China Southern Airlines is one of the main three carriers of the People’s Republic of China. The Guangzhou-based airline flies to 193 domestic and international destinations, including several non-stop flights to the United States.
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Sky Pearl Club is their frequent flyer program. Members from the United States can rack up points by flying China Southern Airlines or with any other Star Alliance partner. Points can be redeemed for award flights and upgrades. Continue reading to see if this frequent flyer program is right for you!
Sky Pearl Club Quick Facts
|Redemption Options||Flights, upgrades|
|U.S. Destinations||Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco|
|U.S. Credit Cards||None|
Sky Pearl Club Elite Status
Upon joining Sky Pearl Club, you will automatically become a Member. Above that are the two Status Tiers: Silver and Gold. To move up a tier, you need to earn a certain amount of Status Sky Pearl Club (FR) Points within a 12-month rolling period.
Once you’re a member of a status, you have that status for the next 24 months and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
|Premium check-in counter||–||Yes||Yes|
|Priority standby & upgrade||–||Yes||Yes|
|Extra baggage allowance||–||10kg||20kg|
|VIP lounge access||–||Yes + 1||Yes + 1|
Earning Sky Pearl Club Kilometers
Compared to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles and other frequent flyer programs based in the United States, earning Sky Pearl Club Kilometers is not an easy task for Americans. This is especially the case since they do not have transfer partners, like American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
In fact, the easiest way for Americans to earn Sky Pearl Kilometers is to fly with China Southern and the following partner airlines:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air Europa
- Air France
- American Airlines
- China Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Korean Air
- Middle East Airlines
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Sichuan Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Xiamen Air
To find out exactly how many kilometers you earned for a particular flight, use the accrual calculator. You can also earn Sky Pearl Kilometers by staying with select hotels:
- LN International Hospitality Co.
- Minor Hotels
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
- Southern Airlines Pearl Hotels
There are more opportunities to earn Sky Pearl Kilometers, but they’re not as relevant to those living in the United States.
Redeeming Sky Pearl Club Kilometers
Most Sky Pearl Club members use their kilometers for award flights with China Southern Airlines and partner airlines. Additionally, you can trade in your kilometers for upgrades on China Southern and Sichuan Airlines flights.
There are more ways to burn Sky Pearl Kilometers, but they’re not as useful to United States residents.
Sky Pearl Kilometers Expiration
Sky Pearl Club Kilometers are valid for two calendar years. If your total mileage after two calendar years does not reach 20,000 kilometers, the mileage you accumulated in the first calendar year will be reduced by half.
Sky Pearl Club Tips & Tricks
What to love. The following are things you should take advantage of as a Sky Pearl Club member:
- You get a free hotel night if you’re traveling on a China Southern flight with an 8+ hour layover in Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Wuhan. That includes award flights!
- China Southern charges relatively low change fees ($16 to $32).
- One-way award flights are available.
- Open jaws are allowed on partner flights.
What not to love. The following are things you should keep in mind as a Sky Pearl Club member:
- No stopovers are allowed.
- Fuel surcharges for most partner airlines.
- You are only allowed to change date and time of your ticket.
- All other changes will result in ticket cancellation and rebooking.
- Infants and children are charged the same redemption price as adults.
- Only China Southern awards are bookable online.
Best value awards. Use your kilometers for the awards below if you want the best value:
- One-way flights within China start at just 6,000 kilometers with no fuel surcharges.
- Roundtrip flights between mainland United States and Hawaii for 60,000 kilometers (or about 37,500 miles).
- Roundtrip flights within Russia start at just 40,000 kilometers (25,000 miles) in Economy.
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club isn’t the most valuable frequent flyer program compared to others, but it does have some perks. The only way that we can recommend this frequent flyer program is if you frequently travel within or to China. If you don’t do this, then we recommend you consider another frequent flyer program.
However if you realize that this is not the reward program for you, feel free to check out our latest list of the best credit card bonuses.