WalletHub Ranks Frequent-Flyer Programs

by Megan Hill

Mar 30, 2019

Frequent Flyer program

Feature

WalletHub released its report on 2019’s Best Frequent Flyer Program, ranking the 10 biggest domestic airlines’ rewards programs on 23 outcomes. The report weighs factors like the value of a point/mile and blackout dates for rewards flights.

The survey showed the best program was Delta SkyMiles for the fourth year in a row. Following Delta was United Airlines’ MileagePlus, TrueBlue from JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards program, and HawaiianMiles from Hawaiian Airlines.

The report also concluded the average rewards program gives frequent flyers up to 12 percent off airline spending. Each program is free to join.

As for value, Hawaiian Airlines came in first, with a rewards return of $21.29 per $100 spent. Next was Alaska Airlines, offering $18.12 per $100 spent.

WalletHub weighs each airline’s perks, and helps travelers choose programs with a calculator that aligns the rewards with travelers’ needs.

The survey showed, for infrequent flyers, JetBlue and Delta are the best fits. They’re the only two major airlines whose miles do not expire due to inactivity.

Blackout dates are becoming less common, WalletHub found. Eight of the 10 largest airlines do not have blackout dates for using miles to buy tickets.

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