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How Great Is Your Frequent Flyer Program?

WalletHub, the website focused on credit reports and credit improvement advice, has a side endeavor that should catch the eye of any meeting professional who enjoys the benefits of racking up airline miles: a frequent flyer program ranking.

The 2017 edition looks at the 11 largest U.S. carriers and compares their frequent-flyer programs on 23 metrics, including reward value per $100 spent, whether miles expire, blackout dates, number of daily flights, number of destinations served, and partner-airline redemption policies. Frequent-flyer programs benefit travelers differently depending on whether a traveler is a light, average, or frequent flyer. The latter category spends an average of $5,743 annually on airfare.

Top Frequent Flyer Program*
Airline                         Score
Delta Airlines             59.05
Alaska Airlines           55.09
JetBlue Airways         51.35
Hawaiian Airlines      51.24
Virgin America           51.04
American Airlines      49.30
United Airlines          48.15
Southwest Airlines    41.04
Sun Country Airlines 40.08
Frontier Airlines        28.30
Spirit Airlines             27.85

Value Per $100
Freqent flyer programs ranked by reward value per $100 spent*
Hawaiian Airlines      $21.38
Alaska Airlines           $19.96
Virgin America           $17.02
JetBlue Airways         $12.49
Southwest Airlines    $9.36
Frontier Airlines        $8.99
Delta Air Lines           $8.96
American Airlines      $8.12
United Airlines          $7.91
Spirit Airlines             $4.02

*Scores and rankings are for the frequent flyers in the frequent-flyer programs. Results vary slightly for program participants who don’t fly as much.

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