Best Frequent Flyer Program (2017)


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. 10Best editors teamed up with a panel of miles-and-points experts to nominate the nation's most worthwhile programs –programs with plenty of ways to earn and redeem miles, great coverage and plenty of flight options when it comes time to book that free trip. These airline loyalty programs were chosen as the most beneficial for North American travelers in particular.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 15 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

  • 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

  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

    Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

    With transfer options to four major U.S. points programs – Chase Ultimate Rewards, Starwood, Citi Thank You and AMEX Membership Rewards – Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program offers plenty of attractive benefits to American frequent flyers, who can earn miles by flying partner airlines in the Star Alliance or JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America.
    Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines

  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

    Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

    HawaiianMiles members enjoy reduced baggage fees when traveling between islands and can earn miles on flights, hotels and shopping with partner vendors. Miles can be redeemed for flights on Hawaiian Airlines or its partners (including Virgin America and JetBlue), as well as on hotel stays and car rentals.
    Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Hawaiian Airlines, Chad Slattery

  • Air Canada Aeroplan

    Air Canada 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

  • Air France & KLM Flying Blue

    Air France & KLM Flying Blue

    While Flying Blue is the loyalty program for two European airlines, it does offer appealing benefits for American flyers as well, including the ability to earn and redeem miles through SkyTeam airlines and a wide variety of hotel and retail partners. Flying Blue points can also be transferred to and from Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Hilton HHonors and American Express Membership Rewards.
    Photo courtesy of KLM

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

  1. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  2. Delta SkyMiles
  3. American Airlines AAdvantage
  4. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  5. United MileagePlus
  6. JetBlue TrueBlue
  7. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  8. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  9. Air Canada Aeroplan
  10. Air France & KLM Flying Blue

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Matthew Klint (Live and Let's Fly) and Kimberly Palmer (NerdWallet) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the loyalty landscape

Congratulations to all these reader favorite airline loyalty programs!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Matthew Klint

Matthew Klint

Matthew Klint

Kimberly Palmer

Kimberly Palmer

Kimberly Palmer