What are points and miles worth? April 2020 monthly valuations
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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.
These valuations are based on a combination of what I would pay to buy points if given the opportunity and the overall value I could get from redeeming them, factoring in variables like award availability, fees and change/cancellation policies. 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 each month.
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To give you some context, I’ve included my valuations from one year ago and from last month. However, it’s worth noting that this month, we are once again leaving all individual valuations alone given the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This is having a monumental impact on the overall travel industry, including airline and hotel loyalty programs. It’s too soon to analyze the long-term impact the outbreak will have on the value of the various currencies below, but as business rebounds, we’ll be back to consider just how it has affected the world of points and miles.
Read on for more details, and check the last column of the chart below for some of the most important loyalty program news from the last month.
|Program||April 2019 (Cents)||March 2020 (Cents)||April 2020 (Cents)||Note|
|Accor Le Club||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Aeroplan Loyalty Program||1.5||1.5||1.5||
Extends flexible cancellation policy.
|Alaska Mileage Plan||1.8||1.8||1.8|
Launches reciprocal mileage-earning with Alaska.
|American Express Membership Rewards||2.0||2.0||2.0||
Extends time to hit minimum spend for many new cardholders.
|Amtrak Guest Rewards||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|ANA Mileage Club||1.4||1.4||1.4|
|Bank of America Premium Rewards||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Barclaycard Arrival Miles||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Best Western Rewards||0.7||0.6||0.6|
|Brex Exclusive Rewards||-||1.7||1.7|
|Capital One Rewards||1.4||1.4||1.4|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Citi ThankYou Points||1.7||1.7||1.7||
Announces upcoming changes for Citi Premier℠ Card.
Extends Medallion status through Feb. 2022.
|Diners Club Rewards||2.1||2.1||2.1|
Launches new buy-miles promotion.
Extends elite status through March 2022.
|IHG Rewards Club||0.5||0.5||0.5|
|JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards Program||1.3||1.3||1.3|
|Korean Air SkyPass||1.7||1.7||1.7|
Extends elite status through Feb. 2022
|Miles & More||1.4||1.4||1.4|
|Qatar Airways Qmiles||0.8||0.8||0.8|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1.5||1.5||1.5|
|Spirit Airlines Free Spirit||0.4||0.4||0.4|
|Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles||1.3||1.3||1.3|
|U.S. Bank FlexPerks||1.5||1.5||1.5|
Extends Premier elite status through Feb. 2022.
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1.5||1.6||1.6|
|Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards||1.5||1.5||1.5|
|World of Hyatt Loyalty Program||1.7||1.7||1.7||
Extends elite status through 2021.
Key points and miles news
As noted above, the biggest news of the past couple of months has been the coronavirus outbreak, and airlines and hotels continue to make monumental adjustments to their operations. The last few weeks have seen a slew of major announcements from the major loyalty programs, including the following programs that have officially extended elite status:
In spite of this ongoing uncertainty, the last month has brought some announcements on the loyalty program front that would (under normal circumstances) receive some notable fanfare. Alaska and American launched reciprocal mileage earning, and you can now earn and redeem AAdvantage miles on Royal Air Maroc — when it resumes flying, that is. American Express also made waves by giving new cardholders approved between Dec. 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 an extra three months to meet minimum spending requirements to earn welcome bonuses, while Chase announced a $100 statement credit for select cardholders on the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
We’ve even seen some new credit card offers launch:
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: Earn 70,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first four months of account opening.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Even though now is not the time to be traveling, you may be thinking about your next trip, so adding a new rewards credit card to your wallet and taking home a large sign-up bonus could be an important step to take.
The information for the Ink Business Preferred and Citi Premier has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Of course, these updates and changes in light of the coronavirus outbreak won’t be the last by any stretch, so 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.
The future: New methodology
Once the coronavirus outbreak is contained, our team will be diving into the data in greater depth for all airline and hotel programs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see future adjustments to our value for a number of popular currencies, so stay tuned for that.
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. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older valuations below.
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