Life Style

How to use airport rewards programs to get free perks like parking

I’ve been flying to and from Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) for over a decade now.

Every time I step into the parking elevator, I see the sign for SDF’s regular Parker rewards program, and every time I step out, I forget about it.

The signs were everywhere and I finally realized I might have missed out if I ignored them – it took five minutes to sign up for the SDF Rewards program. A few days later, I received a transponder that tracked how often I parked at the airport. After six trips, I had earned enough points to park for free on a weekend trip to New York.

Related: Don’t miss: Get perks just for signing up for these loyalty programs

I signed up for several free loyalty programs, from McDonald’s to Marriott. Honestly, I’m just as excited about earning a free Diet Coke as I am about a free hotel night. So why not add free airport parking to the mix?

However, SDF is not the only airport with a loyalty rewards program; Several airports worldwide offer programs where you can earn free parking, meals, lounge access, and other rewards. The programs are free to join, so sign up and start earning today.

What is an airport loyalty rewards program?

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. ZACH GRIFF/SCREENWRITER

Much as hotel loyalty And regular customers programs, airport loyalty programs that reward frequent customers. The more often you visit a participating airport, the more rewards you can earn. It’s a win-win situation for both airports and travelers: The programs encourage customers to spend more time and money at the airport, and travelers have the opportunity to receive free gifts and discount.

Some major and regional airports participate in these free frequent traveler programs, and you are not limited to only enrolling in your home airport’s program – If you frequently transit through any Any other airport, consider signing up for their loyalty programs.

What can you earn with airport loyalty rewards programs?

Denver International Airport. ZACH GRIFF/SCREENWRITER

Airport loyalty programs reward travelers with points based on how much they spend on things like parking, food and merchandise. You can then use those points for things like:

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  • Free parking
  • Gift card
  • Refunds
  • airline miles
  • Lounge access

However, keep in mind that each airport loyalty program works differently; Some get quite creative with their rewards.

For example, Lafayette Fly Club at Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) in Louisiana rewards members by including them in a monthly giveaway program. Every time you arrive at the airport and swipe your driver’s license or membership card at a designated kiosk, you’ll automatically be entered to win monthly prizes like meals, merchandise, gift certificates, etc.

The GNV Ultimate Road Warrior Club at Georgia’s Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) also offers monthly prizes donated by local businesses such as museums and restaurants. However, once a month it will reward passengers who make the most round trips through GNV with a special grand prize. Whether you win or not, all Road Warrior members get access to private airport lounges.

Our favorite airport loyalty rewards program

Boston Logan International Airport. DAVID SLOTNICK/PRAYER POINT

This is not a complete list of airport loyalty rewards programs. Rather, we seek to highlight programs located in several busiest airport around the world or in places with exceptional profitability. Next time you fly, do a quick search to see if any of the airports you’ll be passing through have frequent flyer programs and sign up before your trip.

Best credit cards for airport perks

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Gift Shop. LOUISVILLE MUHAMMAD ALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

With most airport loyalty programs, you have to spend money to earn rewards. You can also put those expenses on your credit card, which can further improve your airport experience. Here are some of the best credit cards for perks like lounge access And eating at the airport:

The following cards are some of our favorites for airport lounge access:

The following tags provide one Free meals for you and your guests ($28-$30 value per person) at participating Priority Pass restaurants at more than 20 airports.

*Information about the Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite, Citi Prestige, JP Morgan Reserve, Ritz-Carlton and UBS Visa Infinite cards has been independently collected by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

However, the Citi Prestige card is not accepting new applicants and you cannot apply for a Ritz-Carlton card you can get it if you have another Marriott credit card from Chase.

Bottom line

Airport loyalty rewards programs aren’t the most lucrative out there, but you don’t lose anything by signing up for a free membership. If you spend money on things like airport parking and dining, these programs can help you earn valuable rewards that you can use on future trips.

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