When earning elite status with hotels and airlines isn’t enough, the new Maldives Border Miles (MBM) program has you covered. For the person who has everything, MBM is your ticket to earning elite recognition with an entire country.
Every time you visit the Maldives, you’ll earn points that help you climb the program’s status ladder. Earn enough of those points, and the Maldives will declare you a ‘bright star’, ‘attractive and prestigious’, or even a ‘monarch’ – and recognise you accordingly.
No, it’s not April 1st (we did check…) – it’s the world’s first government-run loyalty program for international tourists. Here’s a short video about the program to get you started:
How to earn points with Maldives Border Miles
As a member of Maldives Border Miles, you can earn points from an array of activities. This starts when you cross the border, and continues throughout your stay in the Maldives.
These aren’t points you can redeem. Think of them as being on-par with lifetime status credits instead. They help you earn status in the Maldives Border Miles program, and it’s that status that brings you benefits.
|Travelling to Maldives (every time you enter the country)||50 points|
|Visit Maldives during the off-peak period (1 June to 31 August)||20 additional points|
|Visit Maldives during a local special occasion||10 additional points|
|Stay one night at a registered tourist facility (max. 30 nights per trip)||5 points per night|
|Engage in activities such as snorkelling, excursions, island hopping and more||5 points per activity|
|Visit the Maldives on your honeymoon||30 points|
|Celebrate your wedding anniversary in the Maldives||30 points|
|Visit the Maldives to celebrate your birthday||30 points|
Here are the local ‘special occasions’ that currently qualify for earning those 10 extra points per visit this calendar year:
- 2-4 May 2022 (Eid al-Fitr)
- 9-12 July 2022 (Eid al-Adha)
- 26-27 July 2022 (Independence Day)
Points earned in the Maldives Border Miles program never expire. But then again, these aren’t points you can spend. They simply accumulate over time, and when you’ve earned enough of them, you’ll unlock elite status.
How to earn Maldives Border Miles status
With ‘points’ your ticket to elite privileges and rewards with Maldives Border Miles, here’s how many of those points it takes to reach each tier:
|Maldives Border Miles Tier||Qualification|
|Aida / Bronze||500 points|
|Antara / Silver||2,000 points|
|Abaarana / Gold||4,000 points|
Those behind the program certainly have a sense of humour, given the naming of each level and its matching membership card.
- Aida means ‘bright star’ in Dhievhi (Maldivian).
- Antara translates to ‘attractive and prestigious’, with a better-dressed membership card to match.
- In Dhievhi, Abaarana is an honorific title normally reserved for monarchs. Reach this tier and you’re practically Maldivian royalty!
Climbing through these loyalty levels will be tough for many, but not impossible. With a standard three-night visit earning 65 points, you’d only reach the top Abaarana (Gold) tier on your 62nd trip.
Of course, you can earn points faster by joining activities or visiting the Maldives at certain times, which can make it easier to qualify.
Benefits of Maldives Border Miles status
Given you can never spend Maldives Border Miles points, the benefits of the program come through status instead. Depending on your tier, this can provide discounts, freebies, and time-saving perks at the airport.
Here’s a look at just some of those benefits for members of each level. Those at the higher tiers receive all the privileges of the lower status levels, and more.
Aida / Bronze
- Free early check-in or late check-out at selected properties including Sandies Bathala and W Maldives, subject to availability.
- Receive a 10% discount at H20: a fully submerged underwater restaurant.
- Stay at Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas and enjoy a complimentary sunset fishing experience for two.
- Save 10% on COVID-19 PCR testing at Veli Beach Inn. Here, you can also partake in a free island tour, free non-motorised water sports, and get free hire of snorkelling gear.
- Take a complimentary sand bank trip when staying at Tranquila Maldives.
- Save 5% on scuba diving experiences and on scuba diving certification at Rasdhoo Dive Club.
Antara / Silver
- Fast-track immigration processing in the Maldives, on both arrival and departure.
- In recognition of your Maldives Border Miles status, enjoy an increased 15% discount at H20 Restaurant.
- At Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas, take one free excursion per stay for two people. You’ll also get a daily fruit plate at no charge.
- Save 20% on COVID-19 PCR testing at Veli Beach Inn.
- At Tranquila Maldives, enjoy one free romantic dinner for two on stays longer than seven nights.
Abaarana / Gold
- VIP immigration clearance on arrival and departure from the Maldives.
- Complimentary Maamahi Executive Lounge access at Mali’s Velana International Airport.
- Free daily ‘floating breakfast’ for two when staying at W Maldives.
- A complimentary bottle of sparkling wine per stay at Sandies Bathala.
- At Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas, enjoy a free romantic dinner on the beach for two with every stay.
- At Veli Beach Inn, your COVID-19 PCR travel test is free.
- Enjoy a boosted discount of 20% at H20 Restaurant, as a top-tier Maldives Border Miles member.
With a range of partners attached to the Maldives Border Miles program, you’ll find an outline of the full benefits here. You can also sign-up here, as part of lodging your Traveller Health Declaration when travelling to the Maldives.
Much like the Maldives itself, the Maldives Border Miles program is truly ‘extra’. Rewarding the country’s most frequent travellers, its unique offering certainly sets it apart from your typical airline or hotel loyalty scheme.
Still, it’s not a perfect program. It takes some time to understand exactly what Maldives Border Miles is and does. Having ‘Miles’ in its name when the program’s currency is ‘points’ doesn’t help with that. Nor does the fact that points earned are more akin to status credits, in that they only count towards status and can’t be redeemed for anything.
With its benefits also not kicking in until 500 points have been earned, one-time or infrequent visitors to the Maldives are unlikely to benefit.
But hey, you know you’ve made it when you reach Gold status not just with an airline or hotel, but with an entire country! So far, only one traveller has reached Maldives’ monarch status. Will you be the second?
Feature image courtesy Asad Photo Maldives/Pexels.
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