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2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs

by Mary Melnick

May 3, 2021

© Aniko Dombi | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Top Trends

With the vaccine rolling out and U.S. air travel expected to pick up in the coming months, personal finance website WalletHub released a report on 2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs to help travelers make the best decision for their wallets.


The report ranked the 10-largest domestic airlines based on 21 key metrics, ranging from the value of a point/mile to blackout dates for rewards flights. The report also features a custom calculator that lets travelers personalize results based on their own budget.


Some key highlights from this year’s reports are United MileagePlus is the best frequent-flyer program of 2021, which ends a five-year streak for Delta SkyMiles. The average airline rewards program gives frequent flyers 11 percent off airline spending and all are free to join. Five of the 10 largest airlines are offering more rewards in 2021 than in 2020. Hawaiian Airlines offers the most rewards value per dollar spent, followed by Frontier Airlines. And the Citi Premier Card and Citi/ AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard are 2021’s best airline credit cards, according to WalletHub’s editors.


Overall, the top five frequent-flyer programs are:

  1. United MileagePlus
  2. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  3. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
  4. American Airlines AAdvantage
  5. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

For more information on the report and the frequent-flyer programs, visit WalletHub’s website.


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