Sun Country is overhauling its rewards program, and it’s a mixed bag for frequent flyers of the Minnesota-based airline. Luckily, there’s not much you need to do immediately with the changes that take effect starting Saturday, Nov. 3. But there are some important features and key dates you should keep in mind.
Read on for our breakdown of how UFly members should handle the change.
Don't Rush to Book Flights with Miles
If you felt a sudden urge to use your miles before the big switch-over takes place, resist it. Believe it or not, your Sun Country miles are actually about to get more valuable.
Sun Country UFly miles are currently worth between 0.7 cents and 0.9 cents apiece, depending on when you fly. Beginning Saturday, they’ll be worth 1 cent each no matter what.
That means you will get more out of your miles if you wait to book a flight until after the switchover takes place. And no need to worry about your existing miles – they’ll transfer over to the new system on a 1:1 basis.
Sun Country says it’s sending out emails to all members outlining this, so watch for that communication in your inbox.
Buy That Cash Fare Now
It’s about to get much harder to earn Sun Country miles. The airline currently gives you 10 miles per dollar on all Sun Country purchases. Starting Saturday, that will decrease to just 2 miles per dollar for the average rewards member.
Cardholders of the Sun Country Visa Signature card will get another 2 miles per dollar bonus. That cardholder bonus will increase to 3 cents per dollar in January.
So if you’ve been eyeing a Sun Country fare, now’s the time to pay. Let’s crunch some numbers.
Say you found a $400 fare. If you book today, you’ll earn at least 4,000 Sun Country miles. Co-branded credit cardholders would get 4,800 miles.
But after Saturday’s changeover to the new program, you’d earn just 800 Sun Country miles. Cardholders would earn double, but it’s still a massive decrease.
Got Points in a Pool? Use Them or Lose Them (Sort of)
Sun Country is doing away with its points pooling feature, which allows up to 10 members to contribute to a joint account. It’s not immediate – these pools will be disbanded in early January. But flyers only have until Dec. 30 to book a ticket using these pooled miles.
If you don’t use the points in your pool in time, don’t worry: They won’t disappear. They’ll simply be shuffled back to the original account.
The airline is flirting with restoring a similar setup but limiting pool participants to a handful of family members. But if you’ve got a pool going already, it’s time to capitalize.
Just remember to book that cash fare today. Save your miles and use your pooled points before it’s too late. Sun Country's new rewards program launches tomorrow, Saturday, November 3rd.
Lead Photo credit of Chris Lundberg via Flickr