And it’s based here in the West.

Plane Wing
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It pays to be loyal to an airline—status can get you perks like free checked bags, upgrades, priority boarding, lounge access, and more. Air travel can be stressful and expensive, so we’ll take whatever makes the whole thing a little easier. But not all airline loyalty programs are created equally—some make it easier to earn mileage, while others have better perks. 

Personal finance website Wallethub recently put out its 2024 Best Frequent Flyer Programs list and the airline that topped the list is headquartered right here in the West: Alaska Airlines. The team at Wallethub compared the loyalty programs of the 10 largest domestic airlines across 21 key metrics, like number of U.S. destinations, earning policies, redemption policies, miles expiration, ease of achieving elite status, and more. Wallethub also ranked the programs based on three annual airfare budgets: Light ($355), Average ($3,736), and Frequent ($7,117)—that means the best of the best were chosen because they serve all types of travelers.

Flight Attendant on Plane

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Alaska had the best overall frequent flyer program, but other airlines in the top five received special recognition, too. United Mileage Plus was deemed best for Destination Coverage & Redemption Policies; HawaiianMiles was best for Membership Status Perks; and American Airlines AAdvantage was best for Airline Coverage.

The study also found that customers are benefitting more from these rewards than in 2023: Seven of the 10 airlines are offering more value in 2024—on average, 18% more. And when it comes to who offers the most rewards value, that was Frontier Airlines ($15.40 per $100 spent). Alaska came in second, with $11 per $100 spent.

Other interesting findings include which airlines give more preference to program members when deciding whom to bump on overbooked flights—that’s American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines. And if you’re looking for a loyalty program where miles don’t expire, these airlines are ones to prioritize: Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

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Take a look at the top 5 programs below. See the full report here and use Wallethub’s Frequent Flyer Miles Calculator to find the best program for you.

  1. Alaska Airlines – Alaska Mileage Plan
  2. United Airlines – United MileagePlus
  3. Delta Air Lines – Delta SkyMiles
  4. Hawaiian Airlines – HawaiianMiles
  5. American Airlines – AAdvantage