Matthew Riter

Valuable Airline Miles for US Residents

 (“Partner awards allowed” – Example: Alaska Airlines miles can be used to book flights with designated partners by calling Alaska Airlines)

Major Players:

Alaska Airlines – Mileage Plan

--Hubs: Seattle, Portland, Anchorage, Los Angeles

--No alliance, but many partners

--Partner awards allowed – includes Delta, American Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Aero Mexico, LAN, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Qantas, and a few other airlines

--One way awards allowed – starting at 12,500 miles

--Credit card option: Bank of America - Alaska Airlines Visa Signature

American Airlines – AAdvantage

--Hubs: Dallas, Chicago, Miami, JFK, LAX

--One World Alliance

--Partner awards allowed – includes Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, JAL, Qatar Airways, Qantas, among others--One way awards allowed – starting at 12,500 miles

--Credit card options: Citibank – AAdvantage World MasterCard (Executive or Platinum Select)

British Airways – Executive Club

--Hub: London Heathrow, London Gatwick

--One World Alliance

--Partner awards allowed – see American Airlines partners

--One way awards allowed – starting at 4,500 miles

--Credit card option: Chase - British Airways Visa Signature

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

--Hubs: Minneapolis, Detroit, LaGuardia, JFK, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo

--Sky Team Alliance

--Partners awards allowed – includes Air France, KLM, China Airlines, Alitalia, among others

--Round-trip awards required – starting at 25,000 miles

--Credit card options: American Express - Delta SkyMiles (Gold, Platinum, or Reserve)

United Airlines – MileagePlus

--Hubs: Denver, Newark, Chicago, Washington Dulles, Cleveland, Houston, LAX, San Francisco, Tokyo

--Star Alliance

--Partner awards allowed – includes Air Canada, Asiana Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, among others

--One way awards allowed – starting at 12,500 miles

--Credit card options: Chase - United MileagePlus (Awards or Explorer)


(US Airways – Dividend Miles)

--Hubs: Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington Reagan, Phoenix

--Star Alliance – US Airways merges with American Airlines in March of 2014 – US Airways miles become AA miles (One World Alliance)

--Partner awards allowed – see United and AA partners

--Round-trip awards required – starting at 25,000 miles

--Credit card option: Barclays - US Airways World MasterCard

    • Budget Airlines:

Frontier Airlines – Early Returns

--Hub: Denver

--No alliance - no partners

--Round-trip awards required – starting at 20,000 miles

--Credit card option: Barclays - Frontier Airlines World MasterCard

Hawaiian Airlines - HawaiianMiles

--Hubs: Honolulu, Kahului

--No alliance, but many partners

--Partner awards allowed - includes ANA, AA, China Airlines, Korean Air, JetBlue, Virgin America

--One way awards allowed – starting at 7,500 miles for inter-island flights

--Credit card option: Barclays - Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

JetBlue – TrueBlue

--Focus Cities: Boston, Newark, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, San Juan (PR)

--No alliance, but many partners

--Partner awards allowed - includes BA, AA, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, JAL, Cathay Pacific, El Al, Etihad, among others

--One way awards allowed – starting at 5,000 miles

--Credit card option: American Express - JetBlue Card

Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards

--Focus Cities: Denver, Dallas, Houston, LAX, Phoenix, Atlanta

--No alliance – no partners

--One way awards allowed – starting at 1,800 miles

--Credit card option: Chase - Rapid Rewards Plus Visa

Spirit Airlines – Free Spirit

--Hub: Fort Lauderdale

--No alliance – no partners

--One-way awards allowed – starting at 2,500 miles

--Credit card option: Bank of America - Spirit Airlines World MasterCard

Virgin America - Elevate

--Hub: San Francisco (secondary: LAX)

--No alliance, but partner awards allowed - Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia

--One way awards allowed – starting at 2,500 miles

--No current credit card option

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