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Every traveler appreciates the opportunity to earn and redeem airline points, but not everybody is on board with playing the credit card game. Thanks to the development of new travel apps and rewards programs, travelers can take advantage of opportunities to earn points without their credit score attached. One app that does this is called Frequent Flyer.
How does it work?
The way it works is simple: Frequent Flyer tracks your location, much like the location tracking in the Facebook app, and rewards you with points in exchange for that location data. These points can be redeemed for miles with Alaska Mileage Plan or Hawaiian Miles, or you can redeem for gift cards with Marriott, Hilton, Southwest Airlines, Airbnb, and more. Its referral structure allows users to additionally benefit; when you refer a friend, you get 10% of the points that your friend earns.
Unlike many travel apps, Frequent Flyer is not connected to social media sites like Facebook so your friend list is not automatically uploaded into your profile. However, if you choose to refer a friend, Frequent Flyer has an option that links to the “share” function on your phone such that you may share information about Frequent Flyer over the social apps that you have installed, from Snapchat to Gmail to Facebook Messenger.
Additionally, Frequent Flyer is available for both Android and iPhone and as such, it is accessible to a broad audience.
When you sign up for Frequent Flyer, you have the option to provide demographic information such as gender, race, age, and socioeconomic status. Once you have created an account, Frequent Flyer begins your point balance with 100 points and then you are free to earn more!
How much can you earn?
Every time Frequent Flyer measures your location data, you are rewarded with points, which post daily.
And when you successfully refer a friend, you earn extra points depending on their point balance. Additionally, you have the option to take surveys for more points, and can designate appropriate times of day during which Frequent Flyer is allowed to notify you of survey opportunities.
Under the Settings tab, you can either enable or disable survey notifications, and can set notification times between 9am and 12pm, 12pm and 3pm, or 3pm and 6pm.
This allows Frequent Flyer to collect survey data, more or less on your terms, and many of the surveys ask questions about locations you’ve recently visited, to help calibrate geolocation, much like the questions you sometimes see in the Facebook app.
You won’t earn points super fast with the app – expect around 100 – 200 points a day, depending on how much you move around, plus occasional survey opportunities. So earning around 3,000 – 6,000 points a month is reasonable to expect for little effort.
What can you do with the points?
Starting at 1,500 points, you can redeem points for 25, 50, or 100 miles which are then redeemable with either Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines. If you’re after miles, you’re best off saving 5,000 points to get 100 miles (50 miles costs 3,000 points, rather than 2,500 points).
If you have saved up your points and wish to be rewarded with a gift card instead, $10 gift cards to Southwest Airlines and Hotels.com are available for 12,000 points.
For 25,000 points, $25 gift cards to Marriott, Hilton, Choice Hotels, Alaska Airlines, Airbnb, and Virgin America are available, which give you the most bang for your points. So in a year earning 3,000 – 6,000 points a month you could get $25 – $75 worth of gift cards.
In addition to these rewards, you can also enter sweepstakes for a smaller amount of points. For 200 points, you can enter for the chance to win a $100 gift card. Or, if an exclusively travel related reward is on your mind, you can enter to win one or two tickets anywhere in the US for 300 and 600 points, respectively.
Frequent Flyer does its best to incentivize consumers to provide consumer data with smart rewards, and this is because Frequent Flyer has been developed by a data mining platform called Placed.
Placed collects location data from smart phone users and converts that data into consumer insights for companies who could use it.
They are a team of technological innovators and developers; by using models that track consumer habits, they are able to predict where consumers go, how they get there, and what products are used (or could be used) in the process. But this works the other way as well; in order to develop models that are accurate and stable, developers need access to big data.
Frequent Flyer is one of the ways by which Placed can collect that big data.
If you’re up for sharing your location data, and want rewards with travel providers like Airbnb or Alaska Airlines, Frequent Flyer is an easy way to help companies understand your consumer habits while earning some extra rewards.