Which airline loyalty programs are the most valuable?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 8, 2017

Which airline loyalty programs are the most valuable?On Point Loyalty, LLC announced the release of its first annual report on the Top 100 Most Valuable Airline Loyalty Programs around the world, providing the first-ever comprehensive, data-driven ranking of the value of airline loyalty programs. The most obvious takeaway from the report: despite consumer grumbling about the ever-decreasing value of their miles and upgrades, airline loyalty programs remain jaw-droppingly profitable for airlines.

By Wise Marketer staff

On Point Loyalty's research examined public information on over 170 airlines around the world to determine an estimated value for each airline's loyalty program. Over 50 variables relating to the airline, loyalty program, credit card industry and local market dynamics were incorporated into On Point Loyalty's proprietary valuation algorithms. The report gives a unique view on the value generated by these somewhat opaque marketing businesses which are important ancillary revenue contributors for airlines. Money qote from On Point Loyalty Managing Partner Jeremy Rabe:

"We are excited to share this report with the airline, investor and credit card communities to shed new light on the value of airline loyalty programs from around the world. This report will be a new standard by which programs can be measured."

The global airline loyalty industry is estimated to be worth over $160 billion USD. Airline loyalty programs are tremendously popular, with approximately 288 million active loyalty members earning around 3.5 trillion points per year. Here are the top 10 most valuable airline loyalty programs as determined by the report:

  1. SkyMiles, Delta Air Lines: $21.7 billion valuation
  2. AAdvantage, American Airlines: $19.5 billion
  3. MileagePlus, United Airlines: $14.6 billion
  4. Rapid Rewards, Southwest Airlines: $6.3 billion
  5. Flying Blue, Air France-KLM Group: $6.2 billion
  6. Miles & More, Lufthansa Group: $5.7 billion
  7. Avios, British Airways: $4.7 billion
  8. JAL Mileage Bank, Japan Airlines: $4 billion
  9. SkyPass, Korean Air: $3.7 billion
  10. ANA Mileage Club, ANA - $3.6 billion

That’s a lot of cabbage—and an indication that airline loyalty programs remain the most lucrative business in loyalty marketing.