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The Best Frequent Flier Programs for 2023

Savvy travelers know the value of a good airline loyalty program. With perks like airport lounge access, seat upgrades, and free or discounted travel, it pays to rack up those frequent flier miles. WalletHub recently released their annual study ranking the best frequent flier programs to help travelers decide which airline best meets their needs. 

The Best Frequent Flier Programs for 2023

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WalletHub compared ten major domestic carriers using 21 key metrics—such as number of international destinations, earning limits, and booking blackout dates—factoring in the travel needs and budgets of light, average, and frequent fliers. Use WalletHub’s Frequent Flier Miles calculator to get a personalized recommendation on what frequent flier program best suits your travel style.

Rank Airline Program Name Do Miles Expire?
1 United Airlines MileagePlus No
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan No
3 Delta Airlines SkyMiles No
4 Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles No
5 American Airlines AAdvantage Yes

United Airlines: MileagePlus

United Airlines’ MileagePlus overtook Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan to become the best frequent flier program for 2023. Mileage Plus offers the most award destinations of any reward program and MileagePlus Premier members have access to even more perks, such as seat upgrades and complimentary baggage check. Sign up here.

Alaska Airlines: Mileage Plan

Award travel with Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan starts at 5,000 miles, and members earn up to 30% more miles on their travel than with competitor programs. Earn miles by flying Alaska Airlines (one mile earned for every mile flown), booking with one of their travel partners, or shopping with an Alaska Airlines credit card. Sign up here.

Delta Air Lines: SkyMiles

SkyMiles are earned with every Delta flight at the Main Cabin level or higher, by booking with a SkyMiles partner, or by making purchases with a SkyMiles American Express card. Sign up here.

Hawaiian Airlines: HawaiianMiles

HawaiianMiles can be earned by flying Hawaiian, shopping with a Hawaiian Airlines credit card, or booking with one of Hawaiian’s airline, hotel, car rental, or shopping/dining partners. Miles can also be purchased, with a limit of 30,000 miles. Sign up here.

American Airlines: AAdvantage

AAdvantage recently introduced a rewards level below Gold, with membership starting at just 15,000 miles and including perks like guaranteed group five boarding, preferred seat coupons, and priority privileges. Earn miles by flying American, booking with airline partners, or signing up for an AAdvantage credit card. Sign up here.

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