- Tired of wasting several hours in check-in lines, because someone in front of you has 10kg overweight?
- Not impressed with 25 minutes waiting time via security, because someone has endless metal items on him/her?
- Ran out of battery and the only plug in the airport is by the toilet and already has a line to use it?
- Find it ridiculous to pay triple for everything in the airport, including “free” tap water?
Sounds like it’s time to get frequent flyer elite status, and if you live in Scandinavia, the best choice is SAS EuroBonus Gold Status (Star Alliance Gold), so the next trip you enjoy priority lanes, cozy lounges and spend time sipping wine or bubbly!
SAS EuroBonus is the official frequent flyer program of Scandinavian Airlines Systems (better knows as SAS), the flag carrier for the nations of Scandinavia: Sweden, Denmark and Norway. As a founding member of Star Alliance, SAS EuroBonus Gold level is recognised by all 28 partner airlines as an elite Gold status.
Why do you need EuroBonus Gold status (or higher)?
The top-tier Gold status is actually where you start feeling the benefits of SAS EuroBonus Frequent Flyer program. The benefits of low-tier levels, called Member and Silver are pretty much neglectable.
So what does it actually give you? Full list of the benefits is listed on SAS EuroBonus page, but here is what a regular traveller would enjoy:
- Business check-in counter – SCREW endless lines, especially during morning rush hours! You won’t need to arrive to the airport 3-4 hours in advance, just because you need to stand the line. Now you can manage within check-in process in 1 hour or less.
- Fast Track (and Gold Track coming soon!) – you pass the airport security via dedicated lane. It does save a lot of time, especially during rush hours.
- Lounge Access – EuroBonus Gold members can enjoy dedicated SAS Gold Lounges in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, as well as Star Alliance Gold lounges all over the world. No need to pay 10 EUR for a cup of coffee and another 15 EUR for a tiny sandwich. And let’s not talk about the alcohol prices in Scandinavian airports. Flying is much less stressful, when you can enjoy a glass of decent wine or beer. Read more in Lounge Reviews, which are the best Star Alliance lounges.
- Priority boarding – don’t you get annoyed when each boarding is completely random? Today its rows 37 to 59 boarding first, tomorrow its 19 to 28, and a day after its 1 to 59 at the same time. Now you can be assured that you will be boarding among the first ones. And you will always find space for carry-on luggage.
- Priority luggage – depends on your luck and the airport, but ideally your bags shall be arriving one of the first ones on the belt.
How to get SAS EuroBonus Gold?
The tricky part of getting any top-tier frequent flyer program status is achieving and maintaining this status. EuroBonus Gold status requires: either 45 one way segments on SAS operated flights or 45 000 Basic Points within your qualification period (1 year).
Unless you constantly travel within Scandinavia on SAS, meeting the first requirement might be quite challenging and let’s just skip it.
45 000 Basic points approach
Each flight taken with SAS or Star Alliance partners will give you a certain amount of points. Unfortunately, few years ago SAS reduced the miles (or Basic Points) earned by flying in most of the economy class fares on partner airlines.
The fastest way to reach Gold’s status points requirement is to fly SAS long haul, hands down. Here is SAS EuroBonus award chart, showing how many miles a flight to certain destination gives.
|Basic points per one-way trip|
|SAS Go||Go Flex & Plus Saver||Plus & Business Saver||SAS Business|
|Booking classes||Q, V, W, K, L, T, O, U, G||B, P, E, M, H, A||Z, Y, S||C, D|
|Boston, New York||3,000||4,000||6,000||9,000|
|Beijing, Chicago, Washington||3,750||5,000||7,500||10,000|
|Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo,
Miami, Los Angeles,
Clearly, the fastest way is to take 2 return flights in Business Class, but it is also quite expensive option.
SAS runs Travel Now or Never promotions each Thursday 18:00 to 24:00, and time to time offers cheap flights to Asia or USA. Last time a return flight from Copenhagen to Shanghai was only 250 EUR, giving 12 000 Basic points. If you just take 3 long haul flights and have several intra-Europe flights, which give up to 2000 points, you can secure yourself SAS EuroBonus Gold status.
As Gold and Diamond member, you earn an additional 25 percent on top of the regular Basic points, maintaining Gold status next year would be a bit easier, as the same flight to Shanghai will give 15 000 points.
SAS EuroBonus Credit Cards approach
Summer 2017 is the most generous time to utilise SAS EuroBonus credit cards offers.
Signing up for 2 SAS EuroBonus credit cards will allow you to meet up to 82% basic points requirement towards EuroBonus Gold status. Here are the cards you might want to get:
It is the most expensive, at the same time the most rewarding SAS EuroBonus American Express Card. With the annual fee of 4000 SEK, it will automatically give you SAS EuroBonus Silver Status. In other words, each year you will get 25 000 SAS Basic points (which cannot be redeemed towards awards, only counted towards status). It seems as a high price, but you will also get dedicated Amex support, 2-4-1 Amex voucher (the best part of the card), extended travel insurance and the highest extra points earning per 100 SEK spent.
I’ve been a holder of American Express Elite Card for the past 4 years, and I think it is much better than American Express Platinum, if you are dedicated to SAS EuroBonus program. You can also receive up to 18 000 SAS EuroBonus Extra points if you sign up with an invitation.
A brand new credit card, which was released in June 2017. With the annual fee of 1495 SEK (750 SEK if you’re already SAS EuroBonus Diamond), this card will give you 1000 EuroBonus Basic points each month (same non redeemable as Amex Elite, only counts towards the status). It will also give you 10 000 Extra points after your 3rd purchase within a month. It gives 15 EuroBonus extra points for each 100 SEK spent (in comparison to 20 from Amex Elite), but during the summer you can enjoy X2 promotion campaign. Also, Mastercard is more widely accepted than Amex, so potentially you can earn more points with this card. You can apply for SAS EuroBonus World Mastercard Premium here.
By signing up for American Express Elite and Mastercard Premium you will earn 37 000 EuroBonus Basic points, with the annual cost of 5495 SEK. This is definitely an offer beyond an “average” flyer’s expectations. If you are not ready for such commitment, you can play with the credit card offerings. Perhaps, you can get Mastercard Premium and only American Express Classic, or make your American Express Elite Card as your main payment card and try to maximise it. No matter what, you will need to take a few SAS flights (do the match based on your travel pattern). As mentioned several times, the best case is to do mileage rune during “Now or Never” promotion to Asia.