Points of Departure
Travelers are a fickle bunch so one surefire way to “buy” their loyalty has been through dangling elite air-mile status and frequent-flyer points. Whether done through a frequent-flyer program or indirectly through a tie-up with a brand name credit card, hotel chain, the goal is simple, to encourage you to accrue and spend those loyalty miles/points.
While 2020 was the year of no travel, 2021 is the year of frequent-flyer program changes, which has been a mixed bag of positive and not-so-positive developments. According to WalletHub, “five of the 10 largest airlines are offering more rewards value in 2021 than in 2020, sweetening the pot by an average of 30 percent.” Major airlines like Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, and Frontier Airlines have all said accrued miles will not expire because of inactivity, and for the aspiring elite traveler, chalking up those status miles has just gotten a lot easier. While there’s talk of airlines potentially devaluing points and changing award charts, for now, these are the changes to note and take action accordingly.