Executive Traveller exclusive
Plaza Premium’s loyalty program Smart Traveller (formerly known as Arrture) will extend the validity of its members’ reward points until December 31 2021.
It’s a move that brings Plaza Premium into line with most other travel companies, which had already provided similar relief for their most loyal customers.
As Smart Traveller points normally adopt a rolling 12-month expiry – pushed forward every time the member earns or spends points – many cardholders would have otherwise found their stash of rewards evaporating over the coming months, due to the broader travel landscape.
The extension also acknowledges that many Plaza Premium lounges remain closed, including those in Australian international airports, so even for those who have been able to travel, they may not have had an opportunity to earn points in the ways they normally would.
Plaza Premium Smart Traveller points extension
Speaking with Executive Traveller, a Plaza Premium spokesperson confirmed that "all members' points will be expiring in December 2021," even though that revised expiry date isn't yet reflected in the Smart Traveller app.
The company confirmed its members would be contacted around the end of November 2020 with details of the points extension.
Given the program's moveable 12-month window on points expiry, members could push their personal expiry date even further simply by earning or spending points throughout 2021, such as by visiting a Plaza Premium lounge or staying in an Aerotel airport hotel.
This would make the member's entire balance of points valid for 12 months from the date of last activity (earning or spending points) – much in the same way that Qantas Frequent Flyer works under a rolling 18-month expiry system.
Under these rules, provided a Plaza Premium Smart Traveller member earns or spends points at least once every 12 months, all the points they've earned will never expire.
For example, if a Smart Traveller member visits a Plaza Premium lounge in April 2021 and scans their Smart Traveller card on entry, they'll not only earn a new batch of points, but all the points they already have would then be valid until end April 2022, and so on.
What can you do with Plaza Premium Smart Traveller points?
Smart Traveller points can be swapped for Plaza Premium airport lounge passes, as well as for merchandise.
Additionally, Smart Traveller points can be used to 'upgrade' your lounge visit in Hong Kong from a regular Plaza Premium lounge to Plaza Premium First, when available.
For those travellers who already enjoy unlimited access to Plaza Premium's lounges by way of Priority Pass or other cards like AMEX Platinum, this may be the preferred way to spend those Smart Traveller points – as can also be earned when accessing a lounge via those same methods.
Prior to COVID-19, Plaza Premium had expanded its lounge network in Australia with a new international departures lounge at Sydney Airport, joining existing lounge facilities in Melbourne, Brisbane, and across a host of airports overseas.
In late 2019, the company also opened Aerotel at London’s Heathrow Airport: an on-site hotel designed with transit travellers in mind, but situated in the public area of the terminal rather than after security, making trips into town a possibility for those with a longer stopover.