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How TPG Readers Ranked the Best US Airline Loyalty Programs

Dec. 09, 2018
2 min read
Delta jets airplanes at airport
How TPG Readers Ranked the Best US Airline Loyalty Programs
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Tuesday Dec. 4 was an incredible moment for The Points Guy, as we hosted the inaugural TPG Awards on the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Musuem. The night featured a live performance by Grammy-nominated Bebe Rexha plus special tributes to Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee — in addition to honoring the best airlines, hotel programs and credit cards.

We released the full list of TPG Awards winners the morning after the show, but we wanted to give our readers a closer look at how the final voting fell for each category. Remember, the winners in all categories (aside from the best airline cabins) were chosen entirely by readers using a secured Google poll.

Here's a look at the nominees for best US airline loyalty program placed in order from most votes to fewest. Without any further ado...

  1. Delta SkyMiles
  2. Southwest Rapid Rewards
  3. United MileagePlus
  4. American AAdvantage
  5. Alaska Mileage Plan
  6. JetBlue TrueBlue

This was one of the closest votes in all of the awards, with the top two vote-getters separated by less than 1%. In the end, despite not publishing award charts and a slew of devaluations over the last few years, Delta SkyMiles took home the top spot. It's likely that the frequent award sales in 2018 helped with this (like 10,000 miles for round-trip domestic flights and 50,000 miles for round-trip flights to Australia), though just two days after the awards, the program did start rolling out Basic Economy on award tickets. This decidedly customer-unfriendly move may doom the carrier's chances at defending its title next year if it's expanded across the carrier's entire network, opening the door for an airline like Southwest (selected as TPG's best airline for families earlier this year) to dethrone Delta in 2019.