The Best Travel Reward Programs, According to US News

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan took first place in the airline category on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of Best Travel Rewards Programs.

The yearly rankings identify the most rewarding hotel and airline loyalty programs for daily travelers. For the seventh year in a row, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is the best airline rewards program. This is owing to its extensive network of airline routes to popular destinations and several member incentives. Members can also earn miles for free flights faster thanks to the program’s mileage-based earning structure.

Due in part to its wide network of hotels in popular holiday areas and high award availability, Wyndham Rewards has risen from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Best Hotel Rewards Program category. It also offers a free night to anyone who has earned at least 7,500 points.

It’s worth noting that this year’s rankings took into account the coronavirus outbreak as well as how flexible and accommodating each airline and hotel program was for its members.

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“This year’s list factored in adjustments programs made to account for members taking fewer trips during the pandemic. Programs that make it easier for members to earn and redeem points or miles, and achieve or retain elite status were rewarded. With numerous creative ways to earn points and miles, now is the time to join a rewards program to build up a balance. Then, whenever travelers feel comfortable, they can use those accrued points to book an amazing vacation.”

Christine Smith, senior travel editor at U.S. News

Hotel Rewards Programs

1. Wyndham Rewards

2. World of Hyatt

3. Marriott Bonvoy

4. Choice Privileges

5. IHG Rewards

Airline Rewards Programs

1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

2. Delta SkyMiles

3. American Airlines AAdvantage

4. JetBlue TrueBlue

5. Southwest Rapid Rewards

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