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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

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Old Mar 29, 21, 1:04 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Mwenenzi
Wiki Link
Before posting please read POSTS 1-3 for a comprehensive overview of how to select a program.
If you already plan to focus on one particular alliance, please visit the sticky in the relevant forum: Deciding on a oneworld FFP or Which SkyTeam FFP or Choosing a Star FFP

List of frequent flyer programs from Wikipedia

Questionnaire: Copy and paste into your post
Provide the requested information.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply:

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply:

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply:

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply:

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply:

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply:

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply:

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply:
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Old Aug 9, 14, 12:04 am
  #136  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 466
- what is your definition of best?
easiest to get first class

- what do you want to use the miles/points for (award, upgrade, hotels, what ever)?
I think I would only use it for air travel

- what sort of flight award is of interest (destination, class of travel)?
class of travel

- are you interested in topping up by paying cash for miles?
I would if it made economic sense.


Questions
For members asking for information, to help people to assist you, can you please provide:
(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
(upgrades on travel, priority services when flying the airline, extra baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, free - discounted lounge access, etc.)
Reply:

I want upgrades to business or first class on international travel.
I want to stop flying economy permanently as soon as I can.

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
(<25000, 25000-50000, >50000 miles - <25, 25-50, >50 flights?)
Reply:

It's difficult to say because I'm beginning work but I would imagine
2-5 times roundtrips per year US to China + shorter distance travel around Asia for leisure.

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
(First, Business, Premium economy, Economy, cheapest)
Reply:

I used to fly business when I only traveled occasionally but may fly economy now that I am traveling more frequently and for my own business.

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply:

I can choose whatever airline.

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
(US Domestic, Transpacific, Kangaroo, in Asia etc)
Reply:

LAX to Beijing.

(6) What is your home airport?
(SFO, SCL, London LHR, HKG, Singapore SIN etc.)
Reply:

LAX or Qingdao/Beijing

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
(AA Executive Platinum, UA 1K, LAN Comodoro, etc)
Reply:

None.

(8) Preferred Airlines
Reply:

I prefer any of the following or similar Asian airlines: Asiana, Korea Airline, Japanese Airline, EVA, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airline, etc.
dkjb3t4 is offline  
Old Aug 9, 14, 2:32 am
  #137  
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Welcome to FT
Originally Posted by dkjb3t4 View Post
- what is your definition of best? easiest to get first class
- what do you want to use the miles/points for (award, upgrade, hotels, what ever)? I think I would only use it for air travel
- what sort of flight award is of interest (destination, class of travel)? class of travel
- are you interested in topping up by paying cash for miles? I would if it made economic sense.

Questions
For members asking for information, to help people to assist you, can you please provide:
(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
(upgrades on travel, priority services when flying the airline, extra baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, free - discounted lounge access, etc.)
Reply:
I want upgrades to business or first class on international travel.
I want to stop flying economy permanently as soon as I can.


(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
(First, Business, Premium economy, Economy, cheapest)
Reply:I used to fly business when I only travelled occasionally but may fly economy now that I am travelling more frequently and for my own business.
You need to be far more realistic about you objectives from your few flights, especially if cheapo economy tickets.

As for upgrades read post 1. For non USA airlines upgrades with miles/points are far less common than what happens on USA airlines. For non USA airlines expect to travel in the cabin you pay cash for: that's the way it works for most non USA airlines.
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Old Aug 9, 14, 3:38 am
  #138  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 466
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Welcome to FT

You need to be far more realistic about you objectives from your few flights, especially if cheapo economy tickets.

As for upgrades read post 1. For non USA airlines upgrades with miles/points are far less common than what happens on USA airlines. For non USA airlines expect to travel in the cabin you pay cash for: that's the way it works for most non USA airlines.
Ok thanks.

But I know for fact that using airline cards like Korean Airline cards, it is possible to use points for first class tickets without much hassle so that is what I was hoping to achieve using combination of credit card points (like Sapphire or airline cards) and accumulated mileage.
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Old Aug 9, 14, 7:25 am
  #139  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 8
Best FFP for travel to LON with current credit card deal?

My husband and I need to fly roundtrip from FL (MCO or TPA, preferably) to London sometime in the next few months. In the next couple of years, we will also need to do some more domestic flying and at least one other trip to London. I have been looking into credit card miles/points programs to help cut the cost of our upcoming trip to London, but I can't figure out which is the best program and/or card deal (least fees and best value) for that route. We're considering moving to London for work in the next few years, which is the reason for the upcoming trips, so we'd anticipate future transatlantic travel for us and our two kids. If we do move, we'd like to use a FFP to cut the cost for traveling home to see our families. Any advice would be appreciated!

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
I don't really care about upgrades or priority services. I would like to pay for flights to and from FL and London without a lot of extra fees. I'm trying to find one that has a good current credit card offer so that I can pay for at least one, if not two, round trip tickets within the next few months.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
Between 20,000 and 60,000, on much less than 25 segments

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
economy

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
I've just started traveling for work to and from Asia one to two times per year, so I am not able to choose my airlines (usually Delta, but will sometimes be United). I am able to choose my airlines and class of service for my other travel.

5. Which routes do you fly most often
work: MCO to BLR; MCO to SRP; pleasure: MCO to LON (anticipated)

6. What is your home airport?
MCO and/or TPA

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in a FFP, if any?
No status. Currently have about 20,000 miles in Delta and may earn another 30,000 with Delta before the end of the year with work travel.

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
none
aislinn is offline  
Old Aug 10, 14, 4:10 pm
  #140  
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I believe this thread could benefit from an award redemption table at the beginning showing how much each airline charges ex-USA.
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Old Aug 10, 14, 9:49 pm
  #141  
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Originally Posted by dieuwer2 View Post
I believe this thread could benefit from an award redemption table at the beginning showing how much each airline charges ex-USA.
Is for you to do the work if you want an award flight. Many folk are not interested in awards, but other benefits of the ffp's.
The third link in post 3 above has a useful link to a thread with an on line redemption calculation tool. Is very much work in progress.

Every award for every FFP can and is different due to the program rules, status, routes, currency exchanges rates, real government taxes and carrier imposed fees. There are 1000's of possible combinations. Any way, we can never keep up the ffp rules: always to look at the airline web sites.

As for "ex-USA" this is the world wide web and a significant portion of FT members are not, and do not want to be, residents of the USA or do not want to visit USA.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Aug 10, 14 at 11:42 pm
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Old Aug 10, 14, 10:12 pm
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Many folk are not interested in awards, but other benefits of the ffp's.
Many people ARE interested in awards. Read through this thread.
That said, there are indeed many award programs out there. Perhaps too many to copy in this thread.

Last edited by Dieuwer; Aug 10, 14 at 10:30 pm
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Old Aug 11, 14, 10:28 am
  #143  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8
No feedback on my original inquiry "Moving to the Middle East," so I thought I'd try to boil it down a bit.

Does it make sense to join Alaska Mileage plan if your based in the middle east?
Flying DMM-SLC/IND, I prefer the more comfortable economy and fewer long distance legs I get with an Emirates(even Etihad/American) vs. Delta/KLM which splits the bulk of the distance into two segments with the Delta segment being less comfortable.

If I can hit $30k+ spend on a Delta card, I've got a good shot getting beyond silver to gold Medallion status.

With Alaska, I don't have to choose between flying Emirates or Delta/KLM (or even Etihad/American) from the middle east, but there do appear to be at least some penalties to mileage plan members who are not based in the US(benefits and promotions that require travel to or from the US).
Its also unclear how spending big with the Alaska card compares to Delta's card in terms of boosting you to first and second tier elite status and if Alaska status gets you anything beyond earning miles bonuses when flying Emirates.

Some incite to enlighten my endless hours of research would be gratefully received!

Shawarma

Last edited by shawarma; Aug 11, 14 at 10:33 am Reason: Clarification
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Old Aug 12, 14, 7:40 am
  #144  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 13
Hi all!

My first post, sorry for it being long. So I've read on the forum that if I fly with AC, LH or any other Star alliance partners, I could claim points on just 1 so I could keep accumulating, and of course it would be wise to keep using the same rewards program.

I usually fly Y class from YYZ to ZAG, with a layover through LHR, FRA or MUC, maybe 4-5 times a year.

I've had a good experience with LH and BA, and terrible one with AC, but a lot of people on the forum said that Aeroplan is the best rewards program of Star Alliance; I was wondering why...
  • Is it because the points don't expire as long as you purchase every year?
  • Because to get distinction, you need to accumulate 25k every year, otherwise you still won't have a status even if you have 30k points?
  • I've found that it's easier to get a status with LH rather than with AC (with the route I take)
  • I know what's nice with Aeroplan is that even if you don't get status, by accumulating pts, you could buy a ticket later on or upgrade etc, while with LH, the pts expire after 3 years (normally). I feel though like I must be missing something...?

--

On a slightly different note, is BA's FF pts better than Star? Just so I know with who to book with from now on.

Thanks for the help

Questionnaire

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
- Easiest/cheapest/free upgrades to business (doesn't have to be first class).
- Not having to wait in line.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
- Usually 4 flights a year between Canada and Europe (YOW - ZAG)
- Around 17000 miles

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Economy.

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
I can choose.

5. Which routes do you fly most often
- YOW to ZAG.
- If I fly with LH, there's a layover in MUC or FRA.
- If I fly with BA, there's a layover in LHR.

6. What is your home airport?
YOW / ZAG

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in a FFP, if any?
- I don't have status
- I have 6973 miles with LH (got this from a one way flight)
- I have 4678 miles with AC (got this from a one way flight)
- I have 4894 Avios and 55 Tier with BA (got this from a one way flight)

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
I prefer LH or BA.

Thanks for the help

Last edited by aBroadAbroad; Aug 15, 14 at 12:28 am Reason: Merge cross-posts
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Old Aug 12, 14, 10:27 am
  #145  
dbv
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Questionnaire
In order for FlyerTalkers to better assist you, please copy and paste the following questionnaire into your post and provide the requested information:

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
Reply:

Just need the free tickets.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
(e.g., <25000, 25000-50000, >50000 miles and <25, 25-50, >50 flights?)
Reply:
<25000
Girlfriend doing a fellowship in New Haven, I'm in grad school in LA. So will be doing 4-5 RT between NYC - LAX or HVN - LAX. Not much else.


3. What fare class do you usually buy?
(e.g., first, business, premium economy, economy)
Reply:

Economy

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply:
Yes I am able to choose airline and class.
Travel for Pleasure

5. Which routes do you fly most often
(e.g., U.S. domestic, transatlantic, intra-Asia)
Reply: US Domestic (LAX to NYC)

6. What is your home airport?
(e.g., SFO, LHR, HKG)
Reply: Los Angeles (LAX)

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in a FFP, if any?
(e.g., AA Executive Platinum, UA 1K, LAN Comodoro)
Reply:
AA advantage:6,220
Delta SkyMiles:10,358

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
Reply:
None

Main goal is to accumulate enough miles (via FF credit card bonus pts or air travel) to make some of those LAX to NYC trips eligible for free tickets.
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Old Aug 12, 14, 11:11 am
  #146  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,073
Originally Posted by karate123 View Post
Hi all!

My first post, sorry for it being long. So I've read on the forum that if I fly with AC, LH or any other Star alliance partners, I could claim points on just 1 so I could keep accumulating, and of course it would be wise to keep using the same rewards program.

I usually fly Y class from YYZ to ZAG, with a layover through LHR, FRA or MUC, maybe 4-5 times a year.

I've had a good experience with LH and BA, and terrible one with AC, but a lot of people on the forum said that Aeroplan is the best rewards program of Star Alliance; I was wondering why...
  • Is it because the points don't expire as long as you purchase every year?
  • Because to get distinction, you need to accumulate 25k every year, otherwise you still won't have a status even if you have 30k points?
  • I've found that it's easier to get a status with LH rather than with AC (with the route I take)
  • I know what's nice with Aeroplan is that even if you don't get status, by accumulating pts, you could buy a ticket later on or upgrade etc, while with LH, the pts expire after 3 years (normally). I feel though like I must be missing something...?

--

On a slightly different note, is BA's FF pts better than Star? Just so I know with who to book with from now on.

Thanks for the help
There is no universal best program. If you want status, it sounds like LH is for you. If you want the best use of miles, it depends on what you want to do with them. If you want to use your miles to fly in LH international First class, LH is the best. If you want to use your miles for North American travel, United is the best. If you want to use your miles for economy international travel, United is the best. If you want to use your miles for premium international travel, compare United and Aeroplan award charts for your specific destinations. In general, United is one of the best Star programs for mileage redemption because they don't collect fuel surcharges on any flights. Aeroplan doesn't collect fuel surcharges on some partners (of main importance, United), but they do on many, including LH and their own flights. LH collects fuel surcharges on most (maybe not United, I'm not sure). BA is a great program for short flights to/from oneworld hub cities. For example, from YYZ, you could fly to ORD, NYC, PHL, or CLT for 4.5K Avios each way. I know very little about status, so everything I wrote is in regards to mileage redemption.
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Old Aug 12, 14, 12:42 pm
  #147  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 13
That clears up lots of things, thanks!
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Old Aug 12, 14, 2:33 pm
  #148  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
If you want status, it sounds like LH is for you.
Definitely not. Even with 4 to 5 IC flights at 4500 miles each way you would not even reach *A Silver with Miles and More if you fly mainly cheap economy - and far far away from *Gold

For status Air Canada or Aegean should secure *Gold easily.
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Old Aug 12, 14, 3:53 pm
  #149  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by fassy View Post
Definitely not. Even with 4 to 5 IC flights at 4500 miles each way you would not even reach *A Silver with Miles and More if you fly mainly cheap economy - and far far away from *Gold

For status Air Canada or Aegean should secure *Gold easily.
With LH, I received around 6900 1 way, while with AC I got something around 4100 1 way. AC would still secure Gold faster than LH?

Last edited by aBroadAbroad; Aug 15, 14 at 12:29 am Reason: Removed quote of now-deleted content and comment made irrelevant by thread merge
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Old Aug 12, 14, 4:55 pm
  #150  
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You need to calculate the status miles you would earn in various FF programs for the flights you take and the specific fare classes your purchase.

I would generally agree with the advice to pick one program, which implicitly means picking one alliance.

Do you do other travel, specifically flights within Canada?

Note that many status benefits only occur for flights operated/marketed by the carrier on which you hold status. For example, as a *A *Gold flying UA, you get lounge access for international itineraries and special check in lines, but you only get Y+ seats for free if your status is with UA. So there's an argument for doing the FF program of the airline you actually fly--but there are also arguments to go for Aegean for easy status or to pick LH, UA, SQ etc. for particular award availability.
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