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It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly three years since we published our first monthly points and miles valuations. A lot has changed in that time, but while some programs have jumped up and others have moved down, the series has given us an opportunity to evaluate how much each of the various currencies are worth. We use them to figure out when to book an award flight or hotel stay, but these figures also make it easy to calculate the value of a credit card sign-up bonus — as you know, 50,000 points IHG points are worth substantially less than 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so it’s important to always do the math here.
Take, for example, today’s elevated offer for The Platinum Card® from American Express, which got me thinking… how much value could I realistically get from that 60,000-point bonus? Based on this month’s valuations, I’d say $1,140 — but with the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, I’m always getting 2 cents in value when redeeming for paid flights, and as the most savvy hobbyists know, you can do much better than that by transferring to airline partners. So my current 1.9-cent valuation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s time to shake things up… but what should change, and by how much?
From a last-minute trip home in Lufthansa’s phenomenal first class, where I got 7 cents per point in value, to the ultimate in luxury onboard Singapore’s A380 Suites (9.7 cents in value), there’s no question that I’ve managed to make the most of my frequent flyer miles and transferrable credit card points. I’ve had so many outrageous redemptions in the past few months that it seems that I’ve been too conservative with some of my valuations — I’m strongly considering boosting some programs next month.
But before I pull the trigger on any changes, I wanted to check in with you — our readers. So, please chime in down below in the comments section by sharing some of your best redemptions, including the value you got per point. I know that might sound like a lot of work, but calculating your redemption value is actually quite simple.
Here’s a quick example using my Singapore Suites redemption from last year
(Cash price – taxes and fees) / number of points or miles redeemed
So, in the case of that Singapore flight, I redeemed 74,375 KrisFlyer miles and paid $23 in taxes for a ticket that would have cost $7,250. So my calculation is as follows:
($7,250 – $23) / 74,375 = $0.097
So, based on the simple formula above, I got 9.7 cents in value from this redemption. That’s fantastic!
These figures will never be perfect, because how much value you end up getting will depend on a million different factors. So, below are March’s valuations — let us know which you think should move up or down, and if there’s any programs you think we should add.
|Program||March 2016 (Cents)||February 2017 (Cents)||March 2017 (Cents)||Note|
|Accor Le Club||-||-||-|
Check out Air Canada's brand new livery.
Ship wine free from California to Seattle.
|American Express Membership Rewards||1.9||1.9||1.9|
|Amtrak Guest Rewards||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Bank of America Premium Rewards||-||-||-|
|Barclaycard Arrival Miles||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Best Western Rewards||-||-||-|
Venture Rewards card gets a makeover.
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||2.1||2.1||2.1|
|Citi ThankYou Points||1.6||1.6||1.6||
50% bonus for transfers to JetBlue.
|Diners Club Rewards||2.1||2.1||2.1|
Review of A330 First Class from New York to Honolulu.
Credit card breach confirmed at 12 properties.
787-9 Dreamliner uses the same seats in First and Business.
|Miles & More||1.4||1.4||1.4|
|Qatar Airways Qmiles||-||-||-|
|Spirit Airlines Free Spirit||-||-||-|
|Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles||-||-||-|
|Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards||-||-||-|
Depending on how you’ve chosen to redeem your points and miles, there’s a very good chance that you’ve managed to squeeze out even more value than me. Keep in mind that my valuations represent the minimum value you should expect to get from each point or mile — some customers will redeem for much more, and others will burn their points for much less, but you’re generally getting a good deal when you redeem at or above the valuation.
In other words, just because I got 9.7 cents in value on that Singapore flight doesn’t mean I’m boosting KrisFlyer miles (which were recently devalued) and all the transferrable points to 9.7 cents — I’ll surely land on a much more reasonable figure, but please share your redemptions below, and I’ll consider your redemption when I work out the numbers for next month.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees