A Guide to the Best Frequent Flier Programs of 2017
Don't get stuck with expired miles or blackout dates.
Frequent travelers have a plethora of options when it comes to frequent flier programs, and choosing can be overwhelming.
Depending on what you value most, however—whether it's rewards value per dollar, rewards miles overall, or available destinations—new rankings from Wallethub can help travelers make the decision.
Delta SkyMiles was the best rewards program for the second year running. The good news for all travelers is that 10 of the largest airlines are offering more rewards than they did in 2016, according to the same data.
Hawaiian Airlines offers the most value per dollar spent at $0.21, with Alaskan Airlines coming in second at $0.20.
For sporadic travelers, Delta and JetBlue were the only major airlines with miles that did not expire because of inactivity.
Wallethub’s economics experts used a points system to assign ratings in categories such as membership perks, miles restrictions, and airline coverage to determine the best options for three profiles of traveler.
A light flier spent an average of $467 on annual airline travel, an average flier spent $3,105, and a frequent flier spent $5,743. For all categories, the best program was still Delta, according to these rankings.
The site also has a calculator for travelers to input the average amount they spend annually on travel in order to get a personalized recommendation for the best rewards program. After experimenting with the calculator, the results still favor Delta, with Virgin coming on second regardless of whether you’re a light flier, average flier, or frequent flier.