Travelpayouts Blog

How to Earn on Saving Travelers Money on Flights: Comparison of Loyalty Programs, Subscriptions, Cards, and Best Deal Sites

Updated:
Reading time:  10  min.
2026
0

When organizing a trip, many travelers try to save money using different avenues: loyalty programs, promotions, discounts, cashback programs, etc. As a result, 41% of Americans participate in travel loyalty programs. This is a great opportunity for content creators to help tourists save money and earn money on those savings through affiliate and referral programs.

his post, we’ll compare twelve popular travel loyalty programs, subscriptions, cashback bank cards, and websites offering cashback programs and coupons. In addition, we’ll consider what earning opportunities these options provide to content creators.

Popular Ways to Save Money on Travel

Airline Loyalty Programs

Airlines like to encourage frequent flyers. This is why so many airlines offer loyalty programs. The more travelers fly with a specific airline or its partners, the more miles they earn. 

Advantages of Loyalty Programs

In general, miles from airlines can be exchanged for flight tickets and other services provided by the travel partner. Miles also give travelers the opportunity to quickly and comfortably complete the check-in process at the airport, use the services of the VIP lounge, book a seat on the plane for free or upgrade their existing seat to business class.

Examples of Loyalty Programs

  • Mileage Plan from Alaska Airlines
  • AAdvantage from American Airlines
  • HawaiianMiles Loyalty Program from Hawaiian Airlines 

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are usually paid. For a monthly or annual fee, they provide access to the best travel offers.

Advantages of Subscriptions

Subscriptions provide access to cashback, hotel discounts, tours and activities, low-priced flight tickets, airport lounges at the same price, and even ready-made itineraries.

Examples of Subscriptions

  • WayAway Plus
  • Tripadvisor Plus 
  • Travel + Leisure Club

Cashback Bank Cards

Travelers can take advantage of a variety of bank cards to save on flights and other travel services.

Advantages of Cashback Bank Cards

Usually the cardholder spends money in return for miles, which can be exchanged for discounts on flight tickets, free visits to the lounges or hotels, and other services. In some cases, free travel insurance is provided as a gift with bank cards.

Examples of Cashback Bank Cards

  • Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
  • CapitalOne Venture 
  • Chase Freedom Flex

Digital Coupons and Cashback Websites

The cashback option is very popular when the cash isn’t from a bank. Everything works simply: travelers need to register on a specific website or download the app and make a payment. In return, the user will receive cashback on the site/app account.

Example of a cashback site: Rakuten

There are other ways to save money by shopping online. For example, sites with coupons. Travelers need to find a suitable offer on the site, carefully read the instructions and make a payment. The total cost of such a site will be less than the site of the main seller.

Examples of sites with coupons: Groupon, Slickdeals

Which Benefits Do Travelers Like?

Loyalty programs help travelers save on various travel services. According to a ValuePenguin survey, before buying travel services, 40% of travelers look for discounts and promotions. As a result, when purchasing their most recent flight ticket:

  • 19% of travelers purchased using a discount
  • 11% of travelers used points
  • 7% of travelers used a promo code

When it comes to loyalty programs, travelers most appreciate:

  1. The ability to receive rewards
  2. Access to special prices and discounts
  3. Privileges gained from achieving a certain status
  4. Free facilities for loyalty program participants
  5. A sense of brand relationship
  6. More personalized services

Popular Programs, Subscriptions, Cards, and Sites to Save Money on Travel

Let’s consider popular loyalty programs, subscriptions, bank cards, cashback services, and sites with coupons. Find out if they offer the benefits that travelers want to see, and whether content creators are able to earn with partner programs.

Mileage Plan From Alaska Airlines

alaska airlines loyalty program mileage plan

According to a study conducted by NerdWallet, Mileage Plan from Alaska Airlines is the best airline loyalty program.

How to Get a Reward?

  • Fly with Alaska Airlines or the company’s airline partners
  • Book hotels, cruises, or car rentals on partner sites
  • Pay with an Alaska Airlines credit card

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Get a discount on the purchase of a flight ticket
  • Upgrade to first class
  • Pay for hotels with miles

AAdvantage From American Airlines

american airlines loyalty program

The AAdvantage loyalty program from American Airlines claimed second place in the NerdWallet rating.

How to Get a Reward?

  • Fly with American Airlines, American Eagle, or the company’s airline partners
  • Book cars, hotels, or tours
  • Shop at partners’ online stores
  • Pay at restaurants associated with the bank card

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Use miles to buy tickets for American Airlines and airline partners
  • Upgrade on American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia flights
  • Get exclusive service and access to airport lounges
  • Pay for hotels or car rentals with miles

HawaiianMiles Loyalty Program From Hawaiian Airlines 

hawaiian airlines loyalty program HawaiianMiles

Participants of the HawaiianMiles Loyalty Program receive miles not for the cost of flight tickets, but for the distance flown.

How to Get a Reward?

  • Fly with Hawaiian Airlines and the company’s airline partners
  • Buy goods from the company’s land partners
  • Use the World Elite MasterCard Hawaiian card

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Exchange miles for flights from Hawaiian Airlines and the company’s partner airlines
  • Use miles to book hotels, cars, restaurants, and shops

WayAway Plus

wayaway cashback

WayAway Plus is a membership plan from a flight aggregator called WayAway. For $49.99 ($99.99 without the discount), travelers get access to cashback, premium support, as well as expert guides for cities in the US and around the world.

How to Get a Reward?

  • Buy flight tickets on WayAway
  • Book travel services with WayAway Plus partners (their list includes indispensable and popular brands like Booking.com, Kiwitaxi.com, GetYourGuide, and many others)

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Travelers get cashback with real money that can be deposited into their PayPal accounts

Tripadvisor Plus

tripadvisor plus

Tripadvisor Plus is a simple membership program that helps travelers plan trips anywhere in the world. To benefit from the subscription, travelers need to pay $99 for an annual membership. If the travelers don’t book any services for 90 days, they may ask for a refund.

What’s in the Subscription?

  • Free membership to the Dollar Flight Club (up to 90% discount for flights)
  • Discounts on hotels and activities
  • Consultation with travel experts 
  • Free car rental upgrade on partner websites
  • Cashback for certain bookings

Travel + Leisure GO

travel + leisure go subscription

Travel + Leisure GO is a subscription for travelers from the popular monthly Travel + Leisure magazine. To experience all the benefits of Travel + Leisure GO, travelers need to pay for a subscription of $14.95 per month or try for free within 60 days.

What’s in the Subscription?

  • Individual travel routes from personal consultants
  • Discounts on hotel reservations
  • Special prices for events, excursions, car rentals, and other travel services

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta American Express Travel Card

This credit card helps travelers accumulate miles from Delta’s SkyMiles loyalty program. The service is free for the first year, then costs $99 going forward.

How Can Travelers Take Advantage of the Card?

  • Spend $1,000 during the first three months and receive 40,000 miles
  • Earn high cashback miles for paying at restaurants, supermarkets, and on the Delta website

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Free first registered piece of luggage
  • $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000
  • Up to $50 per flight for every 5,000 miles on Delta
  • 20% cashback for purchases aboard Delta
  • Insurance against loss and damage in the rental of a car
  • 24-hour assistance from the Global Assist hotline

Capital One Venture 

capital one venture travel card  

The Capital One Venture credit card is available to travelers for an annual payment of $95.

How Can Travelers Take Advantage of the Card?

  • Spend $4,000 during the first three months and receive 75,000 miles
  • Earn two miles per dollar for each purchase
  • Earn an increased cashback at five miles per dollar for booking hotels and cars at Capital One Travel

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Exchange miles for the purchase of flight tickets from any airline, any hotel, car rental service, or other travel services
  • Get two free visits per year to Capital One’s lounges or in more than 100 places through a network of partners

Chase Freedom Flex

chase freedom flex travel card

A credit card with 0% entrance fee for the first 15 months, after which the annual rate ranges from 17.24% to 25.99%.

How Can Travelers Take Advantage of the Card?

  • Spend $500 during the first three months and receive $200 cashback
  • Get 1% cashback points for everyday spending
  • Earn increased cashback points of up to 5% when spending in the travel, food, and pharmacy categories
  • Earn quarterly cashback points of 5% in bonus categories

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Exchange points for cash and gift cards
  • Pay with points for travel, products, or services associated with the program

Rakuten

rakuten travel cashback

Rakuten is a cashback service with which you can save on flights, hotel reservations, tours, cars, and cruises.

How Can Travelers Take Advantage of the Card?

  • Buy travel services on the Rakuten website

How Can Travelers Spend the Reward?

  • Users receive cashback with real money. Rewards can be withdrawn four times per year (minimum amount of $5)

Groupon

groupon travel deals

Groupon is a group discount service that helps travelers save on passes, boat trips, tours, and other forms of entertainment.

To save on these services, travelers need to pay for them on the Groupon.com website.

Slickdeals

slickdeals travel deals

Slickdeals is the largest trade exchange forum in the United States. On the website, travelers can find discount coupons for flight tickets from popular airlines, hotels, car rental services, cruises, and other activities that may be needed for trips.

The use of the service is free, as with Groupon, travelers only need to buy services on the site slickdeals.net website.

ProductPriceBenefitsRestrictionsPartner or Referral Program
Mileage PlanFree
  • Exchange miles for flight tickets

  • Exchange miles for hotels

  • Lack of Family Plans

  • For the purchase of some types of tickets, miles are not charged

  • The traveler is responsible for paying taxes and other charges
  • Referral program of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card
    AAdvantageFree
  • Use miles to buy tickets for American Airlines and the company’s airline partners

  • Exchange miles for hotels or car rentals
  • Miles are valid for 24 months

  • Some companies charge extra

  • Travelers can’t pay for a single purchase using both miles and cash
  • As far as we know, AAdvantage doesn’t offer a partner or referral program
    HawaiianMiles Loyalty ProgramFree
  • Exchange miles for flight tickets

  • Exchange miles for hotels, car rentals, restaurants, and shops
  • A short list of partner airlines

  • The traveler is responsible for paying for any taxes and additional charges
  • Preferred Affiliate Program.
  • To qualify for the program, you need to spend at least $12,000 per year to buy flight tickets.

  • Referral program in which you can earn miles before September 30.
  • WayAway Plus$49.99 ($99.99 without discount) / yearCashback with real money that can be deposited into one’s PayPal accountA short list of partners
  • Partners earn $10 for each sale of the membership plan.

  • If you join the program before January 31, 2023, you’ll earn up to 5% for orders made by WayAway Plus users paired with your Partner ID.
  • The WayAway partner program is only available on the Travelpayouts partnership platform.
    Tripadvisor Plus $99 / year
  • 90% discount on flights

  • Discounts on hotels, activities, and car rentals

  • Travel expert consultation

  • Cashback for certain bookings
  • Accumulated cashback expires within 180 days

  • Works only for US users
  • As far as we know, Tripadvisor Plus doesn’t offer a partner or referral program.

    However, you can earn with Tripadvisor on hotels and experiences on the Travelpayouts partnership platform.
    Travel + Leisure GO$14.95 / month
  • Individual travel routes

  • Discounts on hotels

  • Special prices for travel services
  • No reward for money or miles

  • There are no advantages to buying flight tickets
  • As far as we know, Travel + Leisure GO doesn’t have a partner or referral program
    Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express CardThe service is free for the first year, then costs $99 / year going forward
  • Discounts on flight tickets

  • 24-hour support

  • Advantage in airports and in the sky
  • To get a card, travelers must have a good credit rating

  • 1,000 miles equals $1. So, a $450 plane ticket would be equal to 450,000 miles
  • You can receive referral bonuses for issued American Express cards
    Capital One Venture$96
  • Exchange miles for flight tickets, hotels, and car rentals

  • Two free visits a year in Capital One’s lounges
  • To get a card, travelers must have a good credit rating

  • If travelers close their accounts, they lose all their miles
  • You can receive referral bonuses for issued Capital One cards
    Chase Freedom FlexFree for the first 15 months, then the annual rate is 17.24-25.99%
  • Exchange points for cash, gift cards, and travel services
  • To get a card, travelers must have a good credit rating

  • There’s a maximum amount of extra cashback
  • You can receive referral bonuses for issued Chase cards
    RakutenFreeUsers receive cashback with real money. Rewards can be withdrawn four times a year. Minimum amount of $5.
  • Cashback can only be withdrawn only four times a year

  • There’s “exempt” items
  • Publisher Partner Network
    GrouponFreeTravel services at a discount
  • There are some services from scammers

  • Inconvenient travel dates or poor quality service purchased through coupons
  • The Groupon Affiliate Program is available on CJ Affiliate. The partners’ remuneration is 10% of the transaction value.
    SlickdealsFreeTravel services at a discount
  • The site may have failed coupons

  • Some customers believe that some bargainers leave useless comments on products
  • As far as we know, Slickdeals doesn’t have a partner or referral program

    How Content Creators Can Make Money on Saving Travelers Money?

    Pay Attention to the Way You Earn With the Product

    You can join the partnership platform and promote travel subscriptions or websites with partner tools on your website, social media page, etc. 

    If you want to earn with partner programs, pay attention to the WayAway partner program (available on Travelpayouts), the Rakuten Publisher Partner Network, and the Groupon program on CJ Affiliate.

    If you want to earn with flight partner programs, learn more by reading the free “Ultimate Guide on How to Monetize Your Travel Content With Airline Affiliate Programs”. In this guide, you’ll find out how (and how much) you can earn by selling flight tickets online as well as how to choose the best partner flight programs.

    You can also earn from referral programs. For example, you can receive a reward every time someone gets a card based on your recommendation. Note that many banks set the maximum amount that you can get per year. For example, with a Chase Freedom Flex card, you can earn up to $500 a year. It’s not a bad reward, but it’s unlikely to earn a steady paycheck.

    Check Special Brand Campaigns

    Some partner programs, loyalty programs, and banks run campaigns that allow content creators to earn even more.

    For example, the WayAway partner program has special terms. If you join the program before January 31, 2023, you can work with the program on special terms for 12 months:

    • Any WayAway Plus purchases will be attributed to you for a period of 180 days.
    • For 180 days, you’ll receive up to 50% revenue share for all orders made by WayAway Plus users that purchased this plan membership plan based on your recommendation.
    50% revenue share
    30 days cookie lifetime
    $10 per sale of WayAway Plus
    WayAway Partner Program
    Join now

    Consider the Specifics of Your Audience

    To make solid earnings from affiliate or referral programs, you should know your audience’s needs.

    For example, loyalty programs are mostly used by men over 35 years of age. They fly more often on work assignments than on vacation.

    Cashback, promotions, and discounts on travel services are most interesting to travelers between the ages 20 to 34. In addition, travelers over the ages of 20 to 34 years old appreciate additional content about travel (maps, guides, and other materials). Travelers from the ages of 18 to 24 note that they find it difficult to understand the system of credit card bonuses.