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Quick Points: Maximize your points and miles with TPG's calculator

Feb. 11, 2022
3 min read
Terminal 3 and Terminal G: San Francisco (SFO)
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At TPG, we oftentimes are asked by readers how to decide to use points and miles or cash when booking travel. Recognizing that every traveler’s situation is different and that the value of points and miles varies significantly throughout the various programs, we understand how difficult it can be when deciding whether you should be using hard-earned cash or your equally hard-earned points and miles.

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With this in mind, we'd like to remind you of another tool to help guide you when navigating these decisions — TPG's points and miles calculator. The calculator is powered by our data-driven valuations, which are updated monthly, so you are never left in the dark.

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Related: TPG releases brand-new points calculator to make award bookings easier

Why you should use the points and miles calculator

The purpose of the calculator is to provide a valuation basis for you to understand how much your points and miles are worth. We want you to be able to maximize your rewards, and that starts with knowing their approximate value. With the points and miles calculator, you are in the captain’s seat and can decide what’s best for you— using your rewards now or saving them for a future trip.

By knowing when to use your Hilton points, you can get more than 1 cent per point at the Hilton Moorea. (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)

How to use the points and miles calculator

Using the calculator is easy. Select whether you would like to calculate the value of airline miles or hotel points and then choose a program. Make sure to enter the fields completely, especially the fees column as some airlines have hefty fuel surcharges.

The landing page of the points and miles calculator. (Screenshot courtesy of thepointsguy.com)

Here's an example of using 60,000 United miles for a business class award from the continental U.S. to Europe.

Related: How to get maximum value from the United MileagePlus program

(Screenshot courtesy of thepointsguy.com)

In this case, 60,000 United miles are worth $678 according to our valuations. As the one-way cash price of this flight is $3,467, your 60,000 miles save you $2,783, which is a steal of a deal. You are getting roughly 5.8 cents per mile, which is more than five times our current valuation.

Verdict: (Definitely) book with miles.

Bottom line

The points and miles calculator allows you to see how much your rewards are worth, which lets you make informed, confident decisions when making travel arrangements. We also advise that you run calculations before transferring points to an airline or hotel program.

Start getting the most from your rewards with our points and miles calculator today.

Featured image by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases