On the face of it, an airline rewards program seems like a fantastic idea. You’re going to be booking flights anyway, and when you do, it offers you the chance to win all sorts of exciting freebie travel awards, like flights, upgrades, and much, much more. So, where’s the downside?
In fact, it’s possible that airline loyalty programs could be losing you money. So, how can you be sure if such a program is right for you?
This guide can help. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of joining an airline rewards program, and whether it’s worth your time and money to do so.
Benefits of Airline Rewards Programs
Of course, there are many benefits from joining an airline or airport rewards program. You can earn enough points to take a flight for free, which isn’t something to turn your nose up at. You can also earn attractive rewards like access to airline lounges, coupons for airport parking, and free upgrades on flights.
All you need to do in return is book as many of your flights as possible with the same airline. This seems like a pretty fair trade-off. Or does it?
Drawbacks of Airline Loyalty Programs
Airline rewards programs are, in essence, an airline’s attempt to convince you to come to them for all of your air travel needs. It’s all about bringing in more business. But if you’re going to be flying anyway, how does this negatively impact you?
The trouble is, if you didn’t have this incentive, you would be far more likely to shop around and find the cheapest possible flight. Which may not be the one your chosen airline has on offer.
You’re also limiting the amount of choice you have. Your airline may not offer the flights you want at the date or time you’re looking for.
Are These Programs Right for You?
In order to see whether it’s worth it for you to join a loyalty program, you need to look at your travel needs. What kind of traveler are you?
It’s incorrect to say these programs offer nothing when they clearly have many benefits. But it’s unclear whether the benefits outweigh the costs. In some cases, they definitely don’t.
For example, if you’re strapped for cash and don’t like to travel very often, then it really doesn’t make much sense to opt-in for these programs. They’ll only end up making you pay money you don’t have to end up with something you don’t really want.
On the other hand, if you travel a lot as a necessity or out of habit, and you’re not as concerned about hunting out a bargain, then these programs can be advantageous. If you fall into this camp, it may benefit you to join.
Consider All Your Options
Before joining any airline rewards programs, make sure to weigh up the pros and cons. Think about the type of traveler you are, and whether this would be to your benefit. If you’re looking for more financial advice, you can peruse the rest of our content now.