Booking your flights through travel engines might not get you the same airline. This might save you money now, but you will surely lose out on some sweet perks in the long run. Majority of airlines have frequent flyer programs that rewards with points or miles, redeemable for free flights, better seats, special treatment and other benefits.
If you travel often, definitely look into signing up for the airline loyalty programs. You can continue reading below to see our top five picks for the best frequent flyer airline rewards program to sign up for!
See the best hotel loyalty programs here.
Finding The Right Airline Rewards Program
In order to get the best frequent flyer program, you have to take into consideration some personal factors such as:
- Where you live
- Where you want to fly to
- How often you fly
You should also look at what exactly the program offers:
- Is it easy to earn miles? Collect your miles quickly, and you’ll be well on your way towards a free flight.
- What is each mile worth? The more valuable the miles, the more worthwhile the program. You’ll want to shoot for at least $0.01 per mile, on average.
- Are miles easy to redeem? Go for a program that lets you cash in your miles easily. And watch out for those blackout dates, if any.
- How fast can you earn elite status? Know what it takes to unlock valuable VIP benefits.
Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Programs
Here are some of the best frequent flyer programs that offers you the biggest perks for your loyalty:
1. United Airlines – MileagePlus
United Airlines Co-Branded Cards
2. Delta Air Lines – SkyMiles
Delta SkyMiles Co-Branded Credit Cards
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
3. Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards Co-Branded Credit Cards
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
4. American Airlines – AAdvantage
5. Alaska Airlines – Mileage Plan
More Domestic Frequent Flyer Programs
- Allegiant Air: The Complete Guide To myAllegiant Points
- Frontier Airlines: The Complete Guide To Miles
- Hawaiian Airlines: The Complete Guide to HawaiianMiles
- JetBlue Airways: The Complete Guide To TrueBlue
- Spirit Airlines: The Complete Guide To Free Spirit Points
Best International Frequent Flyer Programs
|British Airways – Executive Club|
|Turkish Airlines – Miles&Smiles|
|Korean Air – SKYPASS|
|KLM/Air France – Flying Blue|
|Lufthansa Group – Miles & More|
More International Frequent Flyer Programs
- Aeromexico – The Complete Guide To Club Premier Points
- Air Canada – The Complete Guide To Aeroplan Points
- Air China – The Complete Guide To PhoenixMiles
- Air India – The Complete Guide To Flying Returns Points
- Air New Zealand – The Complete Guide To Airpoints Dollars
- Alitalia – The Complete Guide To Millemiglia Miles
- All Nippon Airways (ANA) – The Complete Guide To Mileage Club
- Asiana Airlines – The Complete Guide To Club Miles
- Avianca Airlines – The Complete Guide To LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific – The Complete Guide To Asia Miles, Asia’s Leading Travel & Lifestyle Rewards Program
- China Southern Airlines – The Complete Guide To The Sky Pearl Club Frequent Flyer Program
- Copa Airlines – The Complete Guide To ConnectMiles
- Czech Airlines – The Complete Guide To OK Plus Miles
- EgyptAir – The Complete Guide To The EgyptAir Plus
- EL AL Airlines – The Complete Guide To Flyer Club Points
- Emirates Skywards – The Complete Guide To Miles
- Etihad Airways – The Complete Guide To Etihad Guest Miles
- EVA Airways – The Complete Guide To Infinity MileageLands Miles
- Finnair – The Complete Guide To Plus Points
- Garuda Indonesia – The Complete Guide To GarudaMiles
- Hainan Airlines, Grand China Air, Tianjin Air, Hong Kong Air & More – The Complete Guide to Fortune Wings Club
- Icelandair – The Complete Guide To Saga Club Points
- Japan Airlines – The Complete Guide To the JAL Mileage Bank (JMB)
- Jet Airways – The Complete Guide To InterMiles
- Malaysia Airlines – The Complete Guide To the Enrich
- Philippine Airlines – The Complete Guide To Mabuhay Miles
- Royal Air Maroc – The Complete Guide To Safar Flyer
- Royal Jordanian Airlines – The Complete Guide to the Royal Club
- Saudia Airlines – The Complete Guide To Alfursan Miles
- Scandinavian Airlines – The Complete Guide EuroBonus
- Singapore Airlines – The Complete Guide To KrisFlyer Miles
- South African Airways – The Complete Guide To Voyager Miles
- SriLankan Airlines – The Complete Guide To the FlySmiLes
- Tap Air Portugal – The Complete Guide To Miles&Go
- Thai Airways – The Complete Guide Royal Orchid Plus
- Qantas Airways – The Complete Guide To Qantas Points
- Qatar Airways – The Complete Guide To Privilege Club QMiles
- Vietnam Airlines – The Complete Guide To LotusMiles
- Virgin Atlantic – The Complete Guide To Flying Club Miles
- Virgin Australia – The Complete Guide To Velocity Points
Guide To Elite Status Programs
- Alaska Airlines Elite Status: What Are Its Rewards & Benefits Worth?
- American Airlines Elite Status: What Are Its Rewards & Benefits Worth?
- Delta Medallion Elite Status: What Are Its Rewards & Benefits Worth?
- Delta Choice Benefits: Everything You Need To Know About This Perk For Medallion Members
- JetBlue Mosaic Elite Status: What Are Its Rewards & Benefits Worth?
- Southwest Airlines Elite Status & Companion Pass: What Are They Worth?
- United Premier Elite Status: What Are Its Rewards & Benefits Worth?
- The Best Domestic Airline Elite Status Programs: Ranking & Analysis
- Credit Cards That Help You Earn Airline Elite Status To Unlock Travel Benefits
Additional Guides To Frequently Flyer Points & Miles
- The Complete Guide To Loyalty Program Points Transfer Partners
- The Beginner’s Guide To Credit Card Rewards: Points & Miles 101
- 6 Ways To Keep Your Travel Reward Points & Miles From Expiring
- Double Dipping: The Quick & Easy Way To Earn More Points & Miles
- The Best United Airlines Credit Cards: Earn Miles and Perks
- The Complete Guide to Earning and Redeeming Barclaycard Arrival Miles
- Credit Card Bonus Offers: When Do Points & Miles Hit Your Account?
- Everything You Need To Know About Dining Programs As A Rewards Strategy
- Award Travel Planning For Families: Points & Miles Strategy
- Airline Tickets: To Spend Or Not To Spend Your Hard Earned Miles
- Points.com Promotions And Bonuses: Free Miles/Points
- The 8 Travel Rewards Card Sins
- Best Hotel Loyalty Rewards Programs – Free Nights & More
- The Best Rewards Credit Cards: Cash, Points, Miles & Benefits
- The Best Airline Credit Cards For Travel Benefits + Rewards
- The Best Ways To Redeem American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
- The Best Ways To Redeem United MileagePlus Miles For Flights
- The Best Ways To Redeem Delta Air Lines SkyMiles For Award Flights
- The Best Ways To Redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards Points For Travel
Tips & Tricks
Most frequent flyer programs have a good amount of value, to get the most for your money, see additional tips below:
Apply for an airline credit card to achieve a free flight quicker. You earn additional miles for purchases, as well as bonus miles in welcome offering. Some cards even give you free checked bags, priority boarding and other airline-specific perks.
Elite status is what makes you feel like VIP. Depending on the program, you could get bonus miles, free checked bags, complimentary upgrades, priority check-in, lounge access, inflight freebies and more.
Transferring your miles to partner programs will make your rewards more flexible, from American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou and Marriott Bonvoy.
Signing up for a frequent flyer rewards programs might be more beneficial than you think. Keep in mind that each airline offer different loyalty programs so make sure you choose the one that best suit you location and lifestyle.
Furthermore, if you frequently travel outside of the U.S., you can check out which credit card offers no foreign transaction fee, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra. And while you’re here on HMB, you can see whether Miles vs. Cash Back card fits you better and learn how much credit card points are worth.
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