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2016-17 best travel rewards programs

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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan remains the Best Airline Rewards Program. By rewarding points based on the number of miles flown rather than dollars spent, the airline makes it easier for budget-conscious travelers to earn free flights on its vast partner network. JetBlue TrueBlue followed at No. 2 because of its multiple ways to earn points, high airline quality performance and elite member perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding and expedited security.

"The Best Travel Rewards Programs make it easier for travelers to understand and select the right program for them," said Erin Shields, travel editor at U.S. News. "The top ranked programs offer travelers perks they care about, such as room upgrades, free checked bags and easy ways to accumulate miles and points."

U.S. News ranks the Best Travel Rewards Programs in two categories: hotel loyalty programs and airline frequent flier programs. The methodologies take into account membership perks, network coverage and the ease of earning and redeeming free flights or nights. Additionally, U.S. News factors in property diversity for the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and airline quality ratings for the Best Airline Rewards Programs.


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