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!
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 late last year. 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.
Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.
Points and miles valuations
|Program||January 2022 (Cents)||December 2022 (Cents)||January 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||
Revamped partner award charts, prices remained mostly unchanged.
Made changes to elite status qualification, will revamp award charts.
|American Express Membership Rewards||2.0||2.0||2.0||
Launched transfer bonus to HawaiianMiles.
|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||1.7|
|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|
* Calculated using TPG’s revamped data-backed valuations methodology, launched in December 2021.
Points and miles news
It may have been a holiday month, but December brought some major changes to the points and miles world.
Some of the biggest news came from American Airlines, which announced that it will raise the Loyalty Point thresholds for earning Loyalty Point Rewards like systemwide upgrades. Additionally, it will remove MileSAAver awards in the near future, instead opting to make all American-operated award tickets dynamically priced. On the bright side, this will not affect partner award tickets.
Further, Alaska Airlines revamped its partner award chart. Instead of showing award prices per airline, the Mileage Plan program now shows minimums for all international awards. Thankfully, there have been no major changes in how awards are priced. You can still find good deals like Cathay Pacific first-class and Japan Airlines business-class awards, at least for the time being.
Emirates Skywards also made a stir when it raised the cost of most redemptions over the holidays. This is one of many devaluations we’ve seen from the program over the past two years, making it even harder to book the airline’s famous first-class product with points and miles.
In better news, Air Canada Aeroplan added the ability to book Singapore Airlines long-haul business-class awards. These were previously restricted to Singapore Airlines’ own KrisFlyer program. You’re now better off booking these with Aeroplan points in many cases.
Air France-KLM Flying Blue added stopovers to all award tickets. This means you can effectively see two destinations for the price of one, raising the value of Flying Blue miles for some members.
Finally, we saw British Airways roll out Reward Saver redemptions to all its award tickets. In turn, you can now redeem more Avios in exchange for lower taxes and fees on award tickets. This is a big win for award travelers given the airline’s high fuel surcharges.
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 has caused us to put data-backed valuations on hold. What you see now are valuations calculated for March 2022, 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.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Right now, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is offering an increased 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 $900 if you redeem through the Chase travel portal at 1.5 cents per point.
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 Reserve card.
Official application: Chase Sapphire Reserve.
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 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 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, as well as 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
United is currently offering up to 100,000 bonus miles with its cobranded credit cards. Here’s a look at its current lineup:
- United Club℠ Infinite Card: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- United Quest℠ Card: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
- United℠ Explorer Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
- United Gateway℠ Card: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Plus, you’ll get 0% annual percentage rate (APR) for 12 months from account opening.
- United℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
Alternatively, 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.