Top 100 Most Valuable Airline Loyalty Programs in 2023
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The report is in, and Delta SkyMiles earns the title ‘Most Valuable Airline Loyalty Program in 2023.’ A research study conducted by industry experts at On Point Loyalty determined a list of the top 100 loyalty programs in the world. See if your loyalty program made the list and what it means for you as a valued loyalty member.
Top 100 Most Valuable Airline Loyalty Program Rankings
The latest industry study by On Point Loyalty reveals the top 100 most valuable airline loyalty programs out of the hundreds that exist around the world. At the top of the list is Delta Airlines, with a value estimated at USD $27 Billion. US-Carriers round out the top four rankings on the list, with American Airlines AAdvantage, United Airlines MileagePlus, and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards.
Here’s a peek at the list of the top 10 most valuable airline loyalty programs and their estimated values:
|Rank||Airline(s)||Loyalty Program||Estimated Value (USD)|
|1||Delta Airlines||SkyMiles||$27.9 Billion|
|2||American Airlines||AAdvantage||$23.9 Billion|
|3||United Airlines||MileagePlus||$22 Billion|
|4||Southwest Airlines||Rapid Rewards||$8.8 Billion|
|5||Lufthansa (also Austria, Brussels, and Swiss Airlines)||Miles & More||$7.9 Billion|
|6||British Airways (also Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling)||IAG Avios Programs||$7 Billion|
|7||Air France (also KLM, Tarom, and Kenya Airways)||Flying Blue||$6.9 Billion|
|8||Air Canada||AeroPlan||$6.8 Billion|
|9||Korean Air||SKYPASS||$4.5 Billion|
|10||Cathay Pacific||Cathay||$4.5 Billion|
As expected, most of the largest airline companies in the world fall in the top spaces. Note that estimated values fall significantly after the third ranking.
Let’s look at how these values were determined and how they impact airlines.
Determining the Value of Loyalty Programs
On Point Loyalty works with airlines globally on consulting and developing strategies for an effective loyalty program. The research study was conducted to determine loyalty program value as it relates to an airline’s overall financial value.
In an official press release about the study, On Point Loyalty Managing Partner, Evert de Boer, states the following: “the financial support realized through these programs further strengthened our earlier hypotheses around the value they represent.” In this new era of travel, loyalty programs maintain an essential role in how valuable an airline is. Boer continues, “with COVID largely behind us, now is the time to take stock and reassess the programs’ valuations.”
The loyalty program value study by On Point Loyalty examined more than 170 airline programs globally. While most information about the airlines and their loyalty programs is publicly available, On Point Loyalty also includes proprietary algorithms to determine the final rankings. A few criteria for loyalty program values include:
- Airline Status (major carrier vs. regional carriers)
- Details and benefits of the loyalty program
- Countries of operation
- Proprietary insights from On Point Loyalty
The value of loyalty programs isn’t a specific line on an airline’s revenue, but it can give insight into the best loyalty program options for frequent flyers.
What this Study Means for Travelers
An airline’s loyal flyers are the most important factor in the value of a loyalty program. A program is useless if travelers do not see any benefit to using it. The Delta SkyMiles loyalty program topping the list indicates that its 92+ million members worldwide find exceptional value in being a member of the program.
Travelers considering a loyalty program to join can refer to the list to confirm the credibility of a program. Loyalty members will likely get excellent value from programs ranking in the top 100 list. Furthermore, members can reference the list to see other valuable loyalty programs on partnering airlines to enjoy benefits from another program. For example, the Avianca LifeMiles program, one of the largest in Latin America, didn’t make the top 10 list but can be transferred to United MileagePlus miles.
The On Point Loyalty research study was released in February 2023. It gives insight into the value of loyalty programs after the reduced travel levels during COVID. Overall, loyalty programs are still valuable additions to airlines and help give travelers more value.
The complete list of the top 100 most valuable airline loyalty programs in 2023 is available at www.onpointloyalty.com.
Did your favorite airline loyalty program make the list?