One of the best ways to make traveling more comfortable while saving money altogether is to take advantage of a frequent flyer program. With that said, not all frequent flyer programs are crafted equal. Below, we at GET.com cover some of the best programs available and how they compare with one another.
1. Southwest Airlines
Among the best frequent flyer programs is Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program. This program is particularly advantageous for travelers who want to earn free or nearly free domestic flights.
In addition, Southwest makes it easy for members to redeem miles, with clear mile redemption policies. Reward flights through Southwest are based entirely on the cost of the ticket. Moreover, there are no blackout dates. All you need to do is verify that there is an open seat on the flight and that you have enough miles for the flight.
To make sure if this is the right program for you, ensure that you first run through the list of benefits of Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program.
2. Delta Airlines
The Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program is an excellent choice for accessing flights to and from locations throughout the United States. This is also a good program for many international flights.
The rules for cashing in reward flights are not quite as straightforward as with Southwest, which means you'll need to make sure you read the fine print.
One great benefit to this program is that if you have plans to fly internationally, you can still earn as well as redeem flights on international airlines, including Aeroflot, Air France, China Southern, Air Europa and many other partner airlines. Interested about this program? Here, you can learn more about the benefits of Delta Air Lines' SkyMiles frequent flyer program.
3. American Airlines
The American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program is one of the largest and most popular frequent flyer programs out there. Part of the oneworld alliance network, members have access to more than 1000 destinations worldwide.
It's also very easy to earn as well as redeem miles through this program. One thing to be aware of is that blackouts do apply during peak dates. As a result, you may not be able to use your reward miles during busy seasons. Check out these 5 benefits of American Airlines' AAdvantage frequent flyer program.
4. United Airlines
Premier Elite members of United's MileagePlus frequent flyer program can take advantage of upgrades from full fare tickets free of charge. Here are some benefits of United Airlines' MileagePlus frequent flyer program that you might want to take a look at if you're thinking of joining their loyalty program.
Additionally, Premier Silver Elite members may receive other perks, such as complimentary day of departure upgrades. Premier Gold Elite members can receive first class upgrades within 24 hours prior to departure. Premier Platinum members are able to receive first class upgrades as soon as 72 hours prior to departure. Premier 1K Elites can receive upgrades as early as 96 hours in advance.
Which Frequent Flyer Program Should You Choose?
In choosing a frequent flyer program, it's important that you take a variety of factors into consideration. Generally, top tier elite statuses receive far more upgrades than members at the mid and lower tier elite levels. Consequently, if you're at the lowest level of membership, the chances of being upgraded are not as good as if you are at the top tier of membership.
You should also consider your travel habits when choosing a frequent flyer program. If you tend to travel through a major hub, there will likely be more people competing for upgrades to a limited number of first class seats.