TRAVEL REWARDS
WINNERS for 2021

Travel was difficult last year, and we’re hoping our list of winners can help make all your travel dreams of 2021 come true. Check out 2021's best options and why we love them.

Best-Of Awards > Travel Rewards

Best Hotel Rewards Program

IHG Rewards Club
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on NerdWallet's website

READ REVIEW

on NerdWallet's website

  • IHG points are easy to earn and offer good value.
  • Fewer and lower fees, including resort, parking and pet fees.
  • Solid COVID-19 response and simple elite status program.
  • IHG points are easy to earn and offer good value.
  • Fewer and lower fees, including resort, parking and pet fees.
  • Solid COVID-19 response and simple elite status program.
Why this program made the list

IHG was the only brand in our analysis to offer both low fees and good rewards on hotel stays.

Read our methodology

Best Hotel Rewards Program for Families

IHG Rewards Club
READ REVIEW

on NerdWallet's website

READ REVIEW

on NerdWallet's website

  • IHG’s rewards points offer good bang for your family’s hotel spending buck.
  • Fewer hidden “gotcha” fees.
  • Traveler-friendly COVID-19 health policies.
  • IHG’s rewards points offer good bang for your family’s hotel spending buck.
  • Fewer hidden “gotcha” fees.
  • Traveler-friendly COVID-19 health policies.
Why this Program made the list

IHG’s low fees and good response to the COVID-19 pandemic make it a strong choice for families.

Read our methodology

Best Hotel Rewards Program for Frequent Travelers

World of Hyatt
Read review

on NerdWallet's website

Read review

on NerdWallet's website

  • Hyatt’s elite status program offers excellent value for frequent travelers.
  • Highly valuable rewards points.
  • Comprehensive COVID-19 health policies.
  • Hyatt’s elite status program offers excellent value for frequent travelers.
  • Highly valuable rewards points.
  • Comprehensive COVID-19 health policies.
Why this program made the list

A best-in-class elite status program and high-value rewards program set Hyatt apart for frequent travelers.

Read our methodology

Best Airline Rewards Program

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
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on NerdWallet's website

  • Alaska offers the most valuable combination of earning and value with its rewards miles.
  • Fewer “gotcha” fees, such as seat selection, at checkout.
  • Impactful COVID-19 policies.
  • Alaska offers the most valuable combination of earning and value with its rewards miles.
  • Fewer “gotcha” fees, such as seat selection, at checkout.
  • Impactful COVID-19 policies.
Why this Program made the list

Alaska outperformed other airlines in nearly every area we considered, from the value of elite status and rewards to COVID-19 response and add-on fees.

Read our methodology

Best Airline Rewards Program for Families

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
read review

on NerdWallet's website

  • Alaska charges reasonable fees, ensuring affordable family travel.
  • Safety-first COVID-19 response policies.
  • Easy to rack up lots of rewards miles.
  • Alaska charges reasonable fees, ensuring affordable family travel.
  • Safety-first COVID-19 response policies.
  • Easy to rack up lots of rewards miles.
Why this Program made the list

Lower fees and a strong focus on safety during the pandemic make Alaska our airline of choice for families.

Read our methodology

Best Airline Rewards Program for Frequent Flyers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
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on NerdWallet's website

  • Alaska’s elite status program offers terrific value at every level.
  • Frequent travelers can earn loads of valuable Alaska miles.
  • Simple fee structure keeps total costs down.
  • Alaska’s elite status program offers terrific value at every level.
  • Frequent travelers can earn loads of valuable Alaska miles.
  • Simple fee structure keeps total costs down.
Why this program made the list

Alaska offers the best elite status program and the best rewards rate, making it a clear favorite for frequent flyers and other high spenders.

Read our methodology

Best Travel Insurance

World Nomads Explorer Plan
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on NerdWallet's website

  • World Nomads offers two travel insurance plans: Standard and Explorer, with the latter providing coverage for adventure sports.
  • If you decide to prolong your vacation, World Nomads allows you to purchase a new policy so you can extend coverage mid-trip.
  • Customer satisfaction ratings are average for World Nomads.
  • World Nomads offers two travel insurance plans: Standard and Explorer, with the latter providing coverage for adventure sports.
  • If you decide to prolong your vacation, World Nomads allows you to purchase a new policy so you can extend coverage mid-trip.
  • Customer satisfaction ratings are average for World Nomads.
Why this program made the list

World Nomads’ Explorer Plan offers the best all-around trip insurance due to its robust coverage for travel delays, lost baggage and adventure sports.

Read our methodology

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to dive deeper?

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