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Planning a last-minute Spring Break getaway?  Already dreaming about a summer in Paris?  Whatever the case, get the most bang for your buck this new year by choosing one of the best airline mileage programs!

No loyalty program is one-size-fits-all, so it is important to choose one that best fits your lifestyle.  Figure out what is important to you when booking a flight.  A few things to consider when choosing a program include network coverage, flight options, and how easy it is to earn a free flight.  Here are some of the leading national frequent flier programs:

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan – This plan best serves those who frequent Alaska, West Coast cities (like Portland or Seattle), or major transportation hubs (like New York City or Washington, D.C.).  Points can be earned through air travel on Alaska Airlines or any of their 17 partner airlines; making purchases with an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card; or staying at any of the 11 participating hotel partners.  Points can be used on booking flights and cabin upgrades!

  1. JetBlue TrueBlue – This program caters mainly to East Coast travelers (like New York City or Orlando) who primarily fly domestically or to the Caribbean.  Earn points through air travel on JetBlue or any of their 6 partner airlines; making purchases with one of the JetBlue credit cards from MasterCard; staying at any of the 7 participating hotel partners; or even renting a car from any of the 7 participating car rental partners.  Points can be used to cover the cost of future JetBlue or partnering air travel!

  1. Southwest Rapid Rewards – This program was made for budget-minded travelers who frequent major cities around the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.  Southwest offers over 3,9000 flights to more than 90 destinations daily.  Points can be earned for every dollar spent on Southwest flights; making purchases with one of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase Visa; staying at any of the 10 participating hotel partners; or renting a car from any of the 8 participating auto partners.  Points can be used to cover the cost of airfare, or even hotel stays, cruises, car rentals, and gift cards!

  1. Delta SkyMiles – This program is convenient for fliers based in cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Atlanta, as well as those who often travel to and from New York City.  Earn points when you book with Delta or any of their 26 partnering airlines; making purchases with a Delta SkyMiles credit card by American Express; staying at any of their 20 hotel partners; or by using any of their 9 participating auto partners.  Points can be used on booking flights as well as cabin upgrades!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science. Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!