Interested in Joining an Airlines Reward Program? Top Ones to Consider

What is the best airline rewards program today? Well, that really depends on who you are and what you want out of your rewards program. Choosing the one that matches your lifestyle can help you to feel satisfied with what you get. When you choose a program, you want to consider a few different things, including how easy it is to get a flight, flight options, any additional perks, and “the fine print.”

Here are our choices:

American Airlines

The largest, and arguably most popular, frequent flyer program belongs to American Airlines. They fly to over 1,000 destinations, making them a great choice no matter where you need to fly, domestic or abroad. With an easy to understand system, it is a great way to get introduced to the world of airline rewards programs.

Of course, you should still shop around and be sure you pay attention to the different times of the year when better deals may be offered. You will have to pay taxes and fees, but everything is clearly listed before you book. And the best way to earn American Airlines rewards is to use one of a few different credit cards.

Delta SkyMiles

With hubs in some of the biggest and best cities in the US, Delta has a great program. It  may feel like it takes a degree in hieroglyphics to really be able to read their rewards chart, but it is easy enough once you have had some practice. Note that Delta’s online search engine is tricky as well, but their customer service center is extremely helpful and they will walk you through the process.

You can earn bonus points with SkyMiles by signing up for their program and getting the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. You will have to spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening the account, but that is enough to get a domestic flight.

Southwest Airlines

Few companies compare to Southwest Airlines if you want a free or nearly free flight, and it is one of the easiest companies to redeem your points with. They base their system on the cost of the tickets, meaning cheaper tickets will cost fewer miles. They also have no blackout dates, which is great for people who want to save up to go home for holidays.

Note that the fares on Southwest do tend to vary from day to day, so you will want to check constantly and shop around. You will also have to pay taxes and fees, though they aren’t as much on domestic flights.