Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm a Big Shot: Air Asia Launches Loyalty Scheme

For those who follow our blog, you know by now that we occasionally take Air Asia flights for cheap position flights to places like Hong Kong and Colombo when prices on full service airlines are just too high and it's just not worth doing a redemption on this short flights. We also do the direct Penang to Kuching flights on Air Asia at least 3-4 times a year to visit family back in Kuching as it is much more convenient and lots cheaper than flying MAS through Kuala Lumpur.

As a travel junkie, one of my pet peeves was only earning credit card points on this flights. This has now changed with Air Asia just recently launching their "Big Shot" loyalty scheme. Credit must go to their marketing theme that came up with the catchy scheme. Points are called "Biggies" and I guess you're a bigger hot shot with more biggies you earn. The loyalty card comes in bright red packaging.

Earning highlights of the program:
  • 1 Biggie for every RM4 spent on flights. Biggies earned only on base fare and not on taxes.
  • If you add-on things like in-flight meals, seat booking, etc the flights now earn 1 Biggie for every RM2 spent.
  • Biggies are also earned on other products and services offered by the Tune group like concert tickets on redtix, hotels at Tune hotels and travel packages on
  • The loyalty card is also a Visa debit card (at least for those in Malaysia; not sure about other countries). You can reload money into the card and earn again Biggies for spending on this card.
From a redemption perspective, the program offers redemption for services and products offered by Tune group like Air Asia flights, hotels at Tune hotels, Air Asia merchandise and gift vouchers. It currently offers a RM100 Air Asia eVoucher (which should be able to be used for Air Asia tickets) for 8000 Biggies. That means one would have to spend rm16,000 before earning a rm100 voucher assuming you have a 1 biggie for rm2 earn rate!

The program portal also currently allows Air Asia flight redemption. A dummy booking for a Penang to Kuching flight that costs rm454 requires 45400 Biggies. This again means that I need to spend 45400 x rm2 = ~rm90k before I can make this redemption! Another to put this is that I would need to fly 200 of this flights before I can earn a free flight.

This is actually even worse than buying the eVouchers since this redemption is at a spending rate of 10 Biggie per RM1 earned versus a 8 Biggie per RM1 using eVouchers.

In summary, the earn/spend rates are just horrible. I'm not going to move any earnings on the debit card or actively pursue any earnings here. It's still better than earning no points but I guess I have to wait a VERY long time before I can redeem anything meaningful.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh thanks for the post. I was about the sign up until I read this. Well thought out. The card expires in 36 months. So, before you redeem your points, the card would have expired.