If you’re a frequent traveller – someone whose globetrotting quests simply never end – the skyrocketing airfare prices might seem like a major setback. However, some airlines are offering the best frequent flyer programs that can make or break the affordability of your trip with their lucrative travel deals.

For those unversed, airline miles or frequent flyer miles are basically airline currency that you can use to get free or heavily discounted tickets and hotel stays among other things. They work like any other reward program. You earn points by making purchases and use those accumulated points to get deals. So, if you are planning your next international trip, we’ve curated a list of the best frequent flyer programmes and airline mile deals that you should be on right away.

Best frequent flyer programs and deals for 2023

1. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Like any other airline, Cathay Pacific runs a loyalty program wherein members earn points known as Asia Miles. However, you don’t have to hop onto a Cathay flight specifically to earn Asia Miles as the airline partners with more than a dozen of other carriers like Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air Canada, and more.

Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard: You can earn Asia Miles and Status Points on each dollar you spend and use them on lavish staycations, get travel discounts and business class lounge passes.

HSBC Credit Card deals: Book your Cathay Pacific air tickets with HSBC credit card and get rebates, bonus Asia Miles and discounts.

Travel to Japan with lucrative deals: From exclusive offers at the JW Marriott Hotel Nara to renting a car using your Miles, Cathay is giving multiple chances to tick off your Japan bucket list.

Hong Kong Airport Express tickets: If you book your flight to Hong Kong on the Cathay Pacific website from now till 31 March 2023, you’ll get 20% off your MTR Airport Express tickets.

Visit Cathay Pacific’s website here to enjoy these offers.

cathay pacific frequent flyer program
Image credit: cathaypacific/ instagram

2. HK Express’ Miles Plus Cash

HK Express has partnered with Cathay to let users enjoy Asia Miles on their flights too. Use Miles Plus Cash (a mix of cash and Asia Miles) to book your HK Express flight tickets. Cathay members also get frequent exclusive deals to get the most out of their membership.

Welcome offer: Apply for Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard this month and enjoy HKD 1,000 hotel credits for accommodation and dining at The Upper House, one of the most luxurious abodes in Hong Kong.

Cardholders can also enjoy 15% off on dining or spa at The Peninsula till December 31, 2023. In addition, there are several meal discounts as well, all available on Cathay Pacific’s website.

Visit this link to enjoy the offers.

3. Etihad Guest Loyalty Program

The Etihad Guest Loyalty Program by Etihad Airlines allows members to earn Etihad Guest Miles. After joining this loyalty programme, you can earn miles by flying with Etihad or any of its partner airlines.

Stock your favourite Apple products with miles: Fly with Etihad, earn some miles and treat yourself to Apple beauties like the latest iPhone, Macbook, Airpods and more.

Visit Etihad’s website to explore more offers.

Etihad frequent flyer program
Image Credit: Etihad/ Instagram

4. Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Loyalty Program

If you fly with Japan Airlines or any of its partners, you’re legible for points/miles to book free flights, upgrade cabins and much more. The Japan Mileage Bank’s JMB FLY ON Program awards you FLY ON Points automatically, in addition to flight miles for every eligible flight you take. Based on how many points you’ve accumulated in the previous year, you’ll be granted a FLY ON membership status. You can enjoy the services and benefits based on your membership grade.

The exclusive, JAL Global Club (JGC) provides a quality experience to the airlines’ most frequent travellers. However, only selected members get to enjoy the benefits with the payment of an annual fee.

Head to their official website to enjoy the benefits.

5. Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer Frequent Flyer Program

Singapore’s pride and joy, Singapore Airlines, has one of the best frequent flyer loyalty programs around, called KrisFlyer. Fly with Singapore Airlines or any of its affiliates including Scoot and Star Alliance to earn KrisFlyer miles. The elite members are also offered to become a part of the Priority Passenger Service (PPS Club), which comes with additional perks such as access to first class SilverKris lounges.

Kris+ by Singapore Airlines: From exclusive shopping discounts to meal discounts and rebates, enjoy several deals in Singapore, Hong Kong and more by hopping onto the Kris+ app.

KrisShop: It is an inflight duty-free shop on board Singapore Airlines offering everything from cosmetics to fragrances and more.

Pelago: Pelago is a ‘travel experiences’ platform of the airlines, which lets you earn or redeem KrisFlyer miles. You can redeem your KrisFlyer miles with each activity on the Pelago website. In fact, you can enjoy 20% off on payments via KrisFlyer miles till March 31, 2023.

Visit Singapore Airlines’ official website to enjoy the benefits.

6. Hong Kong Airlines Fortune Wings Club

Hong Kong Airlines’ global loyalty and rewards program is called Fortune Wings Club (FWC). You can earn points by flying with Hong Kong Airlines, FWC Member Airlines and their other partners. Among the five membership tiers, the Platinum card, Gold card and Silver card fall under the elite category.

Visit the Fortune Wings Club website for all the benefits.

Hong Kong airlines frequent flyer program
Image credit: hkairlines/ instagram

7.  Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer

Qantas’ frequent flyer programme is one of the most popular ones around. Fly with Qantas or its One World partner airlines such as British Airways, Emirates, Fiji Airways, and Jetstar to earn points. Qantas points can also be earned via credit cards co-branded with the airlines. These include NAB, American Express, Westpac and Citi.

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card: Earn up to 150,00 bonus Qantas Points on making purchases worth $3,000 purchases in the first two months. Open to new members only, this offer expires on April 4, 2023.

Visit this link to earn your points.

8. American Airlines AAdvantage Program

Fly with American Airlines or with one of its partner airlines to earn miles. Hotel stays, car rentals and vacations are among other ways to earn points. While the miles expire in 18 months, using an American Airlines credit card will keep the expiration at bay. The airlines also offer Barclays and Citi co-branded credit cards.

Visit the American Airlines website to enjoy the benefits.

(Hero and featured image credit: Natnan Srisuwan/Getty Images)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is meant by frequent flyer programme?

Answer: A frequent flyer programme is a loyalty program airlines offer to allow passengers to avail travel benefits.

Question: Is frequent flyer programme free?

Answer: Yes, these programmes are generally free and easy to enroll in.

Question: What is an example of frequent flyer program?

Answer: For example, the American Airlines’ AAdvantage program allows users to earn points and later redeem them.

8 best frequent flyer programs to save on airplane tickets, hotels, and more

Kriti Nayyar

Kriti is a stay-at-home dog mama, whose knack for telling interesting stories keeps her erstwhile monotonous life sane. A literature & journalism degree holder, you’ll find her binging on Agatha Christie novels while critiquing the everyday state of affairs. On Kriti’s seldom social outings, she’s seen devouring coffee sangria with appetizing bread on the side.