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Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan is the No. 1 frequent flier program; Marriott Rewards continues reign as top hotel loyalty plan

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2015 -- U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and information, today released the 2015-16 Best Travel Rewards Programs. The annual rankings feature information on 28 airline and hotel loyalty programs to help travelers easily identify programs with the most perks. For the first time, Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan tops the list of the Best Airline Rewards Programs. Marriott Rewards holds onto the No. 1 spot in the Best Hotel Rewards category for the third year in a row. 

"Many travel loyalty programs come with a string of caveats, making it challenging to maximize your rewards," says Liz Weiss, travel editor for U.S. News. "Our rankings highlight the programs that make it easy to earn free flights or hotel stays and offer plenty of reward options and perks that travelers value, such as upgrades, free checked bags and priority boarding access."

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan tops the Best Airline Rewards list this year because of its generous elite membership benefits, ease of earning free round-trip flights and high network coverage — a new addition to the methodology that evaluates the breadth and diversity of routes offered by each airline and its alliance network. U.S. News also evaluated flight volume, free flight options and airline quality. To be ranked, a program had to be tied to a U.S.-based airline.

2015-16 Top 5 Best Airline Rewards Programs:

1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 

2. American Airlines AAdvantage 

3. Southwest Rapid Rewards

4. JetBlue TrueBlue

5. HawaiianMiles

See full list: 2015-16 Best Airline Rewards Programs

In this year's Best Hotel Rewards rankings, Marriott Rewards outshines other programs for offering a variety of lodging types and price ranges, as well as relatively easy ways to earn free hotel nights and other benefits. The U.S. News methodology also factored in network size, property diversity and geographic coverage. To be ranked, the program must have properties located in the United States and must allow members to earn rewards and privileges when they stay at an affiliated hotel.

2015-16 Top 5 Best Hotel Rewards Programs

1. Marriott Rewards

2. Wyndham Rewards 

3. (tie) Best Western Rewards 

3. (tie) Club Carlson

5. IHG Rewards Club

See full list: 2015-16 Best Hotel Rewards Programs

For more information about Best Travel Rewards Programs please visit, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. 30 million people visit each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Contact: Lucy Lyons / 202-955-2155

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