Turkish Airlines Promo: Elite Miles For Award Flights

Turkish Airlines Promo: Elite Miles For Award Flights

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Turkish Airlines is running an intriguing promotion, though it will be of limited use to most.

Earn Turkish status miles on award tickets

For a limited time, the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles program is offering elite status miles when you book award tickets:

  • This is valid for tickets issued between August 16 and September 15, 2021, and for flights taken between August 16 and December 31, 2021
  • You receive 5% of your redeemed miles back as elite status miles, with a limit of 5,000 elite miles that can be earned through this promotion (which you’d earn when you redeem 100,000 miles)
  • This works for all award tickets on Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet metal, including economy and business class awards, as well as one-way and roundtrip awards
  • This is only valid for award tickets issued through Miles&Smiles (which is a Citi ThankYou transfer partner), and not for tickets issued through partner frequent flyer programs

As you can see, the biggest limitation here is that you can only earn up to 5,000 status miles through this promotion. This could be useful for someone who is close to earning or requalifying for status, but this is hardly a reason to take an award flight mileage run. 😉 On top of that, both the booking and travel window are fairly short.

Turkish Airlines is offering elite miles for award travel

It’s cool to see airlines incentivizing award flights

While the implications of this particular promotion are limited, in general it has been cool to see how airlines are starting to increasingly incentivize award flights:

I think this is a brilliant, creative “carrot” for frequent flyer programs to dangle:

  • Airlines want you to earn miles with their frequent flyer programs, especially if you’re buying or transferring miles from a partner, which translates to direct revenue for the airline
  • Members are much more engaged in a loyalty program after they redeem points, and if you can reward that even further, people will be even more engaged
  • This could get people onto the elite status hamster wheel, allowing them to earn status when they may not have otherwise done so

I hope we see more of this over time. I’m not saying all airlines should award full elite miles for award travel, but I think there’s some innovation potential here when it comes to incentivizing redeeming miles.

Virgin Atlantic awards Tier Points for award flights

Bottom line

For a limited time, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is offering elite miles when you redeem. You’re not earning miles based on distance flown, but rather as a percentage of miles redeemed. It’s awesome to see the trend of airline loyalty programs incentivizing award travel, so here’s to hoping that more programs embrace this on a bigger scale.

What do you make of loyalty programs offering elite miles for award travel?

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  1. Jay Alvarado

    Getting frequent flyer status with TK is not worth it at all! I am a gold member since 2018 and I never felt the difference between an Elite member and a regular member. The big blow is the latest mess they did. Customer service Elite line is just non-sense. I got too tired that I decided to stop flying with them. So better think twice and thrice and….. Your loyalty to them because of your status is not worthy, at all!

  2. Morris

    Just a major warning to all: awards that weren't booked/paid online, rather done via the call center are de facto non-refundable. Over a month now, they haven't let me cancel an award I originally booked manually via the call center because their phone payment system is down and there is no other way to pay the $25 fee to cancel. I and others in a major frequent flyer forum have been experiencing this. As soon...

    Just a major warning to all: awards that weren't booked/paid online, rather done via the call center are de facto non-refundable. Over a month now, they haven't let me cancel an award I originally booked manually via the call center because their phone payment system is down and there is no other way to pay the $25 fee to cancel. I and others in a major frequent flyer forum have been experiencing this. As soon as this either gets straightened out (or the miles and flights disappear for good wasted), I will be deleting my TK account and never use them again for anything. My Citi strategy was kind of built around TK redemptions also, so may end up moving to Amex (sorry, Citi...).

  3. DiscoPapa

    Minor correction on your Delta point. Delta recently announced that they are extending the ability to earn status miles on award tickets through Dec 31, 2022.

  4. Omar

    Seems unclear if you book for someone else using your miles if it qualifies and if so who gets the elite miles?

  5. Luke

    Great and quite overlooked program I think as it can be transferred from both Citi and CapitalOne miles.

    Underrated redemptions that I think are people are mostly unaware of is flights to Hawaii on United Airlines, just 15k Turkish miles roundtrip in economy and a crazy good 25k Turkish miles for business class roundtrip if you can find availability. I keep looking almost everyday for United's flights for EWR to either Honolulu or Maui...

    Great and quite overlooked program I think as it can be transferred from both Citi and CapitalOne miles.

    Underrated redemptions that I think are people are mostly unaware of is flights to Hawaii on United Airlines, just 15k Turkish miles roundtrip in economy and a crazy good 25k Turkish miles for business class roundtrip if you can find availability. I keep looking almost everyday for United's flights for EWR to either Honolulu or Maui nonstop in business regular award availability havent had luck yet!

    Also good is any of United's nonstop flights between USA to India for 55k miles each way in business class, where for UAL theres no fuel surcharges so with Turkish its just the miles plus about 5 bucks in tax!

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Jay Alvarado

Getting frequent flyer status with TK is not worth it at all! I am a gold member since 2018 and I never felt the difference between an Elite member and a regular member. The big blow is the latest mess they did. Customer service Elite line is just non-sense. I got too tired that I decided to stop flying with them. So better think twice and thrice and….. Your loyalty to them because of your status is not worthy, at all!

Morris

Just a major warning to all: awards that weren't booked/paid online, rather done via the call center are de facto non-refundable. Over a month now, they haven't let me cancel an award I originally booked manually via the call center because their phone payment system is down and there is no other way to pay the $25 fee to cancel. I and others in a major frequent flyer forum have been experiencing this. As soon as this either gets straightened out (or the miles and flights disappear for good wasted), I will be deleting my TK account and never use them again for anything. My Citi strategy was kind of built around TK redemptions also, so may end up moving to Amex (sorry, Citi...).

DiscoPapa

Minor correction on your Delta point. Delta recently announced that they are extending the ability to earn status miles on award tickets through Dec 31, 2022.

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