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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 April. The past month brought us major award pricing changes from several frequent flyer programs, a new transfer partner for Capital One Venture Rewards, the collapse of yet another airline and an assortment of new benefits from Mastercard. Read on for more details, and check the last column of the chart below for more loyalty program news and other related posts.

Program May 2018 (Cents) April 2019 (Cents) May 2019 (Cents) Note
Accor Le Club - 2.0 2.0

Join the Accor Le Club program.

Aeroplan Loyalty Program 1.5 1.5 1.5

Hints of new partnership between Air Canada and Etihad.

Alaska Mileage Plan 1.9 1.8 1.8

Buy miles with up to 50% bonus.

American AAdvantage 1.4 1.4 1.4

Earn up to 70,000 miles with Citi card offers. Dynamic award pricing may be coming. AAdvantage awards can now route through Abu Dhabi (AUH).

American Express Membership Rewards 1.9 2.0 2.0

New feature lets you bid for upgrades with points. Lufthansa lounge benefit extended. Two new Escape lounges available to Platinum cardholders

Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.5 2.5 2.5

Save on group travel with Share Fares promotion. Amtrak shortens points expiration period to 24 months.

ANA Mileage Club 1.6 1.4 1.4

New charge to select economy seats coming May 29. First look at Hawaii-bound A380.

Asia Miles 1.4 1.3 1.3
Avianca LifeMiles 1.7 1.7 1.7

Domestic award pricing gets tweaked.

Avios 1.5 1.5 1.5

Partner award changes announced for end of May. British Airways testing lower surcharges with higher award rates.

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

Join the Best Western Rewards program.

Capital One Credit Card Rewards 1.0 1.4 1.4

JetBlue added as 2:1 transfer partner (with 50% bonus through May 31).

Chase Ultimate Rewards 2.1 2.0 2.0

Get a 30% bonus for transfers to British Airways. Earn 60,000 points with targeted Sapphire Preferred bonus.

Choice Privileges 0.6 0.6 0.6

Join the Choice Privileges program.

Citi ThankYou Points 1.7 1.7 1.7
Delta SkyMiles 1.2 1.2 1.2

Delta trims CLEAR benefit for SkyMiles members and limits seat recline on A320 fleet.

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

Emirates "tempted" to add more fifth freedom routes.

Etihad Guest 1.4 1.4 1.4

Get 2 free nights in Abu Dhabi with stopover program.

Flying Blue 1.3 1.2 1.2
Frontier Miles 1.1 1.1 1.1
HawaiianMiles 1.2 1.2 0.9

Hawaiian switches to variable award pricing, launches service to Boston.

Hilton Honors 0.6 0.6 0.6

Earn double points on stays through September 8. Buy points with a 100% bonus.

IHG Rewards Club 0.6 0.5 0.5

Register for summer Accelerate promo. InterContinental LA tacks on a "facility fee" of $25 per night.

JetBlue TrueBlue Rewards Program 1.3 1.3 1.3

JetBlue will fly to London. New JFK service to Ecuador announced.

Korean Air SkyPass 1.7 1.7 1.7

First class cuts coming on 27 international routes.

Marriott Bonvoy 0.9 0.8 0.8

Points Advance now requires insufficient balance. Buy points with a 25% discount. First look at the St. Regis Hong Kong.

Miles & More 1.4 1.4 1.4
Qatar Airways Qmiles 1.1 0.8 0.8

Qatar flights now eligible for TSA PreCheck.

Radisson Rewards 0.4 0.4 0.4

Earn 120,000 points with highest ever sign-up bonus. End of partnership with American Airlines.

Singapore Krisflyer 1.4 1.3 1.3
Southwest Rapid Rewards 1.5 1.5 1.5

Southwest could stray from an all-737 fleet.

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
United MileagePlus 1.4 1.4 1.3

United launches dynamic award pricing. Gift registry is officially discontinued. Months-long feud leads to Expedia lawsuit.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1.5 1.5 1.5

30% bonus for transfers from American Express. New A350 suite unveiled.

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

Summer promos at Miraval and new hotels. Improvements to Best Rate Guarantee. Increased upgrade bonus on World of Hyatt card. Earn bonus points in Las Vegas this summer.

Wyndham Rewards 1.2 1.1 1.1

Join the Wyndham Rewards program.

Movers and Shakers

Several airlines and frequent flyer programs made moves in April. Avianca tweaked its award chart for flights within the United States, raising prices slightly on longer routes while lowering prices on short-haul flights. British Airways made a cryptic announcement of changes to its partner award chart planned for the end of May. Though few details were given, we did manage to piece together the expected award chart based on phone calls to customer service. Meanwhile, American Airlines ended its partnership with Radisson , so you’ll no longer be able to earn miles for eligible stays or transfer points from Radisson Rewards to the AAdvantage program.

In general travel industry news, Singapore’s Changi Airport opened a stunning addition known as The Jewel. The grounding of 737 MAX aircraft continued with no clear end in sight as airlines faced heavy losses from canceled flights. Finally, on a more personal note, I was thrilled to announce the launch of TPG UK this past week. The whole TPG team is excited to bring the points gospel to a new audience across the pond.

The biggest news of the past month came from United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, both of which made sweeping changes to award pricing that prompted a drop in their respective valuations. Chase Ultimate Rewards also made headlines with its first ever transfer bonus.

United aircraft
The MileagePlus award chart took a sharp turn in April. (Photo courtesy of United Airlines)

United MileagePlus

April Value: 1.4 cents
May Value: 1.3 cents
Valuation: Echoing Delta’s 2015 shift to dynamic award pricing, United announced its award charts will cease to exist for United-operated flights beginning on November 15, 2019. Beyond that date, the cost of awards will fluctuate freely, making the MileagePlus program much less transparent and predictable moving forward. Many flights are already pricing out higher (especially on international and premium itineraries), spelling a clear devaluation for flyers looking to maximize miles when cash prices are high.

The good news, such as it is, is that United hasn’t announced a similar devaluation for partner awards… yet. I’d be surprised if the other shoe takes long to drop, but at least for now you can book awards like Lufthansa first class and SAS business class at a good rate and with no fuel surcharges. United is also doing away with its close-in booking fee — a welcome change, but one that might prove to be trivial if dynamic pricing makes last-minute awards more expensive.

Since partner award pricing remains intact and roughly half the booking calendar is still available at the old fixed rates, my valuation for MileagePlus miles didn’t fall off a cliff this month. But as the clock runs out on the current charts, it’s almost certain to decline further. We’ll conduct a full revaluation of the program in the coming months as dynamic pricing becomes more prevalent, and as we learn more about the fate of partner awards.

Associated Credit Cards: the United Explorer Card and United MileagePlus Club Card, along with cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer 1:1 to United MileagePlus.

Hawaiian Airlines A330 Aircraft
Hawaiian Airlines is the latest to adopt dynamic award pricing. (Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)

HawaiianMiles

April Value: 1.2 cents
May Value: 0.9 cents
Valuation: United wasn’t the only airline to add dynamic award pricing in April. With no warning, Hawaiian Airlines tossed its old award tiers and adopted a new chart that features a wide range of rates for each award. The changes look terrible on paper, since the cheapest awards have stayed the same or gotten more expensive, while the highest award rates have more than doubled overnight. The reality isn’t quite so grim, but it’s clearly bad news for HawaiianMiles members.

We priced awards for over 500 flights across a variety of routes and dates, including service on Hawaiian Airlines and award partners like JetBlue and JAL, and found a mean redemption value of 1.23 cents per mile (1.02 cpm in economy and 1.46 cpm for premium awards). However, those numbers were skewed heavily by first class awards from Hawaii to international destinations like Tokyo and Sydney, which offered a mean redemption value of 3.15 cpm. That appears to be the program’s lone remaining sweet spot, as the mean for all other flights was barely above 1 cpm. Unfortunately, it’s not a very useful sweet spot unless you live in Hawaii or plan to visit on the way to another destination.

On the bright side, the bottom doesn’t seem to have fallen out completely from HawaiianMiles, as fewer than 5% of all awards offered a return of less than 0.7 cpm. While 38% of awards priced out above the old Saver rates, only 4% exceeded the previous high set by the old Flex rates. As always, the problem with dynamic award pricing is that programs can raise rates surreptitiously; we can only wait and see whether the cost of these awards creeps further upward. For now, our data supports a valuation between 0.9 and 1.0 cpm, and I lean towards the lower end of that spectrum given how few opportunities there are to book high-value awards.

Associated Credit Cards: the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard (and business version), along with cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points, which transfer 1:1 to HawaiianMiles.

(Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy)
Chase introduced a first ever transfer bonus to British Airways. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy)

Chase Ultimate Rewards

April Value: 2.0 cents
May Value: 2.0 cents
Valuation: One bright spot in April came from Chase, which launched a 30% bonus for transfers to British Airways through June 16. This promotion creates opportunities to book discounted awards (like round-trip flights from the West Coast to Hawaii for just 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points), but the bigger news is what it might mean for the future.

Promotional bonuses are a staple of some transferable points programs — Amex and Citi have long offered bonuses as high as 50%, and even Capital One got in on the act recently with a 100% bonus for transfers to Emirates. However, this is the first time we’ve seen such a bonus from Chase. If it becomes the first of many, my valuation of Ultimate Rewards points is likely to go up, though upcoming changes to two of the program’s transfer partners (British Airways and United) could have the opposite effect.

Associated Credit Cards: the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and other cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.

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.

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.