WalletHub compared the 10 largest domestic airlines’ loyalty programs across 23 metrics, including point and mile value, blackout date policies, mile expiration, partner carrier policies and more.
WalletHub found Delta Air Lines offers passengers the best frequent-flyer program, followed by United Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
While Delta earned the highest overall score, Hawaiian Airlines offers travelers the most rewards value, at $21.29 in rewards per $100 spent, while Alaska Airlines comes in second, with $18.12 in rewards per $100 spent.
One third of the airlines compared increased their award value year over year. Only a fifth of the airlines allow members to retain miles indefinitely, regardless of account activity. Eighty percent of the airlines do not have blackout dates for tickets purchased with miles.
Southwest Airlines, Spirit and Sun Country were the only airlines to not allow loyalty members to earn and redeem miles with partner carriers.
Additionally, the comparison found airline miles cost an average 61 percent more than they’re worth when loyal members purchase the miles versus earning them.
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