Is the AirAsia BIG loyalty program worth joining?

Posted on February 8, 2016 by in Travel Deals

AirAsia BIG

How do I earn points with AirAsia BIG?

With AirAsia’s loyalty program BIG, you earn points with every AirAsia flight and with participating partners. You can earn points with many partners and on credit card spend if you live in Malaysia and other Asian countries, but for US residents, earning may mainly be with flight purchases. This revenue-based program earns you 1 BIG point for every MYR 2 (US $0.48) that you spend and the earning rate varies based on the currency of your ticket purchase.

AirAsia BIG

However, there are more ways for us to earn BIG points than with flights, including:

  • Tune Hotels stays – earn 1 point per MYR 2 (US $0.48) spend
  • Hilton stays – earn 2 points per US $1 spend
  • Rocketmiles bookings – earn up to 35,000 points per night
  • Avis and Budget car rentals – earn 250 points per rental per day
  • Shopping with BIG Duty Free – earn 5 points with every $3 spend
  • Writing tripadvisor reviews – you can earn up to 1,500 points per month

AirAsia BIG

What can I redeem my AirAsia BIG points for?

You can redeem your accumulated points for free flights (although you do need to pay airport tax) to over a hundred destinations or you can use the Points + Cash option if you have at least 500 points. You can also choose to spend your points on Tune Hotel stays in Malaysia and at select locations in Indonesia instead of redeeming for flights. You can redeem your points online by logging into your account here.

AirAsia recently announced BIG Fixed Points, with flight redemptions starting from just 4,500 BIG points for flights of less than one hour, all the way up to 30,000 BIG points for flights longer than 6 hours. These flights are subject to availability and may not be available on public holidays, school breaks or weekends and it’s recommended that you book as far in advance as possible.

For 4,500 points you can fly for nearly free between routes including:

  • Bali to Surabaya
  • Bengaluru to Kochi
  • Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur
  • Kuala Lumpur to Penang
  • Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu

AirAsia BIG

At the other end of the scale, you can use 30,000 BIG points to fly for a low price on much longer flights such as:

  • Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne
  • Kuala Lumpur to Sydney
  • Kuala Lumpur to Osaka
  • Bali to Sydney
  • Bangkok to Tokyo

With BIG Fixed Points, the best mileage use of 30,000 BIG points when redeeming for a free flight is most likely between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, as it’s a journey of more than 4,000 miles and flights to Australia are notoriously expensive. We think the BIG flight redemptions are generally poor value, unfortunately. When redeeming points, you should always compare to the cost of the same AirAsia flights, as their sales can often mean it’s better to save your points for the future and spend cash instead.

We checked availability for a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney for May 16th to May 20th, 2016 and it came up at 30,000 BIG points each way plus MYR 406.92 ($97.93) total including airport tax:

AirAsia BIG

Tell me a little more about AirAsia BIG…

There are no status or elite levels with the AirAsia BIG loyalty program, but members get priority access to the biggest AirAsia sales – you can be the first in line and also often enjoy ZERO BIG points redemptions. You can also access special deals that are not available to the public and find out about new route launches before anyone else.

If you regularly fly AirAsia, then it’s probably worth joining the BIG loyalty program for discount possibilities and notifications of early sales rather than for the paltry points earning.

Join AirAsia BIG here for free.

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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]

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