Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How much is a point or mile worth?”
The true answer varies from point to point and person to person and depends on your travel goals and 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.
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!
That data-driven process began last November with our four major transferable currencies — American Express Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Rewards points and Capital One miles. Now, we are using 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, we are now rounding the valuations for our credit card currencies 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 last December. 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 soon.
Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.
Points and miles valuations
|Program||December 2021 (Cents)||November 2022 (Cents)||December 2022 (Cents)||Note|
|Accor Le Club||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Aeroplan Loyalty Program||1.5||1.5||1.5||
Added Bamboo Airways as a partner.
|Alaska Mileage Plan||1.8||1.8||1.8||
Announced new elite status challenge for California-based flyers, made LATAM awards bookable online.
Bask Bank now awards 2 American miles per dollar saved annually.
|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|
|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||1.7||1.8||1.8|
|Diners Club Rewards||2.1||2.1||2.1|
Launched new promo rewards, with flights to Europe starting at 27,500 miles.
|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|
Ran an award sale on economy international flights; raised elite status requirement for 2024.
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1.5||1.5||1.5|
|World of Hyatt Loyalty Program||1.7||1.7||1.7|
* Calculated using TPG’s revamped data-backed valuations methodology, launched in December 2021.
Points and miles news
In early November, United announced that it will raise Premier qualifying point (PQP) requirements for elite status across the board next year.
Thankfully, it introduced some positive changes, too. Namely, award tickets will count toward elite status starting next year. Likewise, it will give a head start bonus to elites next year in the form of bonus PQPs. The number of bonus PQPs you’ll receive depends on your elite status tier, with Premier 1K members getting 2,500 PQPs.
Further, World of Hyatt launched a new status challenge to American AAdvantage. The status tier you have with Hyatt dictates your status tier with American. You’ll receive AAdvantage instantly, but you need to earn a set number of Loyalty Points every four months to extend it.
We also saw Air France-KLM Flying Blue launch a new set of promo rewards. The best deal is business class flights from Montreal to Europe, which start at just 27,500 miles one-way. This is an excellent deal, and it may be worth positioning from elsewhere in the Midwest or East Coast to catch one of these cheap flights.
Additionally, Marriott announced it would end the 5,000-mile bonus on transfers to Korean Airlines SkyPass on Dec. 1. Normally, the hotel giant offers a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to an airline partner. It ended the bonus on transfers to American, Avianca and Delta in October, making Korean the fourth transfer partner without this bonus.
Finally, there are a two limited-time transfer bonuses ending in this month:
- Ending Dec. 7, 2022: Get a 15% bonus when you transfer Amex Membership Rewards to Avianca LifeMiles.
- Ending Dec. 20, 2022: Get a 40% bonus when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy.
Related: Here’s what you should know before transferring Marriott points to airline miles
Data-backed valuations update
As noted in the introduction, we moved to data-backed valuations for three major airline programs — American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus — last year. However, we’ve run into an issue with our data provider that’s caused us to put data-backed valuations on hold. What you see now are valuations calculated for March, but we plan to publish up-to-date valuations for these three airlines soon.
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.
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.
Official application: 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.
Official application: 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 cardmembership.
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 spending $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 (offer is 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 150,000 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 $3,000, 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
Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier Card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers, road trippers and foodies alike. The card earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and on air travel and hotels. You can transfer these points to top-notch transfer partners like Avianca LifeMiles, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles and others.
The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Premier Card.
Official application: Citi Premier Card
Related: 4 reasons the Citi Premier Card should be on your shortlist
Airline credit cards
If you’re looking to earn American Airlines miles, check out the following cards and their current offers:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,500 within the first three months of account opening.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months of account opening.
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: Earn 10,000 bonus miles and get a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening.
Related: The best airline credit cards
Hotel credit cards
Several hotel credit card welcome bonuses provide a simple way to boost your points balances. You can use these points to save money on hotel stays around the world, no matter where your travels take you.
The portfolio of IHG Rewards credit cards underwent major upgrades earlier this year, and there are currently some solid offers available:
- IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
All of these new offers put you in a great position to earn a ton of bonus points or miles as you get ready to travel again, and there may be more to come.
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 and Benji Stawski.
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.