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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.

Related: How (and Why) to Calculate Award Redemption Values

To give you some context, I’ve included my valuations from one year ago and from last month. August brought us clarity on Marriott Bonvoy’s peak pricing, which launches on September 14. We also saw a new airline transfer partner added by Chase Ultimate Rewards, another one dropped by Citi ThankYou Rewards, and an improved mileage expiration policy from United Airlines. Read on for more details, and check the last column of the chart below for more loyalty program news and other related posts.

Program September 2018 (Cents) August 2019 (Cents) September 2019 (Cents) Note
Accor Le Club 2.0 2.0 2.0
Aeroplan Loyalty Program 1.5 1.5 1.5

New A220 service to NYC, SEA, SJC. Win miles in sweeptakes (for Canadian members).

Alaska Mileage Plan 1.8 1.8 1.8

Alaska adds 8 routes, but cuts 11.  Paine Field lands new service to Spokane.

American AAdvantage 1.4 1.4 1.4

Earn 60,000 miles with the Aviator Red Card. Targeted double miles on premium flights.

American Express Membership Rewards 1.9 2.0 2.0

40% bonus for British Airways transfers. Amex updates schedule for new Centurion Lounges. Access cut to Priority Pass restaurants.

Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.5 2.5 2.5

Get up to 45% off with Share Fares promo. New 10% discount for military personnel and 20% food and beverage rebate for Amtrak cardholders.

ANA Mileage Club 1.6 1.4 1.4

New first and business class suites coming to NYC.

Asia Miles 1.3 1.3 1.3
Avianca LifeMiles 1.7 1.7 1.7

Earn up to 60,000 miles with LifeMiles credit cards.

Avios 1.5 1.5 1.5

Award surcharge credit added to British Airways Visa. Carrier-imposed fees lowered on some US-UK flights.

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 0.7 0.7
Brex Exclusive Rewards - 1.7 1.7
Capital One Rewards 1.0 1.4 1.4

Data breach hit over 100 million customers.

Chase Ultimate Rewards 2.0 2.0 2.0

Emirates added as new transfer partner. Earn 60,000 bonus points with Sapphire Preferred card.

Choice Privileges 0.6 0.6 0.6
Citi ThankYou Points 1.7 1.7 1.7

Garuda Indonesia cut from transfer partner roster. Citi begins issuing contactless cards.

Delta SkyMiles 1.2 1.2 1.2

Targeted offer for 70,000 miles on Gold Delta Amex. New partners added to SkyBonus program.

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

Air France-KLM orders A220s, plans A380 retirement.

Frontier Miles 1.1 1.1 1.1

Frontier converts orders to A321neo aircraft.

HawaiianMiles 1.2 0.9 0.9

Hawaiian brings back LAS-OGG service, outlines plans for HND.

Hilton Honors 0.6 0.6 0.6

Earn up to 3x base points with fall promo, and up to 7,500 bonus points on two stays. Instant Diamond status match no longer offered.

IHG Rewards Club 0.6 0.5 0.5

New PointBreaks list is now live. Earn 125,000 points and 25x on hotel stays with new bonus offer. Register for fall Accelerate promo.

JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards Program 1.3 1.3 1.3

Lyft partnership ends September 9.

Korean Air SkyPass 1.7 1.7 1.7
Marriott Bonvoy 0.9 0.8 0.8

Peak pricing and other changes coming September 14. More all-inclusive resorts added to portfolio. Catch the details of Marriott's secret Cobalt elite status.

Miles & More 1.4 1.4 1.4

Earn up to 75,000 miles with elevated bonus offer.

Qatar Airways Qmiles 0.8 0.8 0.8

A350 Qsuite service coming to Cape Town.

Radisson Rewards 0.4 0.4 0.4

New partnership with Treasure Island Las Vegas coming in late 2019.

Singapore Krisflyer 1.4 1.3 1.3

Singapore adds free Wi-Fi to first class amenities.

Southwest Rapid Rewards 1.5 1.5 1.5

Hawaii Expansion continues. Earn double points on flights in California. Latest schedule drops 16 daily non-stops.

Spirit Airlines Free Spirit 0.4 0.4 0.4

Three routes dropped from Fort Lauderdale route map. Book by text (for $25).

Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles 1.3 1.3 1.3
U.S. Bank FlexPerks 1.5 1.5 1.5
United MileagePlus 1.4 1.3 1.3

Effective immediately, miles no longer expire. Explorer business card bonus offers up to 100,000 miles. Club card adds in-flight discount.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1.5 1.5 1.5

A350 service coming to JFK, LAX.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards 1.5 1.5 1.5
World of Hyatt Loyalty Program 1.8 1.7 1.7

Earn 500 points for booking through new app. 25% off awards at select properties. New partnership with China Southern.

Wyndham Rewards 1.2 1.1 1.1

Movers and Shakers

Two transferable points programs updated their rosters in August. Chase added Emirates as a 1:1 airline transfer partner, and while the Skywards program has a few sweet spots (like first class awards to Milan or Athens), I don’t think it offers enough to affect my valuation for Ultimate Rewards points. Similarly, Citi dropped Garuda Indonesia from the list of ThankYou Rewards partners. Garuda’s frequent flyer program has evolved in recent years — awards had to be booked in person until late in 2016 — but I still view this move as negligible given the lack of high-quality redemption options.

British Airways made positive changes by reducing fees on select routes between the US and UK, and adding a carrier surcharge rebate benefit to the co-branded British Airways Visa Signature Card. Both moves will lower some of the high out-of-pocket costs that plague the Executive Club program, and when those costs go down, the value of awards goes up. That said, these updates seem like an admission of how frivolous award surcharges are to begin with; a bolder move would be to do away with them altogether.

United Airlines also made a positive change by implementing a friendlier mileage expiration policy. MileagePlus miles no longer expire even if your account is inactive, and United is offering members a chance to reinstate expired miles at a discount. Expiration policies only factor into my valuations when they’re a persistent obstacle to booking awards; that wasn’t the case with United previously, but this is still a welcome improvement.

The biggest news in August came from Marriott, which finally put a date on program changes award travelers have been dreading since last April.

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)
(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Marriott Bonvoy

August Value: 0.8 cents
September Value: 0.8 cents
Valuation: We’ve known for over a year that peak (and off-peak) awards were coming; now we know when. The new pricing scheme will kick in on September 14, creating three different rates for each Marriott Bonvoy award category, including for Cash + Points awards. Marriott maintains that peak and off-peak dates will be evenly distributed, and that standard rates will be available the majority of the time. Even so, the change represents a shift toward dynamic pricing, which is likely to cap redemption values on the high end. In addition, these date designations will be reviewed and updated monthly using an algorithm, so you could see fluctuation — and increased prices — for in-demand properties.

Two more negative changes are being rolled out on September 14. First, you’ll no longer be able to lock in award rates for Points Advance reservations. Instead, you’ll have to pay whatever rate is being charged when the booking is finalized, making this feature much less useful. Second, the fifth-night-free benefit (rebranded as Stay for 5, Pay for 4) is being devalued, as the free night will now be whichever one of the five is cheapest.

Unfortunately, there’s no good news to report alongside all of this. I’m leaving my valuation in place until we see the prevalence of peak and off-peak pricing, but don’t be surprised if Marriott drops in October.

Associated Credit Cards: the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and others.

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

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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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.

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