Top 10 best frequent flyer programs to join in 2022

Monday newsletters always feature peak 10 travel lists to inspire .

Today: Top 10 best frequent flyer programs to join in 2022

Frequent aviator programs are used by many airlines to foster a sense of commitment among passengers, who can earn points or miles that are redeemable for free flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals or shopping. Everybody should participate in these programs as they can save you money by traveling ( about for ) free adenine well as offer you many other perks ( signing up is free of charge and a no-brainer ). unfortunately, the last couple of years, frequent fly programs in the USA took a turn for the worse, with the three largest programs going tax income based, meaning that miles are awarded based on the members ’ spend rather than according to the number of miles traveled. The respite of the world cursorily followed with several european and asian loyalty programs becoming gross based vitamin a well .
If you plan on traveling much this year, then it ’ randomness time to choose a frequent flier program. To help you, I have compiled a list of my own 10 favored loyalty programs in the world, although the one that fits you best will depend on your own travel behavior, your location, your credit rating wag outgo, and your expectations ( e.g. loyalty benefits, easy award bookings, or total of airline partners ) .
There is more information below the slideshow. What ’ s your darling frequent aviator broadcast ? Take my poll or leave a comment  below.

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Created in 1981 as the ‘ Delta Air Lines Frequent Flyer Program ’, its name was changed to SkyMiles in 1995. The broadcast is commodious for patronize flyers that live cheeseparing to the Delta hub of Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York City. Although Delta offers one of the best and most coherent inflight products of all USA airlines, its frequent flier program is not in the lapp league as Delta endlessly introduces surprise changes and unannounced devaluations that leave its patriotic frequent flyers baffled. Delta was besides the first airline in the world to introduce a gross based program in 2015 ( although others promptly followed ) .

  • Website: SkyMiles
  • Alliance program: SkyTeam
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 25,000 qualifying miles or 30 qualifying segments per calendar year (and $3,000 minimum annual spending level for USA residents).
  • What I like about the program: Miles don’t expire; you can earn elite status without ever flying (by spending big with a Delta branded credit card); and top-tier elite members get upgrade certificates and 25,000 bonus miles.
  • What I don’t like about the program: The program is very complicated; it costs more SkyMiles to fly partner carriers rather than Delta on routes originating from the USA; and Delta does not publish an award chart of how many miles it will cost you to fly to a particular destination with your SkyMiles.
  • Review: read my review of SkyMiles here.


Miles & More is the patronize flier program used by the airlines of the Lufthansa group ( Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Eurowings ) a well as by a few other carriers such as LOT Polish Airlines, Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines, Luxair, and Condor. The program was launched in 1993 and is nowadays the largest frequent aviator loyalty outline in Europe with more than 30 million members. Passengers earn miles on all Star Alliance airlines deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as respective other airlines and non-airline partners. The program has introduced respective devaluations over the past years ( therefore why it is frequently nicknamed More & Less ). The program will get a complete makeover later this year .

  • Website: Miles&More
  • Alliance program: Star Alliance
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 35,000 status miles or 30 scheduled flights in one calendar year.
  • What I like the most about the program: Availability for award redemptions on airlines of the Lufthansa group is generally very good (often four Business Class tickets per cabin); frequent flyer elite status remains two years valid; and the program regularly launches mileage bargains where you can book award tickets at half the number of miles normally required for the trip.
  • What I don’t like about the program: The program became revenue based in 2020 and First Class award tickets on the Lufthansa Group’s premium airline – SWISS – are only available to its top elite members.
  • Review: read my review of Miles&More here.


When KLM and Air France merged in 2005, their patronize circular programs ( Fréquence Plus and Flying Dutchman ) were merged into a newfangled loyalty course of study called Flying Blue. Most airlines within the Air France-KLM family immediately use Flying Blue, including Kenya Airways ( in which KLM is a major stockholder ), Aircalin and Tarom. More than 100,000 newly members sign up for Flying Blue each calendar month, making it one of the most popular loyalty programs in the global. unfortunately, Flying Blue became a revenue-based program in 2018 and has lost a lot of its respect since then .

  • Website: Flying Blue
  • Alliance program: SkyTeam
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 100 XP (‘experience points) per 12 months
  • What I like about the program? Award availability on KLM and Air France is usually great; Flying Blue offers the best tool for finding SkyTeam award seats, and new promo awards are launched every month, which are discounted award tickets that save you up to 50% on Award Miles.
  • What I don’t like about the program? Only elite members of the Flying Blue program can redeem miles for Air France La Premiere (First Class), which is one of the world’s greatest First Class products.
  • Review: read my review of the Flying Blue program here.


Following the 2011 amalgamation agreement between United Airlines and Continental Airlines, United Mileage Plus was chosen to be the frequent flier platform for the combine airline. The platform was subsequently renamed to MileagePlus, and maintained its relationship with its Star Alliance partners, adenine well as early airline and travel enterprise agreements. Following the amalgamation, several controversial changes were introduced to the platform, such as the reduction in bonus miles for elect members, and the initiation of a gross based model in 2015, making it a less attractive option for frequent flyers .

  • Website: Mileage Plus
  • Alliance program: Star Alliance
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 25,000 qualifying miles or 30 qualifying segments per calendar year (and $3,000 minimum annual spending level for USA residents).
  • What I like about the program: United and its Star Alliance partner airlines fly to more than 1,100 destinations worldwide; you can earn and redeem miles on dozens of participating airlines; and top-tier elite members get six upgrades each year .
  • What I don’t like about the program: The program is revenue based with rules that make it very complex; the number of seats available on United for award travel is limited; and miles expire after 18 months of account inactivity.


Turkish Airlines, with its main hub at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, is the flag carrier of Turkey and the worldly concern ’ second fourth-biggest airline in the earth, flying to more international destinations than any other carrier. Turkish Airlines calls its frequent fly platform Miles & Smiles, offering its members many advantages, such as award tickets, cabin upgrades and supernumerary baggage allowance. american samoa long as you choose to fly with Turkish Airlines and to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the Miles & Smiles course of study partners, you can collect miles to spend as you wish and to make your life a little easier .

  • Website: Miles&Smiles
  • Alliance program: Star Alliance
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 25,000 qualifying miles per 12 months.
  • What I like about the program: The program is straightforward and easy to use (with one award chart for all airlines); elite members have access to a family miles pooling program; companion awards are offered at 30% off; frequent flyer elite status remains two years valid; the region-based award chart is the best in the Star Alliance group; and Miles & Smiles has been routinely offering status matches.
  • What I don’t like about the program: There are significant fuel surcharges on Turkish Airlines and most airline partners; and the award ticket booking process can be a frustrating ordeal when you have to call the Turkish Airline call center.

Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia and irregular largest in Latin America. Launched in 1919, when it was initially registered under the appoint SCADTA, it ’ mho besides one of the oldest airlines in the global. The frequent fly program of Avianca is LifeMiles and its members earn miles every time they fly with Star Alliance carriers and Avianca subsidiaries or use service in some hotels, retails, car lease and credit wag partners. The program was first introduced in 2012, and while it has slenderly devaluated since then, it ’ second still a darling among points and miles enthusiasts and I consider LifeMiles to be the best star Alliance frequent flier program .

  • Website: LifeMiles
  • Alliance program: Star Alliance
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 22,000 qualifying miles on Avianca and/or Star Alliance airline partners in a calendar year.
  • What I like about the program: The program is easy to use; the entry-level for elite status is one of the lowest of all airlines; you can also book award tickets on non-Star Alliance partner Iberia; you can redeem miles and cash to cover an award flight if you don’t have enough miles; LifeMiles don’t charge fuel surcharges on awards, no matter what airline you’re flying (although a $25 USD booking fee applies for Star Alliance Award tickets

    ); and yo uranium can redeem all prize tickets using LifeMiles.com or LifeMiles App ( iOS/Android ) to travel on Avianca, Star Alliance and other travel partners as Iberia and Aeromexico

  • What I don’t like about the program: LifeMiles does not always have access to Lufthansa First Class availability; and miles expire after 12 months of account inactivity.


SkyPass – which uses the motto ‘ Beyond your Imagination ’ – is the frequent aviator program of Korean Air, the sag carrier wave of South Korea. It ’ second probably one of the most underestimate patronize aviator programs in the world. If you tend to fly with Korean Air frequently, you decidedly have to take some time to look into this course of study and its many benefits. flush when you don ’ thyroxine fly Korean Air a batch but your preference is flying airlines of the SkyTeam alliance, you should placid consider a SkyPAss membership because Korean Air ’ s patronize aviator program is by army for the liberation of rwanda the best loyalty schedule in the SkyTeam alliance ( and decidedly more reinforce than Delta ’ second SkyMiles ) .

  • Website: SkyPass
  • Alliance program: SkyTeam
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 50,000 miles or 40 qualifying flights on Korean Air per calendar year.
  • What I like about the program: There is excellent award availability on Korean Air-operated flights (including tons of First Class seat awards); SkyPass allows the registration of a family account; you can book award flights with all SkyTeam members online; and the program has many interesting non-SkyTeam partners (e.g. Alaska Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Japan Airlines).
  • What I don’t like about the program: SkyPass charges significant fuel surcharges; and the entry level for elite status requires an insane amount of miles.


british Airways ’ tiered commitment program is called the Executive Club and was launched in 1995. In 2011, following its fusion with Iberia, the masthead aircraft carrier of the United Kingdom and the establish penis of the One World ball-shaped airline introduced dramatic changes to its Executive Club course of study, creating a clear-cut reward currency, Avios. Avios is a alliance broadcast, offering members of the frequent circular programs of British Airways and Iberia thousands of ways to earn and redeem Avios for flights, hotels, and even travel experiences. Although Executive Club has many downsides, it scores high in my number because it ’ s the alone loyalty program of a major western bequest airline that is not ( so far ) gross based .

  • Website: Executive Club
  • Alliance program: One World
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 300 tier points in a calendar year.
  • What I like about the program: Executive Club offers several flight bargains (such as Boston to Dublin on partner Aer Lingus or 12,500 Avios for one-way USA West Coast to Hawaii flights); you can pool earned Avios in a family account to maximize your earnings; elite members can invite a guest in the airport lounges; and the program is not revenue based (yet).
  • What I don’t like about the program: Executive Club adds incredibly high surcharges for award flights, especially for British Airways-operated flights departing from the United Kingdom.
  • Review: read my review of Executive Club here.


mileage plan is the frequent circular program of USA based airline Alaska Airlines ( which merged with Virgin America in 2016 ). Members earn flight miles according to the distance flown, quite than according to the price of their tickets ( which is immediately the new standard in the USA, Europe and Asia ). For the average traveler, this means more release flights and faster elect status. mileage plan miles can be redeemed for award flights on Alaska Airlines and its spouse carriers and provide eligibility for frequent circular elite condition. Alaska Airlines is a member of the One World confederation but has besides established an impressive collaboration with a twelve other airlines, serving more than 900 destinations cosmopolitan .

  • Website: Mileage Plan
  • Alliance program: One World
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 20,000 eligible miles earned on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America per calendar year.
  • What I like about the program: Mileage Plan is not revenue based; you can earn and spend miles on great airline partners (e.g. all One World airlines and several others such as Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Fiji Airways and Emirates); and the program has one of the best all-around award charts.
  • What I don’t like about the program: Blackout dates apply on reward travel; miles expire after two years of inactivity; and the program is only of interest to USA based travelers.
  • Review: read my review of Mileage Plan here.


AAdvantage is the frequent aviator program of American Airlines. Launched in 1981, it was the second such commitment program in the global ( after the beginning at Texas International Airlines in 1979 ) and remains the largest with a report membership of more than 100 million. For decades, AAdvantage was by far the best and most reinforce commitment course of study, not only for american english citizens living nearby the American Airlines hub of Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Dallas ) but besides for travelers based outside the USA. however, that all changed after USA Airways took over American Airlines, keeping the post list and the commitment broadcast, but introducing a massive devaluation and – final year – a gross based earning system. But despite these changes, I still consider AAdvantage to be the best frequent aviator program in the world because of the many benefits .

  • Website: AAdvantage
  • Alliance program: One World
  • Minimum elite status requirement: 25,000 qualifying miles or 30 qualifying segments per calendar year in addition to a $3,000 USD minimum annual spending level.
  • What I like about the program: You can earn miles with more than 1,000 partner companies; AAdvantage has plenty of interesting non-One World airline partners (e.g. Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, Westjet, Hawaiian Airlines); the program regularly launches terrific promotions to earn extra miles; and top-tier members receive four upgrades per year on American Airlines flights.
  • What I don’t like about the program: Although it was the last of the big three USA airlines to do so, AAdvantage is now revenue-based, meaning miles are awarded based on dollars spent rather than number of miles flown. Also, your mileage credit will be forfeited if your account is inactive for 18 months.
  • Review: read my review of the AAdvantage program here.


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