United continues 14-year streak for best travel rewards program

Ryan Brinks 5 December 2017

United continues its dominance of travel rewards programs

Generous rewards credit cards have helped United’s MileagePlus loyalty program soar above others.

United’s MileagePlus has been voted Best Overall Frequent Flyer Program 14 years in a row by Global Traveler.

The rankings come from Global Traveler’s reader survey of frequent business and luxury travelers, who average 11 international and 13 domestic flights, 60 nights in hotel rooms and $312,000 in annual household income.

United was awarded for its rewards-rich United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase, which has reigned as Global Traveler’s Best Credit Card and Best Credit Card Rewards Program for six consecutive years. Additionally, United’s MileagePlus Explorer Card extended its streak as Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card to five years.

In the world of hotel stays, InterContinental Hotels Group has a track record nearly as impressive. Its IHG Rewards Club has taken out the Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World category for 13 consecutive years.

While United led in the biggest categories, other rewards programs were also acknowledged, including:

  • Best Frequent-Flyer Elite-Level Program: Hawaiian Airlines’ Pualani Platinum Membership
  • Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption: LifeMiles
  • Best Frequent-Flyer Customer Service, Americas: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Best Frequent-Stay Elite-Level Program: World of Hyatt Platinum
  • Best Frequent-Stay Bonus Program: Marriott Rewards
  • Best Frequent-Stay Award Redemption: World of Hyatt
  • Best Frequent-Stay Customer Service, Americas: World of Hyatt
  • Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card: Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase
  • Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Promotions: Hilton Honors Card from American Express
  • Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Benefits: Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase
  • Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Redemptions: The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan
  • Best Credit Card Special Events: Inside Access from Chase
  • Best Small Business Credit Card: The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan
  • Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
  • Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Promotions: Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
  • Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Benefits: Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
  • Best Cruise Line Affinity Credit Card: Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature

If they fit your lifestyle and spending habits, rewards credit cards can rack up some serious benefits. Some of the newest ones include the Uber Visa Card and the PlayStation Card. While the award-winning cards and programs mentioned above are popular among travelers, there may be better deals for your particular situation. Compare Global Traveler’s best cards with our top travel rewards credit cards, or check out our guides to hotel credit cards, cash back credit cards and gas rewards credit cards.

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