Program of the Year has its own cache as an award—best of the best. This year, Accor ALL won this award just as they have the previous six Freddie Awards making them an eight-time winner. They wrestled away the title from Starwood Preferred Guest in 2013 and haven’t looked back except in 2014 when IHG Rewards Club bested everyone. If you have but one Freddie Award, this is likely the one to earn but in counting their wins up this year it is but one of four for them to have taken home. In a category this important, all finishes matter, and Marriott Bonvoy, winner of the Program of the Year in the Americas finished in the number two spot. Accor ALL also finished well for Program of the Year in Middle Eat & Asia where they finished in the number two spot. Following right behind Marriott were Hilton and IHG with 210 Award winner GHA Discovery closing out the top five programs. In numbers six and seven, MeliáRewards and Radisson Rewards were close with their own cigars. As we look over all the finishers here, we’re most intrigued with IHG, a former winner who quite recently announced a complete refresh of their program. Similar to the refresh of Aeroplan in the airline program arena, a refresh can often move s needle. Let’s hope the race is on because members often win when the competition is new and close. One final observation: ALL’s rating of 9.16 is the highest rating of any of the three hotel Program of the Year wins. That deserves a virtual standing applause.
No stranger to winning this category, Membership Rewards won Best Loyalty Credit Card in 2018 breaking a streak by upstart Norwegian Reward and their Norwegian Card from Bank Norwegian which won in 2020, 2019, and 2017. Prior to that, it was a nice streak by Flying Blue in the years 2013-2016. Membership Rewards is also a frequent winner in the Middle East & Asia/Oceania region as well. They (Membership Rewards) play well with others and have a value proposition that is hard to beat when maximizing all your loyalty currencies—flexibility. And very close right behind was the TAP Miles&Go Millennium BCP Credit Card. Miles&Go won all the other airline categories in this region and we’re sure would have loved this one. It is issued as a Visa. Perhaps the interesting card in the top five is the Accor ALL Visa Payment Card. Hotel loyalty credit cards are still rarities and it’s nice to see such a strong showing as this one by ALL.
Full Voting Results
Best Loyalty Credit Card (Europe & Africa)
American Express Membership Rewards
TAP Millennium BCP Credit Card
ALL Visa Payment Card
Lufthansa Miles More Gold Credit Card
Air France KLM American Express
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
Bank Norwegian Norwegian Card
Turkish Airlines Miles Smiles Credit Card
British Airways Executive Club American Express Card
UIA Alfa Sky Pass Card
Czech Airlines Raiffeisenbank OK Plus E Mastercard
This category can claim the title of being the most interesting. For instance, TAP Miles&Go won this category in 2017, 2019, and 2020 and look what they did this year, they grew out of it and won overall Freddie Awards for all major airline categories. The winner in 2016 was Norwegian Reward as they ascended toward relevancy with a strong loyalty offering. This year they were #4 in this category and the 2015 winner, Aegean Miles Bonus was in a very positive place with their #3 finish. Flying Club is a program that rests in the cradle of an airline that has won a lot of awards over the years with the style of delivery and service for their inflight cabins. But they’ve escaped attention to their loyalty offering in a very competitive European marketplace. For many years SAS ruled the loyalty space, Turkish has garnered attention as has Aeroflot. Virgin Atlantic might be handicapped by its routes but certainly not by its product and its loyalty program. Recent moves to establish a more far-reaching loyalty currency could make for a large change here. All we know is that this year, Flying Club and its members earned the respect they deserve.
This is a category in which there seems to not be any competition. TAP Miles&Go easily wins this Freddie Award with almost a whole point and a half rating higher than Air France KLM Flying Blue in the #2 spot followed by Lufthansa Mies & More in the #3 spot. Neither of these two programs are strangers to top finishes in this category. Flying Blue won it in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and most recently in 2020, while Lufthansa won in 2012. 2018 and 2019 Freddie Awards in this category were won by Aeroflot who likely was hampered by world events this year. But the distance between Miles&Go and Flying Blue this year is certainly attention-getting. Very rare for any program to win a category by that margin.
Full Voting Results
Best Redemption Ability – Airlines (Europe & Africa)
Another category in which TAP Miles&Go show excellence this year, a full point higher rating to capture another Freddie Award in 2022 than Lufthansa Miles & More in the #2 spot besting Air France KLM Flying Blue in #3. Both Flying Blue and Lufthansa have won this award before, Flying Blue in 2016 and Lufthansa in 2015. And if you are wondering, SAS EuroBonus won in 2014. Aeroflot had a three-year streak from 2017-2019 and Norwegian Reward won in 2020. No one program owns this category which we think is a good thing. Congrats to Miles&Go, may this start something for you but also to the past winners …. but a little bit more of how you say—thank you.
Full Voting Results
Best Customer Service – Airlines (Europe & Africa)