We’ve got less than a week left of voting for the Freddie Awards. The Freddie Awards represent the best in loyalty for over 25 years. The airlines and hotels nominated value the awards because they don’t come from a panel of experts. You and I each get our own vote and they’re counted equally.
It only takes a few minutes to vote and make sure your voice is heard. Here’s a sample of my ballot:
Program of the Year-Americas (Airline): American Airlines AAdvantage
When you consider that Delta and United both blew up their loyalty programs last year, this might seem like an easy vote. For me, it was. But, I’ve heard plenty of people who are thrilled with programs like Alaska Airlines. AAdvantage is still tops in my book, especially given the mostly customer-friendly changes they’re making shortly.
Program of the Year-Americas (Hotel): Hyatt Gold Passport
Another easy vote for me. I’m in like with SPG, but I’m in love with Hyatt Gold Passport. The 4 confirmed Diamond suite upgrades each year is one of my favorite benefits. Access to suites on both paid and award stays is much more reliable than with SPG. And, while SPG has plenty of aspirational properties, Hyatt is catching up here as well. And, frankly, their service is better.
Best Loyalty Credit Card (Americas): Chase Sapphire
This was a tough vote for me. I value SPG points and don’t have many ways to collect them, so that makes it essential for me to have that card in my wallet. But, there are no category bonuses, so earning is slim. Chase Sapphire gives double points on travel and dining purchases (a big chunk of my purchases) and has no foreign transaction fees. Their points are flexible, transferring at a 1:1 ratio to many programs. That doesn’t beat the 1:1.25 ratio that SPG has, tops in the industry. But, while SPG wins on that one point, they fall a bit behind Chase Sapphire when you consider how easy it is to accrue points.
Favorites are a subjective thing. A lot of travelers are a slave to the airline that has a hub in their city, so don’t get the chance to try multiple airlines. I fly enough that I’ve had plenty of experience with American and United, so I feel comfortable with my votes. I’ll be interested to see who wins!
Who are your favorite hotels and airlines?
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