While I get all my insurance needs and a few other items through USAA, I was not aware until recently that they have their own frequent flyer program. The program is actually run by Explore Cruise & Travel.
The program awards points based on the price you pay for hotels and cruises, with a flat 300 points for car rentals. They guarantee the lowest rate on the cruises and hotels, so it’s not like they are getting you to pay a higher price and then using that to pay for your points.
The good point about these points is that you can directly relate them to a value. Each group of points gets you a dollar discount on future travel according to this table.
So let’s say you spent $4,000 on a cruise, that would be 16,000 points or about $150 off something in the future. I kind of like the on-line hotel option at 8 points/$ as I certainly can see spending $2,000 on hotels in a year, which again would get you 16,000 points or $150 off. If I spent $2,000 at Marriott in a year, I could expect to get 20,000 points which is about one $150/night hotel room.
One nice thing is that if you save up the points, they get larger in value, unlike most FF programs that I know. While 100 pts. ~ $1 in the beginning, at the higher levels 100 points ~ $1.20. Not huge, but it’s something.
I have never tried this program, but would be glad to hear from a reader who has. I feel like I can usually trust USAA, but wonder about this. Good or bad?