Major Airline Rewards Programs

Major Airline Rewards Programs

Major Airline Loyalty Program Valuation Comparison Chart (see top 3 cards)

Program Point Value (cents)* Valuable Redemption Options** Cards to Accrue Points
Air Canada Aeroplan 1.2-1.6 210,000 Miles Round trip (RT) in Business Class from JFK to Bangkok American Express® Aeroplan Platinum Card®
Alaska Airlines 1.5-2.1 Nonrefundable First Class Round Trip tickets are still only 50,000 miles within North America Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card®
American 1.5-2.4 45,000 miles round trip in coach from US to Europe during low season, plus a 10% savings if you hold an AA credit card. Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard®     Also: Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard®
British Airways Avios 1.9-3.0 9,000 Avios for roundtrip coach travel on American from New York to Montreal, 15,000 Avios RT from Chicago to East Coast on American or Seattle to LA on Alaska British Airways® Visa Signature Card®    Also: The Platinum Card® from American Express®, American Express® Premier Rewards Gold®, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus®
Delta 0.2-1.5 187,000 miles in Business class round trip from Atlanta to Buenos Aires if you can find a saver ticket. Gold Delta SkyMiles Card®    Also: Amex cards earning transferable rewards.
Frontier 1-1.4 20,000 Miles Coach RT from Telluride to Denver  
Hawaiian 1.3-2 15,000 Miles for Coach RT between the Hawaiian Islands or 130,000 RT between Hawaii and Australia, NZ or Japan The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®
JetBlue TrueBlue 1.3 - 2.0 2 cents per dollar on JFK to Bermuda travel using JetBlue's fixed cost system Amex Jetblue card
Singapore KrisFlyer 2.5 - 3.5 Opportunities detailed in this article. Chase, Citibank and American Express transferrable mile cards
United 1.6-3.0 140,000 Miles for Business Class RT from NYC to Narita United Mileage Plus Club Card®    Also: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus®, United Mileage Plus Explorer Card® 
Virgin Atlantic 0.8-1.1 20,000 miles to upgrade one way from DC, Boston, Chicago or JFK to London Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® from Bank of America®

* BestCashCow estimate based on user feedback concerning the value of a point when redeemed for travel on the airline or its partner airlines, taking into account comparable ticket prices as well as fuel charges, taxes and other fees that may be associated with redemption.

** This column lists redeemed travel options that provided still greater value per point versus ordinary ticket costs.

Still can't figure out which credit card is best for you?  See our list of the top three airline mile earning credit cards or our list of the top three flexible travel and rewards credit cards.  Or, compare hotel point-earning credit cards.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

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