Because reward levels vary between airlines – – so does the value of their frequent flier currency. The highest buying power is offered by airlines with the lowest reward levels such as Frontier and Alaska. (This table) lists the current buying power of the top mileage based programs in the United States:
Program – Mileage Value
Frontier EarlyReturns – $0.024
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan – $0.018
America West FlightFund – $0.017
US Airways Dividend Miles – $0.015
American AAdvantage – $0.014
Continental OnePass – $0.014
Delta SkyMiles – $0.014
Midwest Miles – $0.014
Northwest WorldPerks – $0.014
United Mileage Plus – $0.014
Mileage values were determined by dividing the weighted air fare for 2004 by the mileage level required by each program for domestic reward travel. America West and US Airways feature a two level standard reward structure for domestic travel.
America West FlightFund offers a 15,000 mile reward for trips up to 750 miles and a 25,000 mile reward for longer-distance trips. FlightFund’s mileage value was computed using a composite reward level of 21,645 miles (1/3 of the 15,000 mile level and 2/3 of the 25,000 mile level). US Airways Dividend program offers a seasonal 20,000 mile reward for travel between September 15 and the end of February and a 25,000 mile reward for the rest of the year. Dividend’s mileage value was computed using a computed reward level of 23,310 miles (1/3 of the 20,000 mile level and 2/3 of the 25,000 mile level).