The best airline rewards programs according to travelers

JetBlue’s TrueBlue is the most satisfying airline rewards program, according to a poll of a more than 3,300 folks who are members of such programs.

TrueBlue earned an overall satisfaction score of 800 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s recently released 2017 Airline Loyalty Program Satisfaction Study.

The study measures how satisfied members are with airline rewards programs based on four factors, listed in order of importance:

  • Earning and redeeming rewards
  • Program benefits
  • Account management
  • Member communication

The average satisfaction score was 760.

If you aren’t a fan of JetBlue, you have several other good options. TrueBlue is one of four airline rewards programs that earned an above-average satisfaction score: 

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Best airline rewards programs according to travelers
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Best airline rewards programs according to travelers

1. JetBlue Airways TrueBlue — 800

(Getty)

2. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan — 796

(Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

3. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards — 793

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

4. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles — 766

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Two programs scored well below average:

5. American Airlines AAdvantage — 729 

6. United Airlines MileagePlus — 727
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So, what makes an airline rewards program satisfying?

Satisfying rewards programs offer a lot more than the ability to rack up air miles. J.D. Power found that several other factors significantly boost member satisfaction with a reward program. They include having:

  • The membership benefit of lowest-price guarantees (which increases overall satisfaction by 109 points)
  • The membership benefit of waiving a same-day change fee (104 points)
  • The ability to earn rewards in multiple ways, not just by booking flights — for example, earning rewards at restaurants (77 points)
  • A membership status that is above general membership (70 points)

To learn how you can eke more satisfaction out of your rewards membership — regardless of which airline it’s with — check out “4 Overlooked Ways to Earn Airline Miles.”

Is there an airline rewards program you would rate No. 1? Let us know why by commenting below or on Facebook.

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