Why We Stay Loyal To Airline Brands (And Why We Sometimes Shouldn’t)

Why do we stay loyal to airline brands? I guess that depends on how you define loyalty. For points and miles people, their first reaction may be to think about loyalty programs. Now, I’ve argued that these programs aren’t really about loyalty anymore and more about incentivizing you to change your current habits.

I’m not talking about this type of loyalty. I’m simply asking why do we to stick with a particular company. I’d bet that you have a go-to airline that, all other things being equal, you’ll book first. Now, if that’s because you’re a part of the loyalty program and need to keep your status, maybe it’s time to hop off that hamster wheel.

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Why Did Frequent Flyer Programs Start?

If you dabble in the world of points and miles, chances are you’re a member of one or more airline loyalty programs. But have you ever wondered why loyalty programs started in the first place? I did. Here’s what I found out.

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Should You Sign Up For Credit Cards From Airlines Outside The U.S.?

Every once in a while, I’ll see a post about a credit card from an airline outside the United States. The card is from a bank in the U.S. and marketed to Americans but why should I be interested in a card that earns points in a program from a foreign airline? I guess the answer depends on the program you’re collecting miles from and what you can do with them.

While some of these cards are for programs I’m familiar with, others are for programs I admittedly don’t know much about. While I might not ever fly on that airline, there’s plenty of opportunities to use miles on partner airlines.

While a single sign up bonus might not be enough for an award ticket, if the program is affiliated with a flexible points currency you can combine those points to get the award you want.

Employing a strategy of earning points in airlines outside the U.S. involves more work than just earning Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points or Ultimate Rewards. You need to know ahead of time if you’ll have any use for the points you’re earning. However, if you’ve already applied for the cards from the major U.S. airlines, these cards give you some additional options. I’d categorize this as a medium risk, medium approach to earning points and miles.

Here’s a list of some of the cards available in the U.S. that earn miles for foreign airlines:

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This New Way To Search For Awards Found Me A Ticket For 8,000 Miles

A fact you learn when you get started with miles and points is that the earning part is relatively easy. You don’t have to learn a lot to get going and jumpstart those balances. This can cause problems down the line if you get too enthusiastic so here’s a list I made of what you should do if you’re rather new to the game.

Redeeming your miles and points for rewards can be a bit more difficult. For starters, there’s the availability problem. Unless you’re in a fixed value program like Southwest or JetBlue, not all flights have award tickets available.

Even if you find an available flight, if you have transferrable points there are numerous programs you have access to, and each of them might charge a different amount of miles and fees for the same award ticket.

If you can keep track of every award in every program, good for you. I know I can’t. But that’s not as much of a problem as it used to be…

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How To NOT Earn 30,000 Frequent Flyer Miles

Although Your Mileage May Vary initially started because of Joe’s talents with points and miles and other ways to save money while traveling, I’ll be the first to admit that I really don’t care a whole lot about the whole points and miles thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like the benefits of his hobby (after all, it gets us upgrades and free stuff!), but I’m very happy to stick to writing the “fun” articles about stuff like Disney parks and the weird toilets at Chicago-O’Hare Int’l airport (which apparently aren’t there anymore???). Which doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a thing or two about points and miles along the way. Hence this situation, which happened not all that long ago….

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