5 travel loyalty programmes to help you save on your next trip

Couple loading baggage into vehicle to embark on holiday vacation trip. Picture: Supplied

Couple loading baggage into vehicle to embark on holiday vacation trip. Picture: Supplied

Published May 27, 2024


Consumers are getting smarter and constantly looking for ways to cut costs as household budgets in the country shrink. For some, travelling may seem like a luxury, however, there are loyalty programmes that can help you save on travel.

According to the Truth & BrandMapp Loyalty Whitepaper, 73% of economically active South Africans utilise loyalty programmes, with South Africans using an average of 9 programmes across travel, retail, beauty and cosmetics, food and beverage, sports, luxury and other industries.

These loyalty programmes offer discounts, special promotions and rewards that can make a significant difference to a customer’s budget.

In a loyalty landscape saturated with options, particularly within the travel industry, it has become crucial to spotlight the top loyalty programmes that not only enhance the travel experience but also cater to diverse lifestyle needs.

So here are some loyalty programmes to consider on your travels.

Airlink Skybucks

Skybucks, Airlink’s frequent flyer programme, was created after numerous requests from its loyal customers to provide such a programme.

The loyalty programme from the airline provides loyal travellers with a world of privileges and rewards from priority check-in and priority boarding to lounge access (subject to availability), and complimentary additional baggage depending on your tier.

Skybucks remain valid for up to 18 months with no flight activity while the validity can be extended simply by flying again on Airlink.

Skybucks is a form of payment and customers can choose to make part payment for bookings in Skybucks and settle the remainder of the payment in cash, and members can also transfer their rewards.

Sun MVG loyalty programme

Sun International’s rewards programme enables guests to feel their most valued with four membership tiers, where members earn points and progress by playing and staying at participating Sun International casinos, hotels, and resorts.

Sun GHA is Sun International’s leisure loyalty programme, affiliated to the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) DISCOVERY programme.

It allows members to benefit from rewards that extend to 35 independent hotel brands across more than 85 countries.

Radisson Rewards

The Radisson Rewards programme unlocks a world of exclusive benefits across a wide range of hotels and destinations, with tier allocation based on qualifying stays or nights within a calendar year, and the unlocking of additional benefits as members progress to higher tiers.

As with other top travel loyalty programmes, members can benefit from complimentary room upgrades, early check-ins and late check-outs, welcome amenities, and the earning of bonus points, as well as the flexibility to choose the reward that best suits the needs and preferences of members.

Benefits are available from the first day members sign up, with this programme is available for stays at over 600 Radisson Hotels across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia Pacific.

Marriott Bonvoy

Here, members earn points for every stay at participating Marriott properties, as well as when paying with a Marriott Bonvoy credit card.

With several elite tiers, members can also benefit from perks such as room upgrades, late checkouts, and bonus points.

Accumulated points can be redeemed for free nights at participating Marriott hotels and resorts, and through partnerships with other travel stakeholders, members can also claim rewards such as airline miles, reduced rates on rental cars, experiences, and merchandise.


Online Travel Agency (OTA), Travelstart, launched an exclusive subscription service for an upgraded travel experience. Travelstart+ is a perks programme that aims to redefine the world of travel with its unparalleled benefits and privileges.

Travelstart+ by Travelstart offers a comprehensive suite of benefits that transforms the online booking experience into a journey of luxury, savings, and convenience.

The programmes is exclusively available through the Travelstart app and rings premium travel planning directly to your mobile device through an annual subscription of R195 a month.

Travelstart+ benefits include exclusive discounts, travel vouchers, a 24/7 concierge service, complimentary upgrades, cashbacks, red carpet experiences and more.