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I have an account at Flying Blue, but I've never used it (I just signed up online).

Now I want an account at Asia Miles.

Will it affect me in any way if I just leave the FB account dormant and sign up for Asia Miles? Is it even possible to have multiple memberships? I assume you can't use more than one per trip though.

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4 Answers

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There is no point to opening an account if you are not going to use it. Depending on the rules of the program, your points may expire in as little as a year, and your account may be closed as dormant if there is no activity. With that in mind, it is perfectly fine to belong to more than one loyalty program, even within the same alliance, regardless of how often you use them.

Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles) and Air France (Flying Blue) are not partners, and there is no way for you to earn mileage on a Cathay Pacific flight in your Flying Blue account. It would thus be appropriate to join a program where you can earn miles. Note that it does not necessarily have to be Asia Miles. Depending on your future travel and earning/redemption patterns it might be better to collect Avios in British Airways' Executive Club, or AAdvantage miles from American Airlines.


In general, however, it is to your advantage to concentrate earning in a handful of preferred programs, one for each carrier (whether air or ground) you use most often, but not more than one for each airline alliance. Remember, frequent flyer miles are not a currency. They cannot usually be transferred from one program to another without extremely drastic devaluations through third parties, and you cannot usually combine points from multiple programs for a single redemption.

With extremely rare exceptions, you can only accrue in a single program at a time, so you would want to apply them where they are most valuable. Concentrating your earning so accelerates the accumulation of miles both for elite level qualification and for redemption. For more infrequent travelers, it helps keep the account active, perhaps reducing the risk that the account will go dormant and the miles be forfeited.

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Alright, thanks! So is that only one for the OneWorld alliance too? Can I for example use the Marco Polo club to get miles from British Airways? –  DarkLightA Mar 11 '13 at 18:31
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The Marco Polo Club is simply the elite program of Asia Miles. For example, Marco Polo Gold is comparable to Executive Club Silver, as both are at the oneWorld Sapphire level. –  choster Mar 11 '13 at 18:51
    
Oh, so I'll come far enough with just Asia Miles for semi-frequent travel (24k miles/annum)? –  DarkLightA Mar 11 '13 at 19:11
    
@DarkLightA I oversimplified somewhat. Marco Polo Club is a separate program from Asia Miles, but it is the equivalent of earning status in most other programs. As such, earnings are based on "tier" miles and not just the amount you fly; if you buy full-fare premium tickets, your 24k of flying earns 26.4k tier miles. If you buy deeply discounted economy on BA (e.g. L or K fares), you will only earn 12k tier miles. –  choster Mar 11 '13 at 19:21
    
Alright. I guess I'll only need AsiaMiles for my use. Thanks –  DarkLightA Mar 11 '13 at 19:32
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Yes it is. Just register for as many as you like. It can be quite beneficial depending on how often you travel and where you spend money regularly as non-airlines purchases can translate into points too, depending on partnerships.

According to Chris Guilebeau, world famous travel-hacker, North American airlines have some of the best programs but some of the worst airline services. Alliances let you earn with one airline and spend on another, so I would look to see which airlines travels to where you want and find the most generous member of the alliance its in.

While you can certainly have them all, if you do not earn many points, it will take a while to get something redeemable. I found a great compromise is to enroll in one airline's program per alliance (One World, Star Aliance, etc), plus a few local independent ones. This way whenever there is a chance to gain points, they have an account to go to!

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You could easily join multiple loyalty programs. I have them all. I even managed to impress a car rental agency to give me a better rate by asking which of the following cards would give me the best rate.

The question is if you would benefit much from having multiple loyalty programs, but that is another question.

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If you travel regularly on different carriers then you should definitely join all the loyalty programmes you are likely to use.

You typically cannot gain points for more than one loyalty programme per flight (not 100% true as you get some offers which do exactly this - occasionally) but it is not difficult to maintain high tier privileges on a number of programmes if you fly regularly.

I keep my three main loyalty cards with me at all times and have membership of 5 others. Some do have expiry days on points so I typically put these in my diary to remind me to either take a flight, cash in points or occasionally top them up with cash.

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