With the rising price of airline tickets, travel is becoming more expensive, and more of a luxury.
However, frequent flyer memberships are not only making air travel more affordable — they're expediting the booking process and offering many amenities that extend to the airline's partners as well.
The experts at FindTheBest used a Smart Rating scale to find the best frequent flyer deals across all major airlines. Rankings are based on factors including Web Flyer ratings, benefits, upgrades, and airline alliances.
See which frequent flyer deal works best with your travel needs.
11. Spirit Airlines
The Free Spirit rewards program has a Smart Rating of 60 and offers flights to over 35 destinations. Earned miles expire after three months, but with Free Spirit there are no blackout dates.
The True Blue rewards program has a Smart Rating of 66 and travel options to more than 65 destinations. True Blue also has no blackout dates and, with the elite program, you have access to a private booking line as well as free same-day flight changes.
9. Virgin America
The Elevate rewards program has a Smart Rating of 68 and over 20 destinations to choose from. Elevate members' points don't expire for 18 months and elite members can check up to three bags for free.
8. Alaska Airlines
The Mileage Plan has a Smart Rating of 73 and offers flights to over 90 destinations. Earned miles last for two years and can be used with any of Alaska Airline's 14 major airline partners. Elite members can earn up to 250% of miles flown.
7. Southwest Airlines
The Rapid Rewards program has a smart rating of 76 and more than 90 destinations available. The Rapid Rewards program features no blackout dates, a two-year expiration date on miles, and you can redeem points at any of Southwest's nine major hotel partners.
6. U.S. Airways
The Dividend Miles rewards program has a Smart Rating of 81 and flights to a staggering 200+ destinations. Dividend Miles members are automatically members of the Star Alliance, meaning you can redeem Awards Miles with any of the 13 major airline partners and the 19 major hotel partners.
5. Hawaiian Airlines
The Hawaiian Miles rewards program has a Smart Rating of 84 and over 25 destinations to choose from. Members enjoy priority security screening, free lounge membership, and no blackout dates.
4. American Airlines
The AAdvantage rewards program has a Smart Rating of 91. AAdvantage members can pick from over 150 destinations, and are automatically part of the Oneworld Alliance, which allows them to redeem Award Miles with any of the 16 major airline and four major hotel partners.
3. Frontier Airlines
The Early Returns rewards program has a Smart Rating of 92 and offers flights to more than 80 destinations. Members receive free same-day standby, and elite members can earn up to 200% of miles flown.
2. Delta Airlines
The SkyMiles rewards program has a Smart Rating of 97 and over 300 destinations to fly to. Members are automatically part of the SkyTeam Alliance, meaning you can redeem Award Miles with any of the company's 22 major airline partners and eight major hotel partners. Elite members can earn up to 275% of miles flown.
1. United Airlines
The Mileage Plus rewards program is the only frequent flyer program with a Smart Rating of 100 and offers flights to over 370 destinations. Mileage Plus members are automatically members of the Star Alliance, meaning you can redeem Awards Miles from any of the 39 major airlines and eight major hotels that United partners with. Elite members can earn up to 350% of miles flown.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-frequent-flyer-programs-2014-9#ixzz3FZdwKE3n
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