Travel 101: Best Frequent Flyer Programs – Our Top Picks!
With a plethora of travel loyalty programs out there, how do we know which ones are good deals and which are duds? From trial and error and everywhere in between, we’ve been there and done that – so you don’t have too! Below are our top picks for Best Frequent Flyer Programs.
Everyone has a frequent flier program these days, but which ones offer the best ways to earn bonus miles and offer the best rewards? Below are my favorites:
- American Airlines:
AAdvantage Program was the first loyalty program offered by any commercial airline and still has some of the best earning incentives today. With AAdvantage Program miles are earned from flights by the actual amount of miles flown. For example a trip from Dallas Fort Worth to Los Angeles racks up 1,500 AAdvantage miles each way. You can also earn bonus miles from shopping with Advantage Shopping, an online shopping center that tracks your spending and awards you bonus miles for shopping with preferred vendors. Another way to rack up some mileage is with Advantage Dining, just register your credit cards and when you dine at select restaurants you can rack up the extra bonus miles. Most trips are redeemable in the USA for as little as 20,000 AAdvantage miles, however with the merger with US Airways in full swing this could go up.
- Virgin Airlines:
Virgin America’s loyalty program known as Elevate awards travelers in points based off the fair price. For example, Elevate Members earn a total of 5 points for every dollar spent on base fare, so a trip from Dallas to Los Angeles that cost $275 round trip would earn you a solid 1,375 points. Virgin America also has bonus shopping incentives as well, if you are a wine drinker you can earn 2,000 bonus miles for signing up for the Virgin Wine Club and if you are not wanting to keep the member ship just cancel after the first shipment and you keep the miles. Another way to score some points is by shopping at the Elevate Fly Store, which similar to American Airlines offers bonus points for purchases made from select vendors. Virgin also offers bonus points for booking care rentals, hotels and other travel arrangements through their website. Booking your reward travel with Virgin is available for as low as 1,500 points.
Even if you don’t fly a lot, signing up for a Frequent Flier program is still a great way to earn points towards award travel through online purchases. Seem to fly different airlines all the time? Sign up for a loyalty program with each airline you fly prior to your flight to earn your miles, even if you aren’t going out that much on the same airline it all adds up. Remember that there are great credit card incentives with airlines as well, so once you’ve discovered an airline you like, get their credit card to earn even more bonus miles.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article on Best Frequent Flyer Programs, if you have any loyalty programs you enjoy send them our way – we’re always looking for the best deal!