What are points and miles worth? March 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 not making any adjustments 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||March 2019 (Cents)||February 2020 (Cents)||March 2020 (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 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|
Earn a 50% bonus when you buy Avios.
|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|
New promotion offers 8k points after two stays.
|Citi ThankYou Points||1.7||1.7||1.7|
|Diners Club Rewards||2.1||2.1||2.1|
Buy Flying Blue miles with a 75% bonus.
|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|
|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|
New MilePlay promotion launches.
|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|
New promotion offers 7,500 points after two stays.
Key points and miles news
As noted above, the biggest news of the past month has been the coronavirus outbreak, and loyalty programs have launched a number of changes in light of the travel restrictions and ongoing efforts to contain the virus’ spread. Here’s a sample of what we’ve seen thus far:
- World of Hyatt expands free cancellations, suspends award chart changes until next year
- Marriott adjusts cancellation policy, pauses Bonvoy point expiration over coronavirus outbreak
- Hilton is waiving all cancellation fees in response to coronavirus concerns
- World of Hyatt extends elite-status benefits for some members in response to coronavirus
These updates 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 outbreak.
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.
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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