airasia rewards Program Review: A Comprehensive Lifestyle Loyalty Program

airasia rewards is a loyalty program that moved beyond being a Frequent Flyer Programme and has become a comprehensive lifestyle program.

The cover image for Antavo’s article reviewing the AirAsia Rewards Program

AirAsia is a Malaysian multinational low-cost airline operating domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations in 25 countries. The company’s loyalty program, airasia rewards, formerly known as BIG rewards, started out as a Frequent Flyer Programme. Since then, it has become a comprehensive lifestyle rewards platform. Today, it gives loyalty members a new, holistic way to be rewarded. With a diverse range of partners across the lifestyle, travel and financial services categories, airasia rewards is now one of the biggest points platforms that allows borderless earn and burn opportunities across ASEAN and beyond.

The company is constantly looking into new improvements and enhancements, shaping the program according to the dynamic transformation of the market, and actively listening to its members’ needs. They’re working on providing innovative product offerings to engage more with members and make them advocates for the brand. Let’s see how their loyalty program helps cater to their members’ daily lives!

Membership Page – Loyalty Has Its Perks!

airasia rewards is a loyalty program for everyone. Customers can sign up for the loyalty program on the rewards page. In addition to listing rewards available in the program, the rewards page lists all of the benefits of the program in detail, so potential members can immediately see the wide range of perks airasia has to offer. Signing up for airasia membership is easy and free. Customers can become members by installing the airasia Super App or by registering on the company’s website.

airasia-rewards’ membership page.
After signing up, members do not need a membership card, they only need to be signed in to the Super App when booking flights or completing transactions.

Enrollment – More Savings on Top of Great Deals

Customers simply have to submit their email address and password in order to sign up. Afterward, they receive a welcome email with their name in the subject line, through which they can activate their account and answer a series of onboarding questions, to determine where their interests lie. The airasia rewards team then uses this data to further tailor their members’ journey, so they can enjoy a more personalized experience.

airasia rewards’ welcome email.
Upon making their first transaction, members receive education emails with content specific to their interests, explaining the various ways they can earn or spend their airasia points.

 

Brands should use all of their data to personalize, creating the best possible experience for their customers from the very beginning. A welcome email is a perfect place to feature your loyalty program values and highlight what sets your brand apart.

When signing up through the airasia Super App, members immediately get access to member-exclusive discounts and earn airasia points with every transaction they make. Members can enjoy points from all transactions with airasia partners on the app and the website, including flights, hotels, airasia food, airasia academy, airasia ride, airasia xpress, airasia health, airasia travelmall, and airasia rewards shop. They can even choose whether they wish to pay for transactions, fully or partially, with airasia points. 

airasia Super App – Holidays a Click Away

With its mobile-first approach, airasia rewards is now integrated into the airasia Super App. The eCommerce platform enables members to book flights with over 700 airlines to 3,000 locations and choose from over 600,000 hotels across the globe. On the Super App, customers can find additional features like games, communities to join, or they can even exchange stories with like-minded peers. After downloading the app and signing up as an airasia member, customers get access to member-exclusive discounts.

The all-new airasia Super App makes it easy to book flights, hotels, packages, and activities; buy duty-free products; score travel and lifestyle deals.

Program Structure – Rewarding Experiences

airasia rewards is a hybrid loyalty program. It combines an earn and burn loyalty program with a tier system . Members receive benefits based on the tier they belong to, but they also earn points for the money they spend and for carrying out other non-transactional activities. The airasia rewards program offers several ways to earn points.

We have revamped airasia rewards to comply with the demand for continuous improvement and enhancement coming from customers. We shape the program to cater to dynamic business transformation, through actively listening and deeply understanding consumer behavior. We’re trying to enhance the program with additional features and provide offerings to make members even more engaged with our program.

Wai Fong Ong
Chief Loyalty Officer at airasia rewards

1) Freedom Flyer Programme – Come On Board

The AirAsia Freedom Flyer Programme is now one part of the airasia rewards program that was initially designed to reward members for flying with AirAsia. There are four tiers in the program: Red, Gold, Platinum and Black. Each tier lets members earn a different amount of points based on the fare type and amount spent, rather than on distance traveled. Members can rank up based on the number of “Qualifying Flown Sectors”. One way short-haul flights or flights operated by specific airlines are counted as one flown sector.

The tiers of the AirAsia Freedom Flyer Programme
Members’ status gets upgraded when they meet the relevant Qualifying Flown Sectors within 12 months. Members can enjoy the perks of their new membership status until airasia reviews it at the end of the year.

Tiered loyalty programs are a phenomenal way to get your customers more invested. Tiers give program members positive motivation to continue purchasing from your brand and engaging with your loyalty program.

2) airasia cards – Rewarding Members for Everything They Do

The airasia credit and debit cards enable members to spend and earn points on their daily purchases. Each time members use a card, they earn airasia points, which can later redeem for airasia flights, lifestyle deals, shopping vouchers, or other rewards deals on the airasia Super App. Members who apply for the airasia card are automatically upgraded to Platinum status upon approval.

airasia cards sign-up page
airasia card benefits include priority services such as Boarding, Check-in, and Xpress Baggage.

Point Accrual – An Easy Way to Earn and Redeem

airasia rewards’ mission is to democratize loyalty points by making airasia points a universal digital loyalty currency that is easy for everyone to earn and redeem. airasia points work just like cash and are borderless, meaning they can be utilized in any country with airasia presence. Members receive points for every transaction made through the airasia Super App, as well as for shopping with their favorite brands via the airasia rewards shop—which is also accessible on the Super App. If they happen to have duplicate accounts, airasia rewards enables them to merge into one account.

airasia points expire 24 months after the date of issuance. Members can also check for points that will expire in 60 days or less by logging into their accounts.

Point expiration needs to be considered carefully. Losing points and status can be an unpleasant experience for customers. Brands need to find a way to encourage members to redeem loyalty points, for instance by offering experiential rewards or encouraging points swapping.

1) Referral Rewards – Additional Way of Earning Points

airasia members are also rewarded for non-transactional activities, like referring friends. With Referral Rewards, every successful friend referral sees both parties receive airasia points. Whenever a member’s friend becomes part of the airasia family and activates their airasia account, the company rewards them with up to 625 airasia points.

airasia rewards’ referral rewards.
Referrers receive 125 airasia points for every unique and successful referral link activated with a maximum of 625 airasia points per month. Meanwhile, referees receive 625 airasia points after successfully signing up and logging into the airasia Super App as a NEW member.

People trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust paid ads. Incentivize your customers to become advocates by rewarding them when they refer your brand to others. Referrals also encourage members to share your brand’s story on different social media channels. This means more publicity and conversions for you.

2) airasia xchange – The Universal Point Hub

To make their members’ lives easier, airasia has created an exchange platform that acts as a universal points hub. It’s the world’s first airline points exchange feature that allows members to convert their airasia and partner points seamlessly and instantly. Members of the program simply need to log in with their airasia membership email address, and they will be able to convert their credit card or loyalty points to airasia points anytime, anywhere. They also have the option to view their points wallet, suggested partners, and many more.

airasia Xchange is a universal point hub.
Members can also decide to convert their points in blocks based on the set minimum conversion amount on airasia Xchange.

3) airasia rewards shop – Where Customers Can Have Anything

airasia members are able to earn points from their daily spending, via airasia rewards’ affiliate marketing platform: airasia rewards shop. With over 300+ partners across the region, members can earn airasia points faster than they fly. By collecting points from everything they do—shopping, dining, traveling, making payments, etc.—airasia points end up becoming an integral part of customers’ lives.

4) airasia points Top-up – Helping Out

airasia points top-up is a feature that enables airasia members with insufficient airasia points to conveniently buy airasia points as a top-up to complete their redemption. This feature also allows them to fully maximize the value of their airasia points as airport taxes and fees can now be redeemed with airasia points as well. 

In our APAC Customer Loyalty Report Webinar, we discuss the most relevant trends and strategies in the APAC region. Wai Fong Ong, Chief Loyalty Officer at airasia rewards, also talks about the importance of having a no-code based loyalty management program as it helps increase speed to market when the program owner or the marketer is looking to configure different business rules and logic without having to depend on the IT department.

Rewards – Treating Members to the Best Deals

With airasia rewards, earning points enables members to unlock amazing experiences. Customers can enjoy exclusive offers like redeeming trips to over 150 airasia destinations and receiving exclusive partner promotions and offers, like hotel stays, travel activities and experiences. Once members reach the Platinum and Black tiers, they gain further privileges, such as skipping queues and being the first to check in, board, and collect their baggage. Members can add up to 10 family members and friends who can also redeem flights using their airasia points. Gold and Platinum tiered AirAsia cardholders also receive a welcome gift, in-flight wifi, and VIP travel privileges.

airasia rewards deals.
Members can use their airasia points to pay for purchases on the Super App as well for food, groceries, hotels, and flights, giving them more savings on top of all the exciting deals being offered. Or, they can redeem a wide variety of lifestyle vouchers from the rewards catalog including F&B, shopping, services, and more.

As part of their brand proposition of going beyond flights and travel, airasia members are able to enjoy additional savings by redeeming airasia rewards deals directly from the airasia Super App. With vouchers ranging across various lifestyle categories including F&B, shopping, services, entertainment, and more, members have even more flexibility when it comes to utilizing their points.

BIGGIE – The Points Guru Who Creates an Emotional Connection

airasia rewards created a “mascot” for their loyalty program, BIGGIE. BIGGIE is a points expert who provides members with tips on maximizing the value of airasia points.

We use personalized targeting to bring more value to the brand. Of course, in terms of driving member engagement, it really comes down to the emotional ties to the brand. For example BIGGIE, our points guru, who helps members accelerate their points earnings, results in huge savings for members when they engage with our loyalty program, thus creating emotional attachment.

Wai Fong Ong
Chief Loyalty Officer at airasia rewards

The aim behind BIGGIE’s character was to help its members become savvy shoppers, educating them and giving advice with a friendly approach. This leads to huge savings for members when they engage with the loyalty program. The company also creates occasional social media contests around their point expert mascot, such as the #MyBIGGIEBuddy Instagram Contest and the BIGGIE’s Maze Social Media Contest where winners receive bonus airasia points.

airasia rewards’ BIGGIE Wonderland
The gamification element, BIGGIE Wonderland, also helps engage with members outside of the buying cycle as well as it requires frequent interaction with the brand, which helps build emotional attachment.

A truly engaging loyalty program should go beyond simply offering transactional rewards, and instead focus on the experience. Gifts from partners, experiential benefits, VIP treatment, challenges, gamification, and caritative actions can all greatly enhance the member experience.

Final Judgment – Enjoy More Perks

The airasia rewards program is designed with its members in mind, integrating their lifestyle, delivering greater user experience, and looping in all airasia partners to the system to form a larger ecosystem. With flexible points management, they make sure that customers can make the most of their loyalty program. A great value of their program is that it goes beyond purchases and provides customers with additional ways to earn points. Implementing gamification into their rewards program is also a very effective way to engage with customers frequently and keep them active.

With points expiring after 24 months, the company has been actively educating its members on the various ways they can utilize their points and maintain their membership tier. Through a combination of consistent communication as well as enhancement of the user experience, such as enabling members to use airasia points as a form of payment across diverse airasia Super App lines of businesses, airasia members are able to use their points to the fullest before they expire.

Pros and cons of airaisa rewards

If you’re looking for ideas on how to create a reward system that is both customer-friendly and profitable or if you are looking for inspiration on fine-tuning your loyalty program, Antavo’s experts are more than happy to help you out. Just set up a demo or send us an RFP.

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Headshot of Barbara Kekes-Szabo Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo

Barbara Kekes-Szabo

Barbara is a Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo. She is also a writing expert with several years of experience in marketing and also in the information technology industry. In her free time she likes traveling the world, reading crime stories, and doing crossword puzzles.

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