The 5 Best Airline Frequent Flyer Programs of 2023

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Excited woman ready to travel
Prostock-studio /

After a few years stuck at home avoiding COVID-19, travelers have returned to the skies with a vengeance. That means many are racking up frequent flyer miles again.

Recently, financial website WalletHub looked at the loyalty rewards programs of the 10 largest domestic airlines and ranked them across 21 metrics, including airline coverage, partner coverage, rewards value and earning and redemption policies.

The rankings were crafted with all types of travelers in mind, including those who travel frequently, those who log an average amount of airline travel and those who only occasionally take to the skies.

Following are WalletHub’s five best frequent flyer programs of 2023.

5. AAdvantage

American Airlines
Santiparp Wattanaporn /

Carrier: American Airlines

Frequent flyer program’s overall score: 61.97 out of 100 possible points

American Airlines is one of four carriers that give preference to frequent flyer members when deciding who gets bumped from flights that have been overbooked. The other airlines that offer this courtesy are Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

4. HawaiianMiles

Hawaiian Airlines plane
Markus Mainka /

Carrier: Hawaiian Airlines

Frequent flyer program’s overall score: 63.99 out of 100 possible points

Hawaiian Airlines offers the most rewards value, at a total of $15.37 per $100 spent.

3. SkyMiles

Delta Air Lines
Tupungato /

Carrier: Delta Air Lines

Frequent flyer program’s overall score: 71.58 out of 100 possible points

Delta Air Lines is among seven carriers whose miles do not expire due to inactivity. The others are:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

2. Mileage Plan

Alaska Airlines
Philip Pilosian /

Carrier: Alaska Airlines

Frequent flyer program’s overall score: 73.38 out of 100 possible points

Alaska Airlines slips from the top spot in 2022 to No. 2 in 2023. It still gets high marks for its efforts to allow members of its frequent flyer program to redeem miles with partner carriers, finishing No. 3 in that category.

1. MileagePlus

A United Airlines airplane takes flight
Philip Pilosian /

Carrier: United Airlines

Frequent flyer program’s overall score: 76.08 out of 100 possible points

United Airlines takes the top spot for having the best frequent flyer program in 2023. In particular, United finished No. 1 for those who seek to redeem miles with partner carriers.

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