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These are the best miles and points programs to help you earn big


From:10Best Editors, Special to USA TODAY 10Best 
 
Travel isn't always cheap – sometimes it's free! At least that can be the case for those who leverage the vast network of miles and points programs out there. Credit cards, frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty clubs allow travelers to earn free or discounted travel, sometimes just with your everyday spending on gas, groceries and other purchases.

10Best teamed up with a miles-and-points expert from NerdWallet to nominate the best programs for American travelers – the credit cards, frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs with the best earning potential, flexibility, extra perks and ease of redemption. For thee past four weeks, our readers have been voting on their favorites, and the results are in.

Click on each category below to see the full list of winners.

Best Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: Southwest Rapid Rewards wins for the third straight year© Southwest Airlines Southwest Rapid Rewards wins for the third straight year 
 
Points never expire with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, so long as there's a flight or partner earning activity every 24 months. Southwest offers some 3,900 flights daily, and with no blackout dates and unlimited reward seats, redeeming points is easy. Rapid Rewards members can also earn points on car rentals with Alamo.

Full list of winners: Best Frequent Flyer Program »

Best Hotel Loyalty Program: Wyndham Rewards

a wooden table next to a building: Travelers can earn Wyndham Rewards at 8,000 hotels worldwide© Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Travelers can earn Wyndham Rewards at 8,000 hotels worldwide 
 
The Wyndham Rewards program honors stays at some 8,000 participating hotels worldwide, including brands like Hawthorn Suites, Ramada, Howard Johnson and Super 8. Members can also choose to earn miles with partner airlines, including American and United, or on car rentals through Avis and Budget.

Full list of winners: Best Hotel Loyalty Program »

Best Rewards Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Reserve

a close up of a logo: This winning card comes packed with travel perks© Chase This winning card comes packed with travel perks 
 
A popular option since its introduction in late 2016, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a 50,000-point sign-up bonus, plus a $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry fee waiver, no foreign transaction fees and three points per dollar spent on travel and restaurants worldwide (one point per dollar on everything else).

Full list of winners: Best Rewards Credit Card »

Best Co-Branded Credit Card: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card

Frequent Southwest flyers earn upgraded boarding with this winning card© Southwest Airlines Frequent Southwest flyers earn upgraded boarding with this winning card 
 
Budget-minded travelers who frequently fly Southwest Airlines benefit from the Rapid Rewards Premier credit card – no foreign transaction fees, a 40,000-point sign-up bonus, upgraded boardings, $75 annual travel credit and a 7,500-point bonus after each account anniversary.

Full list of winners: Best Co-Branded Credit Card »

Congratulations to all our points and miles winners!

10Best is a part of the USA TODAY Network, providing an authentically local point of view on destinations around the world, in addition to travel and lifestyle advice.
 


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