Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
One of the questions people often ask me is, “How much is a point or mile worth?”
The true answer varies from point to point and person to person. It also depends on your travel goals and how well you can maximize a particular loyalty currency. Still, some rewards are clearly worth more than others, and my goal is to give you a sense of how they stack up.
Historically, TPG has valued points and miles based on a combination of the price at which we would purchase the miles, award costs in the program (factoring in availability and fees) and our own expertise in the inner workings of the programs.
However, we are in the process of evolving our valuations to become as data-driven as possible.
Looking for a convenient way to see all of your points and miles in one place? Download the free TPG app!
We are currently working with a new provider to expand the dataset we use to calculate the most popular individual currencies, so we do expect these to change in the coming months. For now, the numbers below should offer a good estimate of what a savvy traveler can get by leveraging sweet spots, transfer partners and other top redemptions in the individual programs.
Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.
Points and miles valuations
|Program||April 2022 (Cents)||March 2023 (Cents)||April 2023 (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|
Cut mileage earning on Alaska saver tickets. Removed award charts for its own flights.
|American Express Membership Rewards||2.0||2.0||2.0||
Launched new referral bonus for existing cardmembers. Brought back Amazon discount for paying with 1 point.
|Amtrak Guest Rewards||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|ANA Mileage Club||1.4||1.4||1.4|
|Best Western Rewards||0.7||0.6||0.6|
|Brex Exclusive Rewards||1.7||1.7||1.7|
|Capital One Rewards||1.85||1.85||1.85|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Citi ThankYou Points||1.8||1.8||1.8|
|Diners Club Rewards||2.1||2.1||2.1|
|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|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1.5||1.5||1.5|
|Spirit Airlines Free Spirit||1.1||1.1||1.1|
|Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles||1.3||1.3||1.3|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1.5||1.5||1.5|
|World of Hyatt Loyalty Program||1.7||1.7||1.7||
Devalued redemptions at 200+ properties. Launched new Bonus Journeys promotion (register by April 20).
* Calculated using TPG’s revamped data-backed valuations methodology, launched in December 2021.
Points and miles news
As we enter the second quarter of 2023, we’ve seen a fair number of updates to the major loyalty programs over the last several weeks.
The biggest news came from World of Hyatt, as its annual category changes took effect. This time around, 214 hotels jumped to higher categories across its global portfolio, including many from Category 4 to 5 and even a handful from Category 7 to 8. This had big implications for how you can redeem Hyatt free night certificates, as many popular properties were pushed out of the category bands attached to said certificates.
Another big announcement came from American Airlines, which officially became the last of the big three U.S. carriers to remove award charts for flights on its own metal. Now, when you search for American-operated award flights, you’ll see just a single price for each available class of service.
In reality, this may not have many practical implications, since the airline was already using dynamically-priced “Web Special Awards” extensively. Fortunately, partner award charts remain published and in effect, and the carrier will continue to release certain award seats to members of partner programs — like Alaska Mileage Plan and British Airways Executive Club. Just note that you’ll no longer see the “MileSAAver” designation when searching on AA.com, and you won’t find the old saver-level fare classes either (T for economy, U for business and Z for first).
One of American’s partners also made waves last month, as Etihad published a new, unified award chart covering all of its partner airlines. Sadly, this distance-based redemption scheme eliminated virtually all sweet spots in the Etihad Guest program — and as a result, we’re lowering our value of Etihad miles from 1.4 to 1.2 (a 14% decrease).
Speaking of sweet spots, one of the most lucrative in the world of loyalty programs is no more as of early March, as Virgin Atlantic raised the price of ANA first-class awards by up to 42%. Round-trip tickets will now set you back 145,000 Virgin points from the west coast (up from 110,000) or 170,000 points from the east coast (up from 120,000).
Finally, there are a handful of ongoing transfer bonuses to be aware of:
- American Express Membership Rewards: 30% transfer bonus to Hilton Honors until April 30.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: 50% transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy and 25% transfer bonus to Air France-KLM Flying Blue, both through May 15.
- Capital One: 15-30% transfer bonus to Etihad Guest through April 30 (the exact bonus varies based on how many miles you transfer).
- Avianca LifeMiles: 10% bonus for transfers from all card partner programs, including Amex, Capital One and Citi.
Related: Best ways to maximize Capital One miles
Travel credit card offers
There is no shortage of incredible new welcome bonuses on many popular cards — here are a few of our favorites this month.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Right now, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Per TPG’s valuation, that’s worth $1,200 when you leverage transfer partners, or $800 if you redeem through the Chase travel portal at 1.25 cents per point.
The card comes with a manageable $95 annual fee along with a variety of travel protections and additional perks — like a $50 annual hotel credit for reservations made through Chase Travel and a 10% anniversary points bonus based on your previous year’s spending.
Of course, you may want to spring for the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead. While the card has a hefty $550 annual fee, it includes perks like Priority Pass lounge access, an annual $300 travel credit and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, among other benefits. Plus, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all travel and dining expenses, so you can quickly rack up rewards for your next big trip.
For more details, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Official application: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Toward the end of 2021, Capital One launched its first premium rewards card, and it is one of the most exciting travel credit cards on the market, thanks to great earning rates and included perks.
The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening — worth $1,388 according to our valuations — thanks to Capital One’s excellent airline and hotel transfer partners.
For more details, check out our full review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Learn More: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The standard Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is currently offering the same welcome bonus as the Venture X. You can earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Like the Venture X, the Venture card earns 2 miles per dollar on everything.
For more details, check out our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Learn More: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express
With the current welcome offer on the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.
Of course, the card is jam-packed with benefits like airport lounge access, hotel elite status and more. These benefits can make your travel experience smoother and more luxurious than ever before — especially with the most recent additions. The card has a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). Enrollment is required for select benefits.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Platinum Card.
Official application: The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
One of the most popular cards with TPG staffers during the pandemic, the Amex Gold offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. This welcome offer is worth $1,200 based on our valuations — but be sure to check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for an even higher offer. (Offers are subject to change at any time.)
The card is great for many everyday purchases. You’ll earn 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants. The card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Gold Card.
Official application: American Express Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card offers 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership. Per our valuations, this welcome offer is worth at least $2,400, but you can get even more value when redeeming for high-end airfare.
The card also provides a slew of additional perks similar to (but slightly different from) the personal version — you can compare the two cards in this guide to see which one would be a better fit for your wallet.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Business Platinum Card.
Official application: The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Airline and hotel credit cards
American and Citi recently launched a new offer on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. New cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,500 within the first four months of account opening, which matches the best-ever bonus we’ve seen on this card. With demand for summer airfare on the rise, now could be a great time to open a card like this to boost your loyalty account balance.
Related: The best airline credit cards
In addition, several hotel credit card welcome bonuses can provide a simple way to boost your points balances. You can use these points to save money on hotel stays worldwide, no matter where your travels take you.
Data-backed valuations update
Finally, we wanted to share an update on our increasing use of data to drive these valuations. This process began in November 2021 with our four major transferable currencies — American Express Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Rewards points and Capital One miles.
As a result of these efforts, the above valuations use a mathematical model that takes into account a number of factors specific to transferable points, including:
- Unique transfer partners (not shared by other card issuers).
- The most valuable individual partners in the program.
- The base redemption value when you redeem points or miles directly for travel.
Based on this rollout, the valuations for our credit card currencies are rounded to the nearest five-hundredths of a point in order to better capture the real-world value they offer cardholders.
We fully expect these numbers to fluctuate over time as we refine our equations and roll out additional data-backed hotel and airline valuations in the coming months.
Likewise, we moved three airline currencies — American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus miles — to a data-backed model late in 2021. However, we have put these valuations on pause while we work out an issue with our data provider. We’re excited to have data-backed valuations updated in the coming months.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh, Benji Stawski and Nick Ewen.
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.