Best Hotel Redemption Ability [Europe / Africa] Starwood Preferred Guest

DSC_0095“Thank you Starwood Preferred guests, the best members in the world.”

Starwood Preferred Guest is no stranger to winning this category. Starwood’s nine-year winning streak was interrupted by Hilton, Marriott and IHG from 2009 to 2011, but the program resumed its first place spot last year and continues the trend this year. Starwood pioneered making all standard rooms available for points, and other hotel programs have followed their lead.

Best Hotel Redemption Ability [Middle East / Asia / Oceania] Hyatt Gold Passport

DSC_0109Hyatt Gold Passport nudges past Taj Hotels & Resorts InnerCircle to take the Freddie for Best Redemption Ability in Middle East /Asia /Oceania. This is the first time Hyatt Gold Passport has won for Best Redemption Ability in any geographical region. Hyatt’s portfolio includes truly aspirational properties and when it comes time to redeem your points, there are no unpleasant surprises. Hyatt Gold Passport has a reputation for keeping members well-informed about changes to award categories. When the program announced in December 2012 that several hotels would be changing categories, the program gave members six weeks advance notice.

Best Hotel Redemption Ability [Americas] Marriott Rewards

DSC_0099“Thank you to all of our members.”

Marriott Rewards wins in this all-important category for a second year in a row. Marriott has plenty of properties, in locations where their members want to stay, and at different levels of service. Members report that redeeming points for Travel Packages continues to offer a great value. When redeeming for a vacation package of seven nights or longer, points can be redeemed for hotel nights and flight miles with several participating airlines.

Airline Best Redemption Ability [Europe / Africa] Air France / KLM Flying Blue

“Of course we want to use our airline miles too,” says Gary Leff. The winner as spoken by the members is Flying Blue! Congratulations!

“Thank you very much! It means a lot.”

This is a first time win for Air France / KLM Flying Blue in the Best Redemption Ability category. Award sales are a sure way to win the heart of many a frequent flyer and Flying Blue offers up to 50 percent off promo flight awards every couple of months. Hotel stays, car rentals, extra baggage allowance and in-flight meals are just a few of the other types of awards available to members.


Airline Best Redemption Ability [Middle East / Asia / Oceania] Virgin Australia Velocity

The winner is Virgin Australia. “Thank you very much – appreciate it!”

This is the fifth Best Redemption Ability Freddie Award win for Velocity. Velocity members who plan in advance can get award flights for fewer points and they also have the option of using points for any available flight—including peak holiday travel times when the number of points is based on the cost of the fare. We saw Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Australia finally become full earning and redeeming partners in 2012, giving Velocity members the ability redeem miles across the network of Virgin carriers.


Airline Best Redemption Ability [Americas] AviancaTACA LifeMiles

The crowd goes wild! A loud uproar of clapping from Avianca and the crowd. “They love their LifeMiles!” says Leff.

Avianca TACA LifeMiles entry into the Star Alliance in 2012 has put this program on the map for a worldwide audience. This is LifeMiles first Freddie Award win as more members get to know and appreciate the program. LifeMiles has frequent 100 percent bonus offers on purchased miles and now members can use those miles for flights on Star Alliance carriers.

LifeMiles members also have the flexibility to adjust the combination of miles and money. When booking an award ticket online, members can decrease the mileage amount in increments of 1,000 miles and pay more in cash.

LifeMiles also allows one-way award redemptions and there are no fuel surcharges.