Icelandair is the flag carrier of Iceland that is headquartered near the capital city of Reykjavik. As of December 2020, the airliner operates services to 34 cities in 16 countries on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This airline is a popular choice for flights between the United States and Europe, thanks to its free stopovers in Iceland and low cash fares.
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If you’re a fan of this airline, check out their frequent flyer program Saga Club. Although it lacks major airline credit card partners, they still have value if you know where to look.
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Saga Club Summary
|Redemption Options||Flights, upgrades, leg room, onboard purchases, hotel stays, car rentals, gift certificates, donations|
|Transfer Partners||Hilton Honors, Radisson Rewards|
|Cobranded Credit Card||Icelandair Premium Mastercard from FNBO|
Saga Club Elite Status
When you join Saga Club, you’ll automatically become a Saga Blue member. Move up status tiers when you collect enough Tier Credits – by flying with Icelandair, Air Iceland Connect, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue – within a 12-month period.
|STATUS TIER||TIER CREDITS REQUIRED|
Once you unlock a tier, you’ll have that status for the next 12 months. Status benefits include:
|Earn Saga Points||x||x||x|
|Tier Credit bonus||10%||20%|
|Upgrade between classes||x||x|
|Saga Premium check-in||x||x|
|Priority on waiting list||x||x|
|Parking at Keflavik Airport||x|
|Fast track through security||x|
|Priority phone number||x|
Earning Saga Club Points
Earn Saga Points for:
- Flights with Icelandair and partner airlines
- Onboard purchases with Icelandair and partner airlines
- Icelandair Hotel and Hotel Edda stays
- Hotel stays booked through Icelandair’s Voyage or Icelandair’s Booking.com hotel search
- Car rentals booked through Rentalcars.com, Hertz or Sixt
- Car rentals booked through Icelandair’s Voyage car rental search
- Booking activities through Icelandair’s activity search
- Using the Gray Line Iceland shuttle service between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik
- Transferring from other award programs, e.g. JetBlue, using Points.com
As we mentioned earlier, partner airlines include Air Iceland Connect, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue.
You can earn even more points if you pair your purchases with the Icelandair Premium Mastercard from First National Bank of Omaha. As a cardholder, you get Saga Points on everyday purchases, like gas and groceries. For Icelandair purchases, you earn double the amount of Saga Points.
The card also features no foreign transaction fees, a low annual fee of $39 and a 10,000-point welcome bonus with your first purchase.
Earning Sage Points With Transfer Partners
As mentioned above, some of the best ways to earn Saga Points as an American, besides having the Icelandair Premium Mastercard, is to transfer your Hilton Honors or Radisson Rewards points, both at a 10 to 1 ratio.
|Hilton Honors||Hilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
|Radisson Rewards||Radisson Rewards Visa Card
Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
You'll have the opportunity to earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands., 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, & 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
This card comes with annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, so you can enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad. (See Rates & Fees)
Redeeming Saga Club Points
Saga Club Points expire after 36 months of inactivity. In order to keep your account active, you need to earn or burn points at least every three years.
Use your Saga Points for:
- Icelandair, Air Iceland Connect and Alaska Airlines flights
- Icelandair upgrades
- More legroom on board Icelandair flights
- Onboard purchases
- Hotel bookings
- Car rental bookings
- Gift certificates for Icelandair flights
- Special Children Travel fund
Redeem Saga Points via Points.com for gift certificates with major retailers like Amazon and Target. Or, gift or share your points with friends and family. Keep in mind, there is a booking fee for all transactions.
Saga Club Tips & Tricks
- One-way awards are available.
- Saga Club does not charge any change fees on Saga and Economy Comfort class tickets.
- Best value awards are on flights to Iceland from smaller airports in North America that would require a connection to a hub.
- Take advantage of Alaska Airlines stopover rules and book multi-day stopovers on award tickets.
Although Icelandair isn’t part of any airline alliance nor does it have its own Saga Club credit card transfer partners, you may want to still consider it if you have the Icelandair Premium Mastercard, regularly fly Alaska Airlines, or if you earn Hilton Honors or Radisson Rewards points.