Readers' Choice winners: Best of miles and points programs

Which hotels, credit cards and airlines earn your loyalty?

By 10Best Editors,

Travel isn't always cheap – sometimes it's free! At least that can be the case for those who leverage the vast network of miles and points programs out there. Credit cards, frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty clubs allow travelers to earn free or discounted travel, sometimes just with your everyday spending.

We asked a panel of miles-and-points experts to nominate the best programs for American travelers – the credit cards, frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs with the best earning potential, flexibility, extra perks and ease of redemption. 10Best editors also chose 20 of the best blogs for reading up on the ins and outs of the miles-and-points world.

For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites and the results are in.

Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:

Best Rewards Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Earn free flights or cash back with the Chase Sapphire Rewards credit card — Photo courtesy of Chase

A solid rewards credit card offers users greater flexibility on how they earn and redeem points – no need to fly the same airline, stay in the same hotel chain or rent from the same car company on every trip. 

A popular option since its introduction in late 2016, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a 50,000-point sign-up bonus, plus a $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry fee waiver, no foreign transaction fees and three points per dollar spent on travel and restaurants worldwide (one point per dollar on everything else).

Full list of winners: Best Rewards Credit Cards

Best Miles-and-Points Blog: LoyaltyLobby

LoyaltyLobby demystifies the befuddling world of loyalty programs — Photo courtesy of LoyaltyLobby

For travelers feeling a bit befuddled by the ever changing landscape of loyalty programs, LoyaltyLobby offers answers. John Ollila, founder of the blog, has been traveling non-stop since 2004 and flies as many as 250,000 miles per year. John and the LoyaltyLobby team share knowledge about how to leverage loyalty points for free flights, free hotels and free upgrades.

Full list of winners: Best Miles-and-Points Blogs

Best Hotel Loyalty Program: Choice Privileges

Choice Privileges members earn rewards at 6,300 hotels worldwide — Photo courtesy of Choice Hotels International

Just about every hotel brand offers a loyalty program for guests, where frequent stays are rewarded with discounted or free nights and a host of other perks. Choice Hotels represents a wide range of budget and luxury brands – some 6,300 hotels around the world – allowing Choice Privileges members to earn points for budget hotel stays redeemable for free nights at higher end properties. Points can also be redeemed for airline miles, gift cards, magazine subscriptions or online shopping.

Full list of winners: Best Hotel Loyalty Programs

Best Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards miles never expire — Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Savvy frequent travelers know that loyalty to a specific airline can translate to big savings on flights and upgrades. But not all loyalty programs are created equal. Points never expire with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards so long as there's a flight or partner earning activity every 24 months.

Southwest offers some 3,900 flights daily, and with no blackout dates and unlimited reward seats, redeeming points is easy. Rapid Rewards members can also earn points on car rentals with Alamo.

Full list of winners: Best Frequent Flyer Programs

Best Co-Branded Credit Card: Wyndham Rewards Visa Card

The Wyndham Rewards Visa Card helps you earn free stays — Photo courtesy of Barclays

Free flights, extra hotel room nights, upgrades and other travel perks – these are among the rewards for spending on a good co-branded credit card. Wyndham Rewards Visa cardholders enjoy 15,000 bonus points after their first purchase, three points per dollar spent at Wyndham properties, one point per dollar spent everywhere else and no annual fees. 

Full list of winners: Best Co-Branded Credit Cards

Congratulations to all of our 2017 miles, points and loyalty winners. Remember, you can vote in other contest categories once per day on 10Best.com.