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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 person to person, and depends on 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.

To give you some context, I’ve included my valuations from one year ago and from March. This month several airlines added a mixed bag of updates to their frequent flyer programs, while another initiated changes that may affect future valuations, and one hotel program made a negative adjustment to its award pricing. As always, you’ll find lots of other loyalty program news in the last column.

The Calculations

There isn’t a mathematical formula at work here. At some point I’d like to create a system that could calculate a precise value based on award availability, fees, award levels and ease of accrual, but for now these valuations are based on a combination of how much I would pay to buy points if given the opportunity, and the overall value I could get from redeeming them.

I encourage you to share your thoughts where you think I’m off base (and on point, no pun intended), and I’ll take feedback from TPG readers into consideration when I update the valuations next month. This list doesn’t include every loyalty currency under the sun, and I’ll work to add more moving forward, so let me know which ones you’d like to see featured.

Program April 2017 (Cents) March 2018 (Cents) April 2018 (Cents) Note
Aeroplan 1.5 1.5 1.5

Get a bonus for transferring hotel points to Aeroplan. Air Canada computer systems fail twice in two weeks.

Alaska 1.9 1.9 1.9

New partnership with Aer Lingus announced.

American AAdvantage 1.5 1.4 1.4

Earn 50,000 miles with Citi AAdvantage Platinum card. New flights from hubs to Latin America. Lie-flat seats coming to some 757 transcons. Buy miles for 1.8 cents each with latest promo.

American Express Membership Rewards 2.0 1.9 1.9

New Centurion Lounge coming to Denver. Elevated offer for EveryDay card. Amex will lower merchant fees.

Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.5 2.5 2.5

Negative changes to cancellation policies. No more discounts for students or AAA members.

ANA 1.6 1.6 1.6
Asia Miles 1.4 1.4 1.4

Earn 60,000 miles with Cathay Pacific Visa Signature card. Cathay Pacific posts losses for second consecutive year.

Avianca 1.7 1.7 1.7
Bank of America Premium Rewards - 1.0 1.0
Barclaycard Arrival Miles 1.0 1.0 1.0

New Arrival Premier Card offers transfer partners.

Best Western Rewards - 0.7 0.7
British Airways Avios 1.5 1.5 1.5

CEO doubles down on changes to Executive Club and Avios. AARP discount returns with a catch.

Capital One 1.0 1.0 1.0
Chase Ultimate Rewards 2.2 2.1 2.1

Earn 50,000 points with elevated Ink Cash bonus. Register for Chase Freedom Q2 bonus. Earn 1,000-point bonus for using Apple Pay. Earn up to 75,000 points for mortgages.

Choice Privileges 0.6 0.6 0.6
Citi ThankYou Points 1.6 1.7 1.7

30% bonus for transfers to JetBlue. New sign-up bonus for Double Cash card. Save $50 on hotels booked with ThankYou Rewards.

Delta SkyMiles 1.2 1.2 1.2

Increased bonus for Delta Reserve Amex. Targeted bonuses for spending on Delta cards. More details on new Phoenix Sky Club. Delta lowers prices of some North Asia awards.

Diners Club Rewards 2.1 2.1 2.1
Discovery - - -
Emirates 1.2 1.2 1.2

Check out the new and improved 777-200 business class.

Etihad 1.4 1.4 1.4

Improved booking process for partner awards.

FlexPerks 1.5 1.5 1.5
Flying Blue 1.3 1.3 1.3

New award calculator launches as charts disappear.

Frontier 1.1 1.1 1.1
Hawaiian 1.2 1.2 1.2

Hawaiian launches codeshare with JAL. The 787-9 Dreamliner will join the fleet.

Hilton 0.6 0.6 0.6

Earn 5,000 bonus points for two stays. Find out how to maximize the new Aspire card, and see what Hilton status is worth in 2018.

Hyatt 1.8 1.8 1.8

See what Hyatt status is worth in 2018.

IHG 0.7 0.6 0.6

Changes coming to IHG free anniversary night. See what IHG status is worth in 2018

JetBlue 1.2 1.3 1.3

End of portal relationship with Amazon. JFK expansion moves forward.

Korean Air 1.7 1.7 1.7
Marriott 0.9 0.9 0.9

Check out latest MegaBonus promotion. Category changes create new options for free night certs. See what Marriott status is worth in 2018.

Miles & More 1.4 1.4 1.4

Mileage pooling feature coming in May. Lufthansa posts record profit.

Qatar Airways Qmiles - 1.1 1.1

New QSuites routes announced.

Radisson Rewards 0.4 0.4 0.4
Ritz-Carlton 0.9 0.9 0.9

See what Ritz-Carlton status is worth in 2018.

Singapore Krisflyer 1.5 1.4 1.4

Review of new A380 business class.

Southwest 1.5 1.5 1.5

Southwest raises award redemption rates for Wanna Get Away fares. Hawaii service clears hurdle as Honolulu permit is granted.

Spirit Airlines Free Spirit - 0.4 0.4

CEOs reveal international plans and more in interview.

Starwood Starpoints 2.7 2.7 2.7

Earn bonus with More Nights, More Starpoints promo. See what SPG status is worth in 2018. Get points and discounts from SPG Cravings dining program.

Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles - 1.3 1.3

Turkish offers "candlelit" dinner in business class.

United 1.5 1.4 1.4

Earn bonus miles in targeted Mile Play promo. Pet cargo reservations suspended after multiple incidents. Basic economy coming to long-haul flights.

Virgin America 2.4 - -

How to get on the last Virgin America flights.

Virgin Atlantic 1.5 1.5 1.5

Economy class gets split into tiers.

Wyndham 1.2 1.2 1.2

GO FAST cash and points awards devalued.

Movers and Shakers

This month saw some positive news from airlines as Lufthansa’s Miles & More program introduced mileage pooling, and Southwest took a step toward Hawaii service by securing a permit to operate in Honolulu. Meanwhile, Etihad has made several updates to its process for booking partner awards that will make me reconsider my current valuation for the Guest program.

On the other end of the spectrum, Flying Blue released an award calculator for the new pricing scheme that will launch in June. Many awards are theoretically going down in price, but it’s hard to tell how available awards will be at those advertised rates. Southwest raised award rates for Wanna Get Away Fares yet again, and Wyndham made a subtle negative change to its cash + points awards that take some lucrative award redemptions off the table.

Wyndham
Wyndham has lowered the value of its GO FAST cash + points rates. Photo courtesy of the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria.

Wyndham Rewards

March Value: 1.2 cents
April Value: 1.2 cents
Valuation: Since the overhaul of Wyndham Rewards in 2015, I’ve rated these points toward the high end of hotel rewards. The fixed GO FREE rate of 15,000 points per night offers great value even though Wyndham’s portfolio is light on high-end, aspirational properties. The GO FAST cash and points rate is also highly valuable, with award redemptions over 4 cents per point available at some properties. Unfortunately, the formula for calculating GO FAST rates was tweaked recently, and the cash portion is now consistently proportional to the daily rate. There’s still plenty of value to be found, but you’ll have a hard time getting the same outsized return as before. (H/T Loyalty Traveler)

Associated Credit Cards: Wyndham Rewards Visa Card

Not all
Southwest just reduced the value of Wanna Get Away awards without warning.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

March Value: 1.5 cents
April Value: 1.5 cents
Valuation: Southwest recently made some unannounced changes to Rapid Rewards redemptions, raising the cost of Wanna Get Away awards by around 4 points per dollar of base fare. That represents a price increase of about 6%, and continues a series of similar devaluations in recent years. The only silver lining is that Anytime and Business Select awards are becoming less expensive, but that’s not much help since those fares offer relatively poor value to begin with.

Despite these changes, the average redemption value (calculated over a wide range of routes and destinations) remains around 1.54 cents per point. I think that’s still a fair assessment given Southwest’s friendly award change and cancellation policies, so I’m leaving my valuation intact.

Associated Credit Cards: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.

The
Revenue-based awards are coming to Flying Blue in June.

Flying Blue

March Value: 1.3 cents
April Value: 1.3 cents
Valuation: Months after Flying Blue announced plans to “reinvent” itself, we finally got a glimpse of what the new award pricing will look like as the program unveiled its award calculator. While the base rate for some flights has gone down, we won’t know how much awards will really cost in practice until the new Flying Blue fully launches in June. As a result, I’m keeping my valuation the same for now.

Associated Credit Cards: Flying Blue is a partner of all the major transferable points programs, so you can earn miles with any card in the American Express Membership RewardsCiti ThankYou RewardsStarwood Preferred Guest and Chase Ultimate Rewards families.

Which programs would you like to see added to the list?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are 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.