Productivity

Which frequent flyer scheme should you join?

Hannah Jones
Journalist

Hannah Jones is a writer interested in lifestyle and business trends

Hannah Jones
Journalist

Hannah Jones is a writer interested in lifestyle and business trends

For business people on the go, getting the most out of the money you spend can be the difference between cattle class and the lap of luxury. So which frequent flyer program suits you and your business?

map of the world with miniature plane being pushed across

Frequent flyer programs have been around for years, rewarding those who hit the skies or spend with partners, by giving access to upgrades, lounges, discounts and preferential treatment. But choosing which is best for your business can be difficult, and will depend significantly on what you want to get out of it.

For the majority of people, a flight to Perth is the stuff of dreams. However, for dyed-in-the-wool road warriors, a first class upgrade and swanky business lounge is in order.

And the principle is simple: sign up to a program, spend money as you usually would and collect points. You can then redeem them for a variety of rewards dependent on the program.

So what’s on offer?

Qantas Frequent Flyer/Aquire

Australia’s largest frequent flyer program (with a whopping 10 million members), Qantas Frequent Flyer gives you points based on how much you shop with its partners (like Woolworths, Big W and even ebay) and how much you fly.

The perks

The perks include upgrades, flights and lounges, dependent on how much you fly, or points can be redeemed for hotels, dining experiences or anything in the Qantas store (ranging from headphones to handbags).

As for how long your points last, as long as you earn or redeem points at least once every 18 months they will never expire. So save up for something super special or treat yourself and your team a little more regularly.

If you have an ABN, multiple employees that travel on Qantas regularly, and need things like car hire or hotels, its business specific program Aquire may be worth a further investigation.

Who does it suit?

The Qantas Frequent Flyer program would suit businesses who travel often and spend regularly, while Aquire is better if you have a larger team on the road.

Velocity

Free to join, Velocity was voted Middle East & Asia/Oceania‘s Program of the Year, Best Customer Service and Best Redemption Ability in the 2015 Freddie Awards.

The perks

With program partners that range from hospitality to credit cards or even fuel with select BP stations, there are myriad ways to redeem points that can be exchanged for flight upgrades and the usual ancillaries such as hotels, car hire and sport.

Where it really starts to shine though, is when it comes to more frequent flyers: members get advanced seat selection, valets, and family pooling (where business can help you holiday), while higher echelons of members reap benefits including access to more than 150 lounges worldwide (where you can bring a guest), baggage allowances and priority screening.

If your business spends more than $20,000 and less than $300,000 on travel annually, its corporate program Accelerate is also worth investigating.

Who does it suit?

If you want your business travel to benefit your holidays, Velocity is a good pick, and for the hardcore business traveller, Accelerate has plenty to offer.

KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines’ miles work with both Scott and Tigerair, and comes in two categories – the KrisFlyer and The PPS Club or Priority Passenger Service for high value, high frequency customers.

The perks

Message boards suggest satisfaction with the KrisFlyer program is high, and it benefits international business travellers by making it easy to migrate to higher status levels (as there’s no restriction on the number of flights you need to take – it’s all about distance).

Additionally, if you’re hoping to take family with you while you travel, KrisFlyer allows you to nominate family members that can redeem points on your behalf.

Who does it suit?

If you’re a fan of Singapore Airlines or travel long distance rather than shorter domestic flights, KrisFlyer’s a good option.

Emirates Skywards

Emirates was voted the fifth best airline in the world at the 2015 World Airline Awards and it has its fair share of fans in the Aussie market.

The perks

Its major benefit lies in the fact that it rewards business travellers who are willing to be flexible with their timings – flights that see less demand are given bonus Skywards Miles, which will help you rise up the ranks faster. You can also purchase more miles at special rates to increase the climb to higher levels of membership.

Who does it suit?

Skywards doesn’t have the same range of ways to earn points as some other travel programs, but if you like to fly with Emirates as a top-tier airline, it makes sense.

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