The Freddie Awards are not the only game in town to help you pick a travel loyalty program. The website findthebest.com ranks frequent flyer programs for consumers and lists them by a “Smart Rating” which is a weighted average of: Freddie Awards 2009, WebFlyer and Frequent Traveler Awards 2010. It also displays the cost in miles for economy awards in the U.S. and from the U.S. to Europe (low and high), the value per mile for each and value per mile for an upgrade within the U.S. The top three rated frequent flyer programs, according to the site are Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles and Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns. You can also refine your search by items like Club/Lounge Membership, System-wide Class Upgrades, airline alliance and more. There is also a guide about what to look for and what to avoid in frequent flyer programs.
Bottom line: We did a refined search including Club/Lounge Membership and 500 Minimum Miles on Flights and were presented with American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus. What the site does not point out, is that the 500 minimum miles are only offered to those members who have elite status. The site offers “unbiased, data-driven comparisons” of many things, including credit cards, baby strollers, resorts, plastic surgeons and the list goes on.