Travel Points & Miles Valuations – What Are They Worth? [November 2019]

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What are points and miles actually worth? Unfortunately, there are no official answers. In other words, airlines and hotels don’t give out their own point and mile valuations. Therefore, it’s up to you to make your own conclusions on that value. However, we’re here to help.

There are many factors that come into play when determining this metric. Below are questions you should ask yourself when evaluating the value of points and what we’ve taken into account to create our point and mile valuations:

  • How valuable are these points?
  • How flexible are these points and how many transfer partners are there?
  • What are your redemption options?
  • How much would you buy points and miles for?
  • What’s the average redemption value from 3 different bookings?
  • How abundant is award availability?

Upgraded Points’ November 2019 Points and Miles Valuations

Flexible Points Programs

Flexible Point ProgramOctober’s Value (cents/point)November’s Value (cents/point)Value of 50,000 / 100,000 points
Amex Membership Rewards Points2.22.2$1,100 / $2,200
Barclaycard Arrival Miles1.01.0$500 / $1,000
Brex Rewards1.51.5$750 / $1,500
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points1.951.95$975 / $1,950
Citi ThankYou Points1.61.6$800 / $1,600
Diners Club Rewards Points2.02.0$1,000 / $2,000

Airline Loyalty Programs

Airline Loyalty ProgramOctober’s Value (cents/point)November’s Value (cents/point)Value of 50,000 / 100,000 points
Air Canada Aeroplan Miles1.551.55$750 / $1,500
Air France Flying Blue Miles1.11.1$550 / $1,100
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles2.01.9$950 / $1,900
American Airlines AAdvantage Miles1.301.30$700 / $1,400
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club Miles1.41.4$700 / $1,400
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club Miles1.61.6$800 / $1,600
Avianca Airlines LifeMiles1.41.4$700 / $1,400
British Airways Executive Club Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles1.01.0$500 / $1,000
Emirates Skywards Miles1.11.1$550 / $1,100
Etihad Airways Etihad Guest Miles1.41.4$700 / $1,400
Frontier Airlines FRONTIER Miles1.11.1$550 / $1,100
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles0.90.9$450 / $900
JetBlue TrueBlue Miles1.251.25$625 / $1,250
Korean Air SKYPASS Miles1.61.6$800 / $1,600
Lufthansa Miles & More Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles1.351.35$675 / $1,350
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Points1.41.4$700 / $1,400
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
United Airlines MileagePlus Miles1.651.65$825 / $1,650
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles1.51.5$750 / $1,500

Hotel Loyalty Programs

Hotel Loyalty ProgramOctober’s Value (cents/point)November’s Value (cents/point)Value of 50,000 / 100,000 points
Choice Hotels Choice Privileges Points0.60.6$300 / $600
Radisson Hotels Radisson Rewards Points0.30.3$150 / $300
Hilton Hotels Hilton Honors Points0.40.4$200 / $400
Hyatt Hotels World of Hyatt Points1.61.6$800 / $1,600
IHG Hotels & Resorts IHG Rewards Club Points0.50.5$250 / $500
Marriott Hotels Marriott Bonvoy Points0.80.7$350 / $700
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Wyndham Rewards Points0.90.9$450 / $900

UP’s Highest Valued Points

Not all miles and points are created equal, so naturally, each category has its own winner with the highest valued points. Here’s why we ranked the highest valued points as such:

Transferrable Points: American Express Membership Rewards Points

American Express Membership Rewards continues to be the king of transferrable points. Amex partners with all alliances (SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and Oneworld), along with many non-alliance partners, so it’s easier to find award space compared to other transferrable points. Some of Amex’s transfer partners include Qantas, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Emirates.

Airline Miles: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Alaska Airlines has the best of both worlds: a variety of partners and solid redemption rates. Some of Alaska’s partners include American Airlines, Emirates, Japan Airlines, and more. Redemption rates are lower than other partners across the board—for example, a one-way business class flight on Japan Airlines from the U.S to Tokyo costs just 55,000 Mileage Plan miles.

Hotel Points: World of Hyatt Points

World of Hyatt has the most reasonable redemption rates of all the major hotel chains. Further, we’ve found that there are virtually no blackout dates and that all hotels are on a standard award chart, so you’ll always pay the same price for a room at any hotel. This allows you to explore fantastic Hyatt redemption opportunities ensuring maximum value.

Movers

November was a slow month for points valuations, but there were a couple of movers and interesting pieces of industry news.

Marriott Points Move Back to 0.7 Cents Per Point

The first mover for November is Marriott Bonvoy points. The hotel chain was running a 30% bonus transfer to American Airlines last month, so we moved the valuation from 0.7 cents per point to 0.8 cents per point in October.

However, that promotion has since expired, so the Marriott Bonvoy point valuation sits at 0.7 cents per point for the month of November.

Alaska No Longer Offering Intra-Asia Stopovers

Secondly, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan saw a devaluation, moving from 2.0 cents per point to 1.90 cents per point. This was due to the airline announcing that it will no longer offer stopovers on intra-Asia flights.

In the past, Alaska Airlines members could book tickets like Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Shanghai (PVG) with a multi-day stopover in Singapore (SIN) on Singapore Airlines for the price of a single SGN to PVG award.

However, new rules would treat this booking as 2 award tickets, skyrocketing the award price from 25,000 miles to 60,000 miles in business class. Thankfully, stopovers in other regions are unaffected by this change.

IAG Plans to Acquire Air Europa, a SkyTeam Member

While we haven’t reduced the value of any SkyTeam mileage programs yet, there may be a devaluation coming in the future. This is because IAG — the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia — announced that it intends to acquire the Madrid-based airline Air Europa.

This acquisition will force Air Europa out of the SkyTeam alliance and will lead to an Iberia/Air Europa brand merger by 2025. Air Europa is currently the 2nd largest air carrier in Spain.

What this means for travelers is there will be less award space available to SkyTeam customers, and theoretically more available to Oneworld, Iberia’s alliance, in the coming years.

However, there are more potential downsides to this acquisition too. Since Iberia and Air Europa will be joined as one, IAG will have an even larger share of the Spanish air travel market. This means that we could see rising fares inside, to, and from the country due to lack of competition if the acquisition is approved.

We’ll keep an eye on the Air Europa situation for the months to come and will update this article with relevant information. Note that this merger is still awaiting approval by lawmakers.

RIP United Airlines Award Charts

Further, you should note that United Airlines MileagePlus will no longer offer any type of award charts after November 15, 2019. This comes after the airline announced earlier in the year that it will begin to offer Delta-style dynamic award pricing for all of its award tickets.

Award flights November 15, 2019, and onward have been subject to these changes since the announcement, so there is no devaluation yet. However, we will continue to monitor award pricing over the coming months to see if an adjustment is necessary.

Final Thoughts

While the value of points and miles can vary, you want to ensure that you’re getting a great value when redeeming those hard-earned points. When it comes to flexible points, Amex Membership Rewards points is valued at the highest cent per point. Given the number of Amex airline and hotel partners, these points are extremely flexible. Amex Membership Rewards also offers good transfer rates with a ton of redemption options. All of these elements ensure that you get the most of your points.

Andrew Kunesh

About Andrew Kunesh

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City. He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt.

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8 comments

  1. Nirendu Kumar ghosh · February 22, 2019 · Reply

    dear sir,
    I have lost my Emirates skywards number. i want to regain to get more points for benifits.
    please help me.
    Thanks.
    Nirendu kumar Ghosh

  2. Natalie · July 6, 2019 · Reply

    How much are Japan Airlines points worth? I would love to fly them in First Class.

  3. Jim Lovejoy · July 6, 2019 · Reply

    I really appreciate the work you’ve put into this. It shows the quality of your work that you got everything right except that you’ve undervalued Bonvoy points. Since 60k Bonvoy points can be exchanged for 25k airline miles on all the MR airline transfers plus about 25 others, then 60 Bonvoy points should be worth at least 25 MR points, especially as Bonvoy points transfer to high-value miles like Alaskan or Korean. The MR hotel transfers shouldn’t change the valuation as 1 Bonvoy point for Marriott is worth more than either 25/60 Choice points or 1.5*25/60 Hilton points to me.
    The only reason for valuing Bonvoy points at less than 2.1*25/60=0.875¢ is the fact that Bonvoy points sometimes take an unreasonably long time to transfer, and if that’s why you are devaluing Bonvoy points, I can’t disagree.

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for the feedback, we appreciate the kind words. The amount of time a point transfer can take is definitely a reason why Bonvoy points are valued less than Membership Reward points. Additionally, as you mentioned you have to transfer 60k Marriott points at a time in order to achieve a similar value that you get with Membership Reward points, this also causes Bonvoy to lose some value in our opinion as there are no such requirements with Membership Reward points.

      As you know, placing an evaluation on your points is very subjective and vary greatly depending on a large number of factors. So no method is perfect, and we encourage each of our readers to do their research and form their own opinions when deciding on to best value their points and miles.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Maryann C. Otto · October 21, 2019 · Reply

    Just need flight rewards and not a credit card.

    • Don’t we all? It would be great if millions of points and miles just rained from the sky into our accounts.

      One of the best ways to earn rewards is with a credit card. If you’re responsible, opening credit cards can result in massive rewards, an increase in credit score, and tons of cost savings. Thanks for reading.

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