Delta SkyMiles is the top airline rewards program for the third straight year, according to a new study from the personal finance site WalletHub.
WalletHub evaluates loyalty programs of the 10 largest US airlines based on which is best suited for each of three hypothetical budget categories: Light flier, Average flier and Frequent flier. Delta received top scores in each. The study also takes into consideration 23 variables including number of flights offered, destinations served, whether points expire, blackout dates, value of earned miles, upgrade potential and whether the airlines offered more awards this year compared to last (Delta did).
"We are on a multi-year journey that will continue to transform SkyMiles into a simplified, more rewarding program for our members," said Sandeep Dube, Vice President — Customer Engagement & Loyalty. "This recognition is yet another validation that our efforts are making SkyMiles even more of a reason for customers to choose Delta."
This is the latest award for Delta SkyMiles that was also named a Best Travel Rewards Programs by U.S. News for 2017-2018, thanks in part to the following unique program benefits:
Miles never expire
No blackout dates for Award Tickets on Delta Air Lines
Unique benefits for Medallion Members including: the only U.S. program to provide free access into lounges to their top-tier elites and the ability to rollover excess Medallion Qualifying Miles
All of these benefits are complimented by Delta's global network of more than 1,000 destinations and innovative partnerships like those cultivated with American Express, Airbnb and Lyft that allow SkyMiles Members to earn miles with Delta throughout their daily activities — not just when they fly.
Below is WalletHub's final 2018 ranking:
1. Delta Air Lines
2. Alaska Airlines
3. Hawaiian Airlines
4. American Airlines
5. United Airlines
6. JetBlue Airways
7. Southwest Airlines
8. Sun Country Airlines
9. Frontier Airlines
10. Spirit Airlines