The 19th Annual Freddie Awards

The 19th Annual Freddie Awards

Let me take you back to January 1989. InsideFlyer was a mere three years old at that time and already I was being besieged by readers asking me to tell them which frequent flyer programs were truly the best. And I did tell them. But I soon realized that I was examining the value of these programs through my own eyes — and perhaps I had different values than what other members might be looking for. The value of a program is different when you have 32,000 miles vs. when you have 320,000 miles. Value is different when you live in Dallas than it is when you live in Salem, OR. And of course, value is much different when you use your miles to personally upgrade internationally than when you use them to give to family members. All these values, and all these programs, each delivering their own sense of value to members. So I started asking our readers which programs they considered the most valuable for them and started comparing the results. I was ecstatic that we had convinced over 1,000 travelers to take the time to tell us which programs were the “unabashed personal and entirely official best of 1988.” I still remember the day I wrote that a Freddie was given to Delta Frequent Flyer for being the first program to offer triple mileage. Marriott (then “Honored Guest Awards”) won the very first Freddie for Best Newsletter among all programs, airline and hotel. Continental/Eastern won the first Freddie for Best Frequent Flyer Program. And another winner that first year was Diners Club Club Rewards. And through the years, we’ve honored program executives like former AAdvantage President Bruce Chemel and last year, the 25th anniversary of frequent flyer miles, when we brought together the pioneers from 25 years ago who were there when this whole thing started.

It all seems so long ago as we celebrate the 19th year of the Freddies, and though many years have passed, and some frequent travelers, as well as various frequent traveler programs, have come and gone, one thing has remained constant: the public knows best. The Freddies are the consensus of nearly 450,000 travelers. The Freddies have found a home among the public, and with the most generous sponsorship of companies such as Points.com, Awards for Mortgage & Real Estate, Priority Pass, Executive Travel/SkyGuide, American Express Incentive Services, ICLP, Loylogic and InsideFlyer, I’m thrilled to have the honor of announcing this year’s winners.

But first let me share some unique perspectives. Of the 51 Freddie Awards earned this year, 57 percent of them were awarded to new winners. That’s right. Programs can’t rest on their laurels if they want to earn a Freddie Award. And the competition? Four of the winners were from first-time winners: Frontier, Choice Hotels, Etihad Airlines and Radisson SAS. Contrast this with just two years ago when 24 percent of the Freddies were awarded to new winners.

Make sure you read this month’s Opening Remarks to find out which programs earned my special recognition this past year. Unlike the Freddies, I look at innovation among programs and try and honor those programs whose impact on the industry will benefit us all.

And finally, the little program that could, Diners Club Club Rewards, who many of us root for every year just couldn’t muster up enough votes this year to qualify its Value Vote. But their streak of nine consecutive Freddie Award-winning years from the most demanding travelers in the world is likely to stand for quite some time.

I’m pleased to share the results.

Freddie Voting

The Freddie recipients are determined by members of frequent travel programs throughout the world. Members of the programs voted online for their favorites in nine categories from Jan. 15, 2006 to Feb. 28, 2007.

Nearly 450,000 people voted — that’s a 15.2 percent rise from last year. In our quest to truly determine the “best” and to level the playing field between programs with millions of members and those with thousands, we adopted a Value Vote system. Voters were asked to rate their favorite programs from one to 10, with 10 being the highest value. It is also our policy that in order for any program to get a Freddie Award, that program must garner at least one percent of the total votes within a particular category.

To ensure accuracy, votes were subject to no less than six audits using a variety of technology (68 different types of reports were referenced). We used only ballots that had been confirmed by those voting. A total of 87,222 ballots could not be confirmed, 76,332 from the Americas, 6,213 from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and 4,677 from the Japan, Pacific, Asia and Australia region.

You will notice that after the winners in each category, we have listed the Value Vote number, the average number between one and 10 given by the voters, and the total percentage of votes the program received in that particular category. We also list the total number of votes cast for the category. For example, 322,928 people voted for the Frequent Flyer Program of the Year in the Americas compared to 86,288 people who voted for Best Affinity Credit Card from a Frequent Guest Program in Europe, Middle East Africa. Our congratulations to all the programs listed here.

About the Freddie Awards
For 19 years, frequent travelers have made their picks for the best frequent traveler programs via the Freddie Awards. Introduced by InsideFlyer magazine publisher Randy Petersen in 1988, the Freddies allow members of frequent traveler programs to rank programs from their point of view. The awards have grown in stature and importance and are the most prestigious consumer-generated awards in the industry.

The Freddies were inspired by the late Sir Freddie Laker, who in 1978 was knighted by Queen Elizabeth ll for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy. Known for his pioneering marketing ideas within the travel industry, Laker founded Britain’s first all-jet air carrier, Laker Airways Limited. He also founded the “SKYTRAIN” service, which revolutionized the airline industry by offering no-reservation, low-cost air service. Mr. Laker passed away Feb. 9, 2006.

In 1995 the option to vote online, was introduced and now all voting is done via the Internet. This year’s co-sponsors of the Freddies are Points.com, Awards for Mortgage & Real Estate, Priority Pass, Executive Travel/SkyGuide, American Express Incentive Services, ICLP, Loylogic and InsideFlyer. These partnerships allow not only the readers of InsideFlyer magazine, but all travelers, the opportunity to choose the best programs that airlines, hotels and credit card companies have to offer.

Program of the Year
This category gets the most attention and the highest percentage of votes because some members might have limited experience with an elite program, award redemption or the program’s Web site but everyone knows which program offers them the best value overall. The Program of the Year category most clearly measures a program’s ability to excel in all categories. Voters were asked to vote on the frequent traveler program that offers the best overall combination of service, bonuses, awards, benefits and opportunities.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Program of the Year
[Americas]

Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns
As Frontier’s Web site states, “Sometimes it’s all about the free stuff.” With free tickets starting at just 15,000 miles, EarlyReturns has proved very popular with its members. This is the first year that EarlyReturns has won Program of the Year — it made it to the number four spot last year behind Southwest, Midwest and Alaska. This young program, started on Feb. 1, 2001, had the benefit of time to study what works with other programs and to build a frequent flyer program that truly succeeds. In addition to the popular low award threshold for flights in the U.S. and between the U.S. and Canada, the program’s elite level is attainable through not only flying but also spending with the EarlyReturns credit card, and elite-level members can enjoy special award options. Miles do not expire as long as a member generates accrual or redemption activity and its members are very pleased with the customer service — especially the service they receive over the phone. All of these various elements add up to happy members. With one of the highest Value Vote numbers in recent years for this category at 9.074, Frontier EarlyReturns has a lot to be proud of. Following very closely, at second through fourth place — all with an impressive Value Vote over nine — are three-time Program of the Year winner Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, two-time and last year’s winner Southwest Rapid Rewards and Midwest Miles. All of these programs share similar traits — straightforward with an emphasis on value. In the early years of the Freddie Awards, Continental OnePass ruled this category, but this year and last it has ranked number five. It’s interesting to note that OnePass’ Value Vote went up this year to 8.832 from 8.795 last year — not an insignificant number when you consider that in years past the number one spot didn’t break a Value Vote over nine. Delta SkyMiles was a rising star this year, moving up from 13th place to seventh and gaining in its Value Vote. Delta made changes to the SkyMiles program such as a stricter mileage expiration policy that weren’t well received by many, but in the eyes of the Freddie frequent flyer public, some of the changes Delta made must have worked. Among the top five programs’ Value Vote, there is only a .242 point difference. Clearly, several airlines are the winners here.

Category votes 322,928

Value Percent
1 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 9.074 4.51 %
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 9.061 10.37 %
3 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 9.038 10.81 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 9.027 1.46 %
5 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.832 6.77 %
6 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.725 19.15 %
7 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.621 17.04 %
8 JetBlue TrueBlue 8.558 1.25 %
9 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.503 7.10 %
10 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.472 1.39 %
11 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.461 10.25 %
12 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.438 4.12 %
13 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.917 1.45 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Program of the Year
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Last year’s winner, TAP Portugal Victoria tumbles to number eight this year while Qatar Airways Privilege Club moves up from number four to take top honors. Privilege Club offers generous lounge access to its topmost members as well as a family program that allows up to nine nominated family members to earn mileage bonuses when flying based on the elite-level members’ tier. Gold member family members earn a very generous 100 percent mileage bonus on the miles they fly. The program’s focus on benefits designed to make traveling smooth and comfortable, along with a solid partner list, has earned Privilege a Value Vote of 8.961 from its members who voted. The number two program this year is Miles & More — up from number 17 and 13 the last two years. Rounding out the top five is Gulf Air Frequent flyer at number three, SAS EuroBonus at number four and the 15th Annual Freddie winner, Emirates/SriLankan Skywards at number five. SAS EuroBonus has won Program of the Year on seven different occasions, but in recent years has fallen below the top 10. This year, it makes a comeback and can be seen in the number four position — only .494 point away from the top program. Also of note is the absence of last year’s number two program, Aeroflot Bonus, which seems to have slipped completely off the radar. A strong contender in this category is Etihad Airways Etihad Guest. As the new kid on the block, coming in at number six is quite the feat. Delta SkyMiles deserves a mention as the only U.S.-based airline to crack the top 12 at number seven. Delta has publicly announced its intention to be a truly global airline and this ranking seems to bear that out.

Category votes 97,776

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.961 4.08 %
2 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.642 15.83 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.624 2.03 %
4 SAS EuroBonus 8.467 3.77 %
5 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.430 4.74 %
6 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.424 1.19 %
7 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.409 1.04 %
8 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.386 5.63 %
9 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 8.093 4.87 %
10 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.078 2.31 %
11 South African Airways Voyager 7.971 34.24 %
12 British Airways Executive Club 7.655 7.43 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Program of the Year
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Jet Airways Jet Privilege
India’s Jet Airways Jet Privilege has moved up from its recent position as second best to the top of the category this year. With a Value Vote of 8.933, this program has won over its members with its innovative dynamic tier review system (a Freddie Industry Impact Award winner in the 17th Annual Freddie Awards) that offers five tier membership levels and a host of benefits and earning opportunities. Last year’s winner, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, slipped to the number nine position with a Value Vote of 8.641 compared to its Value Vote of 8.590 last year — obviously, the program isn’t doing that poorly, in fact, it has gone up in estimation with its members — but this is the nature of the Freddie Awards. Being good isn’t always good enough to win the top prize. As in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region, Miles & More has moved up the ranks to be in the number two position. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Virgin Blue Velocity and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus round out the top five. You’ll notice that overall, this category runs very close with only .607 difference between the number one and number 15 programs. With 36 percent of the vote, Jet Airways by far had the highest percentage of votes proving that its members are truly loyal.

Category votes 27,875

Value Percent
1 Jet Airways Jet Privilege 8.933 36.02 %
2 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.922 2.81 %
3 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.893 4.11 %
4 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.874 4.49 %
5 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.812 2.68 %
6 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.780 3.40 %
7 Korean Air Skypass 8.771 1.17 %
8 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.676 2.29 %
9 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.641 6.73 %
10 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.605 5.64 %
11 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.566 2.43 %
12 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.455 4.00 %
13 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.416 1.68 %
14 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.331 5.93 %
15 JAL Mileage Bank 8.327 2.23 %
16 ANA Mileage Club 8.282 2.45 %
17 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 8.250 1.22 %
18 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.186 1.31 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Program of the Year
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
Priority Club Rewards does it again. After wrenching the top position last year from Starwood Preferred Guest, the program wins for the second consecutive year. With a respectable 9.025 Value Vote, Priority Club Rewards wins over its members with solid promotions, good customer service, an excellent credit card and value. Marriott Rewards is in second place for the second year in a row. Marriott’s program has won the Freddie in this category eight times but has not won in eight years. The program has a loyal membership, but there’s just something keeping it from reaching number one. Starwood held the top position for six years in a row and comes in at a respectable third place this year. Marriott and Starwood ran a very close race this year with both programs earning an almost identical Value Vote. Choice Hotels Choice Privileges comes in at number four. Hilton HHonors comes in at number five, and although HHonors gained in the number of members voting, from 13.02 percent last year to this year’s 25.35 percent, and the Value Vote increased from 8.392 points to 8.705 points, it still was only enough to move the program from seventh to fifth place.

Category votes 298,718

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 9.025 7.87 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.929 32.50 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.920 12.57 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.883 8.96 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.705 25.35 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.578 3.38 %
7 TripRewards 8.195 1.18 %
8 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.936 2.57 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Program of the Year
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest comes in at number one this year after being third behind Marriott Rewards and InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards last year. As you’ll see from the following category’s results, Starwood is doing something right to keep its members outside of the Americas happy. Members like the choice of hotels throughout the world as well as worldwide promotions, the flexibility the program offers and its stellar hospitality. Coming in at number two is Marriott Rewards, last year’s winner with a slim margin between it and Starwood. Members of Marriott often point out that they appreciate the consistency the program and the hotel properties provide. Radisson SAS goldpoints plus moves up from fifth place last year to match its third place finish from two years ago. InterContinental Priority Club Rewards fell from its second place position last year to fourth place, and completing the top five is Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport which has fallen from number two in 2005, to number four last year to its current spot.

Category votes 69,287

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.377 11.54 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.341 18.73 %
3 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 8.267 9.94 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.036 19.32 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.704 6.52 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.637 16.35 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.515 2.34 %
8 Sol Melia MaS Rewards 7.435 1.45 %
9 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.391 1.50 %
10 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.212 3.97 %
11 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.909 3.13 %
12 TripRewards 6.840 1.10 %
13 Golden Tulip Hotel Flavours 6.718 1.12 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Program of the Year
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
No other hotel program has ever won in this category. Starwood Preferred Guest continues its reign in this region helped along by its no blackout date policy on free night awards and the high level of service Preferred Guest customers receive. Preferred Guest members can earn free nights at 850 hotels and resorts in 95 countries. In 2010, Starwood will open the first luxury hotel in Lhasa, Tibet — it’s no wonder it rules the international market. Marriott Rewards came in second for the second year in a row and Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport and InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards traded places from last year, with Gold Passport coming in third and Priority Club Rewards fourth. The final program in the top five is Hilton HHonors, which has made somewhat of a comeback this year after placing eighth last year.

Category votes 20,093

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.710 20.98 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.639 25.58 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.295 15.54 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.257 11.56 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.015 11.58 %
6 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.887 2.45 %
7 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.585 3.28 %
8 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.563 3.11 %
9 TripRewards 7.351 1.35 %
10 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 7.277 1.64 %
11 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.199 1.45 %

Best Award
Just about everyone remembers their first award. Nothing beats the thrill and delight of getting that free flight to your dream destination or a free stay where you can lay your head down at the end of the day in luxurious linens that someone has thoughtfully prepared for you. And while many frequent flyers say that they are only in it for the upgrades, or that the last thing they want to do after logging 200,000 flight miles a year is get on another plane, there’s still no substitute for the pleasure of earning an award. Whether it’s a free ticket to a tropical locale or an extended stay at a hotel you would never think of staying at while on business, awards please us all and are a link to every program’s success. Although all programs have standard award offers to satisfy their members, they also offer special awards to keep us engaged and interested. Freddie voters let us know which awards offer the best value and are the most rewarding for the number of miles or points required.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award
[Americas]

Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns
Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns is a first-time winner in this category taking the honor from last year’s winner, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. Frontier’s award sales proved very popular with members — and how could they not when you could get a roundtrip flight to Mexico for only 15,000 miles? Historically, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has fared well in this category and this year is no exception with the program coming in at number two. US Airways Dividend Miles’ offer of mixing award redemption levels proves that members of frequent flyer programs appreciate flexibility when redeeming awards — borne out with the Dividend Miles offer coming in at number three. The placement of Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles at number four also confirms that members like flexibility when it comes to their award redemption choices — this time when combining miles and cash. This is the highest rating Midwest Miles has ever earned in this category. Rounding out the top five is Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, a good fall from the top but we should point out that once again, even though the program did not win this award as it has in the past, its Value Vote actually went up this year compared to last year (8.326 last year and 8.534 this year). Proving once again, that with the Freddies, close is plenty good.

Category votes 401,296

Value Percent
1 Frontier EarlyReturns: Members could take advantage of award sales such as 15,000 miles for an award to Mexico (normally 25,000) and 10,000 miles for a U.S. domestic or Canada redemption (normally 15,000 miles). 9.121 4.98 %
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Members could redeem 50,000 miles for roundtrip travel between any Alaska city in the U.S. or Canada and Cancun, Mexico AND get five days/four nights accommodations at the Omni Cancun Hotel and Villas. 8.748 9.98 %
3 US Airways Dividend Miles: “Mixed Award” feature allows customers to combine awards on usairways.com between coach and first class, or Saver and Premium which may be available one-way, and not the other direction, saving customers miles and allowing them to fly when US Airways may be close to full on peak travel days and flights. 8.561 22.55 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles: Introduced the Miles & Dollars Award — Roundtrip travel anywhere on Midwest Airlines/Midwest Connect for $150 + 15,000 miles. 8.551 1.69 %
5 Southwest Rapid Rewards/Club Rewards from Diners Club: Members could redeem 18,000 Club Rewards points (normally 24,000 points) for a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards roundtrip award. 8.534 9.03 %
6 Aeromexico Club Premier: Eligible members participated in online auctions where they used their accrued kilometers to obtain unique items like a brand-new sports car or trips for two passengers that included roundtrip tickets on Clase Premier (business class) to Paris and a two night stay at a very exclusive chateau which included a tour to the Champagne vineyards or a four-night stay in Paris at a luxurious hotel. 8.528 1.04 %
7 Continental OnePass: Members saved 25,000 miles (50 percent) on coach award travel between New York and Cologne. 8.364 5.96 %
8 Delta SkyMiles: Introduced Medallion Marketplace in 2006 offering Medallion members (Platinum members all year and Gold and Silver members promotionally) to redeem miles for cars, hotels, merchandise and gift cards. 8.314 17.26 %
9 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards/American Express: Members could redeem 50,000 Membership Rewards points for two roundtrip tickets on AirTran Airways, two nights stay for two at the Park Hyatt Chicago, two passes to a private hospitality suite to watch the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 and to the Andretti Green racing garage, and a trackside dinner with the Andretti Green owners and racing team. 8.114 1.12 %
10 United Mileage Plus: Exclusive to Mileage Plus Visa cardmembers, “Choices” miles went beyond standard awards and could be used to “buy” any United airline seat (including United’s Economy Plus), car rental or hotel stay without blackout dates or restrictions. “Choices” miles could also be exchanged for Elite Qualifying Miles. 7.995 7.23 %
11 American AAdvantage: Members could redeem award travel between May 1 and May 31 at a 25 percent mileage discount for award travel between the U.S. and the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii or within the continental U.S. and Canada for travel between Aug. 22 and Nov. 8, 2006. 7.892 10.78 %
12 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards: Members could redeem 100 credits for a roundtrip ticket on any airline in the world to any worldwide destination, without blackout dates or restrictions. 7.726 2.46 %
13 Northwest WorldPerks: WorldPerks Visa Signature Cardmembers could redeem 10,000 miles for a $100 E-Cert to be used toward future travel. 7.533 1.37 %
14 Northwest WorldPerks: Cash-and-Miles program: Gave members with low mileage balances, or those who didn’t want to spend miles, the option to obtain an award ticket with part miles and part cash to popular travel destinations such as Hawaii. 7.433 3.23 %

Frequent Flyer Program:: Best Award
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

TAP Portugal Victoria
No stranger to the Freddie Awards is TAP Portugal Victoria, coming in as the winner with the program’s creative award offer featuring luxury hotels. TAP won in this category two years ago but came in eighth last year. Not only did Victoria win, but the program also placed fourth this year with its part miles part cash flight and hotel packages. Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More was just a breath away from earning the top honor with its innovative soccer award. So close to GOAL!, we give the program credit for originality. Miles & More also came in at third place. Emirates/SriLankan Skywards came in a very close fifth place with its stellar award sale. This same offer came in fourth year before last, and as you’ll see as you continue reading, is very much appreciated.

Category votes 95,620

Value Percent
1 TAP Portugal Victoria: Members could redeem between 25,000 and 60,000 miles for stays at two luxury hotels, Quinta das Lagrimas (Coimbra) and Lake Resort (Vilamoura). 8.089 3.21 %
2 Lufthansa Miles & More: During the 2006/2007 Soccer Season, members living in Germany can order up to four tickets for the FC Bayern home games for 20,000 miles each. 8.026 8.26 %
3 Lufthansa Miles & More: Customers who booked and paid for a full fare ticket in coach class from FRA/MUC to JFK/EWR, were allowed to order one award ticket for the same routing and flight date for only 20,000 miles (savings: 40,000 miles). 7.909 16.50 %
4 TAP Portugal Victoria: Members could buy “part miles, part cash” packages that included redeeming miles for a reduced mileage award ticket and paying cash for a hotel stay. 7.826 6.31 %
5 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards: Members could take advantage of Global Reduced Rewards — 50 percent off over 40 destinations during September and October. 7.816 15.12 %
6 SAS EuroBonus: 48-Hour Gold Member Special — Members could fly between Stockholm/Copenhagen and New York for 25,000 points (normal price 60,000), or Copenhagen and Shanghai for 25,000 points (normal price 80,000) in coach. If they booked online they earned 500 bonus points. 7.813 3.54 %
7 Middle East Airlines Cedar Miles: All awards to Middle East destinations were discounted by 50 percent. 7.757 1.92 %
8 SAS EuroBonus: EuroBonus monthly point bargains, always 50 percent off in all classes from at least 6-9 destinations in Europe to all SAS & SAS Braathens destinations in Scandinavia/Finland. 7.646 5.25 %
9 El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club: For all Matmid Club Members EL AL had a two-month summer promotion where children received a 25 percent discount on award tickets from almost all destination gateways. 7.468 1.32 %
10 Air France/KLM Flying Blue: To celebrate its first anniversary, Flying Blue offered The Flying Blue Collection: 10 special collectors’ items of art or design objects from such artists as Gauguin, Maillol and Brood, which members could win via an Internet auction and lottery. 7.370 11.16 %
11 British Airways Executive Club: For a three-month period, members could claim an award ticket for 50 percent off. Flights within Europe were 6,000 miles; the normal rate had been 12,000 but had recently been permanently lowered to 9,000, and for this promotion, there was a further reduction. 6.948 26.72 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Emirates/SriLankan Skywards
Emirates/SriLankan Skywards is a second-time winner in this category in this region and demonstrates that 50 percent off flight awards are indeed very popular and appreciated. This year’s Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia region’s Program of the Year, Jet Airways Privilege, is second for the second year in a row with its targeted award sale. Virgin Blue Velocity makes its debut in this category winning third place with the program’s innovative award that determines the amount of points based on the cost of the seat if you were to purchase a ticket. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus is number four while Northwest Airlines WorldPerks demonstrates its strength in this area of the world with its respectable fifth place finish through its Cash-and-Miles program.

Category votes 28,682

Value Percent
1 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards: Members could take advantage of Global Reduced Rewards — 50 percent off over 40 destinations during September and October. 8.762 15.78 %
2 Jet Airways Privilege: During the time members were facing mileage expiration, to encourage JP members to redeem their miles and prevent them from lapsing, a 25 percent discount was offered on select domestic routes. 8.747 50.66 %
3 Virgin Blue Velocity: Members could redeem points for flights for as few as 1,400 Velocity points because points required were determined by the seat price. 7.853 10.03 %
4 Thai Royal Orchid Plus: A birthday card was sent to Gold status members that contained a 50 percent savings on award travel to all Thai destinations worldwide and on all classes of service, during the member’s birthday month and the months preceding and following. 7.694 9.65 %
5 Northwest WorldPerks: Cash-and-Miles program: Gave members with low mileage balances, or those who didn’t want to spend miles, the option to obtain an award ticket with part miles and part cash to popular travel destinations such as Hawaii. 7.417 6.02 %
6 Northwest Airlines: Members could redeem 15,000 miles for roundtrip awards within Asia on airline partners. 7.372 7.86 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award
[Americas]

Choice Privileges
First-time Freddie winner Choice Privileges takes its place at the top of the list with the program’s very popular and flexible gift card award. Last year’s winner, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards is number two and number four this year. Previous eight-time winner in this category, Marriott Rewards comes in at number three with its PointSavers awards and number five with its travel packages.

Category votes 379,773

Value Percent
1 Choice Privileges: Members could redeem points for the Choice Hotels Gift Card and gift cards to over 350 national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment providers. 8.685 9.63 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members were able to use their Club points at more than 500,000 hotels worldwide with the Any Hotel Anywhere Reward, an American Express branded pre-paid lodging card. 8.684 5.58 %
3 Marriott Rewards: PointSavers: Members could redeem for nights at a one category discount for a savings of up to 33 percent. 8.490 18.88 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: The Personal Shopper program provided members the flexibility to use their points for merchandise items not found in Priority Club Rewards’ current catalog. 8.445 1.00 %
5 Marriott Rewards: Travel Packages: Members received seven free nights plus airline miles at a ratio of 1:1, plus discount on car rental. 8.311 15.12 %
6 Starwood Preferred Guest: Cash & Points: Members could redeem for a free night for as little as $25 and 1,200 Starpoints. 8.303 14.51 %
7 Marriott Rewards: Hawaii Sampler: Members could redeem seven nights at any three resorts in Hawaii; a 45 percent savings versus ordering a la carte. 8.098 3.06 %
8 Hilton HHonors: Hilton HHonors and National rewarded five lucky members with one million HHonors bonus points. To qualify, guests had to book a Hilton Family hotel stay at hiltonfamily.com or a National car rental at nationalcar.com. Plus, every additional National rental earned another chance to win. 8.026 6.74 %
9 Hilton HHonors: HHonors introduced EagleRider Motorcycle Rewards with an online auction prize package consisting of two, seven-day rentals from EagleRider and seven free nights at Hilton Family hotels. Members could redeem points for EagleRider rental gift cards or self-guided tours that included stays at Hilton Family hotels. 7.938 1.89 %
10 Hilton HHonors: Point Stretcher Rewards: These annual awards offered discounts of 40 percent off normal award levels at participating hotels. 7.817 15.76 %
11 Hyatt Gold Passport: Members earned a 5,000-mile bonus when converting Hyatt Gold Passport points to airline miles with over 30 travel partners. 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points equaled 20,000 miles, plus a 5,000-mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 miles. 7.805 2.67 %
12 Best Western Gold Crown Club International Gold Crown Club: Members could redeem 20,000 points for a $100 Best Western Travel Card — a 4,000 point savings. The Best Western Travel Card is a reloadable stored value card that can be used towards Best Western stays. 7.346 3.64 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards continues its dominance in this category obtaining the number one, two and five positions after placing first last year with the PointSavers award option. Marriott’s PointSavers are a regular feature of the program that offers redemption for hotel stays at one category down. The properties vary, but all Marriott brands participate as well as The Ritz-Carlton hotels. New for 2006 was a better search engine for the awards, making the booking process more user friendly. Marriott Rewards’ elite-only promotion earned the number two spot while Starwood Preferred Guest’s Cash & Points came in at number three — this is proof positive that members are fond of a cash and miles/points award option because several of these types of awards have won a Freddie Award this year. Starwood dominated this category just a couple of years ago. Coming in at four and five are InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Marriott Rewards.

Category votes 87,360

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards: PointSavers: Members could redeem for nights at a one category discount for a savings of up to 33 percent. 7.852 8.81 %
2 Marriott Rewards: Elite-Only European Sampler: Members could redeem seven free nights at any three European hotels; a 47 percent savings versus ordering a la carte. 7.736 9.99 %
3 Starwood Preferred Guest: Cash & Points: Members could redeem for a free night for as little as $25 and 1,200 Starpoints. 7.687 14.42 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members were able to use their Club points at more than 500,000 hotels worldwide with the Any Hotel Anywhere Reward, an American Express branded pre-paid lodging card. 7.485 23.64
5 Marriott Rewards: Travel Packages: Members received seven free nights plus airline miles at a ratio of 1:1, plus discount on car rental. 7.463 10.06 %
6 Hyatt Gold Passport: Hyatt Gold Passport Exclusives — an online auction program allowing members to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to bid on a collection of unique experiences. 7.223 3.26 %
7 Hyatt Gold Passport: Members earned a 5,000-mile bonus when converting Hyatt Gold Passport points to airline miles with over 30 travel partners. 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points equaled 20,000 miles, plus a 5,000-mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 miles. 7.151 6.06 %
8 Hilton HHonors: Point Stretcher Rewards: These annual awards offered discounts of 40 percent off normal award levels at participating hotels. 7.068 17.83 %
9 Choice Privileges: Members could redeem points for the Choice Hotels Gift Card and gift cards to over 350 national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment providers. 6.663 5.93 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Marriott Rewards
Marriott, make room on the shelf for more Freddies. Marriott Rewards is in the top position again with its PointSavers awards in the Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia region. It’s interesting to note that Marriott Rewards won first in this category last year with the same award offer, but this year, the Value Vote went up from 7.565 to 8.378. Starwood Preferred Guest is at number two with the same award that garnered the program number three in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region this year and the number two position last year. Marriott Rewards is at number three and four while Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport takes the middle at number five and six.

Category votes 26,125

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards: PointSavers: Members could redeem for nights at a one category discount for a savings of up to 33 percent. 8.378 17.51 %
2 Starwood Preferred Guest: Cash & Points: Members could redeem for a free night for as little as $25 and 1,200 Starpoints. 8.345 21.10 %
3 Marriott Rewards: Travel Packages — Members received seven free nights plus airline miles at a ratio of 1:1, plus discount on car rental. 8.048 10.24 %
4 Marriott Rewards: Hawaii Sampler: Members could redeem seven nights at any three resorts in Hawaii; a 45 percent savings versus ordering a la carte. 7.989 2.92 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Hyatt Gold Passport Exclusives — an online auction program allowing members to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to bid on a collection of unique experiences. 7.891 7.42 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned a 5,000-mile bonus when converting Hyatt Gold Passport points to airline miles with over 30 travel partners. 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points equaled 20,000 miles, plus a 5,000-mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 miles. 7.885 10.71 %
7 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Crowne Plaza Golf Rewards — available at Crowne Plaza hotels in China. Package included accommodation with breakfast for up to two persons, one round of 18-hole golf for one person, transportation to and from golf course, late check out up to 4:00 pm and one complimentary box of 3 Titleist golf balls. 7.811 10.27 %
8 Hilton HHonors: Point Stretcher Rewards: These annual awards offered discounts of 40 percent off normal award levels at participating hotels. 7.478 11.15 %
9 Choice Privileges: Members could redeem points for the Choice Hotels Gift Card and gift cards to over 350 national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment providers. 7.366 8.68 %

Best Bonus Promotion
They don’t call them a bonus for nothing. Bonus offers keep program members engaged in the program and motivate them to action. They are good for business — and are certainly good for members. Through the years, programs have offered some very inventive and entertaining bonus offers and it’s always a pleasure to see which bonuses have truly captured the members’ attention. Voters were asked to vote on the bonus promotion that was most rewarding.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Americas]

US Airways Dividend Miles
Where’s the love? Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards has absolutely dominated this category for eight straight years, but this year, the program fell to sixth place. US Airways Dividend Miles pleased its members this year with its hugely popular Everything Counts Promotion. It certainly counted in the minds of Dividend Miles members with a very impressive 9.171 Value Vote. This promotion is clearly a winner. Not only could members earn more miles, but they also earned toward elite status during that all-critical end-of-year elite qualifying season that sees frequent flyers all over the world taking flights with strings of airport codes that look something like, MEL-SIN-BKK-SIN-AMS-CPH-GOT-FRA-TLV-FRA-YYZ-YUL-LGA-IAD-LAX-AKL-MEL (yes, that’s an actual mileage run). In this case, they could shop for the holidays instead to earn toward elite. This is the first Freddie for US Airways Dividend Miles in this category. Congratulations, Dividend Miles. Can we look forward to the same offer this year? At number two, and also a newbie for recognition in this category is Aeromexico Club Premier with its imaginative and universal soccer bonus. The United Airlines Mileage Plus bonus offer for the program’s elite members is at number three and number four and five are the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns bonus offers. Alaska’s credit card bonus was the program’s richest ever and did not go unnoticed by its members.

Category votes 313,907

Value Percent
1 US Airways Dividend Miles: Everything Counts Promotion — Members could earn Preferred Miles and status for using any of the airline’s hundreds of Dividend Miles partners Oct. 4 — Dec. 31 including through the Dividend Miles Shopping Mall. 9.171 23.87 %
2 Aeromexico Club Premier: Aeromexico, as one of the Mexican soccer team sponsors, awarded to every eligible Club Premier member a bonus of 1,000 Premier Kilometers for each goal scored by Mexico during the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany. 8.595 1.11 %
3 United Mileage Plus: The Mileage Plus Elite Choice promotion allowed members to immediately choose awards as they reached milestone activity levels. Choices included upgrades, bonus miles, the gift of status, chances to win once in a lifetime prizes and more. Elite Choice awarded members all year long at multiple milestones and members could earn more than one award — the more members flew, the more they could tailor their awards. 8.573 9.37 %
4 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Members who signed up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card earned 20,000 bonus miles, enough for a free ticket anywhere Alaska flies within the U.S. and Canada. 8.530 10.62 %
5 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns: Members could earn up to 18,000 miles within a four-month period for a 311-mile trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles; members earned 4,500 bonus miles for every three roundtrips. 8.448 4.28 %
6 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards: Double Credit to Hawaii: Rapid Rewards members received double credit when flying to and from Hawaii via codeshare partner, ATA. Members earned eight credits vs. the standard four credits, which means members could receive an award after only two roundtrips. 8.189 9.42 %
7 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles: Midwest Miles offered double flight miles for all online bookings made Dec 3-11. 8.007 1.71 %
8 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards: Members earned 1/4 credit with a combo, 20 or 32 oz. drink purchased at Wendy’s restaurants. Members could get a free roundtrip ticket after purchasing 64 drinks. 7.713 2.19 %
9 Delta SkyMiles: Tickets for Life promotion where one lucky winner would receive 2.5 million miles + $25,000 in cash. Members enrolled in this promo required purchase on delta.com. In addition, by purchasing with their American Express card, they received an extra entry. Daily winners were awarded 50,000 miles for each of 60+ days that the promotion was in market. 7.647 13.61 %
10 American AAdvantage: “25 Deals in 25 Days” featured a unique offer each day for the first 25 days in May to celebrate AAdvantages’ 25th anniversary. The offers consisted of airline and partner bonus offers in addition to sweepstakes and discounts. 7.527 10.98 %
11 Delta SkyMiles: 25th Anniversary Saturn Sky Roadsters: This offer was available to all members. One “free” entry per member with subsequent entries for each 1,000 miles earned. 7.487 6.69 %
12 Northwest WorldPerks: 20K Bonus Play: Members had the opportunity to earn up to 20,000 bonus miles for everyday activities such as: WorldPerks Visa enrollment, flying on Northwest Airlines, renting a car, etc. These miles were in addition to standard mile offers. 7.405 5.49 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Emirates/SriLankan Skywards
This is Emirates/SriLankan Skywards first win in this category. Skywards Gold members were treated with an award sale in 2007 based on the amount of miles they earned in 2006. Last year, the three top spots in this category went to airlines in the Middle East, this year, the number two and three spots have been taken by Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More and SAS EuroBonus. The creative Miles & More bonus offer was targeted for members offering them an individual goal. SAS EuroBonus is no stranger to the Freddie Award in this category, and the program’s bonus offer this year was all about earning bonus points — always popular. The last two programs of the top five are Qatar Privilege Club, last year’s winner in this category, and TAP Portugal Victoria’s animal-friendly bonus (insert lion roar here).

Category votes 78,610Category votes

Value Percent
1 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards: Gold members receive up to 100 percent off the flight award of their choice in 2007 based on tier miles they earned in 2006. 8.725 11.32 %
2 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More: Members who fulfilled their individual targets earned up to 60,000 bonus miles and the chance to win a package that included roundtrip flights with Lufthansa, a two-night stay in a four-star hotel plus full board, a Mercedes-Benz training and exclusive visit in their museum. 8.649 18.21 %
3 SAS EuroBonus: Members who traveled in business class June 1-Aug. 31 between Copenhagen — Bangkok with SAS earned 42,200 points roundtrip, enough points for a free bonus ticket with SAS between Copenhagen and Paris for two; and if you were a Basic member, you earned enough points for a Silver card after a roundtrip. 8.519 6.36 %
4 Qatar Airways Privilege Club: Members signing up for a Commercialbank CbClass Platinum card received a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Qmiles and one Qmile for every QAR8 spent. Signing up for the Gold card earned 15,000 Qmiles and one Qmile for every QAR15 spent. 8.397 7.53 %
5 TAP Portugal Victoria: Members could receive 500 miles for sponsoring an animal at the Lisbon Zoo. 7.754 2.47 %
6 TAP Portugal Victoria: Members could receive between 100 and 500 bonus miles for travel with a pet on roundtrip flights. 7.518 1.72 %
7 TAP Portugal Victoria: Members could receive up to 1,500 miles for signing up for SMS info services. 7.448 4.62 %
8 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More: Members who signed a contract at special T-mobile private or business rates, could earn up to 30,000 bonus miles within a certain period of time. 7.308 4.53 %
9 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More: Members, who signed up for a Leaders Club Unlimited membership of the Leading Hotels of the World, received 50,000 bonus miles. 7.300 5.57 %
10 SN Brussels Airlines Privilege: Privilege lowered elite-level thresholds for customers who live outside Belgium: Privilege Gold was earned at 20,000 Status miles (instead of 30,000) and Privilege Platinum was earned at 50,000 Status miles (instead of 70,000). 6.950 1.05 %
11 British Airways Executive Club: Silver and Gold Executive Club members earned 12,000 BA miles for taking out the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, sufficient for two award flights to selected European destinations. Blue members and non-Executive Club members earned 6,000 BA miles. Members also received double BA miles on virtually all card spend for the first three months and if they spend 10,000 pounds on their card in a year, they earn a Companion Voucher. 6.728 25.18 %
12 CSA Czech OK Plus: Members earned 500 miles when filling out an online survey. 6.713 1.01 %
13 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: Citibank Cathay Pacific Co-brand Card Promotion: Members spent HKD4000-9999 to get 2,000 bonus Asia Miles/day (on top of regular awards) or HKD10000 or more to get 5,000 bonus Asia Miles/day; with a maximum of 15,000 miles. Also could win up to 65,000 Asia Miles. 6.710 3.50 %
14 United Mileage Plus: The Mileage Plus Elite Choice promotion allowed members to immediately choose awards as they reached milestone activity levels. Choices included upgrades, bonus miles, the gift of status, chances to win once in a lifetime prizes and more. Elite Choice awarded members all year long at multiple milestones and members could earn more than one award — the more members flew, the more they could tailor their awards. 6.636 4.22 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Emirates/SriLankan Skywards
Another first win for this category, Emirates/SriLankan Skywards wins its second Freddie Award this year with its Gold member award offer. Skywards aims to please their top-tier members with guaranteed seat reservations, personal travel assistance through the Gold Desk, complimentary lounge access and offers such as this award winner. In second place is Virgin Blue Velocity, the aptly-named lively little program from Australia with its true Aussie-style bonus offer. We say any bonus promotion that involves a case of beer can’t be bad. United Mileage Plus comes in a respectable third place with its elite-only bonus. Jet Airways Privilege, last year’s winner in this category, is number four for its bonus offer that awarded members for time-saving travel choices. And the number five spot goes to Qatar Privilege Club with a credit card bonus.

Category votes 25,941

Value Percent
1 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards: Gold members receive up to 100 percent off the flight reward of their choice in 2007 based on tier miles they earned in 2006. 8.867 11.73 %
2 Virgin Blue Velocity: Members could receive triple points, a free case of beer and up to 35 percent discount on wine with a case of wine purchase through Velocity’s wine room. 8.603 8.55 %
3 United Mileage Plus: The Mileage Plus Elite Choice promotion allowed members to immediately choose awards as they reached milestone activity levels. Choices included upgrades, bonus miles, the gift of status, chances to win once in a lifetime prizes and more. Elite Choice awarded members all year long at multiple milestones and members could earn more than one award — the more members flew, the more they could tailor their awards. 8.524 12.01 %
4 Jet Airways Privilege: JP members could earn 500 bonus miles when booking online, 250 bonus miles when checking in online and 250 bonus miles when using kiosk check-in at the airport. 8.508 49.55 %
5 Qatar Airways Privilege Club: Members signing up for a Commercialbank CbClass Platinum card received a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Qmiles and one Qmile for every QAR8 spent. Signing up for the Gold card earned 15,000 Qmiles and one Qmile for every QAR15 spent. 8.120 6.85 %
6 Northwest Airlines: Xtreme Treasures — Members received points for multiple activities and the points were then redeemed for members’ choice of up to 100,000 bonus miles or gifts including Sony PlayStations or large-screen LCD TVs. 7.414 7.63 %
7 China Eastern Eastern Miles: Flying first class, members earn 200 percent points; business class, 150 percent points and full-price coach class, 125 percent points. 7.140 3.69 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
It’s deja vu all over again for the top two this year as they mirror last year’s Freddies. This is win number four for Priority Club Rewards in this category with the same bonus offer — double points or double miles on every stay after a member’s second stay. Choice Privileges comes in at number two with its stay two times, earn a free night offer. Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors have won quite often in this category in the past, but can’t seem to break to the top the last few years. Marriott Rewards is number three this year followed by Starwood Preferred Guest and Priority Club Rewards in an exact Value Vote tie for fourth.

Category votes 327,091

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned double points or double miles on every stay starting with their second stay. 8.736 3.26 %
2 Choice Privileges: Stay Two Times, Earn a Free Night: Members who made two separate qualifying stays earned enough points for a free night. There was no limit on the number of nights guests could earn. 8.646 11.73 %
3 Marriott Rewards: MegaBonus — Members earned up to 35,000 bonus points when they stayed a designated number of nights. 8.632 14.68 %
4 Starwood Preferred Guest: Members earned triple points on every stay worldwide for redemption at any Starwood hotel with no blackout dates or availability restrictions. 8.439 14.03 %
5 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned 2,000 points or 500 miles on every second qualifying night. 8.439 2.56 %
6 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned 3,000 points or 1,000 miles on every third qualifying night. 8.379 1.31 %
7 Marriott Rewards: Online Booking Bonus — Members earned up to 5,000 bonus points by booking stays on Marriott.com; 1,000 points per stay. 8.253 19.54 %
8 Hilton HHonors: Select Your Offer: Members could choose from any one of three offers: Choose either Triple Hilton HHonors Base Points, Double Points & Double Miles or Stay 5/10/15 nights at any Hilton Family hotel and get 1/2/3 free nights at any Hilton Family hotel. 8.110 23.04 %
9 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Faster Free Nights — Members earned one free night for every two stays paid for with a MasterCard. 8.059 2.62 %
10 Best Western Gold Crown Club International: As part of its 60th Anniversary celebration, Lifetime Diamond status was awarded to members staying 60 or more nights during 2006. Diamond status benefits include a 30 percent bonus on base points earned with each qualifying stay; complimentary upgrades and early check-in/late check-out privileges, in addition to special partner and award offers. 7.487 3.29 %
11 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned 10,000 United Mileage Plus bonus miles when they converted 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points into miles, for a total of 30,000 miles. 7.468 1.07 %
12 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned 1,500 United Mileage Plus miles on each Hyatt stay in addition to earning Hyatt Gold Passport points. 7.443 1.26 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards returns to the top in an international bonus category for the first time since the 12th Freddie Awards. The Marriott Rewards MegaBonus lived up to its name for members of the loyalty program. Marriott Rewards also claimed spot number three this year with an online booking bonus. Last year’s winner, Starwood Preferred Guest, is number two for its triple point offer while Priority Club Rewards holds the number four and five spots.

Category votes 74,967

Value Percent
1 Marriott Rewards: MegaBonus: Members earned up to 35,000 bonus points when they stayed a designated number of nights. 7.907 9.98 %
2 Starwood Preferred Guest: Members earned triple points on every stay worldwide for redemption at any Starwood hotel with no blackout dates or availability restrictions. 7.754 14.72 %
3 Marriott Rewards: Online Booking Bonus: Members earned up to 5,000 bonus points by booking stays on Marriott.com; 1,000 points per stay. 7.674 13.81 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned double points or miles on every stay starting with their second stay. 7.414 12.94 %
5 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned 3,000 points or 1,000 miles on every third qualifying night. 7.142 4.92 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Faster Free Nights — Members earned one free night for every two stays paid for with a MasterCard. 7.091 5.42 %
7 Hilton HHonors: Select Your Offer: Members could choose from any one of three offers: Choose either Triple Hilton HHonors Base Points, Double Points & Double Miles or Stay 5/10/15 nights at any Hilton Family hotel and get 1/2/3 free nights at any Hilton Family hotel. 7.074 17.15 %
8 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned 2,000 points or 500 miles on every second qualifying night. 7.014 6.60 %
9 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned 10,000 United Mileage Plus bonus miles when they converted 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points into miles, for a total of 30,000 miles. 6.955 3.59 %
10 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned 1,500 United Mileage Plus miles on each Hyatt stay in addition to earning Hyatt Gold Passport points. 6.721 2.58 %
11 Choice Privileges: Stay Two Times, Earn a Free Night: Members who made two separate qualifying stays earned 6,500 bonus points, which along with the regular points earned through those two stays, was enough for a free night. Members received points, not a time-limited voucher. 6.638 8.29 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Bonus Promotion
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest program matches its last year’s first place win in this category on the strength of the program’s triple-point promotion. It’s easy to understand how this promotion would be popular when members have properties such as the Le Meridien Bora Bora beckoning. Marriott Rewards’ MegaBonus fared well in this category but not enough to garner first place as it did in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region. Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport’s Faster Free Nights promotion is number three, down from second place last year, and the program also placed fifth this year. In fourth place is InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards with its double miles or points promotion.

Category votes 22,880

Value Percent
1 Starwood Preferred Guest: Members earned triple points on every stay worldwide for redemption at any Starwood hotel with no blackout dates or availability restrictions. 8.430 21.81 %
2 Marriott Rewards: MegaBonus — Members earned up to 35,000 bonus points when they stayed a designated number of nights. 8.392 24.06 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Faster Free Nights — Members earned one free night for every two stays paid for with a MasterCard. 8.187 11.13 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned double points or miles on every stay starting with their second stay. 7.945 3.92 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned 1,500 United Mileage Plus miles on each Hyatt stay in addition to earning Hyatt Gold Passport points. 7.616 4.55 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport: Members earned 10,000 United Mileage Plus bonus miles when they converted 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points into miles, for a total of 30,000 miles. 7.583 4.23 %
7 Hilton HHonors: Select Your Offer — Members could choose from any one of three offers: Choose either Triple Hilton HHonors Base Points, Double Points & Double Miles or Stay 5/10/15 nights at any Hilton Family hotel and get 1/2/3 free nights at any Hilton Family hotel. 7.555 11.76 %
8 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned 2,000 points or 500 miles on every second qualifying night. 7.505 6.01 %
9 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards: Members earned 3,000 points or 1,000 miles on every third qualifying night. 7.448 3.15 %
10 Choice Privileges: Stay Two Times, Earn a Free Night: Members who made two separate qualifying stays earned 6,500 bonus points, which along with the regular points earned through those two stays, was enough for a free night. Members received points, not a time-limited voucher. 7.350 9.38 %

Best Affinity Credit Card
Choosing your frequent flyer program might be easy, but choosing the credit card that offers you the best value and opportunities for earning miles or points takes a bit more effort. Outside of flying or staying at a hotel, this is the most prevalent way to earn miles or points. A frequent flyer program is a burger and the affinity credit card is the fries. And everyone like fries with their burger. Voters were asked to vote on the affinity credit card offering the best benefits and opportunities to earn bonus miles or points.

Travel Awards Program :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Americas]

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
This category sees a changing of the guard. If you’ve followed the Freddie Awards through the years, you’ll remember seeing Diners Club’s Club Rewards top this category. This could have been the program’s 10th year at the top, but of all the credit cards listed here, you will not see Diners — a result of them not being able to meet the one percent minimum vote count required to qualify for Freddie Award consideration. Taking Diners Club’s exalted position this year is Starwood Preferred Guest American Express, which was a close third last year. Starwood’s card wins with the continuing advantage of favorable conversions to most frequent flyer miles, fee-free card the first year and the no-capacity controls award redemption — similar to what makes the program itself so popular . At number two is last year’s fourth place winner, American Express Membership Rewards. In the 1990s, Membership Rewards won the top spot five times and the program comes very close this year with a Value Vote over nine. Marriott Rewards Visa, Choice Privileges Visa and Hilton HHonors American Express are third, fourth and fifth in line. As usual, hotel program credit cards reign in this category.

Category votes 285,151

Value Percent
1 Starwood Preferred Guest American Express 9.133 3.42 %
2 American Express Membership Rewards 9.050 14.31 %
3 Marriott Rewards Visa 8.883 6.74 %
4 Choice Privileges Visa 8.760 2.02 %
5 Hilton HHonors American Express 8.691 3.25 %
6 Frontier EarlyReturns MasterCard 8.627 3.16 %
7 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Visa 8.536 8.42 %
8 Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa 8.411 3.88 %
9 Delta SkyMiles American Express 8.379 10.16 %
10 US Airways Dividend Miles Visa/MasterCard 8.346 11.34 %
11 US Airways Dividend Miles Visa Check Card 8.223 2.03 %
12 Delta SkyMiles Business American Express 8.140 1.58 %
13 Continental OnePass MasterCard 8.034 1.85 %
14 United Mileage Plus Platinum Visa Business Card 7.982 1.11 %
15 American AAdvantage MasterCard/Visa 7.980 5.50 %
16 United Mileage Plus Visa/MasterCard 7.827 3.30 %
17 Hilton HHonors Visa 7.818 1.25 %
18 Air Canada Aeroplan Visa 7.807 1.07 %
19 Northwest WorldPerks Visa 7.592 1.40 %

Travel Awards Program :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More Visa
Miles & More takes home its first Freddie in this category, barely beating out second place Marriott Rewards Visa. Qatar Airways National Bank MasterCard and Qatar Airways Commercialbank Visa are number three and number five while Etihad Guest MasterCard came in at an impressive number four considering the frequent flyer program is new this year. Only .202 points separate the top five finishers — clearly a very close race. Last year’s winner, SN Brussels Privilege American Express has fallen off the winners chart. Of interest is Diners Club’s Club Rewards which fell to 17th place from seventh last year.

Category votes 86,288

Value Percent
1 Lufthansa Visa 8.574 12.41 %
2 Marriott Rewards Visa 8.509 1.90 %
3 Qatar Airways Qatar National Bank MasterCard 8.479 1.40 %
4 Etihad Guest MasterCard 8.448 1.01 %
5 Qatar Airways Commercialbank Visa 8.372 1.40 %
6 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards Visa 8.054 1.12 %
7 South African Airways American Express 8.021 11.79 %
8 TAP Portugal Victoria Visa 8.003 5.44 %
9 Gulf Air Visa/MasterCard 7.930 1.43 %
10 SAS EuroBonus Diners Club 7.806 1.75 %
11 Emirates/SriLankan Visa/MasterCard 7.794 2.25 %
12 American Express Membership Rewards 7.750 7.99 %
13 Air France/KLM Flying Blue American Express 7.671 2.73 %
14 SAS EuroBonus MasterCard 7.631 1.88 %
15 Alitalia American Express 7.594 1.04 %
16 South African Airways Visa 7.424 22.29 %
17 Diners Club/Club Rewards 7.420 3.59 %
18 American AAdvantage Visa/MasterCard 7.396 1.45 %
19 British Airways American Express 7.204 2.78 %
20 Virgin Atlantic MasterCard 6.994 1.67 %
21 British Airways Diners Club Card 6.650 1.51 %

Travel Awards Program :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Thai Royal Orchid Plus American Express
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus American Express takes top honors this year and although a small percentage of voters turned out to vote for the card, those who did found it most beneficial. As in the Americas region, co-branding with American Express is an award-winning partnership. Jet Airways Citibank MasterCard moved up to the second position after last year’s third place finish. The Value Vote percentage difference between these top two was extremely slim and not far behind at number three is American Express Membership Rewards, which came in as our winner last year and the year before. Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles Visa and Korean Air Skypass Visa close out the top five.

Category votes 23,234

Value Percent
1 Thai Royal Orchid Plus American Express 8.761 1.10 %
2 Jet Airways Citibank MasterCard 8.757 33.58 %
3 American Express Membership Rewards 8.704 14.65 %
4 Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles Visa 8.627 1.19 %
5 Korean Air SkyPass Visa 8.563 1.28 %
6 Singapore Airlines PPS Club American Express 8.141 1.76 %
7 JAL Mileage Bank JALCARD 7.950 3.05 %
8 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express 7.945 3.23 %
9 United Mileage Plus Visa/MasterCard 7.944 3.16 %
10 Qantas American Express 7.888 2.62 %
11 Virgin Blue Velocity Visa 7.884 3.54 %
12 Northwest WorldPerks Visa/MasterCard 7.802 1.49 %
13 Air China Companion Visa 7.786 1.54 %
14 Thai Royal Orchid Plus Visa/MasterCard 7.759 1.67 %
15 Cathay Pacific Visa 7.734 2.98 %
16 ANA Visa/MasterCard 7.734 3.41 %
17 Diners Club/Club Rewards 7.622 2.19 %
18 Delta SkyMiles Visa 7.621 1.18 %
19 American AAdvantage MasterCard 7.420 1.40 %
20 Qantas ANZ Visa 7.285 3.81 %

Best Member Communications
Communication is key, in life, and in frequent travel programs. Programs that believe in the power of communication have members who are loyal and active. The Internet continues to replace printed newsletters as the source of information and programs are constantly challenged by the best way to notify members of program changes and promotions. The way in which programs communicate to members sets the tone for the travel experience and can make or break a day. The statements sent to members, e-newsletters, targeted offer communications and printed newsletters all contribute toward correspondence between the programs and their members. The powers that be in frequent travel programs have also been known to visit and chat with their members in online communities — it’s the information age and those programs that can excel here can rule the day. Voters were asked to vote on the program that communicates most effectively with its members through such outlets as newsletters, mileage statements, membership guides, direct mail, e-mail or welcome kits.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Member Communications
[Americas]

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
This is the fifth win and the fourth win in a row for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Through the program’s excellent Insider e-newsletter and other avenues, Mileage Plan keeps its members informed and engaged. The remaining top five in this category are Frontier EarlyReturns, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Midwest Miles and US Airways Dividend Miles. If this list of five programs looks familiar, it’s because these same five airlines are the top five for Program of the Year this year — a few have changed places, but they are all there — proving that communication really is key. Congratulations to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for holding on to number one in this all-important category. (By the way, Mileage Plan members, if you haven’t already signed up to receive the Insider e-newsletter, if you do so now, you will earn 500 bonus miles.)

Category votes 321,123

Value Percent
1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.321 10.36 %
2 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.312 3.68 %
3 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.272 9.43 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.198 1.46 %
5 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.046 19.01 %
6 Continental Airlines OnePass 7.970 6.42 %
7 JetBlue TrueBlue 7.936 1.20 %
8 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 7.893 1.15 %
9 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7.805 17.48 %
10 American Airlines AAdvantage 7.624 11.21 %
11 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.522 7.39 %
12 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 7.496 4.49 %
13 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.416 1.81 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Member Communications
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
This is the first win in this category for Qatar Airways Privilege Club after coming in at number four last year. Qatar Airways Privilege Club members can keep on top of the latest news and promotions through the Miles Ahead newsletter. Coming in at a close second is Etihad Airways Etihad Guest, which once again is impressive considering that the Etihad program didn’t even exist until August 2006. At number three is Gulf Air Frequent flyer and Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More and US Airways Dividend Miles round out the top five.

Category votes 49,029

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.763 4.12 %
2 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.745 1.06 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.488 2.22 %
4 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.235 15.66 %
5 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.169 1.03 %
6 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.135 6.27 %
7 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7.926 1.07 %
8 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 7.881 3.72 %
9 South African Airways Voyager 7.858 33.98 %
10 SAS EuroBonus 7.742 3.98 %
11 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 7.554 2.08 %
12 American Airlines AAdvantage 7.468 1.03 %
13 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.431 4.86 %
14 British Airways Executive Club 6.967 6.86 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Member Communications
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Qatar Airways Privilege Club wins a Best Member Communications Freddie Award for the second time this year proving that the program can indeed communicate in many different languages. Gulf Air Frequent flyer won this category last year, but comes in third this year. Korean Air Skypass is number two, a first mention for this program and Jet Airways Jet Privilege and Virgin Blue Velocity are at the number four and five slots. No less than 13 programs earned a Value Vote above eight, which tells us quite a few programs are doing something right.

Category votes 29,309

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.784 3.43 %
2 Korean Air Skypass 8.663 1.24 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.552 2.30 %
4 Jet Airways Jet Privilege 8.538 35.73 %
5 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.404 4.23 %
6 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.381 3.28 %
7 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.300 4.14 %
8 ANA Mileage Club 8.252 2.42 %
9 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.190 6.50 %
10 Air China Companion 8.130 1.03 %
11 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.106 2.20 %
12 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.031 4.30 %
13 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.026 2.21 %
14 United Airlines Mileage Plus 7.961 3.45 %
15 Air India Flying Returns 7.931 1.13 %
16 Malaysia Airlines Enrich 7.924 1.21 %
17 JAL Mileage Bank 7.919 2.44 %
18 American Airlines AAdvantage 7.918 1.38 %
19 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.866 1.31 %
20 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 7.735 6.84 %
21 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7.715 1.81 %
22 British Airways Executive Club 7.549 1.08 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Member Communications
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
This is Priority Club Rewards fourth year in a row to win Best Member Communications. Priority Club Rewards members can sign up for e-mail updates and members can count on the program to keep them updated on the latest offers. Choice Privileges is second, moving up from its fourth place finish last year. Marriott Rewards moves down a notch to third place and Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton HHonors round out the top five.

Category votes 310,401

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.530 7.22 %
2 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.498 8.99 %
3 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.392 33.54 %
4 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.247 11.85 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.020 24.47 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.952 3.49 %
7 TripRewards 7.563 1.38 %
8 Wyndham Hotels Wyndham ByRequest 7.519 1.17 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.431 2.80 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Member Communications
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Radisson SAS goldpoints plus
Radisson SAS goldpoints plus is welcomed into the winners circle with the program’s first Freddie Award after coming in fourth in this category last year. The goldpoints plus program in Europe is managed by Rezidor, whereas the goldpoints plus program in the U.S. is managed by Carlson Hotels Worldwide. Members in the European program receive special goldpoints plus offers via the e-mail they have listed in their member profile. Marriott Rewards comes in a very close second place. Starwood Preferred Guest, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport are the final three in the top five.

Category votes 76,683

Value Percent
1 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 8.069 10.26 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.009 19.19 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 7.906 11.04 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.659 18.50 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.363 6.34 %
6 Sol Melia MaS Rewards 7.171 1.42 %
7 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.143 15.94 %
8 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.093 2.38 %
9 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.034 1.53 %
10 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 6.953 5.00 %
11 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.663 3.55 %
12 Golden Tulip Hotels Flavours 6.456 1.22 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Member Communications
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards is the Freddie winner this year after placing fourth last year. Memberships in Marriott Rewards in the Asia/Pacific region have grown at a quick pace over the last few years and Marriott is doing well at keeping in touch with the new members. Starwood Preferred Guest, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Choice Privileges are the final four in the top five.

Category votes 22,410

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.518 25.20 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.488 19.68 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.139 15.54 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.884 11.18 %
5 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.550 2.79 %
6 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.528 3.34 %
7 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.516 11.96 %
8 TripRewards 7.305 1.42 %
9 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.046 4.42 %
10 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.977 1.62 %
11 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 6.817 1.62 %

Best Web Site
Web sites have become a major component of frequent travel programs. Gone are the days when the Web site was simply a companion to the phone and membership guides. Today, members expect all aspects of the program to be presented online, from enrollment, to mileage/points statements and award redemption; preferably presented in their native language. Busy travelers expect the program Web sites to be one-stop-shops for all aspects of the program with just a few clicks. Voters were asked to vote on the Web site with the best online program information.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Web Site
[Americas]

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
This is the fourth win for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan in this category. The Mileage Plan Web site wins with its quick-loading pages, clean graphics, no flashing images and strong functionality. Southwest Rapid Rewards won the Freddie last year and is number two this year, followed by Frontier EarlyReturns, Midwest Miles and Continental OnePass. OnePass won this category four times in a row several years ago, but slipped to fifth from third last year. Also of note is Northwest Airlines which placed ninth this year and 11th last year, down from placing third in the 16th Annual Freddie Awards. The top five in this category are the same as the top five in the Program of the Year category (shuffled around a bit, but the same frequent flyer programs), another testament to just how important a good Web site is.

Category votes 335,344

Value Percent
1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.786 9.93 %
2 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.628 12.23 %
3 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.608 3.71 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.584 1.35 %
5 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.468 6.87 %
6 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.337 16.82 %
7 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.311 16.98 %
8 JetBlue TrueBlue 8.203 2.04 %
9 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.113 1.52 %
10 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.092 10.67 %
11 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.044 4.47 %
12 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.038 6.94 %
13 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.748 1.65 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Web Site
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
This is the first Freddie Award win for Etihad Airways Etihad Guest, the new frequent flyer program out of the United Arab Emirates. The Web site features a “slider” that allows members to design their own cash plus miles awards (you can redeem an award with as little as one mile) as well as a Reward of the Day and a great many of the features frequent flyers expect from an award-winning Web site. Coming in at second place is Qatar Airways Privilege Club, last year’s fifth place Web site. Gulf Air Frequent flyer, Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More and Delta Air Lines SkyMiles round out the top five. SkyMiles was at number 11 last year, so this is a good leap. Last year’s winner, Aeroflot Bonus is not to be seen.

Category votes 101,177

Value Percent
1 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.802 1.15 %
2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.759 3.81 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.473 1.84 %
4 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.294 15.36 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.164 1.15 %
6 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.118 5.64 %
7 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.030 4.46 %
8 SAS EuroBonus 7.940 3.42 %
9 South African Airways Voyager 7.908 32.90 %
10 American Airlines AAdvantage 7.710 1.07 %
11 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.669 4.99 %
12 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 7.606 2.51 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 7.397 8.80 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Web Site
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Qatar Airways Privilege Club takes top place for the second year in a row in this category. Privilege Club’s supremely functional, non-flashing, user-friendly Web site wins once again. In second place, for the second year in a row, is Gulf Air Frequent flyer. Virgin Blue Velocity and Korean Air Skypass are new to the top five at number three and four and Jet Airways Jet Privilege is in the number five spot.

Category votes 29,048

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.637 3.12 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.547 1.95 %
3 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.544 4.14 %
4 Korean Air Skypass 8.515 1.18 %
5 Jet Airways Jet Privilege 8.503 34.22 %
6 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.413 7.86 %
7 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.364 4.33 %
8 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.348 3.17 %
9 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.261 2.22 %
10 Malaysia Airlines Enrich 8.255 1.00 %
11 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.219 7.06 %
12 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.158 5.32 %
13 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.157 3.40 %
14 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.116 1.35 %
15 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.013 2.12 %
16 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.971 1.23 %
17 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7.968 1.77 %
18 ANA Mileage Club 7.961 2.55 %
19 JAL Mileage Bank 7.847 2.42 %
20 British Airways Executive Club 7.763 1.65 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Web Site
[Americas]

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
The Priority Club Rewards Web site wins for the third year in a row with last year’s number five Web site coming in at number two, Choice Hotels Choice Privileges. Priority Club Rewards offers its Web site in nine different languages and members can bid in the online award auction, redeem points and utilize many other member options. All former winners in this category, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton HHonors round out the top five.

Category votes 307,244

Value Percent
1 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.689 7.50 %
2 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.619 8.87 %
3 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.550 33.24 %
4 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.442 11.87 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.211 24.60 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.061 3.52 %
7 TripRewards 7.719 1.29 %
8 Wyndham Hotels Wyndham ByRequest 7.611 1.15 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.500 2.78 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Web Site
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott has worked hard to build Web sites for different areas of the world. In Europe alone, there are dedicated Web sites for members residing in France, Germany, Ireland and the U.K., complete with online shopping. This is the second year in a row for Marriott to win in this category. Starwood Preferred Guest moves up a notch to number two while Radisson SAS goldpoints plus moves up from number five to third place. InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport are fourth and fifth.

Category votes 74,468

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.039 18.70 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.005 10.91 %
3 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 7.930 10.20 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.685 18.64 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.379 6.37 %
6 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.176 1.52 %
7 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.165 15.93 %
8 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.074 2.53 %
9 Sol Melia MaS Rewards 7.057 1.56 %
10 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.044 5.05 %
11 Best Western Hotel Gold Crown Club Internationals 6.688 3.48 %
12 Golden Tulip Hotels Flavours 6.504 1.19 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Web Site
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards wins again; this time for its ability to reach out to members in Asia/Pacific. Dedicated Web sites are available for members residing in Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Coming in at second place this year is last year’s number four Web site, Starwood Preferred Guest . Last year’s winner, Hyatt Gold Passport has slipped to the number three position. InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Hilton HHonors are four and five; a move down for Priority Club and a move up for HHonors.

Category votes 21,530

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.471 25.06 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.425 20.07 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.113 15.93 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.964 11.61 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.640 11.16 %
6 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.622 2.60 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.425 3.26 %
8 TripRewards 7.191 1.51 %
9 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.134 4.11 %
10 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.116 1.65 %
11 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 6.879 1.66 %

Best Elite-Level Program
It’s been said that the best way to judge a country is to look at how it treats the least of its citizens. It can be argued that the best way to judge a frequent travel program is to look at the way it treats its topmost customers. Elite members are the most valued customers from a revenue point of view, and retaining them can be a program’s highest priority. With so many ways in which members can earn miles and points, elite programs are constantly evolving to do their best to keep elite members happy — and these exalted members can be rather particular about the benefits they desire most. Voters were asked to vote on the elite-level program that offers the best combination of benefits and bonuses for elite members.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Americas]

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan wins for the program’s second year in a row. Elite-level members appreciate the upgrades, waived fees, priority treatment at the airport and the variety of partners they can fly to earn elite status. Continental Airlines OnePass used to own this category but has placed second behind Alaska Mileage Plan for the last two years. Southwest Rapid Rewards follows very closely in third place. Frontier EarlyReturns is fourth and US Airways Dividend Miles is fifth, up from seventh place last year.

Category votes 267,624

Value Percent
1 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.711 9.47 %
2 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.682 8.33 %
3 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.679 6.85 %
4 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.650 3.46 %
5 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.558 18.32 %
6 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.410 1.09 %
7 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.368 17.79 %
8 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.283 5.05 %
9 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.280 8.60 %
10 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.210 10.78 %
11 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.139 1.18 %
12 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.755 1.73 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 7.698 1.41 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Privilege Club wins for the first time in this category, moving up from third place last year. Elite members in Privilege Club at the higher levels have unlimited lounge access along with other benefits such as being able to share your good fortune as an elite member with family members who can earn miles based on your elite level. Gulf Air Frequent flyer is number two after being sixth last year. Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More made a leap to number three from 13 and Delta Air Lines SkyMiles jumped from 11th place last year to fourth this year. The new kid on the runway, Etihad Airways Etihad Guest, is fifth.

Category votes 90,838

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.788 4.33 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.502 2.08 %
3 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.394 14.87 %
4 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.193 1.06 %
5 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.173 1.18 %
6 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.171 5.03 %
7 SAS EuroBonus 8.168 3.45 %
8 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.162 5.51 %
9 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.941 5.00 %
10 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 7.929 2.50 %
11 South African Airways Voyager 7.852 32.86 %
12 British Airways Executive Club 7.368 8.04 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Royal Orchid Plus last won a Freddie in this category in 1999. Star Alliance lounge access, threshold bonus miles and additional baggage allowance are some of the perks a Royal Orchid Plus elite member can expect. Royal Orchid Plus placed eighth in this category last year. At second place is Jet Airways Jet Privilege followed by Lufthansa (and Partners ) Miles & More at third — an impressive rise from 13th place last year. Korean Air Skypass and Qatar Airways Privilege Club are at four and five.

Category votes 26,997

Value Percent
1 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.782 2.75 %
2 Jet Airways Jet Privilege 8.715 34.56 %
3 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles More 8.688 3.08 %
4 Korean Air Skypass 8.628 1.26 %
5 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.615 3.43 %
6 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.527 7.39 %
7 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.469 2.57 %
8 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.419 4.12 %
9 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.393 2.36 %
10 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.334 2.73 %
11 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.287 3.85 %
12 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.234 5.81 %
13 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.230 1.50 %
14 ANA Mileage Club 8.215 2.32 %
15 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 8.155 1.43 %
16 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.124 1.43 %
17 JAL Mileage Bank 8.114 2.43 %
18 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.028 6.03 %
19 British Airways Executive Club 7.894 1.30 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Americas]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards won the first six Freddies in this category and are back on top again for the second year in a row. A mere 10 night stays in a given year will secure elite status in Marriott Rewards that offers a 20 percent point bonus on stays and elite-only awards. Higher status will lead to such benefits as a dedicated reservations line and exclusive offers. In second place is Starwood Preferred Guest, third is InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards, fourth is Choice Privileges and at number five is Hilton HHonors.

Category votes 284,288

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.823 31.88 %
2 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.804 12.82 %
3 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.803 7.45 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.683 7.91 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.490 26.39 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.274 3.85 %
7 TripRewards 7.886 1.12 %
8 Wyndham Hotels Wyndham ByRequest 7.773 1.10 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.646 2.42 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards traded places this year in the top two, with Starwood Preferred Guest coming in at the top this year. Starwood Preferred Guest elite-level members can benefit from personalized concierge service, room and floor upgrades and 4 pm late checkout. Radisson SAS goldpoints plus finished at number three with InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport finishing out four and five.

Category votes 70,047

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.164 11.30 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.110 18.46 %
3 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 8.014 10.06 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.804 18.62 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.467 6.87 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.355 16.89 %
7 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.162 1.48 %
8 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.153 2.43 %
9 Sol Melia MaS Rewards 7.128 1.41 %
10 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 6.968 3.99 %
11 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.728 3.25 %
12 Golden Tulip Hotels Flavours 6.655 1.16 %
13 TripRewards 6.373 1.13 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Elite-Level Program
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest is back on top of this category after a one-year absence. Elite bonus points and a lower minimum threshold when converting points to frequent flyer miles are two of the perks that come with a Preferred Guest elite membership. Last year’s number three program is number two this year, Marriott Rewards, followed by former winner in this category, Hyatt Gold Passport; InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Hilton HHonors are at fourth and fifth.

Category votes 20,522

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.559 20.86 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.515 24.98 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.185 15.36 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.023 11.18 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.749 12.07 %
6 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.732 2.41 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.493 3.36 %
8 TripRewards 7.473 1.51 %
9 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.281 3.27 %
10 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.976 1.64 %
11 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 6.775 1.75 %

Best Award Redemption
If award redemption is easy, you have a very happy program member. If it’s difficult, call out the National Guard, you might need some help. If there’s one thing that irks frequent travelers the most, it’s the unavailability of awards — and the hassles of redeeming them. We’ve learned that it’s not just about making seats and rooms available, it’s also about the process. Does the program make it easy to change your itinerary if you change your mind? Does it require members to jump through hoops? What fees are involved for last-minute award redemptions or when you have to call the service center to claim the award? We never said that award redemption would be easy, but some programs make it easier than others. Voters were asked to vote on the program that makes award redemption the most “flyer friendly” — can you get the award you want when you want it?

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Americas]

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
It might be time to rename this category. With Rapid Rewards’ ninth win, the frequent flyer program has claimed it as theirs. For most of these wins, there were no capacity controls on awards, but starting in 2006, Rapid Rewards found it necessary to impose award seat restrictions. The ease of earning the awards, however, has not changed. When a member earns 16 credits (eight roundtrips), a free flight is waiting for them in their account. The top five is rounded out with the other “usual suspects” in this category: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns, Midwest Miles and Continental Airlines OnePass. Note that the top 12 programs in this category have a Value Vote over eight.

Category votes 314,878

Value Percent
1 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.993 13.42 %
2 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.883 10.29 %
3 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 8.881 4.37 %
4 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 8.711 1.34 %
5 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.522 6.48 %
6 JetBlue TrueBlue 8.448 1.33 %
7 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.383 17.85 %
8 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.282 10.22 %
9 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.254 16.20 %
10 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.222 7.07 %
11 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.218 1.65 %
12 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.097 3.94 %
13 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.545 1.55 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Qatar Airways Privilege Club takes home its first Freddie in this category followed by Gulf Air Frequent flyer and Emirates/SriLankan Skywards. These three programs moved en masse from last year’s fourth, fifth and sixth place to this year’s top three. Taking an impressive leap from 14th to fourth is Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More and Delta Air Lines SkyMiles once again shows that the airline is becoming a global player with its fifth place spot. Aeroflot Bonus and SN Brussels Privilege, last year’s second and third place programs have dropped off the charts.

Category votes 96,464

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.806 3.93 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.539 2.07 %
3 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.338 4.36 %
4 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.314 14.89 %
5 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.179 1.15 %
6 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.175 1.09 %
7 Alitalia MilleMiglia 8.088 1.03 %
8 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.071 5.77 %
9 SAS EuroBonus 7.985 3.62 %
10 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 7.910 2.05 %
11 American Airlines AAdvantage 7.897 1.06 %
12 South African Airways Voyager 7.827 34.75 %
13 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.763 4.68 %
14 British Airways Executive Club 7.489 7.13 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Virgin Blue Velocity
Virgin Blue Velocity wins its second Freddie the second year in a row. As the program’s Web site reads, “There are no restrictions on how many seats are allocated for redemptions with Velocity Points. If there is a seat available, you can be on it. After all, points are pointless if you can’t go where you want, when you want.” Up from number six last year is this year’s number two, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, and from seventh to third is Gulf Air Frequent flyer. Jet Airways Jet Privilege is number four and Korean Air Skypass is number five.

Category votes 27,912

Value Percent
1 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.738 5.06 %
2 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.735 3.16 %
3 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.599 2.22 %
4 Jet Airways Jet Privilege 8.562 35.18 %
5 Korean Air Skypass 8.548 1.18 %
6 Malaysia Airlines Enrich 8.541 1.16 %
7 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.527 6.38 %
8 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.469 5.18 %
9 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.462 2.94 %
10 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.379 2.72 %
11 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.355 3.70 %
12 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.336 2.49 %
13 Air China Companion 8.331 1.05 %
14 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.291 4.38 %
15 JAL Mileage Bank 8.236 2.30 %
16 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.217 1.40 %
17 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 8.197 1.32 %
18 Air India Flying Returns 8.109 1.36 %
19 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.064 1.74 %
20 ANA Mileage Club 8.060 2.23 %
21 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 7.876 5.34 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Americas]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest wins Best Award Redemption for the eighth year in a row. The secret? No blackout dates or availability restrictions on free night awards. Following Starwood Preferred Guest once again at number two and three are InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Marriott Rewards. Making upward moves this year to the fourth and fifth place are Choice Privileges and Hilton HHonors.

Category votes 289,614

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.849 12.52 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.813 8.08 %
3 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.760 32.81 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.732 9.30 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.530 24.43 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.379 3.32 %
7 TripRewards 7.987 1.25 %
8 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.699 2.67 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest continues its dominance of the Award Redemption category with this year’s win in Europe, Middle East, Africa — Starwood is the sole winner of this category since the award’s inception in the 17th Annual Freddie Awards. Marriott Rewards is second, Radisson SAS goldpoints plus third, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards, fourth and Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport is fifth.

Category votes 68,349

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.236 11.57 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.140 18.65 %
3 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 8.073 10.07 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.861 19.24 %
5 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.455 6.48 %
6 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.335 16.11 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.325 2.25 %
8 Sol Melia MaS Rewards 7.136 1.52 %
9 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.130 1.47 %
10 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.019 4.07 %
11 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.717 3.30 %
12 Golden Tulip Hotels Flavours 6.481 1.19 %
13 TripRewards 6.466 1.14 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Award Redemption
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Yes once again, Starwood Preferred Guest wins — demonstrating its worldwide dominance in this category. Marriott Rewards is second once again and Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Hilton HHonors complete the top five list.

Category votes 19,936

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.628 20.96 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.579 24.75 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.269 15.54 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.098 11.91 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.776 11.37 %
6 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.729 2.56 %
7 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.617 2.90 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.341 3.44 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.127 1.71 %
10 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 6.982 1.73 %
11 TripRewards 6.922 1.46 %

Best Customer Service
All the bonus offers and free flights or nights won’t keep program members happy in the long run if customer service isn’t there to assist you when you need them. From service centers with knowledgeable representatives to quickly answered e-mails, customer service is an important component to every frequent travel program, and some would argue, the most important. We asked our voters to vote on the program with the best customer service.

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Customer Service
[Americas]

Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles
Midwest Miles comes in first for the second year after taking the win from Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards after that program’s four consecutive wins. The Freddie Program of the Year this year, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns, is number two and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is number three. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards slipped from its second place last year to fourth place and Continental OnePass is at fifth.

Category votes 326,971

Value Percent
1 Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles 9.201 1.88 %
2 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns 9.022 4.37 %
3 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 8.976 10.28 %
4 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.968 12.32 %
5 Continental Airlines OnePass 8.708 7.10 %
6 JetBlue TrueBlue 8.665 2.32 %
7 US Airways Dividend Miles 8.634 17.08 %
8 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.535 15.95 %
9 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.421 9.55 %
10 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards 8.419 1.54 %
11 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.287 6.01 %
12 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.268 3.62 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 8.219 1.18 %
14 Air Canada Aeroplan 7.606 1.31 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Customer Service
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
This category sees some new names and a lot of shuffling. Coming in at the top is Qatar Airways Privilege Club, last year’s number five program. Last year’s number eight program, Gulf Air Frequent flyer, is second, while Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More is this year’s third place program — up from 15th last year. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus is fourth and Etihad Airways Etihad Guest is fifth. Off the list are SN Brussels Privilege, a two-time winner in this category and Aeroflot Bonus, last year’s number three.

Category votes 98,497

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 8.802 4.14 %
2 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.487 1.94 %
3 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.460 14.88 %
4 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.440 1.13 %
5 Etihad Airways Etihad Guest 8.371 1.21 %
6 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.321 5.96 %
7 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.265 1.06 %
8 SAS EuroBonus 8.206 3.47 %
9 TAP Portugal Victoria 8.159 5.35 %
10 Virgin Atlantic Airways flying club 8.061 3.02 %
11 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.947 4.62 %
12 South African Airways Voyager 7.797 31.00 %
13 British Airways Executive Club 7.582 8.51 %

Frequent Flyer Program :: Best Customer Service
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Qatar Airways Privilege Club is honored again for its first-rate customer service. Last year, the program was number two. This year, it edged out Jet Airways Jet Privilege to win — by a very narrow margin with both programs getting a 9+ Value Vote. Korean Air Skypass is number three followed by newcomer in the top five, Virgin Blue Velocity. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is this year’s number five, down from number three last year.

Category votes 28,535

Value Percent
1 Qatar Airways Privilege Club 9.110 3.07 %
2 Jet Airways Jet Privilege 9.102 35.68 %
3 Korean Air Skypass 8.989 1.31 %
4 Virgin Blue Velocity 8.918 3.79 %
5 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 8.715 9.81 %
6 Emirates/SriLankan Skywards 8.614 5.64 %
7 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 8.478 4.39 %
8 Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 8.477 2.65 %
9 Gulf Air Frequent flyer 8.445 1.99 %
10 American Airlines AAdvantage 8.425 1.11 %
11 Northwest Airlines WorldPerks 8.418 1.77 %
12 Malaysia Airlines Enrich 8.377 1.21 %
13 Qantas Airways Frequent Flyer 8.351 5.64 %
14 ANA Mileage Club 8.333 2.81 %
15 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 8.287 1.57 %
16 United Airlines Mileage Plus 8.254 2.66 %
17 Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More 8.214 2.47 %
18 JAL Mileage Bank 8.159 2.38 %
19 British Airways Executive Club 8.084 1.12 %
20 Air France/KLM Flying Blue 7.936 1.13 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Customer Service
[Americas]

Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards takes home the Freddie for the 10th time and the second consecutive year in this all-important category. Clearly, Marriott is able to offer members responsive customer service. InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards is number two for the second year in a row, and Starwood Preferred Guest is number three. Starwood won the Freddie in this category six times in the past. Choice Privileges is up from spot six to four and Hilton HHonors is up from seven to five.

Category votes 298,985

Value Percent
1 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.903 32.51 %
2 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.876 7.38 %
3 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.851 12.32 %
4 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 8.850 8.53 %
5 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 8.647 24.76 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.526 3.86 %
7 Wyndham Hotels Wyndham ByRequest 8.178 1.20 %
8 TripRewards 8.160 1.09 %
9 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.984 2.66 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Customer Service
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards trade places in this category where Starwood Preferred Guest is the winner — and an extremely close race it was with Value Votes at 8.228 and 8.226. Not terribly far behind is Radisson SAS goldpoints plus, last year’s fourth place winner. The final two of the top five are InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards and Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle.

Category votes 69,736

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.228 11.25 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.226 18.68 %
3 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 8.205 10.27 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 7.902 18.59 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.662 2.65 %
6 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 7.651 6.66 %
7 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.474 16.25 %
8 Sol Melia MaS Rewards 7.453 1.44 %
9 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.290 1.39 %
10 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.190 4.19 %
11 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 6.840 3.22 %
12 Golden Tulip Hotels Flavours 6.789 1.24 %

Frequent Guest Program :: Best Customer Service
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]

Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards once again find their programs in first and second place. This is the third Freddie for Starwood Preferred Guest in this category. Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport is third, up from fourth last year, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Reward moves down one notch to fourth and Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle holds its fifth place spot.

Category votes 20,313

Value Percent
1 Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest 8.670 20.48 %
2 Marriott Hotels Marriott Rewards 8.634 24.95 %
3 Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport 8.337 15.88 %
4 InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards 8.188 11.26 %
5 Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle 7.911 4.13 %
6 Choice Hotels Choice Privileges 7.877 2.23 %
7 Hilton Hotels Hilton HHonors 7.829 11.77 %
8 Accor Hotels Compliments from Accor Hotels 7.555 3.27 %
9 Radisson SAS goldpoints plus 7.396 1.67 %
10 Best Western Hotels Gold Crown Club International 7.370 1.57 %
11 TripRewards 7.192 1.27 %

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *