2020's Travel
Rewards Winners

Pack your carry-on and get ready for takeoff. This year's best travel rewards programs can help you get more in the sky, at hotels and beyond. Check out 2020's best options and why we love them.

Best-Of Awards > Travel Rewards

Best Hotel Rewards Program

Marriott Bonvoy
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on NerdWallet's website

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on NerdWallet's website

  • Marriott's Bonvoy points are especially easy to earn, even for infrequent travelers.
  • We encountered few restrictions or limitations when booking award rooms.
  • Marriott sports an enormous portfolio of properties around the world.
  • Marriott's Bonvoy points are especially easy to earn, even for infrequent travelers.
  • We encountered few restrictions or limitations when booking award rooms.
  • Marriott sports an enormous portfolio of properties around the world.
Why this Program made the list

The Marriott Bonvoy program checks every box: a huge portfolio of properties, good point earnings value and simple award booking.

Read our methodology

Best Hotel Rewards Program for Families

Marriott Bonvoy
Read Review

on NerdWallet's website

Read Review

on NerdWallet's website

  • Marriott's Bonvoy points are especially easy to earn, even for infrequent travelers.
  • Booking award nights online is simple, intuitive and beginner-friendly.
  • Marriott sports an enormous portfolio of properties around the world, including family-friendly destinations.
  • Marriott's Bonvoy points are especially easy to earn, even for infrequent travelers.
  • Booking award nights online is simple, intuitive and beginner-friendly.
  • Marriott sports an enormous portfolio of properties around the world, including family-friendly destinations.
Why this Program made the list

The Marriott Bonvoy program's relative simplicity and high point earnings value make it a top choice for busy families and infrequent travelers.

Read our methodology

Best Hotel Rewards Program for Business Travelers

Marriott Bonvoy
Read Review

on NerdWallet's website

Read Review

on NerdWallet's website

  • Bonvoy points are easy to earn, especially for elites.
  • Points offer good redemption value when booking award stays.
  • The Bonvoy elite status program is well-regarded by our in-house experts.
  • Bonvoy points are easy to earn, especially for elites.
  • Points offer good redemption value when booking award stays.
  • The Bonvoy elite status program is well-regarded by our in-house experts.
Why this Program made the list

The Marriott Bonvoy program offers loads of value to frequent travelers, with an excellent elite status program and high point earnings value.

Read our methodology

Best Frequent Flyer Program

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
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on NerdWallet's website

  • Award miles provide good value: They're easy to rack up and simple to redeem.
  • We encountered few blackout dates and restrictions on award flights with Alaska and its partners.
  • Alaska's MVP elite status program is best in class, as rated by our experts.
  • Award miles provide good value: They're easy to rack up and simple to redeem.
  • We encountered few blackout dates and restrictions on award flights with Alaska and its partners.
  • Alaska's MVP elite status program is best in class, as rated by our experts.
Why this Program made the list

Alaska Airlines stands out with its valuable mileage program and top-tier elite status program.

Read our methodology

Best Frequent Flyer Program for Families

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
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on NerdWallet's website

  • Award miles provide good value: They're easy to rack up and simple to redeem.
  • Booking Alaska award flights is simple, intuitive and beginner-friendly.
  • Families will encounter few blackout dates and restrictions on award flights with Alaska and its partners.
  • Award miles provide good value: They're easy to rack up and simple to redeem.
  • Booking Alaska award flights is simple, intuitive and beginner-friendly.
  • Families will encounter few blackout dates and restrictions on award flights with Alaska and its partners.
Why this Program made the list

Alaska Airlines' reward program offers excellent value and simplicity for families looking to squeeze every cent from their frequent flyer miles.

Read our methodology

Best Frequent Flyer Program for Business Travelers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Read Review

on NerdWallet's website

  • Award miles provide good value: They're easy to rack up and simple to redeem.
  • Alaska's MVP elite status program is best in class, as rated by our experts.
  • Alaska's distance-based earning chart equals more miles, especially for elite flyers.
  • Award miles provide good value: They're easy to rack up and simple to redeem.
  • Alaska's MVP elite status program is best in class, as rated by our experts.
  • Alaska's distance-based earning chart equals more miles, especially for elite flyers.
Why this Program made the list

For frequent flyers, Alaska Airlines offers best-in-class elite status benefits and valuable miles.

Read our methodology

Want to dive deeper?

See how this year's winners stack up against the competition – including a breakdown of the average value per mile.

Frequently Asked Questions

NerdWallet's award winners are chosen through a rigorous evaluation process involving more than three dozen of our writers and editors. For each financial product, we assess the features that we believe are most important to consumers. NerdWallet's ratings formulas for credit cards, for example, consider the type of card being reviewed (such as cash back, travel or balance transfer) and the card's rates, fees, rewards and other features. For mortgages, our evaluation includes loan types, loan products, online capabilities, online rate information, customer service and complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For more info, see our methodologies.

Our team of Nerdy experts is composed of writers and editors – based all across the country – who have years of experience reviewing and writing about personal finance products for consumers.

Writers and editors use comprehensive scoring formulas that assess each financial product’s key features, weighting them according to their importance to consumers.

Nope. Editorial team members are solely responsible for creating all product reviews and ratings, and these assessments reflect their opinions alone. Only products that meet the editorial team’s standards appear in our Best-Of Awards lists, meaning no company can “buy” an award.

NerdWallet’s awards are given annually to the best of the best. Our other lists of top financial products throughout the year may be longer than the list of award winners, offer additional consumer choices and get updated as products change, products are discontinued and new products emerge. The dates that this year's winners were selected: Auto Insurance, Nov. 1, 2019; Banking, Oct. 1, 2019; Credit Cards, Oct. 1, 2019; Investing, Oct. 17, 2019; Mortgages, Oct. 18, 2019; Personal Loans, Oct. 1, 2019; Student Loans, Sept. 1, 2019; Travel Rewards, Sept. 1, 2019; Taxes, Jan. 9, 2020.

Our 2019 Best-Of Award winners are still live and we encourage companies to continue to celebrate their wins from this year and past years.