Flying High: The Best Airline Business Travel Rewards Programs

Business.com / Entrepreneurship / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

To help you get the most from a loyalty travel program, we have evaluated some of the best ones as ranked by U.S. News in 2015.

Nowadays it’s fairly easy to be lured by a hotel or an airline travel loyalty program. Above all, who wouldn’t consider a free flight, room upgrade or another beneficial reward?

The catch as any program loyalist can lay claim is that optimizing business travel programs can be hard.

Whilst it’s quite straightforward to join a rewards program, getting significant rewards and perks may come packed with a string of conditions.

The question is how can you determine if a reward program is worth your effort and time? It helps to study at the various loyalty programs side by side to enable you to have an overview of the value they provide, then parlay that analysis into a decision regarding which airline best matches your needs.

To help you get the most from a loyalty travel program, we have evaluated some of the best ones as ranked by U.S. News in 2015. These loyalty programs were chosen in terms of easiness of earning free flight, airline quality, additional benefits, and number of flight, network flexibility and flight availability.

Related Article:5 Tech Tips for Business Travelers: Essential Steps to a Productive Trip

The Alaska Airlines Travel Program

Ranked #1 in best airline travel rewards plans by U.S.News, the Alaska Airlines Travel Program is tailored to frequent business travelers based on travel frequency to and from destinations within Alaska or West Cost towns such as Portland and Seattle, Oregon. Any Alaska Airlines Travel Program subscriber gets to enjoy earning miles on each Alaska Airlines Flight taken and on eligible travel on Alaska's sixteen partner airlines such as Delta Airlines, British Airways and American Airlines.

American Airlines AAdvantage

This is another highly reputed business loyalty travel program that should be on your travel shopping list. American Airlines AA Advantage rewards travelers based in southern, central and eastern American cities like Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and New York who travel to destinations across the globe. By joining this program, you will gain miles for each American eagle and American Airline promoted or codeshare flight.

And owing to the carrier's merger with U.S. Airways, you will  also have a chance to gain miles for each U.S. Airways flight along with miles travel on partner airlines via American Airlines'  broad "one world" frequent flier network that includes Qatar Airways and British Airways.

In addition, you can get miles for daily purchases if you utilize the MasterCard from Citi AAdvantage program. Owing to the American Airlines partnerships with many car rental firms, cruise lines, retailers, restaurants and cheap hotels, you can gain AAdvantage miles on a wide range of travel expense

Related Article:What Is Bleisure: Dumb Word or Great Business Travel Approach?

The Hilton HHonors Program

As one of the most coveted business loyalty travel program, the Hilton HHonors program is tailored both luxury and business travelers who regularly travel and lodge in popular cities across North America, Asia and Europe. By joining this loyalty program you will relish the chance to redeem accumulated points at over 4,000 resorts and hotel brands in more than 90 countries along with over 60 rail and airline partners. On top of that, you can gain points for daily purchases with Citi Visa and Hilton HHonors American Express cards

The Marriott’s Rewards Program

This highly rated and reputed loyalty program targets both leisure and business travelers who frequently tour major cities across North America, Europe, and Asia. Once you enroll you'll gain rewards points anytime you lodge in with one of their associated 19 brands such Courtyard Marriot, Ritz Carlton, residence Inn and Renaissance Inn. Likewise, you can earn more points by making daily purchases with Chase Visa's two Marriot loyalty credit cards. On top of room upgrades and hotel stays, you can easily redeem points for dining and spa gift cards.

The United Mileage Plus Program

This loyalty program is targeted at business and leisure travelers  who frequently visit major American destinations such as Denver, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco and other leisure destinations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. As a member, you can earn and redeem miles on United and other 35 plus airline partners such as Copa Airlines, Singapore Airlines and ANA via the Star Alliance Network.

As a member, you will accumulate Premier Qualifying Segments (PQS) Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) and Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) every time you fly. Accumulate enough of these and you will attain Premier status for which you will get additional rewards. On top of that, you can redeem miles on qualifying car rentals, cruise vacations, and train fares along with dining, shopping and other services.

Related Article: Business Travel Accessories Every Road Warrior Needs

The SouthWest Rapid Rewards Program

This loyalty travel program is tailored for business travelers based around the southwestern United States who regularly travel to major American, Caribbean and Mexico cities. After merging with Air Tran, Southwest Airlines delivers more than 4,000 flights daily to more than 100 destinations thereby making it a popular choice amongst business travelers.

After enrolling as a South West Rewards member, you will gain points for each dollar spent on their flights and with the carrier's car rental, hotel and retail partners. If you've one of their Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, you will be able to earn more points on Southwest flights and partner services and by conducting daily purchases

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