The 5 Best Frequent Flier Programs

Photo (cc) by ** RCB **

Once upon a time, earning and redeeming airline miles was simple and straightforward. That’s hardly the case these days.

According to Consumer Reports, more than 100 million consumers belong to airline loyalty programs. But the widely varying frequent flier programs can be confusing.

“With a rising number of revenue-based programs (like those offered by Delta and United) rewarding travelers based on dollars spent rather than distance flown, collecting enough points to use for free flights has become increasingly challenging for infrequent travelers,” Liz Weiss, travel editor for U.S. News, told MarketWatch.

Difficulty cashing in frequent flier miles and limited seat and flight availability are common traveler complaints about airline reward programs.

If you’re in the market for an airline reward program, but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the best travel rewards programs, both for hotels and airlines.

The rankings are based on a number of key components, including how quickly you can accumulate miles, the size of the airline network, the number of ways you can use the rewards you earn, airline quality, and any additional program perks.

According to U.S. News, these are the top 5 airline rewards programs (click on the individual airline links for more information):

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Not only can fliers earn miles by flying Alaska, but they can also earn and redeem those miles with 15 other partner airlines, including: Delta, American Airlines and British Airways.
  2. American Airlines AAdvantage. According to U.S. News, AA’s frequent-flier program benefits travelers in eastern, central and southern American cities. You can earn miles by flying and with everyday purchases on the Citi AAdvantage credit card.
  3. Southwest Rapid Rewards. U.S. News said Southwest’s program has no blackout dates, plus you can use the rewards points on both flights and hotels.
  4. JetBlue TrueBlue. JetBlue’s program, which is best for travelers along the East Coast and in Florida cities, has the option to earn points on multiple airlines and no blackout dates.
  5. HawaiianMiles. With a variety of ways to earn miles that can be redeemed on hotel stays, car rentals and flights, HawaiianMiles is a good program for people traveling to Hawaii.

Do you have experience with frequent flier programs? Which airline’s reward program stands out? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest
13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest

These Amazon products can help you finally catch 40 winks — or more.

11 Secret Uses for Everyday Items That Will Save You Money
11 Secret Uses for Everyday Items That Will Save You Money

These are simple solutions for life’s irritations.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed
The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed

The nursing homes with a history of providing subpar care previously hadn’t been identified for a government list.

26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car

These tools and conveniences help protect drivers from hassles and calamities on the road.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.