Airline winners in the 2020 TPG Awards Readers’ Choice categories

Nov 16, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Airlines Week banner for the 2020 TPG Awards

As we announced earlier, today kicks off Airlines Week at the 2020 TPG Awards — and we have a ton of content and events across our site and other platforms ready to launch. To get things started, we’re announcing the winners of our first two Readers’ Choice honours. Tens of thousands of TPG readers weighed in this year, giving insight into which airline loyalty programme and airline credit card were most popular.

Read on for who took home these awards this year.

Sign-up for the TPG daily newsletter so you don’t miss out on anything related to the TPG Awards.

In This Post

Best US Airline Loyalty Programme

Over the first two years of the TPG Awards, the same carrier took home the award for Best U.S. Airline Loyalty Programme.

Well, ladies and gentlemen … we have a new victor in 2020.

Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards

Southwest as an airline has a lot to like — from its fee-free changes and cancellations to the pair of free checked bags given to every passenger. However, its Rapid Rewards programme is a fan favourite of many travellers, and there are some key features that likely pushed it to the top this year:

  • Companion Pass: The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most coveted (and lucrative) perks in the frequent flyer world, allowing holders to bring along a designated travel companion on all Southwest-operated flights by just paying the companion’s taxes and fees.
  • No blackout dates: When you need to use your Rapid Rewards points, you can do it on any Southwest flight with availability. If there’s a seat, it’s available using points. While it is a revenue-based programme, which removes the ability to get outsized value from your award tickets, it’s still a straightforward redemption scheme that requires little advance knowledge to utilize.
  • Points never expire: Southwest removed point expiration in 2019, so you’ll never have to worry about your Rapid Rewards points disappearing.

Southwest also made some adjustments to its elite status tiers in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic — including the option to convert existing travel funds to Rapid Rewards points. These likely helped propel the carrier to the top of the ballot, securing its first-ever TPG award.

Best US Airline Cobranded Credit Card

This one is a bit less of interest to U.K. readers, however, it’s worth noting. Unfortunately, the card is only available to eligible people in the U.S. The “luv” continued in the Best Airline Cobranded Credit Card category — as we once again saw a first-timer take the top spot.

Winner: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Southwest offers three personal credit cards through Chase, and its middle offering — the Southwest Premier Card — took home honours as the best airline credit card of 2020, according to TPG readers.

Bottom line

Both of our airline awards for 2020 went to Southwest Airlines, as its Rapid Rewards programme took home honours for Best U.S. Airline Loyalty Programme, while the Southwest Premier card was voted as the Best Airline Cobranded Credit Card. While both are first-time award winners, they clearly deliver value to members, which took them to the top of the ballot.

A big thank you to the tens of thousands of readers who voted this year — stay tuned for additional award-winner announcements in the weeks to come.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.