Air travel is on the rise as the pandemic winds down, and flights figure to be increasingly crowded as more and more people get back to pre-pandemic habits. We’ve got two years’ worth of vacations and business trips to catch up on, after all, so it’s little surprise that many people are eager to return to the friendly skies.
To help you earn more free flights and other assorted perks, WalletHub compared the 10 largest domestic airlines’ loyalty rewards programs across 21 key metrics, ranging from the value of a rewards point or mile to blackout-date policies.
Best Frequent Flyer Programs of 2022
- Alaska Airlines - Mileage Plan
- United Airlines - MileagePlus
- Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
- Hawaiian Airlines - HawaiianMiles
- American Airlines - AAdvantage
The rankings for the best airline rewards programs are based on a trio of annual airfare budgets: Light ($321), Average ($3,658) and Frequent ($6,994). As a result, the best overall frequent flyer programs are well-rounded and positioned to satisfy the needs of loyal airline customers of all types.
To find out which airline miles program is best for you, try out the frequent flyer miles calculator below. The calculator will customize the results of this study based on your own airline budget.
Alaska Mileage Plan is the best frequent flyer program of 2022, beating last year's winner United MileagePlus.
Hawaiian Airlines offers the most rewards value, at $24.78 per $100 spent. Alaska Airlines comes closely in second, with $24.65 per $100 spent.
Three of the 10 largest airlines are offering more rewards value in 2022 than in 2021, sweetening the pot by an average of roughly 10%.
Seven major airlines have miles that do not expire because of inactivity: Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines give preference to frequent flyer program members when deciding whom to bump from overbooked flights.
Five major U.S. airlines will retroactively credit loyalty program members with miles for a flight up to 12 months after the fact.
6 of the 10 largest U.S. airlines allow rewards program members to earn and redeem miles with partner carriers.
Airline miles cost an average of 2.4X more than they’re worth when purchased rather than earned.
Copyright 2022 Evolution Finance, Inc. All rights reserved. From https://wallethub.com. By Alex Breen, Rewards Analyst.