I am currently vacationing aboard a trans-Atlantic cruise from Spain to Fort Lauderdale. My blog series, Diary of a Trans-Atlantic Cruise, will begin in earnest tomorrow after our first full day at sea. Thoughout my time away, I will be posting select “Best of” content to the blog. Today’s post, Loyalty at a Crossroads, focuses on reconsidering the meaning of loyalty in a revenue-based world.

As we head into 2015, I can think of no better words to describe where the miles and points community stands than at a crossroads. A lot of us are going to face difficult choices in 2015. While I remain passionately indifferent to the idea of revenue based loyalty programs, many are not so sanguine. I catch a lot of snark for saying things like “loyalty is a one-way street – to yourself.” But keep that in mind as we head into 2015. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)

airlines, loyalty, frequent flyer, revenue based

If I wind up eating these words, I’ll admit it here, but I’m becoming more agnostic than ever when it comes to my 2015 loyalty plans. Cash back, Arrival Miles, and Ultimate Rewards will see the majority of my efforts. Does that mean I’m giving up on Delta and SkyMiles? Of course not. Making rational economic decisions like flying an airline based on schedules, reliability, and convenience almost automatically means I’ll spend most of my time on Delta, an airline that does the important things well. I will be making good use of my Platinum Medallion status in 2015. I expect I will maintain some level of Medallion status for the foreseeable future. I fly enough to earn it without any extra help.

That said, I’m making a “business” decision of my own to focus on rewards currencies that I find more financially advantageous for the program I’m most loyal to – MJ’s personal happiness fund. The MJPHF is multi-faceted, flexible, and includes not only miles, but keeping a little money in the bank too. Frankly, the old loyalty game ain’t as much fun as it used to be.

Many of us are at a crossroads with our loyalty programs. Where will your loyalty be in 2015?

Originally posted on December 26, 2014