Airport Reward Programs: What You Need to Know

Woman walking on moving walkway in airport by the shops

After enrolling in brand loyalty programs, amassing frequent flier miles, and getting a credit card with great rewards, what’s next? Many airports have started offering their own rewards programs, earning you bonus points for everything from duty-free shopping to parking. Whether you’re an occasional traveller or a seasoned globetrotter, take advantage of these programs to earn a little extra back.

Thanks Again – United States

Thanks Again is a United States-based rewards program covering over 100 airports, including multiple destinations in popular snowbird states like Florida and California. When signing up for Thanks Again, you can enter details for up to 99 credit cards. Whenever you use one of your cards at participating airport businesses, you’ll earn a point for every dollar spent.

To redeem your points, visit their online dashboard and browse rewards. Popular options include Amazon, Uber, and Visa prepaid gift cards. If you’d rather use your rewards to keep the vacation going, you can do that too. Thanks Again allows you to convert your points to miles for airlines, including Southwest, United, Alaska, and American.

Ultimate Road Warrior Club – Gainesville, Florida, United States

The Gainesville Regional Airport has its own special Ultimate Road Warrior Club, where travellers get one credit each time they arrive in Gainesville on a round-trip ticket. Once per month, the airport awards a special prize to the traveller who came through the airport the most times. Plus, anyone who has logged at least one trip is eligible for prizes like theatre tickets, food vouchers, and coffee. Road warriors also get access to an exclusive lounge within the Gainesville Regional Airport.

Heathrow Rewards – London, England

London’s Heathrow airport is well-known for having a massive shopping mall where travellers can browse all sorts of goods while they wait for their flights. Heathrow Rewards, the airport’s loyalty program, earns you one point for every pound spent at participating businesses. You get points for parking, transportation, hotels, and shopping at over 100 stores and restaurants. You can even earn points by exchanging money at Travelex.

Heathrow Rewards members receive a special card to redeem their points throughout the airport. If you prefer to convert your rewards to airline miles, you can transfer your points to airlines, including Lufthansa, British Airways, and Emirates. Heathrow Rewards gives you 100 points upon registration, so you can start earning right away.

My Paris Aeroport – Paris, France

Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport has the My Paris Aeroport program, which gets you free high-speed internet throughout the airport and a 5% discount at certain retailers and parking lots. My Paris Aeroport members get two points per euro at participating businesses.

The airport provides vouchers in five-euro increments that you can use throughout the airport. Like with other rewards programs, you can transfer your points to airlines such as Air France and KLM. You receive 100 points just for registering, plus an extra 500 points for each person you refer to My Paris Aeroport.

Why are airports offering rewards?

Airports see rewards programs as a way to help encourage travellers to spend money while they’re waiting for their flights. Another way airports are using rewards programs to their advantage is to help combat lost revenue from ride-sharing. As increasing numbers of travellers take Uber or other services, the airport loses parking fees. By offering discounted parking, airports hope to incentivize people to drive their own cars instead.

So far, airport rewards programs have had mixed success. While Heathrow Rewards and My Paris Aeroport are going strong, other offerings—like Copenhagen Airport’s CPH Advantage program—haven’t been able to gain traction. The Copenhagen Airport plans to discontinue its loyalty program in May of 2020.

Combine Airport Rewards with Rewards Credit Cards and Travel Insurance for the Ultimate Travel Experience

If you’re a globe trotter and want the most rewards possible, consider signing up for a travel rewards credit card. You’ll be able to earn even more points on travel-related purchases and redeem your rewards for flights, hotels, and more.

Though most travel credit cards include some form of travel insurance, it may not be comprehensive or what you need for your trip. For added protection, consider purchasing travel medical insurance or trip cancellation insurance. That way, you know you’ll be protected in case of illness, injury, or other problems that might interfere with your travel plans.

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