What are points and miles worth? November 2021 monthly valuations

Nov 5, 2021

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One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How much is a point or mile worth?”

The answer varies from point to point and person to person and depends on your travel goals and how well you can maximize a particular loyalty currency. Still, some rewards are clearly worth more than others — my goal is to give you a sense of how they stack up.

Historically, TPG has valued points and miles based on the price at which we would purchase the miles, award costs in the program (factoring in availability and fees) and our own expertise in the inner workings of the programs. However, we are in the process of evolving our valuations to become as data-driven as possible.

Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.


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That data-driven process began last month with our four major transferable point currencies — American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou points. Now, we are using a mathematical model that takes into account a number of factors specific to transferable points, including:

  • Unique transfer partners (not shared by other card issuers)
  • The most valuable individual partners in the program
  • The base redemption value when you redeem points or miles directly for travel

Based on this rollout, we are now rounding the valuations for our credit card currencies to the nearest five-hundredths of a point in order to better capture the real-world value they offer cardholders. We fully expect these numbers to fluctuate over time as we refine our equations and roll out additional data-backed hotel and airline valuations in the coming months.

Program November 2020 (Cents) October 2021 (Cents) November 2021 (Cents) Note
Accor Le Club 2.0 2.0 2.0
Aeroplan Loyalty Program 1.5 1.5 1.5
Alaska Mileage Plan 1.8 1.8 1.8
American AAdvantage 1.4 1.4 1.4

Changed how elite status will be earned in 2022.

American Express Membership Rewards 2.0 2.0 2.0

Updated The Business Platinum Card® from American Express with new benefits, running 25% transfer bonus to Flying Blue.

Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.5 2.5 2.5
ANA Mileage Club 1.4 1.4 1.4
Asia Miles 1.3 1.3 1.3
Avianca LifeMiles 1.7 1.7 1.7
Avios 1.5 1.5 1.5
Bank of America Premium Rewards 1.0 1.0 1.0
Barclaycard Arrival Miles 1.0 1.0 1.0
Best Western Rewards 0.6 0.7 0.7
Brex Exclusive Rewards 1.7 1.7 1.7
Capital One Rewards 1.4 1.85 1.85

Moved most transfer partners to 1:1 transfer tier, running 20% transfer bonus to Flying Blue.

Chase Ultimate Rewards 2.0 2.0 2.0

Running 50% transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy, started switching members to new travel booking portal.

 

 

Choice Privileges 0.6 0.6 0.6
Citi ThankYou Points 1.7 1.7 1.7

Transfers to AAdvantage end Nov. 13, 2021, added Choice Privileges as a 2:1 transfer partner.

Delta SkyMiles 1.2 1.1 1.1

Devalued Global Upgrade Certificates.

Diners Club Rewards 2.1 2.1 2.1
Discover Rewards 1.0 1.0 1.0
Emirates Skywards 1.2 1.2 1.2
Etihad Guest 1.4 1.4 1.4
Flying Blue 1.2 1.2 1.2

Brought monthly Promo Rewards back to U.S. routes.

Frontier Miles 1.1 1.1 1.1
HawaiianMiles 0.9 0.9 0.9
Hilton Honors 0.6 0.6 0.6
IHG Rewards Club 0.5 0.5 0.5

Extended elite status through Feb. 2023

JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards Program 1.3 1.3 1.3
Korean Air SkyPass 1.7 1.7 1.7
Marriott Bonvoy 0.8 0.8 0.8

Announced switch to dynamic pricing in 2022.

Miles & More 1.4 1.4 1.4
Qatar Airways Qmiles 0.8 0.8 0.8
Radisson Rewards 0.4 0.4 0.4
Singapore Krisflyer 1.3 1.3 1.3
Southwest Rapid Rewards 1.5 1.5 1.5
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit 0.4 1.1 1.1
Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles 1.3 1.3 1.3
U.S. Bank FlexPerks 1.5 1.5 1.5
United MileagePlus 1.3 1.3 1.3
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1.6 1.5 1.5
Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards 1.5 1.5 1.5
WestJet Rewards - - -
World of Hyatt Loyalty Program 1.7 1.7 1.7

Rolled out peak and off-peak pricing for stays after Mar. 1, 2022.

Wyndham Rewards 1.1 1.1 1.1

Related: Beyond coronavirus — what the future of travel will look like for all of us

Key points and miles news

October’s biggest news was Capital One’s reshuffling of transfer partners.

The program has moved the majority of its transfer partners to its 1:1 transfer tier. All partners now transfer at this level except EVA Infinity MileageLands and Accor Le Club, making the program significantly more valuable as a result.

Capital One also lost JetBlue TrueBlue as a transfer partner on Oct. 24, 2021. This is Capital One’s sole domestic transfer partner, but transfers are rarely worth it as JetBlue awards are priced on the cost of a cash flight. These redemptions generally yield 1.3 cents per point in value and Capital One points transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio, making the transfer almost never worth it.

We also saw American, Delta, Marriott and Hyatt announce big changes to their programs. American will completely revamp how elite status is earned in 2022. Instead of earning elite-qualifying dollars, miles and segments, you’ll earn Loyalty Points based purely on spend — both on airfare, but also with cobranded American Airlines credit cards, via shopping portals and more. This will make it easier to earn status with credit cards, but harder to earn with flying.

At the beginning of November, Delta announced it will only allow one-cabin upgrades with Global Upgrade Certificates starting Feb. 1, 2022. This means no more upgrading cheap economy fares to Delta One. Instead, elites can use certificates to upgeade to Premium Select, which is Delta’s version of premium economy.

On the hotel side, Marriott announced it will drop award charts and switch to dynamic pricing next March. The hotel company will keep pricing on most hotels within current pricing bands through next year, but roughly 3% of properties will change nightly award pricing higher than said bands.

We also saw Hyatt roll out peak and off-peak pricing for stays after Mar. 1, 2022. While not pure dynamic pricing, this change means there’s another variable at play when you redeem World of Hyatt points. Thankfully, TPG’s Benji Stawski found that the majority of dates remain at standard pricing, and there’s a lot of off-peak nights out there, too.

Finally, a bit of TPG news: this month, we rolled out the TPG Calculator. You can use this new tool to compare the cash and points cost of any flight or hotel reservation to see how much you’ll save on travel when you pay with points. Plus, it can help you decide whether or not it makes sense to redeem points instead of paying out of pocket. We’ll be back with more details on the new tool and how it works, so keep an eye out for more news.

Related: Tips and tricks to get maximum value from your Capital One miles

New travel credit card offers

During the pandemic, we saw several credit card issuers struggle with assessing creditworthiness amidst a world with so many new variables. We also saw various bonuses and new perks launch for existing cardholders aimed at keeping them engaged. Now, as we move into a travel recovery, we’ve seen some incredible new welcome bonuses on many popular cards.

However, in recent weeks, some of those 100,000+ bonuses have started to retreat for now. That tells us, it’s time to act if the one you want is still available.

Some good options include:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael for The Points Guy)

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

You’ll earn a 100,000-point welcome offer after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of card membership. Plus, you’ll also earn 10x on eligible purchases made at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined spending during the first six months of card membership. That’s equivalent to a 20% return (based on TPG valuations) at restaurants, which is hard to beat.

Of course, the card is jam-packed with benefits like airport lounge access, hotel elite status and more. These benefits can make your post-pandemic travel experience smoother and more luxurious than ever before — especially with the most recent additions. The card has a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). Enrollment is required for select benefits.

For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Platinum card.

Official application: The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express® Gold Card

Amex Gold
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

One of the most popular cards for TPG staffers during the pandemic, the Amex Gold offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. This bonus is worth $1,200 based on our valuations, but be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for an even higher offer (subject to change at any time).

The card is also great for many everyday purchases. You’ll earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1x) and 4x points on dining at restaurants. The card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).

For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Gold card.

Official application: American Express® Gold Card

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Amex Business Platinum
(Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

The Business Platinum card also offers 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership.

The card also provides a slew of additional perks similar to (but slightly different from) the personal version — you can compare the two cards in this guide to see which one would be a better fit for your wallet.

For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Business Platinum card.

Official application: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Citi Premier card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers, road trippers and foodies alike. The card earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, on air travel and hotels. You can transfer these points to top-notch transfer partners like Avianca LifeMiles, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles and others.

The card is currently offering its best-ever welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.

For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Premier card.

Official application: Citi Premier® Card

Related: 4 reasons the Citi Premier Card should be on your short list

Airline credit cards

Airline credit cards let you earn airline miles and give you perks with their respective airlines, like free checked bags. If you’re a Delta loyalist, you might want to consider one of its cobranded cards to earn bonus SkyMiles and take advantage of added perks.

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first three months of card membership.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles, and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles, 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and $100 statement credit after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership.

Related: Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review

Hotel credit cards

Several hotel credit card welcome bonuses provide a simple way to boost your point balances. Marriott is currently offering the following welcome bonuses on its cobranded credit cards, including:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Earn three free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on your new card at U.S. restaurants within the first six months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new card within the first three months of card membership.

Other hotel credit cards to consider include:

  • IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first 6 months.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn up to 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points. Earn 130,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

All of these new offers put you in a great position to earn a ton of bonus points or miles as you get ready to travel again, and there may be more to come. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign-up for our daily newsletter. You can also bookmark our coronavirus hub page for up-to-date information on the pandemic and its impact on the travel industry.

Related: Beginner’s Guide to Award Searches on ExpertFlyer

The future: New methodology

As the travel industry continues to rebound from the coronavirus outbreak, our team is already diving into the data in greater depth for all airline and hotel programs. Expect future adjustments to our valuations for several popular currencies in the coming months as the variables shift for the programs — and TPG rolls out even more data-backed ways to get at exactly what your points and miles are worth.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

Featured illustration by The Points Guy


This is The Points Guy’s permanent page for the most up-to-date valuations, so you can bookmark it and check back each month for updates.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.