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Home / International Travel Insurance / Articles / Travel Tips / Explore the Pros and Cons of Frequent Flyer Programs and Loyalty Schemes

Explore the Pros and Cons of Frequent Flyer Programs and Loyalty Schemes

Team AckoMay 9, 2023

Frequent flyer programs and loyalty schemes offer a range of benefits and drawbacks for people traveling in and out of India, who are looking for ways to maximize their travel rewards. With a range of different programs available, understanding which ones offer the best benefits and drawbacks is key to making the most of these options. In this article, we look at the top 10 benefits and drawbacks of frequent flyer programs and loyalty schemes in India and how they may be of use to travelers.




1. Benefits of Frequent Flyer Programs in India

Frequent flyer programs offer a range of benefits for travelers, including

1. Miles & Points

The main benefit of a frequent flyer program is the ability to accumulate miles and points which can be used to upgrade flights, book additional flights, buy travel-related gifts, and more. Depending on the program, the points and miles collected can be used to purchase flights, travel insurance, car rentals, and hotels. Additionally, these programs often offer bonus points, which can be used to speed up the accumulation of miles and points or to gain additional discounts on trips.

2. Additional Services

Through partnerships with companies, frequent flyer programs offer additional services to travelers. An example of this is pre-check-in or priority boarding, which can help travelers get on their flights quicker. In addition, some frequent flyer programs offer discounts on car rentals, hotels, and other travel-related products.

3. Status

Frequent flyer programs often have a loyalty system in place where customers who reach a certain number of miles or points per year will receive additional benefits, such as access to special lounges, fast-track services, and priority seat selection.

2. Drawbacks of Frequent Flyer Programs in India

While there are plenty of benefits to frequent flyer programs, there are also drawbacks that need to be considered before signing up:

1. Limited Redemption Options

Many programs have limited redemption options, which can limit the usefulness of the miles or points collected. Furthermore, some programs require a certain number of miles or points to be collected before they can be redeemed, leaving travelers with few options to use them.

2. High Annual Fees

For customers who wish to upgrade to higher tiers in the loyalty program, the annual membership fees can be notably high. Furthermore, some programs have additional fees for other services, such as priority boarding or extra baggage allowance.

3. Points Expiry

For travelers who are not actively using their frequent flyer program, points and miles can expire, meaning they lose any rewards they had accumulated.

3. Benefits of Loyalty Schemes in India

Loyalty schemes offer customers a range of benefits, including:

1. Discounts

Many loyalty schemes offer discounts on specific products or services, including flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. Additionally, loyalty schemes often offer access to exclusive deals and discounts on related products and services, such as tickets or airport transfers.

2. Access to Exclusive Deals

Customers who are part of loyalty schemes are often given access to exclusive deals and offers, which can help them save money when planning their trips. Additionally, loyalty programs often have tie-ins with other companies, which can offer additional discounts on related products and services.

3. Cashback

Some loyalty schemes offer cashback on certain purchases, which can be used to save money on future trips. Cashback offers can be useful for travelers who prefer to pay for their trips upfront.

4. Drawbacks of Loyalty Schemes in India

However, there are also drawbacks to consider for loyalty schemes, including:

1. Restrictions on Spending

Some loyalty schemes come with restrictions on spending, such as a limit on the total amount of points or miles that can be redeemed in a single month. As such, if a customer spends a considerable amount each month, they may need help to make the most out of their loyalty scheme.

2. Complex Redemption Requirements

Some loyalty schemes require customers to collect and redeem a certain number of points or miles to redeem a reward, which can be complicated and time-consuming. Furthermore, customers may need to spend money to collect these points or miles, which can be a downside if they are not able to redeem the rewards.

3. Lack of Customization

Many loyalty schemes have limited customization options, which can be a downside for customers who wish to tailor their rewards to their individual needs. Furthermore, many loyalty schemes are based on one-size-fits-all models, which may not be suitable for all customers.


Frequent flyer programs and loyalty schemes offer travelers a range of benefits and drawbacks which can be difficult to judge and assess when deciding which one to join. All travelers are unique and have different requirements and needs when traveling, so assessing each program and understanding the advantages and disadvantages is crucial to making the right decision. Ultimately, each traveler must weigh up their own needs and priorities before deciding which frequent flyer program or loyalty scheme is best for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the frequently asked questions answered regarding the advantages and disadvantages of frequent flyer programs and loyalty schemes.


How do I redeem my points/miles?

The process of redeeming points or miles varies from program to program and depends on the terms and conditions of that particular program. Generally speaking, points or miles can be redeemed by contacting the loyalty program provider directly or, in some cases, through their website.

How long do points/miles last?

The amount of time points/miles remain valid depending on the program and usually range from one year to three years. It is important to pay attention to the program’s expiration rules to ensure the points/miles are used in a timely manner.

Are there fees associated with loyalty schemes?

Fees associated with loyalty schemes vary from provider to provider. It is important to check the terms and conditions of the particular program to understand the fees associated with it.


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