Who Is SAS EuroBonus Good For?
The Scandinavians have a reputation for doing things simply but efficiently with a unique mix of pizzazz and understatement, and you shouldn’t expect anything less from their loyalty program.
EuroBonus, the frequent flyer program of SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), national carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, was the first airline to win Program of the Year in the Freddie Awards, the Oscars for frequent flyer programs. It went on to win the award for six consecutive years. Today, it continues to constantly bring in awards for its customer service, elite program, website and member communications.
As a member of the Star Alliance, SAS Eurobonus points give you access to a wealth of airlines around not only Europe, but also the world. And due to some interesting zoning, you can sometimes get surprising deals on awards in some areas that many other airlines consider to be two zones rather than one.
If you’re looking for a foreign Star Alliance carrier, SAS is not a bad place to park your miles due to its extremely friendly and award-winning program. It can also be a great place to earn elite status that applies to other Star Alliance airlines.
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How Can You Use SAS EuroBonus Points?
EuroBonus has two categories of tickets: EuroBonus and regular. EuroBonus tickets are for award seats only, and have a fixed, published price. Regular tickets, though, have a variable price in points because you can use your points to purchase any seat on the flight with no capacity controls. Points & money awards fall into the regular ticket category, and they earn points and are eligible for upgrades.
The EuroBonus award chart for flights on its own airlines, which include SAS, Wideroe and Estonian Air, is zone-based with five zones: Nordic, EU1, EU2, USA and Asia. Each available route has a round-trip price that offers savings over two one ways. For instance, from the Nordic zone to the U.S. is 36,000 points one way, but 60,000 points roundtrip.
Partner awards are on one award chart, regardless of airline, with a single redemption price option for each class.
Though they are not as regular an occurrence as Flying Blues promo awards, SAS also releases periodic point bargains that always entitle you to 50 percent off the usual price for an award flight.
The fact that SAS rolled carrier fees and fuel surcharges into its award chart devaluation released in January 2015 means that even though some prices seem high, there is only a small cash payment on top of it.
SAS uses its own terms for different cabin classes. SAS Go, SAS Plus and SAS Business correspond to what is typically referred to as economy, business and first class. SAS Plus is only available on SAS operated flights, and SAS Business is only available on intercontinental flights.
- Carrier-imposed fees and fuel surcharges are included in points prices, not added in cash
- Ability to book points & money awards and earn points on flights
- One-way awards available for additional points
- Awards for infants at 10 percent of adult fare and awards for children up to 11 years old for 50 percent off
- Mixed-cabin awards available
- One stopover per intercontinental
- Points are valid for five years after they are earned
- First class awards are only available on Air China, Air India, ANA, Asiana, EgyptAir, Lufthansa, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and United
- Maximum of eight segments per award
- SAS passes on high fuel charges on partner airlines like Lufthansa
- On most partner airlines, upgrades with points are only available on select fares
Best value awards:
Svalbard, a polar bear-filled archipelago between continental Norway and the North Pole, is considered a domestic flight from Norway for the purposes of award flights. So you can get round-trip tickets to the most accessible part of the polar region on this typically expensive route for only 10,000 points.
Worst value awards:
Partner airline flights between Europe and North America, in North America, and between North America and Hawaii are priced well above the same flights in other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs. SAS will also pass on fuel surcharges on many partners.
Interestingly, SAS combines North and Central America on its award chart, so there is room to take advantage of a lower price on flights within that zone. Unfortunately, all prices within North America carry the same or worse prices as domestic partner United.
The Good Stuff: Upgrades and Elite Status
EuroBonus offers two types of upgrades on flights on its own carriers: confirmed upgrades and standby upgrades. Confirmed upgrades, which begin at 15,000 points between Scandinavia and the U.S., are not available for all booking classes. Standby upgrades, which cost the same number of points, are available for all types of tickets including regular tickets booked with points.
On Star Alliance partners, EuroBonus members can upgrade with points from one class to the next at least 24 hours prior to departure.
Each subsequent level includes the perks of the previous level unless stated otherwise.
- Silver: Award flight booking fee waived, business-class check-in for SAS flights, priority security screening during peak travel periods, lounge access during peak travels for member and one guest or four family members, one additional checked bag, 10 percent discount on award flights booked at least 14 days in advance
- Gold: Free wi-fi onboard, business-class check-in for both SAS and Star Alliance partner flights, priority security screening, SAS lounge access, two additional checked bags, 20 percent discount on award flights booked at least 14 days in advance, additional 20kg of baggage on Star Alliance partner flights, access to Star Alliance lounges, 25 percent additional basic points on SAS, Wideroe and Estonian Air, waived annual fee on the SAS EuroBonus Diners Club or Mastercard, ability to nominate another member to silver status
- Diamond: 30 percent discount on award flights booked at least 14 days in advance, ability to give one gold status or two silver statuses, extended point validity, welcome gift
Associated Credit Cards
EuroBonus offers several co-branded credit card options with MasterCard, however, they are currently only available to residents of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
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