Required Reading for Frequent Flyers
Required Reading for Frequent Flyers
Required Reading for Frequent Flyers   Search 
Best Affinity Credit Card
[May 2006 Issue]
Print this Article Email this Article
<< Back to The 18th Annual Freddie Awards

It seems virtually no frequent traveler can leave home without a credit card and while there's been a flurry of competition for non-frequent flyer branded cards promising free travel, affinity credit cards still elicit the most comments. Outside of flying, this still ranks as the most popular way to earn miles/points. Many voters say they spend more time agonizing over which credit card to carry in their wallet than they do in choosing the frequent flyer or frequent guest program itself and that's only half the story. With new credit card promotions involving select retailers, the age of the credit card continues to be part of every frequent flyer member's benefit package.

Frequent Traveler Programs :: Best Affinity Credit Card
Diners Club/Club Rewards

Though only one program has consistently won in this category year after year, the competition is always intensely fierce. Last year's top three finishers, in fact, were only separated by a mere eleven hundredths of a point. To all the world, it appeared that this category was wide open.

But for the ninth straight year, Club Rewards from Diners Club takes the honors for Best Affinity Credit Card.

To some, this may come as a surprise. After all, since its co-branding with MasterCard, Diners has made some fairly major changes to the Club Rewards program, and some important airline partners have dropped out. Apparently, though, that wasn't enough to dissuade the voters.

In a notable jump from seventh place last year, the Marriott Rewards Visa takes a strong second, with the Starwood American Express just a hair's breadth away.

Category votes: 198,323

ProgramValueVote% of Vote
1. Diners Club/Club Rewards 8.8571.48 %
2. Marriott Rewards Visa8.7938.29 %
3. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express8.7904.05 %
4. American Express Membership Rewards8.7727.84 %
5. Alaska Mileage Plan Visa8.5527.05 %
6. Aeromexico Club Premier La Tarjeta American Express8.4091.33 %
7. IHG Priority Club Rewards Platinum Visa8.4082.09 %
8. Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa8.3608.53 %
9. Hilton HHonors Platinum Credit Card from American Express8.1691.61 %
10. Choice Privileges Visa8.0663.91 %
11. America West FlightFund Visa8.0622.11 %
12. United Mileage Plus Platinum Visa Business Card8.0251.83 %
13. American AAdvantage Visa/MasterCard8.0227.61 %
14. Delta SkyMiles American Express7.9685.97 %
15. Continental OnePass MasterCard7.8834.43 %
16. United Mileage Plus Visa/MasterCard7.8826.27 %
17. American AAdvantage Business Card/MasterCard7.8661.07 %
18. US Airways Dividend Miles Visa7.8443.11 %
19. Air Canada Aeroplan Visa7.7891.51 %
20. Northwest WorldPerks Visa7.5642.01 %

Frequent Traveler Programs :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Europe, Middle East, Africa]
SN Brussels Privilege American Express

For the second straight year, the SN Brussels Airlines American Express claims the lead in this important part of the world. In fact, by Freddie voting standards, the card ran away with it, scoring a dominating 8.249 in value voting.

Right behind is the American Express Membership Rewards program, leaping from fourth to second.

And had anyone heard about the Alitalia Amex before now? Apparently, its holders had, as they stormed in to place it in a solid third.

All three of the top finishers were American Express cards.
Category votes: 30,100

ProgramValueVote% of Vote
1. SN Brussels Privilege American Express8.2493.08 %
2. American Express Membership Rewards8.20311.76 %
3. Alitalia MilleMiglia American Express8.0362.10 %
4. Qatar Airways Privilege Club Commercialbank Visa7.8844.15 %
5. Qatar Airways Privilege Club QNB MasterCard7.8434.73 %
6. SAS EuroBonus Diners Club7.7563.04 %
7. Diners Club/Club Rewards 7.7222.30 %
8. Gulf Air Frequent flyer Visa/MasterCard7.72112.13 %
9. Flying Blue American Express7.7035.40 %
10. United Mileage Plus Visa/MasterCard7.6141.78 %
11. TAP Portugal Victoria Visa7.6421.57 %
12. SAS EuroBonus MasterCard7.5584.02 %
13. Emirates Skywards Visa/MasterCard7.5397.24 %
14. Lufthansa Miles & More Visa7.50312.15 %
15. British Airways Executive Club American Express7.4976.20 %
16. American AAdvantage Visa/MasterCard7.4892.65 %
17. Iberia Plus Visa7.3201.06 %
18. bmi diamond club MasterCard7.2931.73 %
19. Flying Blue MasterCard6.9492.80 %
20. British Airways Executive Club Diners Club Corporate Card6.9471.75 %
21. Virgin Atlantic flying club MasterCard6.8123.19 %

Frequent Traveler Programs :: Best Affinity Credit Card
[Japan, Pacific, Asia, Australia]
American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards claims the top spot in Asia, marking the sixth international award for the venerable Membership Rewards program. By leveraging an enormous list of partners, Amex does it again.

Yet another Amex card claims second place, this time the Singapore Airlines PPS Club card.

And jumping from fifth to third? That's right -- Jet Airways. We think you should get used to seeing these guys around.
Category votes: 30,629

ProgramValueVote% of Vote
1. American Express Membership Rewards8.08610.32 %
2. Singapore Airlines PPS Club American Express7.7031.83 %
3. Jet Airways Jet Privilege Citibank Credit Card 7.68648.28 %
4. United Mileage Plus UC Visa/MasterCard7.5951.60 %
5. JAL Mileage Bank JALCARD7.4002.12 %
6. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Citibank Visa7.3426.02 %
7. Virgin Blue Velocity Visa7.3381.31 %
8. Thai Royal Orchid Plus Visa/MasterCard7.2561.87 %
9. Singapore KrisFlyer American Express7.2433.46 %
10. Qantas Frequent Flyer ANZ Visa7.1913.77 %
11. Diners Club/Club Rewards 7.1682.63 %
12. ANA Mileage Club Visa/MasterCard7.0721.92 %
13. Air Sahara Cosmos Standard Chartered Visa7.0211.35 %

<< Back to The 18th Annual Freddie Awards
Print this Article Email this Article

Current Issue
Chain Choice Free
Online Only
American Airlines and US Airways Announce Merger Free
More Online Only