Freddie Awards 2023: How To Make Your Vote Count

Freddie Awards 2023: How To Make Your Vote Count

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Voting is just opening for this year’s Freddie Awards, which is the longest standing and most popular travel loyalty awards ceremony, started by Randy Petersen. The first Freddie Awards were held in 1989, and over the years tens of millions of votes have been cast to allow members to recognize the loyalty programs they appreciate most.

Freddie Awards basics

With voting now opening for the 2023 Freddie Awards, I wanted to talk a bit about how Freddie Awards voting works — many people may not be voting in a way that’s in line with what they’re intending.

With this post I’m hoping to clear up some confusion, and maybe we can shake up the results a bit to better reflect our preferences.

Why should you care about the Freddie Awards?

Plain and simple, many of us are passionate about loyalty programs. Loyalty programs (for the most part) really care about winning Freddie Awards. Casting your vote for deserving programs is a great way to send a message to programs you appreciate, and perhaps also to send a message to programs you don’t appreciate.

I’m not in any way involved in the Freddie Awards, but this is truly a passion project, and I know Randy Petersen, View from the Wing, and Pizza in Motion, put a lot of work into it. They really want the best programs to be recognized, and this isn’t some ego fueled vanity project for them.

When is Freddie Awards voting open?

Voting for the Freddie Awards is open from February 15 through March 31, 2023, so there’s a period of just over six weeks where you can vote.

When are Freddie Awards winners revealed?

Each year there’s an event held in late April where winning programs are presented with awards. This year the awards will be held at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on April 27, 2023.

What categories are there in the Freddie Awards?

The Freddie Awards are split between three regions, and you can cast a vote for awards in each region:

  • Americas
  • Europe & Africa
  • Middle East & Asia/Oceania

Within each region there are categories for airlines, hotels, and credit cards.

Airline categories include:

  • Program of the Year
  • Best Elite Program
  • Best Promotion
  • Best Customer Service
  • Best Redemption Ability

Hotel categories include:

  • Program of the Year
  • Best Elite Program
  • Best Promotion
  • Best Customer Service
  • Best Redemption Ability

Then there’s a single credit card category:

  • Best Affinity Credit Card
Some of the Freddie Awards voting categories

How does Freddie Awards voting work?

This is the key reason I’m writing this post. Most people don’t understand how Freddie Awards votes are calculated, and may not be voting in a way that reflects their intentions.

There’s no perfect voting system

The Freddie Awards voting system has been designed so that it’s not a pure popularity contest. That’s because some loyalty programs send emails to members asking them to vote, and obviously that would totally skew the results if it were purely based on number of votes. Furthermore, not all loyalty programs are the same size, so it’s important to recognize smaller programs as well.

That means the Freddie Awards has a value voting system.

How “value voting” works in practice

When you vote in the Freddie Awards in a particular category, you’re asked to rank your choices first, second, and third. You don’t have to rank all three — you could just select your first choice, and not select your second or third choice.

The way points are awarded:

  • A program is awarded 10 points if you select it first
  • A program is awarded 6.67 points if you select it second
  • A program is awarded 3.33 points if you select it third

Then the way the scoring works is that:

  • A program’s score (on a scale of 1-10) is determined by the number of points it has earned divided by the number of people who ranked it, either first, second, or third
  • Only programs that get at least 2% of the overall vote qualify

Generally you can expect that a winning program will score somewhere around 8-9 points on average.

How this impacts my voting

Logically you might think that if you like three programs, you should rank them first, second, and third. However, in reality you’re typically harming a program if you’re voting it second or third, rather than not voting for it at all. The exception is if a second or third place vote allows a program to even qualify above the 2% threshold, though that shouldn’t be a problem among big programs.

To simplify this as much as possible, and this is generalized advice:

  • If you like one program most, vote it first place
  • If you moderately like a program, don’t vote it as second or third, since it’s likely to drag the average score down
  • The worst thing you can do for a program is vote it in third place, since it would be getting 3.33/10, which will likely drag it down considerably
Just an example, not necessarily how I’m voting

A concrete example

Let’s say Hyatt and Marriott are competing for the “Program of the Year” category:

  • If Hyatt got 10 first place votes, no second place votes, and no third place votes, it would score a perfect 10
  • If Marriott got 10 first place votes, 10 second place votes, and 10 third place votes, it would score just 6.67 (10×10 + 10×6.67 + 10×3.33 / 30)

Bottom line

I love loyalty programs (obviously), and I think it’s important to recognize the programs that are trying to do right by members. That’s where the annual Freddie Awards come into play.

I think it’s important to understand how voting works. Consider your choices carefully — obviously vote your favorite program in first place, but also understand that voting a program second or third place is potentially worse than not voting for that program at all (or to flip that, if you’re displeased with a program, voting the program in third place is likely to negatively impact it).

Are you voting in the 2023 Freddie Awards? If so, which programs are you voting for?

Conversations (11)
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  1. Dwondermeant Guest

    Since SPG got bought out by Marriott Bonvoid I lost most of my passions for most hotel loyalty programs.Marriott destroyed the Amex relationship
    Hyatt has become comatose. Hilton in the US is
    not rewarding and like airline programs devalued to the point where 10 to 20% Increases due to inflation would seem like a gift if that’s all they increased
    Instead the overcharging gouging seems like extortion to make up for previous...

    Since SPG got bought out by Marriott Bonvoid I lost most of my passions for most hotel loyalty programs.Marriott destroyed the Amex relationship
    Hyatt has become comatose. Hilton in the US is
    not rewarding and like airline programs devalued to the point where 10 to 20% Increases due to inflation would seem like a gift if that’s all they increased
    Instead the overcharging gouging seems like extortion to make up for previous Covid slow downs and closures
    Is there really anybody great to vote for now? not really imo.It’s just the lesser of the major evils
    Programs need major refreshes value adds.Hopefully the new generation will continue to support many of these crooks I mean programs
    Years ago the Freddie’s had something to vote on and celebrate and Randy ran the show exclusively .It was better then and there was something to cheer about
    Hard to celebrate corporate greed.

  2. Christian Guest

    After seeing crappy programs like Bonvoy win first place multiple times, I find the awards a bit dubious. I'm not suggesting any cheating, just the way things are set up.

  3. UA-NYC Guest

    Hilton Honors - 1st Place for Best Top Tier Status Free With Credit Card That is No Different Than Identical Lifetime Status Benefit-Wise

  4. EK_engineer Guest

    That picture makes the Freddie awards look like a row of cheap plastic water bottles. Yikes..maybe the board should call in Jony Ive?

  5. Pierre Diamond

    If you vote for the program you like best and it wins, those running the program will think that they are doing enough or even TOO MUCH. Better keep them on their toes and work in areas where they aim to catch-up with the others. This can actually be an enticement to vote for programs you DON'T like.

  6. Ethan Guest

    If their voting method is this confusing and require tactical voting, then maybe it's their method should be changed - Like list 3 favorite programs and 3 worst.
    I'm decidedly voting Bonvoy 3rd place this year though.

    1. RPGFAFG Guest

      Agreed. There has to be a better system. Maybe just voting thumbs up or down on every program. Seems kinda silly to call a program that gets 2% 1st place votes the winner over one that receives the remaining 98% 1st place votes and a few 2nd place votes. As unrewarding as I find Marriott's reward program to be, the size of the portfolio does have its advantages.

  7. Clem Diamond

    "and this isn’t some ego fueled vanity project for them"

    It's been a while since we got a little TPG shade :P !

    1. Jim Guest

      Always good to see some TPG shade, especially since they've sold their last editorial muscle and now take comp-ed trips everywhere

  8. ORD_Is_My_Second_Home Member

    I voted, and thanks to your explanation, I did some tactical voting and gave a lot of 3rds to Delta SkyPesos.

  9. GBOAC Diamond

    You should have at least mentioned why these awards are called the Freddie awards:-)

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Clem Diamond

"and this isn’t some ego fueled vanity project for them" It's been a while since we got a little TPG shade :P !

2
Dwondermeant Guest

Since SPG got bought out by Marriott Bonvoid I lost most of my passions for most hotel loyalty programs.Marriott destroyed the Amex relationship Hyatt has become comatose. Hilton in the US is not rewarding and like airline programs devalued to the point where 10 to 20% Increases due to inflation would seem like a gift if that’s all they increased Instead the overcharging gouging seems like extortion to make up for previous Covid slow downs and closures Is there really anybody great to vote for now? not really imo.It’s just the lesser of the major evils Programs need major refreshes value adds.Hopefully the new generation will continue to support many of these crooks I mean programs Years ago the Freddie’s had something to vote on and celebrate and Randy ran the show exclusively .It was better then and there was something to cheer about Hard to celebrate corporate greed.

1
Christian Guest

After seeing crappy programs like Bonvoy win first place multiple times, I find the awards a bit dubious. I'm not suggesting any cheating, just the way things are set up.

1
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