Monday, July 15

Airline Mile Program vs Travel Loyalty Mile Programs

Mile programs are of two types- one offered by a specific airline and the other by a travel program. Find out about both these types and which one is better, in this post. Keep reading. 

Loyalty programs are a great way to make the most of your purchases. Apart from offering discounts, they also entitle you to some exclusive benefits and privileges. Air mile programs are one such type of loyalty programs that give you miles on every purchase. Let’s delve deeper into these. 

What is Airmiles Program?

An air mile program gives you miles ob every purchase you make through the designated program. Started as miles only on flight bookings, today, these programs’ scope has extended quite a bit to help members earn more miles. Once you have earned these miles, it can be used to purchase air tickets, upgrade your cabin, get some extra privileges, etc. 

In the beginning, these programs were only rolled out by airlines. However, with time, airline alliances ( a group of a few airlines) and even travel and lifestyle programs introduced the mile program. Thus, today there are two major types of mile programs- an airline mile program and a travel loyalty program. Let’s look at both of them in detail. 

What is an Airline Mile Program?

As the name suggests, it is a program that earns you miles every time you fly with a specific airline. And the miles earned can only be redeemed against a flight ticket or a cabin upgrade within the same airline. Some airline programs extend the scope of earning/redeeming miles with a few other airlines that are part of the same alliance as there. However, most of these programs offer you miles on booking their flight tickets than their alliance partner’s flight ticket. 

What is a Travel Loyalty Mile Program?

Travel loyalty programs are different from an airline mile program. These provide various travel or lifestyle-related services on their portals, including flight tickets across airlines. Every time you book an air ticket or transact with one of the program partners, you are entitled to earn some miles. These miles can later be used against a wide range of benefits which may be flight-related or not. For instance, some programs let you earn/redeem miles against hotel bookings too. 

Which One is Better?

While the air mile programs were initially started by airlines to lure passengers, the programs’ scope has been widened extensively, thanks to the entry of travel loyalty mile programs. Some of the benefits of earning miles through travel loyalty programs are;

  • Choose from a Wide Range of Airlines: Not just from the principal airline or one of the alliance partners; you can choose almost any airline based on your budget and needs. Thus whether you are looking from airfares from Mumbai to Chandigarh or Delhi to Dubai, you can select an airline of your choice and still earn miles. 
  • Other Travel and Lifestyle Related Transactions: When you fly, you transact a lot more than just buying flight tickets such as cab rentals, hotel bookings, eating out, etc. With an airline program, you may miss out on the mile earning opportunities. 
  • Easier to Use the Miles Earned: Miles are only as good as you put them to use. With a travel program, you have more chances of using the miles as well. 

How to Join a Travel Loyalty Program? 

Thus, travel and lifestyle loyalty programs are the best way to earn/redeem miles. If you are looking at joining one, make sure you consider its scope of earning/redeeming miles and other benefits you are granted. Joining a program is usually free. You can also sign up for a co-branded credit card to join a program that lets you earn miles on every purchase made through the card. Choose a way that best aligns with your needs.