Excellent overview from Jason Steele on which reward programs are easiest to use:
In this post, my mission is to cut through the complexity and recommend two of the best airline, hotel, and credit card rewards programs for readers who are just getting started in this hobby. These programs might not necessarily offer extreme rewards, but they do offer the best return for the least amount of time and effort.
I don’t know what this says about me, but as I enter the fourth year of doing this hobby, these are, for the most part, the programs that I find myself using the most. For me, it’s that these programs provide the most value for where I’m looking to go or trying to do. I’ve never really considered it, but there may also be something about how easy these programs are to use that draw them to me, as well.
The only program I personally feel is missing is Hilton. Not for ease of use of the points program, but for ease of redemption: almost anywhere you go you’re going to find a Hilton property. The points themselves may not be the greatest value proposition, but there’s something to be said for keeping your points in a program where you know you’ll be able to use them.