What’s It Worth? THG’s Points and Miles Values for April 2016

With the changing nature of frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs it is sometimes hard to know the value of a point or mile.  And without knowing the value, it’s unclear whether a promotion is excellent or should be ignored and if a redemption option is appealing or terrible.

I’m here to help with that!

I’ve put together a color-coded chart showing my personal valuations of some of the most common travel “currencies” including hotel points, airline miles and bank-issued points/miles.

Check out the chart and then scroll past it to a few high-level notes.  I won’t be going into gory detail on the programs here – that’s for other posts – but I do share a thought or two on each program.

Click/tap the chart image for a high-res version!

The Honeymoon Guy's Points and Miles Valuations 2016 04 (800w)

Values are Part of the Story, but Not the Whole Story

Remember this chart shows you what points/miles are worth in my opinion.  Your specific travel circumstances may greatly affect the value of programs and points/miles.

Also, this chart doesn’t address ease of acquiring points.  If a point or mile has a moderate value but it is easy to acquire those points/miles, then it may be a program you want to focus on.

For example, Southwest Rapid Rewards points aren’t the most valuable currency of the major US airlines but acquiring them is relatively easy and using them with a Companion Pass effectively doubles their value.  For these reasons, and some others, I focus quite a bit of my activity on Southwest.

Hotel Loyalty Programs

What is a Hilton HHonors point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 0.5 cents

Mediocre to poor-value program but huge hotel selection. Recent card offers were so large that I couldn’t pass them up!

What is a Hyatt Gold Passport point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.9 cents

Consistent, high-value program with great hotels but somewhat limited number of properties (compared to Hilton, Marriott, IHG).

What is an IHG Rewards Club point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 0.8 cents

Decent program with huge hotel selection. Upped value after recent redemption at Hotel Indigo Sarasota.

What is a Marriott Rewards point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 0.7 cents

Mediocre value but huge hotel selection.  Upcoming merger with SPG could impact valuation significantly.

What is a Starwood Preferred Guest point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 2.2 cents

This program has been the high-value model of consistency!  Merger w/ Marriott could change that in the future.

What is a Wyndham Rewards point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.3 cents

Unusual program with 15,000 point flat redemption rate.  Good values to be had at high-end/all-inclusive properties and via cash + points deals.

Airline Frequent Flyer Programs

What is an American Airlines AAdvantage mile worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.5 cents

Region-based program.  Somewhat of a standard award program. Devaluation in March 2016 dropped worth of a mile.

What is a British Airways Executive Club Avios point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.5 cents

Distance-based program.  Offers some great short- to medium-distance redemptions.  See recent Reader Request post: Vic Wants 3 Free Roundtrip Hawaii Tickets.

What is a Delta SkyMiles mile worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.1 cents

Uninspiring program with weak award availability led to flyers coining nickname of SkyPesos.

What is a Southwest Rapid Rewards point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.4 cents

Flexible program with no  charges for award cancellations.  Companion Pass can double value of each point!  Check out my 2015 summary for real-world examples of values.

Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards Card Ad

What is a United MileagePlus mile worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.5 cents

Similar to other legacy airline programs in value. We’ve redeemed for some domestic flights and for our South Africa to USA flight on South African Airways to conclude our honeymoon.

Flexible Travel “Currencies”

What is an American Express Membership Rewards point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.2 cents

Offers a solid, but not eye-popping, selection of transfer partners and the ability to book travel directly using points.

What is a BarclayCard Arrival mile worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.0 cents

Straightforward program.  Arrival miles can be redeemed for 1 cent of travel.  Downside is that minimum redemption is $100/10,000 miles.

What is a CapitalOne Venture mile worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.0 cents

Straightforward program.  Venture miles can be redeemed for 1 cent of travel cost after a purchase (within 90 days) or for booking new travel.

What is a Chase Ultimate Rewards point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 2.1 cents

Great program.  Flexible, with many transfer partners including Hyatt, Southwest and United.

What is a Citi ThankYou point worth?

THG’s April 2016 Valuation: 1.5 cents

Direct redemption is great option when award flights/rooms aren’t available through another program.  Solid transfer partners.  Points are worth slightly more if you hold a Citi Prestige card.

What are your thoughts on my valuations?  Am I spot on or off the mark?  Share your perspective in the comments section!

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5 thoughts on “What’s It Worth? THG’s Points and Miles Values for April 2016

  1. Hi Michael! Discovered your blog today…great job building a comprehensive travel hacking site!

    I was wondering if you have an opinion on Lufthansa’s Miles & More program? How would you value it?

    1. Hi Dee. Thank you very much for the kind words!

      I’m not an expert on Miles & More by any means. I know that racking up those miles is key to booking first class award seats on Lufthansa more than a couple weeks out as Lufthansa doesn’t release those award seats to other airlines until close to flight time. Also, there are often high surcharges on award tickets booked through Miles & More. Some itineraries are free of the onerous surcharges. If you’re thinking of accumulating Miles & More miles for a specific redemption, do a bit of research first to get an understanding of whether that redemption would involve a large surcharge. If so, you may want to consider putting your effort toward another frequent flyer program.

  2. Great post – I am right with you on most of the values here. Wondering your thoughts on the valuation impact with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the 5% (previously 10%) rebate?

    Additionally, do you prefer the Barclaycard or Capital One for travel cash back redemptions?

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Derek!

      I value the Barclay Arrival miles at an even 1 cent each. Yes, in theory they’re worth about 1.05 cents each because of the 5% redemption rebate. However, whenever you go to cancel the card you’ll probably lose some miles because of the $100 minimum redemption. For that reason I knock the valuation down to 1.0 cents each. I shared a trick in one of my posts on the Barclaycard Arrival+ which essentially allows you to get around the requirement to redeem for travel for the full redemption rate.

      The Capital One Venture program is better in “redemption minimum” regard, as last I checked, the redemption minimum is zero for full travel statement credit redemptions and 2,500 miles for partial travel credit redemptions. I don’t have a Capital One card at the moment but am considering getting one in the future.

      However, I don’t recommend either of those two cards for every day purchases. You can get a no-annual-fee cash back card that gives you straight 2% back (e.g. Citi Double Cash). To me, those two cards are “good for the signup bonus” cards.

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