What is the best loyalty program? For MightyTravels readers, AAdvantage, Alaska Airlines and United Mileage Plus will come to mind.
Here's what US News thinks:
Southwest Rapid Rewards
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Southwest and JetBlue offer some of the least rewarding loyalty programs in the industry and still get top marks in the industry from travelers. That is a worrying trend since most of travel hacking relies on getting a higher value of travel redeemed than what we invest into miles & points. This is very hard with Southwest Rapid Rewards (exception is AirTran's Business Class awards) and JetBlue TrueBlue.
Alaska shines with certain awards like Emirates in Business Class or Cathay Pacific in First Class.
Marriott Rewards, with its highly-inflated point currency, came in first for hotel loyalty programs, followed by IHG RewardsClub and Best Western. With the exception of PointBreaks, most of these programs barely deliver any value (though Marriott has some Category 1 and 2 hotels for 10,000 points that are great).
Why aren't frequent flyer members more interested in the deals other programs offer? That's gonna remain a mystery to me.