search

Best Frequent Flyer Program? Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards!

Advertisement

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, Virgin America Elevate and American Airlines AAdvantage in top five

One of the best ways to save big bucks on travel is to take advantage of an airline's frequent flyer program. Not all loyalty programs are created equal; the best offer plenty of ways to earn and redeem miles, ample network coverage and lots of flight options for when it comes time to book that free flight.

  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

    Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

    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.
    Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

    Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

    Fliers from across the West Coast and major transportation centers throughout the United States can benefit from Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan. Passengers earn miles on every flight, as well as on eligible flights with 17 partner airlines and by booking stays with 11 different hotel partners. Points can be used for booking free flights or cabin upgrades.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

  • Delta SkyMiles

    Delta SkyMiles

    SkyMiles members earn miles with flights on Delta and several partner airlines, as well as through Delta Vacations getaways or through myriad hotel, car rental, restaurant and retail partners. Miles never expire and can be used to book travel on Delta or partner airlines, purchase cabin upgrades or shop on the SkyMiles Marketplace.
    Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

  • Virgin America Elevate

    Virgin America Elevate

    Virgin America Elevate makes it easy to earn points even when you're not flying through partnerships with rental car companies, hotels and stores. Points don't expire, and there are no blackout dates or restrictions on reward travel with Virgin America. Frequent flyers who achieve Elevate Silver or Elevate Gold status enjoy extra special treatment, like free upgrades and checked bags.
    Photo courtesy of Virgin America

  • American Airlines AAdvantage

    American Airlines AAdvantage

    AAdvantage miles can be earned and redeemed on both American Airlines and oneworld partner airlines. Miles can be redeemed toward flights, hotels, upgrades and retail products, and they can be earned through more than 1,000 partner companies. 
    Photo courtesy of American Airlines

  • United MileagePlus

    United MileagePlus

    United's MileagePlus program is excellent for domestic and international travelers, who can earn and use points with United and more than 30 partner airlines to access over 1,000 destinations around the globe. Besides booking travel, rewards points can go toward hotels, car rentals, cruises, shopping or dining.
    Photo courtesy of United Airlines

  • JetBlue TrueBlue

    JetBlue TrueBlue

    TrueBlue, JetBlue's loyalty program, offers flexible points redemption with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. Passengers earn points on JetBlue flights (bonus points for flights booked through the JetBlue website), as well as flights with six partner airlines, and points never expire. Family Pooling gives families a single shared account to accrue points faster.
    Photo courtesy of JetBlue

  • British Airways Executive Club

    British Airways Executive Club

    Executive Club members collect miles, called Avios, on all British Airways and oneworld alliance flights, as well as through hotel stays, car rentals and shopping with partner retailers. Since the Executive Club has a mileage-based redemption program, fliers can often get more from their Avios, especially when staying within the U.S. or Europe.
    Photo courtesy of British Airways

  • WestJet Rewards

    WestJet Rewards

    WestJet Rewards members can earn and redeem WestJet dollars through flights with WestJet and partner airlines like American and Delta. Passengers who reserve car rentals and hotels through the WestJet website also get 1% back in WestJet dollars, which can be redeemed for flights and vacation packages.
    Photo courtesy of WestJet

  • Air Canada Altitude & Aeroplan

    Air Canada Altitude & Aeroplan

    Aeroplan miles can be earned by flying to some 1,200 destinations worldwide through Air Canada and Star Alliance partners, as well as by shopping with partners online. Altitude, Air Canada's tiered frequent flyer program, offers passengers a chance to earn Qualifying Miles to go toward flights, upgrades or Aeroplan rewards.
    Photo courtesy of Air Canada

  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Virgin America Elevate
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • United MileagePlus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • WestJet Rewards
  • Air Canada Altitude & Aeroplan

Fourteen airline loyalty programs were chosen by a panel of points-and-miles experts as the most beneficial for North American travelers. For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites, and the results are in.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Frequent Flyer Program are as follows:

  1. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  2. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  3. Delta SkyMiles
  4. Virgin America Elevate
  5. American Airlines AAdvantage
  6. United MileagePlus
  7. JetBlue TrueBlue
  8. British Airways Executive Club
  9. WestJet Rewards
  10. Air Canada Altitude & Aeroplan

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Brad Cohen (Thirsty Explorer), Matthew Klint (Live and Let's Flyand Sean McQuay (NerdWallet) were chosen based on their expertise of reward travel.

Congratulations to all our winners in the category Best Frequent Flyer Program.

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo

 

Advertisement

AlertThe Experts

Brad Cohen

Brad Cohen

Brad Cohen

Matthew Klint

Matthew Klint

Matthew Klint

Sean McQuay

Sean McQuay

Sean McQuay

×