What are points and miles worth? April 2021 monthly valuations

Apr 6, 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 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.

Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.

For the latest travel news, deals, and points and miles tips, subscribe to The Points Guy’s daily email newsletter.

I’ve included my valuations from one year ago and from last month to give you some context. Given the ongoing pandemic, we are not adjusting valuations at the moment, barring major devaluations and new program launches.

Despite some encouraging signs for the travel industry from the summer, we still see a lot of uncertainty — and some analysts say travel won’t fully rebound until 2024. As a result, it’s still too soon to analyze the long-term impact the outbreak will have on the value of the various currencies below.

That said, we’re currently hard at work on preparing a new methodology for these valuations that’ll kick in when travel ramps back up. Scroll to the bottom for more information.

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 2020 (Cents) March 2021 (Cents) April 2021 (Cents) Note
Accor Le Club 2.0 2.0 2.0
Aeroplan Loyalty Program 1.5 1.5 1.5

Extended elite status through 2022.

Alaska Mileage Plan 1.8 1.8 1.8

Joined the Oneworld alliance.i

American AAdvantage 1.4 1.4 1.4
American Express Membership Rewards 2.0 2.0 2.0
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 0.6 0.6
Brex Exclusive Rewards 1.7 1.7 1.7
Capital One Rewards 1.4 1.4 1.7

Added new 1:1 transfer tier, four new transfer partners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards 2.0 2.0 2.0

Extended Pay Yourself Back feature through September.

Choice Privileges 0.6 0.6 0.6
Citi ThankYou Points 1.7 1.7 1.7

Running a 25% transfer bonus to Flying Blue through April 16, 2021.

Delta SkyMiles 1.2 1.1 1.1

Offering bonus MQM, MQS and MQD on all tickets, including award tickets.

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
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

Dynamic award pricing now more volatile.

JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards Program 1.3 1.3 1.3

Announced new Mint seats.

Korean Air SkyPass 1.7 1.7 1.7
Marriott Bonvoy 0.8 0.8 0.8

Running a double points and elite nights promotion through April 27, 2021.

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

Announced huge summer route expansion.

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

Relaunched flights to the West Coast from New York-JFK, added new routes to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1.6 1.5 1.5

Started offering one-way awards on ANA.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards 1.5 1.5 1.5
World of Hyatt Loyalty Program 1.7 1.7 1.7
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

As noted above, the biggest news of the past couple of months has been the coronavirus outbreak. Some airlines have completely suspended operations during the pandemic, while others have filed for bankruptcy — which may or may not affect their respective frequent flyer programs. We’ve also seen elite status extensions from almost every major airline and hotel program, ensuring that loyal members can retain their benefits in 2021.

March’s big news was Alaska Airlines officially joining the Oneworld alliance. Members can earn miles on Oneworld partners immediately, while redemptions will start this summer. Likewise, Alaska elites gained Oneworld elite status benefits on Mar. 31, 2021. Top-tier MVP Gold 75K members are now eligible for upgrades on domestic American Airlines flights.

Related: 5 things to do this month before Alaska Airlines joins Oneworld

We also saw Citi start a 25% transfer bonus to Air France/KLM Flying Blue. This means that 10,000 Citi points are equal to 12,500 Flying Blue points through April 27, 2021. This may be worth considering if you’ve already found a Flying Blue award ticket you’d like to book. Some good options are business class flights from the U.S. to Europe and some Delta award tickets.

Another big announcement came in early April when Virgin Atlantic started allowing one-way awards on ANA. This means you can now book a one-way business class ticket from the U.S. to Japan, starting at 45,000 miles one-way. Remember, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Delta also announced a promotion that awards bonus Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM), Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQS) and Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD) on all flights through the end of the year. This includes award flights, which could make earning Delta elite status far easier for some travelers. This is extremely important during a pandemic where many current Delta elites aren’t traveling as much.

We also saw IHG make its new dynamic award pricing more volatile. This makes some awards more expensive and others cheaper, based on our initial tests. Because it’s still possible to get at least 0.5 cents in value per point, we’re not devaluing IHG Rewards points for now. But it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re sitting on a stash of IHG points.

Update: We upped Capital One’s valuation from 1.4 cents per point to 1.7 cents per point at the end of April. The reasoning is simple: in mid-April, the bank added four new transfer partners and created a new 1:1 transfer tier. Previously, all Capital One points transfers processed at a 2:1.5 or 2:1 ratio. Some partners have remained at these levels, but key partners have been moved to the 1:1 tier.

Capital One’s new transfer partners include:

The new 1:1 transfer tier includes:

Adding Avianca LifeMiles and Etihad Guest as 1:1 transfer partners is huge news. This makes it easy to leverage your Capital One points to book luxury travel. Think Lufthansa first class for 87,000 miles (through LifeMiles) and American Flagship first for as low as 32,500 (through Etihad) miles one-way. Plus, Turkish Miles & Smiles has incredible deals on Star Alliance business class flights and British Airways can be used to get a good price on short-haul Oneworld flights.

Check out our full report on Capital One’s changes for more info. If you don’t already have a Capital One card, now might be the time to get one before travel resumes.

Related: 6 ways to get $1,700+ in value from the 100k Capital One Venture bonus

New Travel credit card offers

During the pandemic, we saw several credit card issuers struggle with assessing creditworthiness. However, we also saw various bonuses and new perks launch for existing cardholders, aimed at keeping them engaged. Now, as we move into the new year, we’re seeing some incredible new welcome bonuses on some popular cards — including the following:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is often seen as the quintessential travel rewards card. With its current welcome offer, you’ll earn an impressive 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Plus, this offer also includes up to $50 in statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year from account opening. These points are worth $1,600 toward travel (based on TPG’s most recent point valuations), so you’re looking at $1,650 in value from just the welcome offer.

For more details, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

American Express® Gold Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

One of the most popular cards for TPG staffers during the pandemic, the Amex Gold is offering 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of account opening. 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 at restaurants worldwide. The card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).

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

The Platinum Card® from American Express

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Even better, you’ll earn a huge 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined eligible purchases, during your first six months of card membership. That’s equivalent to a 20% return on gas in the U.S. and groceries at U.S. supermarkets, 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. The card has a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees).

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

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

The Business Platinum card also offers an enhanced bonus: 125,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of account opening.

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.

Airline credit cards

Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia — the three Avios airlines — have nice welcome offers on their respective cobrand credit cards. The Aer Lingus and Iberia cards offer up to 100,000 bonus Avios after meeting the spend requirement, while the British Airways card offers 50,000 Avios and a Travel Together Ticket.

Here’s a closer look at all three offers:

  • Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Earn an additional 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • British Airways Visa Signature Card: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn a Travel Together Ticket after spending $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Iberia Visa Signature Card: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Earn an additional 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.

Further, Delta Air Lines improved its welcome bonuses for most personal and cobranded American Express cardsHere’s a look at the current personal card offers:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on and up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within your first 3 months of account opening.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles, plus 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases and up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first three months of account opening.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles, plus 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases and up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first three months of account opening.

On the flip side, here are the current welcome offers for Delta’s cobranded business credit cards:

Related: A guide to airline credit card companion tickets

Hotel credit cards

Several hotel credit card sign-up bonuses provide a simple way to boost your point balances when travel returns in full force. Here’s a snapshot of what’s currently available:

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 for a (hopeful) return to travel in 2021, 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. I wouldn’t be surprised to see future adjustments to our value for several popular currencies, so stay tuned for that.

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

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.