Whether you hop on a plane once a year or 20 times a year, it can pay to earn those miles. But which frequent flyer program gets you the most bang for your buck? Which program has the easiest redemption process, coolest membership perks and best value? WalletHub recently conducted a study of frequent flyer programs for the 10 largest airlines’ in the U.S. and found Delta’s SkyMiles program soared to the top.
Best Frequent Flyer Programs
1. Delta SkyMiles
2. United Airlines – Mileage Plan
3. JetBlue Airways – TrueBlue
4. Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
5. Hawaiian Airlines – HawaiianMiles
So how exactly was this determined? The report compared frequent flyer programs for the 10 largest airlines in the U.S. The findings were based on three different annual airfare budgets: Light ($527), Average ($3,880) and Frequent ($7,232) for the best overall rewards program. Programs were graded on a 100-point scale for a wide range of varying factors including:
Airline coverage – number of daily flights, destinations and countries served
Partner coverage – airline’s partnership network’s rewards program and coverage
Value earned per $100 spent – amount spent, miles earned, redemption value
Miles restrictions – blackout dates, expiration, advance and short-notice booking, earning limits, booking through third-party websites and layovers in award flight
Additional features and policies – expired-mile reactivation, retroactive flight credits, award-ticket redeposit/cancellation fee, ease of achieving elite status, transferring miles, membership perks, purchasing miles
Click here to view the study more in-depth.