TRAVELNovember 01, 2022

Best Travel Rewards Programs in 2022

With the current rate of inflation across the world, many people would rather spend money knowing that they are either earning points through a loyalty program, getting cash back or being rewarded in a different way that makes sense to them.

Luckily, many rewards programs exist today and you can be able to get points per dollar for different purchases that you make.

What are Travel Rewards Programs?

Travel rewards programs are concepts that are designed to basically reward frequent travelers who fly and stay at hotels.

For every dollar spent, travelers can earn points or miles that they can redeem for free flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals or shopping.

Regardless of whether you're a frequent traveler or not, signing up for airline loyalty programs or hotel loyalty programs is a smart thing to do as you can redeem the points for different things once they accumulate.

The aim of these programs is to create a sense of brand loyalty among frequent travelers.

In case you're wondering which travel rewards programs to enroll for, here are the best ones as rated by the annual US News ranking. According to the U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on an analysis of expert and user opinions

Best Travel Rewards Programs

Best Hotel Rewards Programs

Traveling usually includes many moving parts; from booking flights, to airport transfers to hotel bookings.

It is therefore very rare that just one travel program can suit all of a traveler's needs. To start off, here are the top 5 hotel rewards programs as ranked by U.S. News.

1. World of Hyatt

Ranked #1 in Best Hotel Rewards Program

Overall score: 4.74/5

Number of hotels in network: 1,000 - 3,999

This hotel rewards program serves business and leisure travelers visiting major cities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico and Asia. In the U.S. the hotels are concentrated in major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco.

With a portfolio of 1,100+ properties around the world, program members are able to accumulate points to use for free nights, room upgrades, airline miles, car rentals, dining and spa and fitness services.

Those who have the World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase Visa, can earn extra points for everyday purchases like dining and car rentals as well as charges made at Hyatt hotels.

2. Wyndham Rewards

Ranked #2 in Best Hotel Rewards Programs

Overall score: 4.71/5

Number of hotels in network: 4,000+

This hotel rewards program is best suited for business and leisure travelers visiting popular destinations in the U.S, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia.

Members earn points when they stay at any of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts' properties. They have also partnered with various airlines like American Airlines and United Airlines where members can also earn miles or points.

Travelers are also able to earn points on car rentals as well as with everyday purchases if they have one of three Wyndham Rewards Earner Visa credit cards. The points earned can be redeemed for hotel stays, vacation rentals, flights, tours and activities, gift cards and retail purchases.

3. Marriott Bonvoy

Ranked #3 in Best Hotel Rewards Programs

Overall score: 4.68/5

Number of hotels in network: 4,000+

The Marriott Bonvoy rewards program caters to business and leisure travelers visiting major cities in the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe.

Program members earn points when they stay with any of the 30 brands that are affiliated with Marriott Bonvoy. Members can also earn extra points if they make purchases using one of American Express' Marriott-affiliated credit cards or one of Chase Visa's Marriott-affiliated cards.

Members can redeem points for hotel stays, room upgrades, retail gift cards, cruise vacations, rental cars and unique experiences, such as concerts and sporting events.

Points accumulated at Marriott Bonvoy can also be used to pay for TSA PreCheck applications, airport lounge access and flights through 40 airline rewards programs like United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles.

4. Choice Privileges

Ranked #4 in Best Hotel Rewards Programs

Overall score: 4.68/5

Number of hotels in network: 4,000+

The Choice Privileges rewards program serves families and business travelers who prefer to travel and see the world on a budget.

With more than 7,000 hotels participating in the program, they cater to travelers visiting the U.S., Asia, Europe, Australia, Mexico, Central and South America, Canada and the Caribbean.

Members can redeem their points and use them for free stays at Choice Hotels brands. Those with the Choice Privileges Visa Signature credit card from Barclays can earn Choice Privileges points for every dollar spent on hotel stays and everyday purchases.

5. IHG One Rewards

Ranked #5 in Best Hotel Rewards Programs

Overall score: 4.68/5

Number of hotels in network: 4,000+

With 6000+ properties under their portfolio in 100+ countries, IHG Hotels & Resorts has multiple hotels in major cities like New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Shanghai and London.

Members can earn points through hotel stays and everyday purchases with an IHG Rewards credit card from Chase. They can redeem those points and pay for hotel stays, air travel and buying goods and services online.

Best Airline Rewards Programs

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Ranked #1 in Best Airline Rewards Programs

Overall score: 3.56/5

Number of daily flights: 1,000 - 2,000

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan serves frequent flyers who visit destinations such as Alaska, West Coast cities like Seattle and Portland, Oregon and major transportation hubs like Atlanta and New York City, as well as destinations in Canada, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica.

Members can earn miles on every Alaska Airlines flight that they take, as well as flights on Alaska Airlines' 23 partner airlines. Another way that they can earn miles is by making their daily purchases using Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card or by staying with their six participating hotel partners. The miles earned can be used to get free flights on Alaska Airlines and other participating carriers, hotel stays at partner properties, charity donations and magazine subscriptions.

Delta SkyMiles

Ranked #21 Best Airline Rewards Programs

Overall score: 3.52/5

Number of daily flights: 2,000+

The Delta SkyMiles program is a great option for people who fly often and are based in cities in the U.S. like Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle, and those who frequently fly to and from New York City.

Annually, the airline flies to roughly 300 destinations across 50-plus countries. Members usually earn miles based on the amount that they pay for their flight with Delta, Delta Connection or Delta Shuttle. They can also earn miles for flying with any of Delta's 20+ partner airlines.

Members can redeem these miles for free flights on any partner airline or cash in for cabin upgrades, vacation packages or Delta gift cards in the SkyMiles Marketplace. Travelers who use Delta also get to earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). These are helpful as they help them get perks through the Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite membership program. Members can also earn miles daily on daily purchases if they have signed up for a Delta SkyMiles credit card by American Express.

United MileagePlus

Ranked #3 Best Airline Rewards Programs

Overall score: 3.42/5

Number of daily flights: 2,000+

The United MileagePlus program is best suited for flyers who are based in major cities in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, Australia, Mexico and Asia.

Members of the reward program can redeem miles for flights, hotel stays, cruises, magazine subscriptions and more.


Ranked #4 Best Airline Rewards Programs

Overall score: 3.21/5

Number of daily flights: 2,000+

The HawaiianMiles rewards program is best for people traveling from the U.S., Asia and the South Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands. The airline serves 30+ domestic and international destinations.

Members can earn miles from booking flights, staying at specific hotels and shopping at the airline's partner vendors. To earn more miles, members can sign up and use the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard from Barclays. They can redeem their miles for stays at hotels, car rentals and flights on Hawaiian Airlines and its airline partners.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Ranked #5 Best Airline Rewards Programs

Overall score: 2.92/5

Number of daily flights: 2,000+

The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is ideal for travelers who are budget conscious, are based in the U.S. and often fly to major cities around the U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Southwest flies to 100+ destinations and as a member, you get to earn points for every dollar spent on flights and with the airline's hotel, car rental and retail partners. You can also earn extra points on Southwest Airlines and partner purchases through everyday purchases.

Members who have the Southwest credit card can also use points to pay for things like wine tastings, cruises and spa packages. Members can also earn extra points if they have one of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase Visa.

How to Find the Best Travel Rewards Programs for You

When looking to sign up for a travel rewards program, here are some important factors to put into consideration:

Flexibility of the program

When choosing a travel rewards program, find out if the points that you earn expire or are valid forever. This is so that you don't feel pressure to travel even when you don't want to just so you can redeem your points.

Destinations and hotels that you'd like to visit

Identify the places that you'd like to go and the hotels that you'd like to stay at, and then choose a program that is aligned with that. That way, you'll be able to explore your favorite places while earning points at the same time.

Your most frequently used airport(s)

To maximize on the benefits of a program, choose an airport that serves your local area as this gives you a better chance of earning more miles and redeeming them.

How and when rewards can be used

It is important that you find out if the benefits that come with the rewards program can be easily redeemed or if there are rigid terms and conditions. For example, you can find that for some programs the points expire after a certain duration or for airlines, there are so many blackout dates that it becomes difficult for you to redeem your points when you want to travel.

How fast you can achieve elite status

If you'd like to achieve elite status quickly, it is important for you to check the various frequent flier program’s requirements for flying a certain number of miles, spending a designated amount of money, or both and see whether it's something that is achievable for you.

Pros & Cons of Travel Rewards Programs

As with all other programs, there are advantages and disadvantages of enrolling in a travel rewards program. Here are some pros and cons to consider.


  • One can get to enjoy premium experiences at reduced prices by redeeming their points. This applies to flights, hotels and car rentals.
  • For frequent flyers, achieving elite status comes with a lot of perks like free upgrades, bonus miles, early boarding, free passes to airport lounges among other benefits.
  • Some travel rewards programs do award members with points for everyday purchases. This therefore makes it easier to redeem points for things that you want even if you're not a frequent traveler.
  • Other programs offer new members a great welcome bonus as an incentive to join and become a member of the program. This can come in handy for future travels or when making certain purchases.
  • For people who like to travel, they can save more on their hotel stays through member only rates. Non-members usually pay full hotel fees while members get discounted rates.


  • You can end up spending a lot more money by buying things that you don't need in order to earn more points that you can redeem for flights or a hotel stay.
  • Some programs may not be all the way flexible and this may affect travelers in different ways. For example, not every single seat on a flight can be booked using points. This may deter some people from signing up for such programs.
  • Tracking all your details might end up being cumbersome for some members. Tracking expiration dates and staying on top of points accumulated from different airlines or hotels can eventually get a bit hectic.


Different people use travel rewards programs for different purposes. If you'd like to join an existing program, just find one that best suits your needs.

And if you are a traveler who enjoys staying at boutique hotels and vacation rentals any time you visit California, here are two prime properties that you need to check out.

Resthaven LA

Resthaven is a luxury vacation rental located in Venice, California. The home is perfect for people looking to experience luxury travel, on company retreats, on their honeymoon or simply looking for a new adventure.

This home sits on 3,400 sq. ft., has 4 beds and 4.5 baths. It's close proximity to popular tourist attractions such as Muscle Beach, Ocean Front Walk and the Venice Fishing Pier makes it the perfect home for tourists looking to explore the city.

Overall, Resthaven LA is a luxurious, safe and private vacation rental where you can relax, unwind and just breathe. If you would like to get more information on the home, get in touch with us today!

Resthaven Tahoe

Resthaven Tahoe is a boutique hotel located in California, South Lake Tahoe near Stateline & Edgewood, 4145 Manzanita Ave; a prime tourist destination.

This prime property offers 20 rooms equipped with smart keys and virtual check-ins. With guest amenities like newly renovated rooms, fire pit and outdoor space, this private escape offers the perfect mix of comfort and proximity to recreational activities.

Guests staying at the property can enjoy activities like kayaking, jet skiing, water sports among others at the warm and shallow beach. Other fun activities to engage in include hiking, cycling, golf, swimming events, concerts, among others.

For more information on the property, get in touch with us here.

Resthaven Properties

Unified Hub is an online booking engine that shifts the accommodation search experience from “where” to “who.” Consumers are inspired to experience the same properties as the value-aligned content creators they follow which leads to intentional purchase decisions based on whom they are spending in support of, not where they will be located when they spend.

Resthaven Properties is a collection of Black-owned luxury vacation properties. Resthaven Properties focuses on acquiring vacation property across the world's best travel destinations for predictable income and appreciation. So far, the luxury properties under the Resthaven Properties portfolio include Resthaven Los Angeles, Resthaven Tahoe, and Resthaven Zihuatanejo. Resthaven Properties operate under membership options that disrupt traditional lodging and timeshare accommodations by implementing a pay once and use for a lifetime strategy. The team opportunistically acquires properties in the 5-7M range based on the high potential for appreciation and a prime location for leisure travel and intentionally supports diverse vendors in each property.

Bay Street Capital Holdings is a leading Black-owned investment firm. The team of 17 is 75% women, 66% 1st-generation American, and 47% under the age of 30. DLA Piper serves as legal counsel, Weaver serves as tax advisor, and Juniper Square serves as fund administrator.

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