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Rating the best airline rewards programs

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:01 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:39 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Airline rewards programs can be daunting. You probably only want to know two things - how many points or miles do I earn and what’s it worth?

Each year our partners at the financial website Nerdwallet rate the airline rewards programs for you, so you know the value you are getting.

NerdWallet compared U.S. airlines’ rewards programs by collecting hundreds of data points from real-airline routes to determine the value of points or miles for each airline. Then, it combined these results with the number of miles earned per dollar spent.

The study found Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is easily the most rewarding domestic airline program.

You will get about nine cents in value for every dollar spent with Alaska. That’s above the four to five cents per dollar spent you can expect from the big three airlines: American, Delta and United.

Second on Nerdwallet’s rankings was Frontier Airlines, followed by Southwest. Nerdwallet found that JetBlue Airways offers the most valuable points at 1.5 cents each.

Now, if you are not a frequent traveler who takes a couple trips per year you can mostly ignore the rankings. If you travel for work or take several trips a year the programs could help you save money.

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