HURRY! Join El Al’s Matmid Frequent Flyer Program For Free And Get 64 Matmid Points!

El Al has a fairly terrible frequent flyer program (which is why I’m not a fan of the HAS credit card for example).

Points from flights expire after 3 years, redemption rates are poor, you can’t redeem points on any partners, and they charge a fuel surcharge ($349 in total fees for JFK-TLV) on redemptions to boot. al613 points out in the comments that you can actually redeem for travel on AA now, though the rates are exorbitant.

Adding insult to injury: They also charge $25 to join the program.

Use this link however and you’ll be able to join for free and you’ll get 64 points for signing up. (A “free” JFK-TLV flight starts at 1,400 points)

Why do you want to join if the program is so terrible, you ask?

Primarily because if you are a member you are able to check award availability online. You can use AA miles to book El Al flights, but that must be done by calling AA. Best of all AA allows you to even book one-way awards on El Al AND they don’t charge a fuel surcharge for redeeming miles to fly on El Al!

I know someone is going to ask this, so I’ll preempt them, no you can’t use British Airways Avios to travel on El Al. Period, end of story.

Bear in mind that AA can only book coach and business seats on El Al.  If you want to fly in First Class you will need 5,000 Matmid points+$349.  You can transfer 250,000 American Express Membership Rewards points into 5,000 Matmid points.  A terrible value compared to the 120K that United charges in business class (or the 135K Membership Rewards points that you can transfer to Air Canada to book you on United or USAirways with no fuel surcharges), but on the upside El Al First Class award availability is generally very good.

Need AA miles?
You can signup for an AA credit card, however that card has become very difficult to churn and you will do better spending money on the Starwood card as you can always transfer 20,000 Starwood points for 25,000 AA miles. The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX both give 25,000 bonus Starpoints for opening them up and spending $5,000 in 6 months (browse incognito or delete cookies if you do not see the 25K offer). Plus AMEX runs incredible promotions year round that easily make up for the $65 annual fee (which is waived the first year anyway) and they have top-notch return and warranty protections.

Here is a link to the AA partner award chart.

You can book a one-way between Israel and the following zones (For Coach, Business, and First) for the following amounts (you can mix and match OneWorld and non-alliance partner airlines like El Al on the same ticket with this award chart):

-North America (Including Hawaii, as AA counts Hawaii as part of North America for intercontinental awards which can make a Buenos Aires-Honolulu ticket in May be fewer miles (20K) than Los Angeles-Honolulu (22.5K) and you can “stopover” in New York on the way back from Tel Aviv and book a JFK-Honolulu flight for anytime in the future for free and you’ll be able to change the dates for free as well): 45K, 67.5K, 90K

-Europe: 20K, 30K, 40K.

-Asia: 22.5K, 30K, 45K

-India/Middle East: 17.5K, 25K, 35K

-Africa: 30K, 45K, N/A

-South Pacific: 30K, 45K, 60K

-South America Zone 1: 60K, 82.5K, 102.5K

-South America Zone 2: 67.5K, 90K, 110K

Because the way the chart is set up, sometimes it is cheaper to book a flight stopping in Europe during off peak periods (10/15-04/15 annually) for 40K instead of 45K from the US-Israel. You won’t be able to go nonstop from the US to Israel for 40K…but you can check out any European city for as short or long as you want, or just use it as a connection point.

HT: bentziony

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35 Responses to “HURRY! Join El Al’s Matmid Frequent Flyer Program For Free And Get 64 Matmid Points!”

  1. dw Says:
    1

    why “hurry” – when does this expire?

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    @dw:
    They have pulled these early when I posted them before…

    ReplyReply
  3. Oren Says:
    3

    They ask who recommended this – Do you want us to say it was you?

    ReplyReply
  4. Hi2 Says:
    4

    Just worked for me, so its currently active. :-) Thanks

    ReplyReply
  5. al613 Says:
    5

    It seems that you can redeem them on AA flights:
    http://www.elal.co.il/ELAL/English/MatmidFrequentFlyer/BenefitsFromELALPartners/Airlines/AmericanAirlines.html
    You can have bonus tickets issued for flights with AA or a combined bonus ticket for EL AL and AA flights. (The combined bonus ticket is valid only for flights to the USA – excluding Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda and Mexico).
    Tickets issued on AA only will be issued as return tickets only.
    Using bonus tickets is subject to the restrictions of Capacity Control and to the embargo periods in effect on the airline
    Flights with AA allow two stopovers (of over four hours), one in each direction. If the itinerary includes Europe, you are allowed one more stopover of up to 24 hours in each direction.

    ReplyReply
  6. judah Says:
    6

    dan, where can i buy aa points if i need quick and how much they go for?

    ReplyReply
  7. SM Says:
    7

    Dan- 2 questions- I have a lot of HAS points- Can i only use them on ELAL or are they tranferable to AA (or another airline that flies to ISrael)?
    Also, I fly to Israel often (and I put lots of charges on my credit card). Which is the best credit card to have that will maximize my credit card points and flights to Israel)

    thanks!

    ReplyReply
  8. Q4U Says:
    8

    Typically how many AA miles would a coach elal ticket be to israel from nyc?

    ReplyReply
  9. Dan Says:
    9

    @al613:
    That must be relatively new as previously you couldn’t redeem on AA.
    Either way they’ve made it prohibitively expensive, you’d have to be crazy. Only El Al would have the nerve to charge nearly the same amount of points for a US48 domestic ticket as they do for a ticket to TLV. I’m not even going to bother trying to find out if there are also fuel surcharges on top of that.

    @judah:
    AA sells them for 2 cents each every now and then.

    @SM:
    I’m not a HAS expert, but I believe that they only transfer to El Al, which means high rates and fuel surcharges. El Al will be glad to sell you a ticket from NYC to Miami for the same rate as NYC to Tel Aviv…

    As far as the best card, Starwood, Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, etc, are all very good.

    @Q4U:
    I wrote the answer to that in the post.

    ReplyReply
  10. Q4U Says:
    10

    I tried registering, didnt work

    ReplyReply
  11. Dan Says:
    11

    @Q4U:
    Try in Internet Explorer.

    ReplyReply
  12. al613 Says:
    12

    Looking at the number of points gifted and Campaign code it might be valid only today :)

    ReplyReply
  13. al613 Says:
    13

    @Dan:

    I like this: Flights with AA allow two stopovers (of over four hours), one in each direction.

    If it would not be double in miles already it could be used nicely on domestic tickets :)

    ReplyReply
  14. Yosef_S Says:
    14

    Dan, for somebody who currently has a Matmid account with no points, is there any real value to this offer? I already have the account so the benefit of searching for AA rewards is N/A.

    I don’t usually fly to Israel on El Al because I generally try to go for elite on Delta and Continental/United.

    With the starting redemption at 1,400, is a mere 64 points worth anything?

    Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  15. runnergirl Says:
    15

    The below paragraph is a bit unclear. Can you please explain so I understand how you are getting the free segment NYC-HNL. Thanks

    -North America (Including Hawaii, as AA counts Hawaii as part of North America for intercontinental awards which can make a Buenos Aires-Honolulu ticket in May be fewer miles (20K) than Los Angeles-Honolulu (22.5K) and you can “stopover” in New York on the way back from Tel Aviv and book a JFK-Honolulu flight for anytime in the future for free and you’ll be able to change the dates for free as well): 45K, 67.5K, 90K

    ReplyReply
  16. Tuvz Says:
    16

    I plan on flying to israel, EWR-TLV on Elal
    is it worth it to get the miles to my matmid account or AA?

    ReplyReply
  17. Dan Says:
    17

    @Yosef_S:
    Not much.

    @runnergirl:
    If you book a ticket TLV-NYC on El Al for 06/01 it’s 45K miles in coach.
    If you book a ticket TLV-HNL with a stopover in NYC it’s also 45K miles. You can fly on on El Al on say 06/01 stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then fly JFK-HNL on Hawaiian in December, and you can change the date of the Hawaiian trip (or just not go) for free at anytime.
    Then you just need to get a one-way award to get back home.
    Or you can always book the way back home as HNL-TLV with the flight from HNL-JFK, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then NYC-TLV and get both of the Hawaiian tickets for free.

    ReplyReply
  18. sw Says:
    18

    @Dan:
    If u book hnl-tlv you would have to fly to hnl before you cont. Nyc-tlv! No?

    ReplyReply
  19. runnergirl Says:
    19

    Thanks for your clear explanation. Can you do this on any airline (UA for example) or is it unique to American and if so why?

    ReplyReply
  20. Dan Says:
    20

    @sw:
    Of course.
    That’s why I said if you are flying NYC-TLV-NYC to add NYC-HNL and then to get back you can either book a HNL-NYC award or book a HNL-NTC-TLV award and the HNL legs won’t cost you anything.

    @runnergirl:
    CO used to charge more miles for flights between Hawaii and TLV than the mainland and TLV.
    However it appears that UA does not anymore, so it will work on United as well!

    ReplyReply
  21. Shmilfke Says:
    21

    Worked. I’m in. Love how it has my name in Hebrew on the card. Really cool

    ReplyReply
  22. mikey Says:
    22

    @judah: how may do u need ?

    ReplyReply
  23. mikey Says:
    23

    dan how do i search for aa tickets goin to israel on the elal website after i signed up for the matmid ?

    ReplyReply
  24. Newbie Says:
    24

    Question for anyone that can help. I have amex rewards mile that I want to use to fly to Israel. I prefer to go El Al but don’t hsve to. I do only want non stop though. Can anyone direct me as to how to find the best deal and how to convert miles as needed? I intend to go for a week

    ReplyReply
  25. steve Says:
    25

    Dan, i have tickets on AA from JFK-ZRH roundtrip in May in Coach…I called them up and they told me in order to upgrade to business class, i need 50,000 points and $700 per passenger…first of all, is there another way? and/or how do i buy Aadvantage miles or any other that will transfer…thanks so much…need it for my wifes broken knee

    ReplyReply
  26. Dan Says:
    26

    @mikey:
    AA doesn’t fly to Israel.
    You can search for sAAver seats on AA.com to Europe and then El Al seats from Europe to TLV and then call AA to piece those together into 1 award.

    @steve:
    Next time just use miles for business or first class instead of buying a ticket.
    Nothing to do now, international upgrades are quite expensive as you can see.

    ReplyReply
  27. ra Says:
    27

    if i’m going to use AA points anyway to fly elal why do i need a matmid account

    ReplyReply
  28. Dan Says:
    28

    @ra:
    To search El Al award availability.

    ReplyReply
  29. David Says:
    29

    I signed up for the global card. Now whats the best credit card to sign up for to earn points to fly with elal? I am currently using the plumb card(amex) is it more beneficial to use another card to build points versus buying my own tickets and saving 1.5% on each purchase?

    ReplyReply
  30. Fred Says:
    30

    Tried to register. It came back with “Invalid age for campaign.” Either it means that the offer expired or I’m too old.

    ReplyReply
  31. Knaper_Chuchem Says:
    31

    It is still on! Although I didn’t follow Dan’s advice of “Hurry”, I still made it.. Also I got the bonus points.

    ReplyReply
  32. Israel Husarsky Says:
    32

    I find that AA miles would be great for ELAL Business class but they never have it or there is just one available.

    I just saw somewhere that you can use 300 matmid points $250 to upgrade from coach to Business class.

    Is that true? How available is that?

    If I want to travel 2 adults & 3 children (ages 13,11,3) can I get 5 upgrades realistically & can I use the 1,500 points from one account to do the 5 upgrades $1,250 after booking 5 regular coach tickets?

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    ReplyReply
  33. jack Says:
    33

    Is this offer still available?

    It says code not active? Do you have a new nb?

    ReplyReply
  34. Michael Says:
    34

    Why is the Matmid form not working.

    ReplyReply
  35. Guy Says:
    35

    I am not sure i understand the award chart
    Fir a round trip nyc-tlv-nyc in coach is it 45000 miles or 90000 miles

    ReplyReply

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