Aug252016

Going for SAS EuroBonus elite for 2017, unless I find a better program

I am loyalty program shopping. I have American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum status in 2016 and will be AAdvantage Platinum in 2017. The high award fees using AAdvantage miles to Europe with most availability from California via London on British Airways flights with $250+ fees turns me off to that program and Oneworld Alliance. Most of my lifetime flights have been with Star Alliance.

Last month I earned 6,400 points in SAS Eurobonus on three flight segments from Krakow to Copenhagen, Stavanger to London LHR and United LHR-SFO. Unfortunately, I joined SAS Eurobonus program in August 2014 and I realized today my 6,400 basic points do not help me at all for 2017 elite status. The elite qualifying membership year is a 12-month period from the date you enrolled and not based on the calendar year. My 6,400 basic points earned in the last week of July expired August 1 when my new elite qualification membership year started.

I still have 6,400 redeemable points for award travel, but I am currently at 0 base points for my Aug 1- Jul 31 membership year for earning SAS Eurobonus elite status. The reason I joined SAS Eurobonus in August 2014 was a transfer of 10,000 Diner’s Club points to 10,000 SAS points for an award ticket within Norway from Bergen to Evenes EVE Airport in Arctic Norway. My award ticket cost was 10,000 points and $43. The posted ticket price was $403 for the round trip flights.

This week I purchased an SAS round trip ticket Stockholm to San Francisco, which should earn 9,500 basic points. I’ll probably change my preference to Star Alliance carriers from Oneworld airlines, but it will depend on where I find the deals. I will be American Airlines 50,000 miles Platinum elite for 2017, but no more American elite status after next year due to their program change to revenue-based elite. I am a low-fare flyer and spend nowhere near what is required to even earn low-tier elite with American, Delta or United. So I am going international for my frequent flyer loyalty and earning.

I researched SAS EuroBonus, FinnAir Plus and Aegean Miles and Bonus. Aegean has the lowest miles requirement for elite status, however, there is also a clause that requires at least 4 flight segments on Aegean or Olympic and those are airlines I have never flown. In considering which new frequent flyer program to credit my flying for 2016/2017, my considerations are likelihood I’ll fly the airline, airline earning rates for flights and partner earning rates for elite miles and redeemable miles, elite qualification levels to reach mid-tier Star Alliance with complimentary airport lounge privileges and award flight redemption rates.

Here is a look at the aspects of SAS Eurobonus I find valuable for my travel style in low-cost economy class.

SAS EuroBonus Elite Tiers

Silver elite status with Eurobonus takes 10 one way flight segments or 20,000 basic points in a 12-month period. I have until July 31, 2017 to earn status with SAS and Star Alliance flight segments.

Eurobonus Gold elite takes 45 flight segments or 45,000 basic points. This is my desired level for Star Alliance airport lounge benefits worldwide.

http://www.flysas.com/en/us/eurobonus/about-eurobonus/membership-levels/

SAS Eurobonus benefits

SAS Eurobonus Gold elite benefits:

  • Star Alliance Business Class check-in counter
  • Star Alliance fast-track airport security lines
  • SAS and Star Alliance lounges worldwide when flying a Star Alliance airline
  • Free bag or extra bag weight on Star Alliance carriers
  • 25% Basic Points (elite qualifying) for SAS and Wideroe flights.
  • Free WiFi on SAS flights.
  • 20% Discount on Points + Money Best Availability award flights with SAS when you book 14 days in advance

SAS Eurobonus Silver elite benefits:

  • SAS Business Class check-in counter when flying SAS
  • SAS lounge access in Scandinavia
  • SAS fast-track airport line in Scandinavia
  • 10% Discount on Points + Money Best Availability award flights with SAS when you book 14 days in advance.

I am no SAS Eurobonus expert. This should be obvious to readers since I just learned my elite year membership period begins August 1 and I credited my only three flights to SAS Eurobonus of the past year during the last week of July.

Points + Money Best Availability awards are interesting, but when I checked out rates, the co-pay amounts were high and they did not look like good redemption value compared to an all points reward flight for places I checked.

I think I’ll transfer some Diner’s Club points to SAS Eurobonus and I will have enough to play around with the Points + Money Best Availability redemption option.

SAS Eurobonus reward types

SAS Eurobonus offers choice of all Points reward ticket or Points + Money reward ticket.

Redeeming Miles in SAS

Round trip flights within Norway are only 10,000 points.

What initially attracted me to SAS Eurobonus was my first vacation in Norway in September 2014 and a desire to go to the Arctic. The great value I find with SAS points are flights within Norway are only 6,000 points one-way or 10,000 points round trip.

Norway is a long, narrow country about 1,100 miles from southwest to northeast and Stavanger to Vadso at 1,046 miles is a similar flight distance as San Diego to Seattle at 1,050 miles.

Flights to some of the more remote airports in Norway can be over $200 each way.

SAS Eurobonus  Oslo OSL – Stokmarknes SKN (north of Arctic Circle) May 21, 2017

One Way Points Award ticket 6,000 points + $32.70 USD

Lowest paid ticket price in May 2017 is $177 one-way.

OSL-SKN $33 SK award May 21

Stokmarknes Airport is north of the Arctic Circle in the scenic wildlife area around the Lofoten Archipelago. I tried to visit the Lofoten Islands last September, then came down with some kind of illness 24 hours after arriving in Harstad and mostly stayed in bed at the Clarion Collection Hotel Arcticus for three days after my first day. Glad I only spent $43 + 10,000 Eurobonus points and not $400 for the airline ticket. I enjoyed the hotel though and there were great summer light and ocean views in Harstad.

Google maps OSL-SKN

I need an Arctic do over and SAS Eurobonus looks like good value on the Scandinavian front.

Harstad Rainray

Arctic light at sunset in Harstad, Norway Sep 18, 2015

Redeeming points for USA-Europe

The price is 60,000 points round trip for USA to Europe flying SAS. SAS one-way awards are 60% of the round trip points or 36,000 points for USA-Europe.

SAS award chart

http://www.flysas.com/en/us/eurobonus/point-charts/sas-points-charts/

SAS Awards on Star Alliance partners

The cost is 110,000 points for California to Europe round trip in Business Class and 70,000 points round trip in Economy Class.

SAS Star Alliance Award Chart

http://www.flysas.com/upload/Eurobonus/Star/Star_Alliance_chart.pdf

SAS San Francisco to TOS Tromso, Norway Wed May 17, 2017

36,000 points + $29.23 USD SAS Eurobonus one-way points award ticket

SFO-TOS award SK May 17 36K $29

Looks like about 4 USA-Europe round trips to earn 36,000 points on low fare tickets for one free one-way economy award USA-Europe. Looks to me like there is better value for intra-Norway tickets at 10,000 points round trip. Of course the points earning rate improves with elite status.

Earning Points in SAS Eurobonus

My flights in July For KRK-CPH Poland to Denmark and Stavanger SVG – London LHR – San Francisco SFO earned 6,400 Basic Points which counted both as redeemable miles and elite miles. My elite qualifying year reset on August 1 so I currently have 0 Basic Points for elite, but I have 6,400 redeemable points listed as Extra Points in my account.

The tickets I purchased this week for Stockholm to San Francisco round trip at $470 each earn 9,500 points according to the SAS website. I do not see it as too much flying to earn 45,000 points for SAS Eurobonus Gold in the next 12 months.

SAS Airline Partner Earn Links

I can’t really determine how good the earn rate is until I have some partner flights show up in my account. Looks like United has one of the highest earn rates for low economy fares starting at 300 points per segment.

Any User Opinions and Tips on SAS Eurobonus to share with readers and me?

Since I learned my elite points expired this month from last month’s flights, I am still a free agent and I will consider whether Aegean Airlines Miles and Bonus frequent flyer program is a better fit for me. I also gave that program a preliminary look this week for elite status and will write up an overview similar to this one.

I am moving my loyalty to international airlines now that US based programs have crapped all over their USA members with high barriers to attaining elite status and benefits when flying their airline and partners.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. I see that children under 12 get a 50% discount on SAS awards. Nice touch if applicable.

    But as is often the case with non-US airlines, EuroBonus miles have a finite expiration. At least SK gives you 4 to 5 years before total expiration. Good thing you still have your Diners Club card!

  2. Did u look at TK status match?
    IIRC 25k is all you need to retain *G

    Award booking is not without bother but some good values, like 20k rt domestic Y on UA

  3. Take a look at OZ for *. They have very generous elite qualifying levels, and very reasonable award levels.

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