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In the past few years, several U.S. airlines have been retooling, revamping or just plain re-creating loyalty programs. The newest one to do so is the budget airline Allegiant Airlines with its new Allways Rewards program, which launched in August. What’s Allways all about and how does it work? Let’s find out.
Earning Allways Rewards
Right off, Allegiant customers will see that this new program is unlike any other airline loyalty program out there. Where most programs offer a certain number of miles or points based on how much you spend or how much you fly, Allegiant has chosen to use a cash-forward points-based system.
Members earn 1 point for every dollar they spend on anything at Allegiant.com and earn 2 points per dollars when they spend spend over $500 on a single itinerary. Earned points will be deposited into the member’s Allways account within 72 hours after travel.
Unlike with other airlines where the person flying earns the points or miles no matter who pays, with Allways the one who makes the purchase gets the points. This will likely be an extremely popular feature among families because a parent who pays for their entire clan pockets all the points. These points can be used toward future travel whether or not the entire crew is tagging along.
This functionality will likely be more easily usable for many than, say, the Free Spirt or Frontier Miles loyalty programs, which require a family pooling feature to enjoy similar benefits and is available only to those with an airline credit card or elite status.
Allways Rewards members also get access to exclusive members-only promotions, and joining Allegiant Awards is free.
Redeeming Allways Rewards
When it comes time to redeem your points for travel, Allegiant couldn’t have made it any easier. Each point is worth 1 cent, meaning you'll need to redeem 100 points to get $1 off your next flight.
Some more fine print: There are no blackout dates, points don’t expire as long as you book at least once every 24 months and there’s no redemption minimum. That means you can cash in $5 worth of points, $500 or $5,000 whenever you feel like it, on any booking.
Redeeming any amount of points will offer at least a discount on your next fare. You don't have to spend a lot of time saving points or researching sweet spots.
Allways Rewards Allegiant World Mastercard
Naturally, no airline rewards program would be complete without a co-branded credit card and Allways Rewards is no exception. While the Allways Rewards Allegiant World Mastercard is hardly required to get the most out of the new program, it can help you earn points for reward travel faster.
You can score a sign-up bonus of 15,000 points, worth $150 in Allegiant airfare when you spend $1,000 or more in the first 90 days of opening your account. You will also get 3 points per dollar on all Allegiant purchases, 2 points per dollar on qualifying dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
As a cardholder, you get to keep any points you earn for longer than you would without the card and points won’t expire as long as your account is open. You’ll also enjoy free priority boarding for everyone on your booking every time you fly, plus score one free beverage per flight when you flash your card. There’s no perk that offers a free carry-on or checked bag, but that’s fairly typical among budget airline credit cards.
For those who prefer to book more than just flights with Allegiant, there’s a buy one, get one free airfare offer. Use your card to purchase an Allegiant vacation package that includes four or more nights in a hotel or a rental car for at least seven days on the same itinerary as your flights.
The card does come with an annual fee of $59 but those who fly with the airline at least a couple of times a year will likely find the fee worth paying in exchange for the benefits, especially for the BOGO airfare.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
Why Allways is worth joining
The new Allways Rewards program is a breath of fresh air for even occasional travelers familiar with the budget airline. It’s extremely simple and straightforward and a nice change of pace since there are no award charts to reference or tricky mathematics required to figure out how many points you might need to purchase a flight. Points don’t expire for two years and you can redeem them at any time for any amount, meaning you don’t have to kiss all your hard-earned points goodbye just because you didn’t have enough for a round-trip flight.
Add a credit card into the mix with a decent sign-up bonus that helps you earn points even faster and easier and you’ve got a solid and easy-to-navigate new loyalty program.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card