TPG Readers’ Favorite Loyalty Programs That No Longer Exist

Jan 13, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

We recently asked our TPG Lounge readers to reveal their favorite loyalty program that no longer exists. Not surprisingly, many of them mentioned Starwood Preferred Guest’s former rewards system as their number one, while others mentioned how Virgin America Elevate was the program they swore by. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Airline Rewards Programs You Miss Dearly

From oldies-but-goodies like TWA and Pan Am to other lesser-known airlines like Midwest Express and Republic Airlines, these are the airline rewards programs you miss the most.

“Midwest Express Airlines. Their headquarters was in Milwaukee, free drinks and meals in China, and first-class seats throughout the cabin!” — Robin S.B.

“America West Airlines. Great redemption. Freddie award winner for years.” — John H.

“My first, the Piedmont Frequent Flyer Bonus Program. I spent 25,000 miles for a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles (LAX) and paid 60 bucks to sit in F from Charlotte (CLT) to LAX on a 767-200.” — Marshall J.

“SPG’s points were like gold coins. That and Continental Airlines OnePass.” — Jeff R.

“I still have my TWA card!” — Cheryl F.M.

“Republic Airlines. 20,000 miles per free round-trip anywhere they went.” — Kevin S.

Pan Am, consistently upgraded me as a frequent customer. Flew all over the world with them in mostly 747s.” — Frank I.

“I was (am?) a Lifetime Clipper Club Member and virtually always got upgraded when I was flying to Europe from the East Coast. How I miss Pan Am.” — Steve M.

“The American Airlines AAdvantage program, since it’s now virtually worthless to me. Thanks Dougie.” — Carry B.

“AirTran A+ Rewards. Such a simple program and you could use two credits to upgrade to first class on any flight.” — Jack V.

“TWA. For all those times I got credit for flying to BAL (in Turkey) when the airport was actually BWI (Baltimore).” — Jon W.

“Northwest WorldPerks. I was always able to find 25,000-mile flights back to my home in the Midwest. Plus, even as a Silver Elite, I would regularly get upgraded on my domestic flights.” — Scott K.

“US Airways. When I was working, I did almost weekly shuttle flights to Boston (BOS) or Washington, DC (DCA), from New York (LGA). Loved the pre-9/11 days when you could arrive at the last-minute and just hop on the plane.” — Meg G.

“Not a whole program, but I was really bummed that United removed the 10,000-mile spending bonus on the credit card. We’re not frequent travelers but we’re frequent spenders, so that was a great benefit for us!” — Jean L.

“US Airways Dividend Miles.” — Evan B.

“AirTran A+Rewards was my first and fave!” — Randi S.L.

“PanAm in the 80s. If I recall correctly, I scored two first-class tickets to Greece for 80,000 miles, perhaps 160,000. Also, triple-the-miles promotions on United and PanAm during the early days of mileage programs.” — Mike M.

“Virgin America Elevate. The airline flew all of the places I needed to go and getting status was a snap with the cobranded Visa card.” — Brian C.

“Airberlin Topbonus [gave you] Oneworld Emerald and Etihad Platinum status with $100,000 credit card spend, including two upgrade vouchers and 100,000 miles for the spend. 25,000 miles could be used for upgrades of the cheapest tickets, like $500 round-trip from Germany to the US, to transatlantic business class. No other program had access to more first-class lounges and free hot pre-order meals on all flights over one hour. RIP.” — Mathias W.H.

Northwest WorldPerks. I wasn’t aware enough at the time to really compare it to other programs but I remember booking an 80,000 mile round-trip business-class fare from Detroit to Italy. It spoiled me and ruined economy class forever, so it has a special place in my heart.” — Mark C.

“US Airways was so good with the frequent flyer flights. I was upgraded several times and they always found me a flight with miles. I was loyal until the end.” — Terri G.

US Airways was a former favorite for several TPG Lounge members. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos / Corbis / Getty Images)
US Airways was a former favorite for several TPG Lounge members. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos / Corbis / Getty Images)

Your Favorite Former Hotel Loyalty Programs

For several TPG Lounge readers, it was all about the hotels. Here’s a look at some of their favorite now-defunct loyalty programs — and one close to many readers’ hearts that will never be the same.

Fairmont. The credit card offered two free nights and annual certificates for a third night free that could be stacked with suite upgrade certificates and the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free perk.” — Family T.P.

“SPG. Marriott has ruined it.” — Curtis B.

“Another vote for SPG. This Marriott merger has been awful.” — Gloria L.

“The Marriott/SPG merger has opened up a lot of new property options everywhere, especially in small cities, but I’m not feeling as appreciated as a nine-year Platinum Elite. Can’t wait to hit Platinum Elite for life at the end of 2019 and start looking for unique, boutique, upscale properties for new experiences.” — Mary K.

“It was SPG. Now I don’t know if I care.” — Ted C.

Some TPG Lounge readers will never be the same after the SPG/Marriott merger. (Photo courtesy of the St. Regis Maldives)
Some TPG Lounge readers will never be the same after the SPG/Marriott merger. (Photo courtesy of the St. Regis Maldives)

Other Rewards Programs You Want Back

Last but not least, two TPG Lounge members gave special shout-outs to two worthy non-points rewards programs, brought to you by Bing and Subway.

“Microsoft Bing 50% cash back on any eBay items (Gift cards).” — Jeffrey C.

“Subway stamp cards. So many free foot-longs.” — Chris T.

Featured photo by TK. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.