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What’s Currently in my Airline Portfolio in the Year 2014

The rules of the points game is constantly evolving, especially when airline loyalty programs have significant changes to their earning and reward structures. I have always talked about diversification. So today, I will explain how I have structured my airline points’ portfolio.

My portfolio can be classified by airline alliances and non-airline alliances. My strategy is to earn points with at least one major airline per alliance so that I can cover all my bases. This way, whenever I need to pay for a flight, I can just go for the cheapest flight and bank the points in the appropriate airline. Once I earn enough points on one of the program, I will have my reward flight.

Non-airline alliance

Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards) – Whenever I fly from one U.S. city to another, I go with Southwest Airlines. The main reason is because they do not charge fees for the first 2 checked bags. Southwest airline tickets are also reasonably priced and I enjoy the service that they offer. We need to keep our accounts active once every 24 months.

Oneworld

American Airlines (AAdvantage) – I flew on American Airlines one time and since then, I have worked hard to keep my account active. The main source of points I earn is from E-Rewards. Otherwise, I have transferred hotel points whenever there is a bonus promotion. I plan on continually racking up the points until I have enough for a reward flight. We need to keep our accounts active once every 18 months, but it has been very easy with E-Rewards.

British Airways (Executive Club Avios) – There are so many different ways for Canadians to earn Avios points, namely: the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite credit card, as well as transferring American Express Membership Rewards or RBC Rewards / Avion points to Avios. We need to keep our accounts active once every 36 months, which has not been a problem for me because I have been transferring my E-Reward dollars whenever I need to.

Skyteam

Delta Air Lines (SkyMiles) – These points never expire, even without activity, so that makes it a no-brainer as my main airline for the Skyteam alliance.

Star Alliance

Air Canada (Aeroplan) – This is a no-brainer as a Canadian. The main reason is because there are so many different ways to earn Aeroplan points in Canada, especially through credit card sign up bonuses. I also earn Aeroplan points by filing up gas at Esso and doing AskingCanadians surveys. I generally use my Aeroplan points on Star Alliance partners who have lower tax and fuel surcharges to maximize my rewards.

If we are not a frequent flyer, earning points can be a long term project, so it does take some effort. For me, I plan to travel for a long time, so earning points today for a flight 2-3 years down the line works for me.

As always, do the calculations to see what makes the most sense for you.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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