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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Old May 24, 14, 12:34 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Mwenenzi
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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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Old Mar 2, 23, 5:07 pm
  #1771  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 5
Hi all, new here. I am looking for advice on which loyalty program(s) to focus on that would have the best award redemptions and availability from west coast USA to HKG in economy. Advice on credit card programs and relevant transfer partners would also be much appreciated. My parents are moving from North America to Hong Kong (HKG), and as even the 1x a year economy tickets are stretching my budget, I'm hoping to leverage points for my visits. Quantity (i.e. more economy flights) over quality (one business/premium economy flight), but I would prefer a program with decent availability so I can take time off work (not difficult to book several to a few months in advance).

I did a bunch of research this morning and it looks like ANA and Alaska (for CX) have the best redemption rates, but ANA seems to have very limited availability and Alaska miles are tough to earn. Thanks very much in advance.

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Good award redemption rates and better award access are most important.

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
<25000 miles, 10-15 flights at most

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Economy/cheapest.

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Airline most flown? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Flexible in terms of airlines, cheapest class of service. Travel occasionally and domestically for work. Travel internationally 1-3 times a year for vacations.

(5) Which routes and airlines do you fly most often
US domestic, US-CAN west coast. Usually flying United.

(6) What is your home airport?
SFO, willing to reposition to LAX, SEA or YVR though I believe there's plenty of options from SFO.

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
I have about ~100k miles in United and Premier Silver, and ~150k miles in Aeroplan. I've been accumulating points for a few years mostly to spend on annual vacations - I know these aren't FFP, but since they're transferable, I also have ~200k each in Capital One and Chase UR as well as ~100k in Amex MR.

(8) Preferred Airlines
Flexible. Any airline is fine.
svrvhp is offline  
Old Mar 3, 23, 1:52 am
  #1772  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: LAX
Programs: UA
Posts: 1,165
UA flies SFO-HKG and has pretty good economy award availability, and does not have surcharges on awards as well which is nice. If you have a UA credit card as well, you can get some discounts on award prices.
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angetenar is offline  
Old Mar 7, 23, 5:35 am
  #1773  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: SYD
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy, Qantas FF, SQ Krisflyer
Posts: 8
Hiya folks,
Long post ahead!
Bit of a dilemma here and need to choose between SQ and QF.

I fly to Southeast Asia for work, and SQ is usually my airline of choice for those flights (work policy is economy only).
However, living in Australia I have access to Qantas Point earning credit cards, and in the past year have accumulated 350k points, which I've redeemed for a OW RTW in J - departing late 2023.
I also have Qantas Point Club Plus status, which gives me lounge access on all QF flights (not partner or OW flights). This expires a year from now in Mar 2024.

I am leaning towards SQ because I like their product, and they have very good intra-Asia connections. Plus they have decent status earning rates when flying on partners/*A.
I haven't flown on QF metal since pre-covid, and I'm not a fan of their weak status earning rate when flying on partners/OW.
While I vastly prefer SQ, the big thing that's causing me to consider going with QF is lounge access I'd get with QF, and the fact that I earn Qantas points so easily thanks to credit cards.

I am doubtful that I could reach gold status in either program (due to flying only in economy), but I will reach SQ silver on my next flight with them, and QF silver is also easily achievable this year.
Personal travel I have booked this year SYD-HND-SYD in Y on JAL, on SQ I have SYD-SIN-HKG in Y, HKG-SIN-SYD in PE and HND-SIN-SYD in J.

Essentially, I need to pick between QF and SQ for my work trips going forward.

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

Lounge access, ability to upgrade w/points

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
~40-50k miles, 20-30 flights for work, personal travel varies

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Economy only for work, sometimes premium/business for personal

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

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
SYD-SIN, other destinations in Southeast Asia, occasional trip to LAX

6. What is your home airport?
SYD

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
Qantas Club - lounge access only on QF flights. Have plenty of Qantas points, 30k SQ miles

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
SQ
GenZ is offline  
Old Mar 8, 23, 5:19 am
  #1774  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: LAX
Programs: UA
Posts: 1,165
Originally Posted by GenZ View Post
Hiya folks,
Long post ahead!
Bit of a dilemma here and need to choose between SQ and QF.

I fly to Southeast Asia for work, and SQ is usually my airline of choice for those flights (work policy is economy only).
However, living in Australia I have access to Qantas Point earning credit cards, and in the past year have accumulated 350k points, which I've redeemed for a OW RTW in J - departing late 2023.
I also have Qantas Point Club Plus status, which gives me lounge access on all QF flights (not partner or OW flights). This expires a year from now in Mar 2024.

I am leaning towards SQ because I like their product, and they have very good intra-Asia connections. Plus they have decent status earning rates when flying on partners/*A.
I haven't flown on QF metal since pre-covid, and I'm not a fan of their weak status earning rate when flying on partners/OW.
While I vastly prefer SQ, the big thing that's causing me to consider going with QF is lounge access I'd get with QF, and the fact that I earn Qantas points so easily thanks to credit cards.

I am doubtful that I could reach gold status in either program (due to flying only in economy), but I will reach SQ silver on my next flight with them, and QF silver is also easily achievable this year.
Personal travel I have booked this year SYD-HND-SYD in Y on JAL, on SQ I have SYD-SIN-HKG in Y, HKG-SIN-SYD in PE and HND-SIN-SYD in J.

Essentially, I need to pick between QF and SQ for my work trips going forward.

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

Lounge access, ability to upgrade w/points

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
~40-50k miles, 20-30 flights for work, personal travel varies

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Economy only for work, sometimes premium/business for personal

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

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
SYD-SIN, other destinations in Southeast Asia, occasional trip to LAX

6. What is your home airport?
SYD

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
Qantas Club - lounge access only on QF flights. Have plenty of Qantas points, 30k SQ miles

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
SQ
Star Alliance is launching a credit card in Australia, have you seen?
angetenar is offline  
Old Mar 10, 23, 5:09 am
  #1775  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Location: SYD
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy, Qantas FF, SQ Krisflyer
Posts: 8
Ooh yeah, that fast-track gold status looks tempting, wish they offered a sign-up bonus though
GenZ is offline  
Old Mar 10, 23, 6:18 am
  #1776  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: LAX
Programs: UA
Posts: 1,165
Originally Posted by GenZ View Post
Ooh yeah, that fast-track gold status looks tempting, wish they offered a sign-up bonus though
A sign up bonus would be the cherry on top, but *G status for $4000 AUD spend is an excellent deal.
angetenar is offline  
Old Mar 29, 23, 7:32 am
  #1777  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: POZ / LON
Programs: TAP Miles&Go Silver
Posts: 5
Hi everyone.

Although I have been flying at least 3-4 times a year for leisure as long as I can remember, I recently begun flying frequently for work.
I am now based in Poland (previously UK based) but still require to travel to the UK for work reasons. Under previous management rules (during pandemic) flight travel costs would not be covered by my company so I was stuck with the likes or Ryanair or WizzAir due to costs if I had to visit the offices.
Following some management changes late last year, my travel costs are now covered and I am required to attend the UK offices every 2-3 months for department meetings. For scheduling flexibility, I decided to start booking flights with LO/LH due to the flight flexibility with their full price fares.

I signed up to the Miles&More program but following LHs announcement of the impending program changes from 2024, I do not think this FFP will be suitable for me going forward.
I am aware that in most cases my travel frequency would not grant me any status in the future so I decided to look elsewhere.

I came across TP's FFP and I signed up to their Miles&Go Platinum Club which gave me instant *A Silver status and I should be credited up to 118K miles by the end of the annual subscription and should be able to retain *A Silver either by renewing or by earning enough status miles for renewal (some long-haul trips to Brazil planned later in the current status period).

I would like to achieve *G but I don't think I will be flying enough miles to achieve this on flights alone so will be mainly use miles for award flights. Star is my alliance of preference based on my location.

As I now have a subscription to TP's FFP, when the renewal time comes in 2024, is it best to stick to it or consider other FFPs (heard Asiana's one seems like a good one)?

Any advice always greatly appreciated.


1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
Award flights (on miles + cash basis whenever possible), long mileage validity or possibility of extending expiring miles, *G would be nice to upgrade to.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
Work (projected): 16-20 flight segments, Leisure: 4-8 segments annually

3. What fare class do you usually buy?

Economy (Business class upgrades/bids whenever possible)

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Limited choices based on current location so mainly LO or LH. Mostly work travel with a couple of leisure flights per year. Work flights in Economy but able to upgrade to Business at own cost.

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
Mainly Intra-Europe, Europe-South America every few years (going forward)

6. What is your home airport?
POZ

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
TAP Miles&Go Silver (*A Silver status bump 118K by end of annual subscription), LO Miles&More (12K).

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
LO, LH (intra-Europe), TP (South America) any other *A for long-haul

Last edited by smbk83; Mar 29, 23 at 12:28 pm
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