With business and leisure travel finally expected to pick up in 2021, taking advantage of frequent flyer rewards programs is a must. You can earn points for personal travel, hotel rooms, car rentals, event tickets, and a lot of other things. Enrolling is easy, but reading the fine print on how to use your earned points is important too.
According to J.D. Power and Associates’ most recent study on loyalty programs, “nearly half (45%) of airline loyalty program members still don’t know how to redeem rewards.” As a result, program participants are often reluctant to use their earned points, especially when loyalty programs are very specific about how and when you can take that dream vacation with your earned miles (excluding high-season or even weekend flights for example). In addition, airlines often mis-communicate or communicate poorly about their programs, which leads to confusion and frustration.
The good news is that frequent flyer programs are getting better. And in light of the pandemic, and their desire to get passengers back on their planes, airlines are focusing greatly on increasing the benefits of their programs as well as promoting them properly. Here is a list of the best frequent flyer reward programs according to J.D. Power and Associates:
For the third year in a row, JetBlue Airways TrueBlue, ranks highest in overall member satisfaction.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards ranks second and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan ranks third.
Other high ranking loyalty programs include:
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, American Airlines AAdvantage and United Airlines MileagePlus.
In addition to earning points for flights, many airlines offer points from an associated credit card linked to your program account. So, you can also rack up points from regular shopping, dining out, and fueling your vehicle. Generally, the points do not expire, but they must be used within a certain time frame to keep your account active and in good standing. Other benefits to being a reward member include preferred boarding, potential upgrades, and on-board benefits such as beverages and entertainment.
There’s really no reason NOT to be a member of a rewards program –it makes sense in so many ways. Just be sure to do your research, use your miles to get out and explore the world, and let Dav El|BostonCoach drive you there!