For travelers looking to get the most bang for their buck, U.S. News & World Report has released its 2019-20 Best Travel Rewards Programs rankings.
The report identified 24 hotel and airline loyalty programs with the most rewarding perks for everyday travelers, with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan topping the airline category for the fifth year in a row and Marriott Bonvoy earning the top spot in the hotel category for the third consecutive year.
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The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan earned its spot at the top of the rankings again thanks in part to the program’s mileage-based earning structure making it easier for members to earn miles for free flights faster. Delta SkyMiles also retained its No. 2 spot for the third year in a row.
As for Marriott Bonvoy’s top ranking, the rewards program earned its spot due to an extensive network of hotels in popular vacation destinations, ample benefits given to members, relatively low points redemption rates and high award availability.
Wyndham Rewards finished second in the rankings and World of Hyatt finished third.
“Choosing among the countless travel rewards options available can seem like a challenge, but the financial benefits outweigh this potential drawback,” U.S. News travel editor Christine Smith said in a statement. “The top-ranked rewards programs offer all travelers the opportunity to earn valuable rewards by simply signing up for a program and taking a trip. Whether travelers care most about cashing in accruals for a free night or flight, or receiving complementary perks like Wi-Fi access or a checked bag, they can use these rankings to find the program that best suits their needs.”
U.S. News also recently conducted a survey about airline credit cards, which found about 32 percent of respondents redeemed free domestic flights in the last year by using the points or miles accrued with their card.
Here are the rankings for best hotel and airline travel rewards programs:
Best Hotel Rewards Programs for 2019-20
1. Marriott Bonvoy
2. Wyndham Rewards
3. World of Hyatt
4. Choice Privileges
5. Best Western Rewards
6. IHG Rewards Club
7. Radisson Rewards
9. Sonesta Travel Pass
10. Hilton Honors
11. Stash Hotel Rewards
12. Leaders Club
13. Omni Select Guest
14. Le Club AccorHotels
15. I Prefer Hotel Rewards
Best Airline Rewards Programs for 2019-20
1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
2. Delta SkyMiles
3. JetBlue TrueBlue
4. United MileagePlus
5. American Airlines AAdvantage
6. Southwest Rapid Rewards
7. FRONTIER Miles
9. Free Spirit