Professor Priya Raghubir illustrates how both airlines and consumers benefit from mileage programs
— January 19, 2017
Excerpt from WalletHub -- "Consumers benefit from rewards programs in multiple ways - to start with, they have the intrinsic benefit of 'miles' that they can exchange for tickets, hotel rooms, and increasingly products (including gift cards). Thus, this is another form of currency that they accrue. Additionally, they benefit by climbing up the rewards program hierarchy."