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These Travel Rewards Programs Will Earn You a Free Flight or Hotel Stay, The Fastest

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan topped the US News & World Report's Best Airline Rewards Programs.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:August 9, 2017, 6:38 PM IST
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These Travel Rewards Programs Will Earn You a Free Flight or Hotel Stay, The Fastest
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan's mileage-based earning structure makes earning miles easier and faster, editors said. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ /FRANKO LEE)
If you're looking for a travel rewards program where you won't have to wait a decade before being able to redeem your points for an upgrade, your best bets are Alaska Airlines and Marriott.

For the third year in a row, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan topped the US News & World Report's Best Airline Rewards Programs, while Marriott Rewards took the top spot in the category of Best Hotel Rewards Program.

According to editors, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan's mileage-based earning structure makes it easier for travellers to earn miles compared to other revenue-based programs. Its merger with Virgin America will fold the Virgin America Elevate program into Alaska Airlines.

Thanks to the ease of earning points and its large international network of hotels in popular destinations -- 6,000 properties in 122 countries and territories -- Marriott Rewards was ranked the best hotel rewards program.

The Marriott hotel group includes brands such as the Ritz Carlton, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Marriott, Westin and Delta Hotels.

Members also benefit from complimentary wifi access, and can redeem their points towards booking experiences like sporting events and concerts.

For the ranking, editors look at membership benefits like free amenities, program-affiliated credit cards, redeemable experiences, network coverage, and the ease of earning and redeeming free flights or night stays.

"Today's travellers have so many rewards programs to choose from, comparing and contrasting them based on your specific needs can be a challenge," said Christine Smith, associate travel editor at US News.

"Our Best Travel Rewards Programs rankings emphasize the ease of earning points and miles, and redeeming them for free nights and flights, which everyday travellers identify as a top reason to join a loyalty program."

Here are the winners:

Hotel rewards programs
Marriott Rewards
Wyndham Rewards
Choice Privileges
World of Hyatt
Best Western Rewards


Airlines Rewards Programs
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Delta SkyMiles
JetBlue TrueBlue
Southwest Rapid Rewards
United Mileage Plus
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