The ultimate guide to SAS EuroBonus for UK flyers

Jul 14, 2020

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EuroBonus is the frequent flyer programme for Scandinavian Airlines — or SAS — the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Norwegian regional carrier Widerøe also uses EuroBonus to reward its loyal passengers. From a U.K. perspective, it would make sense to pledge loyalty to SAS and EuroBonus if you either travel to Scandinavia often or can make use of long-haul flights with a stopover in one of its hubs.

With several A320neo and A350 aircraft currently joining and replacing older Boeing 737 and A340 aircraft in its fleet, SAS is shaping up to have a young and virtually all-Airbus fleet — with the exception of the remaining 737s, CRJs and five ATRs. Its existing long-haul aircraft have all recently been refurbished, as TPG U.K. Director of Content Nicky Kelvin happily experienced last year. If you like flying modern aircraft, now is a great time to switch to SAS.

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As with other programmes, EuroBonus allows you to earn points and status. Let’s take a look at what EuroBonus can offer you.

In This Post

How to value SAS EuroBonus points

As with every points currency, valuing SAS EuroBonus points is somewhat subjective. The nicest redemptions to be had are those aspirational flights you might never pay for in cash, offering new opportunities and making it tough to translate the value of points to money. We value SAS points around 0.8p apiece.

Let’s take a look at an example redemption, called a “Bonus ticket” within the EuroBonus programme. For a flight to New York’s Newark Airport (EWR) from London Heathrow (LHR) in business class, the award ticket goes for 100,000 EuroBonus points plus £224 in taxes and fees. As long as the cash price is higher than £1,024, you can consider this a good redemption.

The new SAS A350 offers a sleek-looking business class. Photo courtesy of SAS.
The new SAS A350 offers a sleek-looking business class. (Photo courtesy of SAS)

One extra thing to consider here is that EuroBonus award tickets are incredibly flexible. You can modify and cancel a business-class booking up to 24 hours before your first flight takes off. Keep in mind that with EuroBonus, you do not earn points on an award ticket.

Earning elite status

There are four membership levels in the EuroBonus programme: Member (entry level), Silver, Gold and Diamond. Additionally, there is a secret fifth membership level called Pandion, which is reportedly awarded to the 1,500 flyers with the greatest revenue spend with the airline, though it is not officially documented.

For each level of status, you’ll have to meet the Basic points (more on that below) threshold or fly the minimum number of flights. These are the member benefits, starting from Silver:

Silver — Achieved after 20,000 Basic points or 10 one-way flights

  • Save 5% on points price and earn new Basic points when you book a regular ticket for points with SAS or Widerøe;
  • SAS Fast Track security during the summer holidays when flying on SAS;
  • Lounge access to SAS lounges in the Nordics during the summer holidays when flying on a SAS flight, with up to one friend or four family members;
  • If you’re flying on SAS or Widerøe, you can use the business check-in counter at the airport;
  • All Star Alliance Silver benefits; and
  • Check-in one extra bag at no charge when flying with SAS or Widerøe (Except in SAS Go Light).

Gold — Achieved after 45,000 Basic points or 45 one-way flights

  • Earn 25% more Basic points on flights on SAS and Widerøe;
  • Save 10% on points price and earn new Basic points when you book a regular ticket for points with SAS or Widerøe;
  • Give a EuroBonus Silver membership to a family member or friend;
  • Free inflight Wi-Fi;
  • Select your seat free when you book (in all booking classes);
  • 24-hour phone service;
  • SAS Fast Track security when travelling with SAS, Widerøe or Star Alliance, with up to one friend or four family members;
  • Lounge access when travelling with SAS, Widerøe or Star Alliance, with up to one friend or four family members;
  • Priority boarding with up to one friend or four family members;
  • If you’re flying with SAS or Widerøe, you can use the business check-in counter at the airport;
  • All Star Alliance Gold benefits; and
  • Check-in one extra bag at no charge when flying with SAS, Widerøe or Star Alliance (Except in SAS Go Light).

Diamond — Achieved after 90,000 Basic points or 90 one-way flights

  • All Gold benefits;
  • Save 30% on points price and earn new Basic points when you book a regular ticket for points with SAS or Widerøe;
  • Give a EuroBonus Gold membership and a EuroBonus Silver membership to family members or friends;
  • No points expiry;
  • Free beverages when onboard beverage sales are offered; and
  • An additional (second) extra free bag with SAS or Widerøe.

If you manage to keep your EuroBonus Gold level for 10 consecutive years, you become a lifetime Gold member, therefore also enjoying Star Alliance Gold status for life.

The SAS Business Class Lounge at Oslo Gardermoen. Photo courtesy of SAS.
The SAS Business Class Lounge at Oslo Gardermoen. (Photo courtesy of SAS)

Earning Basic (elite-qualifying) points

Earning elite status is done mainly through flying. As mentioned above, you can obtain elite status by flying a certain number of segments or saving up a certain number of Basic points. The period in which you need to earn these Basic points is determined by when you join. Your membership year starts on the date you joined EuroBonus, rather than 1 January. Review the table below to see how many points your flights will earn.

When you reach the next status level, you can enjoy that level for the remainder of your current membership year (once again, not calendar year), as well as the full next membership year.

If you’ve flown a lot but not quite enough to reach the next level, there is an option to cheat — kind of. You can get some extra Basic points by buying them with points or currency. The price is either 10 Extra points (meaning you exchange 10 Extra points for 1 Basic point) or €100 (£92) for 1,000 Basic Points.

According to our valuation of 0.8p valuation, the 10,000 Extra points needed for 1,000 Basic points are worth around £800, meaning you’ll pay a little bit more for the luxury of not having to fly to earn the points. It is definitely a neat feature to have if you are just shy of the next level.

Earning Extra (redeemable) points

Redeemable points can be earned through a variety of methods, including online shopping, staying at hotels, renting a car and more. The obvious way of earning points is through flying. SAS uses a fixed chart for awarding points:

SAS EuroBonus Earning Chart - courtesy of SAS
SAS EuroBonus Earning Chart. (Image courtesy of SAS)

Earning with partner airlines

You can also earn points for flights with over 30 partner airlines, including all of the Star Alliance airlines, by supplying that airline with your EuroBonus membership number. To find out how many miles you will earn for your flight with a partner airline, check Where to Credit.

Transferring points

Aside from flying, the easiest way to obtain miles is by transferring them from a partner. EuroBonus is a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards programme at a 1:1 ratio, providing an easy way to increase your balance. These transfers will usually take between 24 and 36 hours.

Related: The ultimate guide to UK Amex Membership Rewards

There are also plenty of hotel programmes that offer transfers to EuroBonus. Mostly, the options offer terrible value compared to what you would be able to get out of your points if you were to redeem them for hotel nights.

Buying points

You can buy Extra points when your account is more than 1 year old, and there is at least one activity tracked in your account. The price for points, when buying from the U.K., is charged in euros and comes down to €0.02 (1.8p) per point. This is a much higher price per point than we value points at, though it could make sense if you’re just a few points away from a business-class redemption. (Note, however, there are cheaper ways to earn those points, such as by transferring them from Amex.) The maximum amount of points is 60,000 per purchase, the minimum is 1,000 points. There is no documented maximum amount of bought points per time period.

Transferring points

You can transfer points to another EuroBonus member for a fee. The fee is €0.005 (0.45p) per point.

Pooling points

An added bonus with EuroBonus is the option to pool points. Up to seven members can join you in one family account, allowing you to earn and spend together, which is very convenient.

Related: 16 major airline programmes that allow families to pool points and miles

Hotels, car rental and others

You can earn EuroBonus points by renting a car through Avis, Hertz, Budget and Sixt. Also, you can earn points by staying at the following hotel brands:

  • Radisson Hotels
  • Scandic Hotels
  • Best Western Hotels
  • First Hotels
  • Thon Hotels
  • Park Plaza Hotels
  • World Hotels
  • Shangri-La Hotels
  • Park Inn by Radisson
  • Art’Otel
  • Elite Hotels of Sweden

Furthermore, points can be earned on bookings and some brick-and-mortar shops in Scandinavia. For all partners, see the SAS EuroBonus website.

Online shopping

Comparable to the British Airways Avios eStore, there is a very easy-to-use EuroBonus Online Shopping Portal. It does focus mainly on Scandinavian stores and website, but there are plenty of international retailers as well. Click through the window that pops up every time you go shopping to earn bonus miles for every pound you spend.

Related: Everything to know about maximising online shopping portals for bonus points and miles

Cobranded credit cards

EuroBonus offers several cobranded credit cards with Mastercard (through SEB Kort) and American Express, but unfortunately, they’re exclusive to Scandinavian citizens.

Do’s and don’ts when redeeming SAS EuroBonus points

Do: Redeem for business class travel

Business-class award flights are very competitively priced with SAS. For example, a round-trip from the U.K. to the U.S. is available for 100,000 points, as opposed to 106,000 with Flying Blue and 100,000-190,000 Avios with British Airways. More importantly, the much-hated taxes and fees, especially from London, are a lot lower. For example, on a LHR-EWR ticket, only £224 is charged, as opposed to £554 with Flying Blue and a whopping £724 with British Airways.

(Image courtesy of SAS)

Don’t: Redeem for economy class travel

When booking an award in economy class, the amount of points needed is relatively high. For example, flying to the U.S. will set you back 60,000 points plus taxes and fees. If you calculate that with the 0.8p per point value, it will only make sense when your ticket is well over £480. With those numbers, looking out for good paid deals will be the better option in many cases. On top of that, a paid (revenue) ticket will yield new Basic points as well as redeemable points for future travel.

SAS Plus (image courtesy of SAS)
SAS Plus/Premium Economy. (Photo courtesy of SAS)

Bottom line

SAS EuroBonus is a solid and no-frills frequent flyer programme for those in a position to fly SAS often. If your goal is to book business-class award travel to long-haul destinations and you regularly fly SAS or another Star Alliance airline, a EuroBonus membership might be beneficial. Keep an eye on the fairly limited long-haul route network operated by SAS. With all factors combined, there are more versatile programmes out there for U.K. flyers, such as Flying Blue or Singapore KrisFlyer, which is also a Star Alliance member.

Featured photo courtesy of SAS.

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