Best Airline Rewards Programs For Travelers
As we continue into 2019, vacationers are starting to plan their future trips to their favorite cities for some much needed R&R after the hectic holiday season. It can be easy to find amazing deals on accommodation rentals, but expensive flights can quickly make vacationing unattainable. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save and incredible flying reward programs offered through some of the top airline carriers. Here are just a few of the best travel loyalty programs the Resort Rentals team thinks you should consider:
1. Delta SkyMiles
United States-based flyers love Delta’s program that’s divided between the general SkyMiles membership and the Medallion Elite membership that’s split into four classes: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. This program is ideal for travelers based in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Detroit. With thousands of flights every day and over 20 partner airlines including Virgin Atlantic and Air France, and the easy to use Delta SkyMiles American Express credit card, this frequent flyers program has made it easy for users to earn miles and utilize them for their vacations.
The base rate for earning is five miles for every dollar spent on a flight with Delta, Delta Connection, or Delta Shuttle and varying rates for partner airlines that depend on the specific carrier. Members can use these miles to book with Delta and the affiliated carriers for future trips! One of the best benefits is that your miles never expire, which means you can utilize your miles as your needs arise. Some important restrictions for this program include a minimum balance of 5,000 miles in order to cover flight costs, miles cannot cover additional taxes or fees on your reward flights purchased, no more than 30,000 miles can be transferred out of a SkyMiles account per transaction and no more than 150,000 miles can be transferred per year.
2. American Airlines AAdvantage
Ideal for US-based flyers who live in or near major cities like Los Angeles, NYC, Miami, and Dallas, American Airlines offers amazing benefits with their more than 1,000 partner companies, flexible mile redeeming options, and ability to earn from the AAdvantage-affiliated airlines. There’s a basic membership and Elite Status membership with four classes: AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro, and AAdvantage Executive Platinum. Loyal AAdvantage customers can be invited to join the ConciergeKey Elite program which can also provide additional savings, upgrades, and other travel opportunities.
Basic members can collect 5 award miles for every US dollar spent on the base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, Gold members will collect 7 miles, Platinum members will collect 8 miles, Platinum Pro 9 miles, and Executive Platinum 11 miles per US dollar spent. There is also an AAdvantage MasterCard or Citi card that allows you to earn points as you spend. Limitations for this program include mile expirations, miles do not include taxes or fees and miles can only be earned for one seat per flight.
3. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
With destinations around the US West Coast and major airports, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica, it’s no wonder that Alaska Airlines Mileage has grown to be one of the most popular rewards programs out there. Their program consists of a basic membership, Club 49 for Alaskan residents, and a MVP Program that’s divided into three categories: MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K. They have 17 partner airlines which include big names like American Airlines and British Airways, which can also be used to earn and redeem miles for travel. Users can earn miles through a number of the program’s partnerships which include car rentals, use of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, and air travel. The two most popular ways for points to be spent is on booking flights and cabin upgrades!
Each flight earns whichever is greater—either 500 miles or the actual published mileage between the departure and arrival destination, including layovers. Users can transfer up to 30,000 miles at a time and up to 100,000 miles per year to other Mileage Plan accounts for a fee. It’s important to note some of their restrictions for rewards travel which include blackout dates, limited seating and availability, an accounts expiration after two years of inactivity, and no refunds upon cancellation.
4. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
If you fly around the United States, Mexico, and Caribbean often, Southwest’s reward program might be the best option for you. Basic membership holder, A-List holders, A-List Preferred holders, and Companion Pass holders earn points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights and their affiliated partners, and find even more points with the Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase that you can use to book Southwest flights, pay for gift cards, and more. Additionally, there are no blackout dates and you can earn points by completing market research surveys.
Points earned for flying Southwest will vary depending on the type of fare: 12 points per dollar on Business Select, 10 points per dollar with Anytime, and six points per dollar on Wanna Get Away. Depending on the fare type, destination, time of year, and other factors will impact the “cost” of booking with your points. Restrictions to keep in mind are points expiration after two years of not earning, points and cash cannot be combined to cover flight costs, points cannot be used to book through a third party site or travel agency, and Bonus points cannot be used to upgrade your tier.
5. JetBlue TrueBlue
East Coast-based travelers in areas around Boston, Orlando, and New York City will love all that JetBlue can offer through their two tier rewards program where they can join a basic membership or the TrueBlue Mosaic status. In addition, members can earn through their JetBlue Plus Card from Mastercard for more everyday spending. These points never expire, there are no blackout dates on JetBlue flights, and you can even earn rewards through social media participation. The program even allows for Family Pooling where TrueBlue members can combine the points of up to six other family members to redeem for award flights.
Three points are earned for every dollar spent on their flights and vacation packages (up to 8 if purchased directly through their website), which includes purchases made through any of their seven partner airline carriers and can be redeemed to cover the base cost of air travel on JetBlue or to utilize their vacation packages deal. Some limitations include points not being earned or used on government taxes and fees, travel insurance, or other additional charges, points required to book a specific flight are subject to change until booking is confirmed, and any change or cancellation to an award flight is subject to standard change and cancellation fees.
6. United Airline MileagePlus
US flyers who go to international locations like the Middle East, Australia, Europe, and Asia will want to consider the United reward program. They have flights to over 1,000 destinations around the globe, have four different United MileagePlus credit cards offered through Chase and Visa, offer the ability to earn and redeem miles with the 35+ participating carriers, and allow said-points to be used for flights, shopping, car rentals, and more. Membership levels include basic and Premier with four levels: Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K. The most loyal members can be invited to join their United Global Services program.
Miles earned for these United flights are based on the fare class and ticket class purchased. Basic members earn five times the fare while Premier members can earn anywhere between seven and 11. For tickets purchased through partner airlines, these points can vary depending on their specific stands and rules. Restrictions include booking all award travel through United, miles expiring after 18 months of account inactivity, and limited seats available on award flights.
ResortRental.com Always Helps Travelers Find a Deal
It’s important to the team at ResortRentals.com to help our renters find deals around every turn when planning their vacations, and we can help even further with our inventory of resort rentals! Instead of staying in cramped hotel rooms, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and stay in spacious villas and suites when you book through us. Travel the world and stay on some of the most desired properties in popular vacation destinations without having to break the bank! With more questions about how we can assist you in finding the ideal rental, please give us a call today at 855-849-2025.
Categories: For Travelers