • Abaarana (gold).

A tourist's number of visits and duration of stay will help to earn status, with extra points for those visiting the islands for special occasions. The program is set to launch on Dec. 1.

It's unclear what the levels of status will get a traveler when they visit the bucket-list destination. Given a trip to the Maldives can often be associated with spending a lot of money, we're hoping that the benefits of each status tier will offer some kind of monetary benefit.

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Related: 6 reasons to pick the W Maldives over the St. Regis

When you consider, for example, that a seaplane transfer in the Maldives often costs upwards of $600 per person, that can truly add up. If there is some savings potential on this required expenditure, it could lure tourists to come back to the island time and time again.

Alternatively, if the tiers offer experience perks, such as priority entry lanes at immigration, it could be an incentive for would-be travelers tight on time or not looking to wait in long queues.

Ultimately, whether or not the Maldives Border Miles program will be a success will largely depend on how it can attract consumers. Will its perks be enough to entice visitors to come back time and time again? Or, will they be lacklustre enough for someone to choose another island destination for their holiday?

We will have to wait and see.

The Maldives reopened to tourism in July with few requirements. However, as of earlier this month, it's revised its entry requirements to implement mandatory testing. Visitors must have a negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure in order to enter the country.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees