Travel Points & Miles Valuations – How Much Are They Actually Worth? [January 2022]

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Credit cards, airlines, and hotels don’t give out their own point and mile valuations, so, unfortunately, there are no official answers on what points and miles are actually worth. Therefore, it’s up to you to make your own conclusions on that value. However, we’re here to help.

Many factors 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’ January 2022 Points and Miles Valuations

Flexible Points Programs

Flexible Point ProgramDecember 2021 Value (cents/point)January 2022 Value (cents/point)Value of 50,000 / 100,000 Points
Amex Membership Rewards Points2.22.2$1,100 / $2,200
Bank of America Preferred Rewards1.01.0$500 / $1,000
Barclaycard Arrival Miles1.01.0$500 / $1,000
Bilt Rewards1.51.5$750 / $1,500
Brex Rewards1.51.5$750 / $1,500
Capital One1.81.8$900 / $1,800
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points2.02.0$1,000 / $2,000
Citi ThankYou Rewards Points1.61.6$800 / $1,600
Diners Club Rewards Points2.02.0$1,000 / $2,000

Hot Tip: Use our dedicated transfer partner tool calculator to review transfer ratios, times, and bonuses for all major flexible point programs.

Airline Loyalty Programs

Airline Loyalty ProgramDecember 2021 Value (cents/point)January 2022 Value (cents/point)Value of 50,000 / 100,000 Points
Air Canada Aeroplan Points1.51.5$750 / $1,500
Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles1.81.8$900 / $1,800
American Airlines AAdvantage Miles1.41.4$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
Breeze Airways BreezePoints1.01.0$500 / $1,000
British Airways Executive Club Avios1.251.25$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 Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
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 Points1.31.3$650 / $1,300
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit Points1.11.1$550 / $1,100
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
United Airlines MileagePlus Miles1.31.3$650 / $1,300
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Virgin Points1.41.4$700 / $1,400

Hotel Loyalty Programs

Hotel Loyalty ProgramDecember 2021 Value (cents/point)January 2022 Value (cents/point)Value of 50,000 / 100,000 Points
ALL – Accor Live Limitless Rewards Points2.32.3$1,150 / $2,300
Choice Hotels Choice Privileges Points0.60.6$300 / $600
Hilton Hotels Hilton Honors Points0.50.5$250 / $500
Hyatt Hotels World of Hyatt Points1.51.5$750 / $1,500
IHG Hotels & Resorts IHG Rewards Points0.50.5$250 / $500
Marriott Hotels Marriott Bonvoy Points0.70.7$350 / $700
Radisson Hotels Radisson Rewards Americas Points0.250.25$125 / $250
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Wyndham Rewards Points0.90.9$450 / $900

Upgraded Points’ 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:

Transferable Points: American Express Membership Rewards Points

American Express Membership Rewards continues to be the king of transferable 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 transferable points. Some of Amex’s transfer partners include Qantas, Air Canada, 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 Oneworld partners include American and Japan Airlines, and the airline’s non-alliance partners include Emirates, Korean Air, Singapore 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 and News

It was a busy month in the world of points and miles, with some good news and some bad. Here is what made waves last month:

American Airlines SimplyMiles Deal of the Year

Easily the best promotion of last year, and arguably one of the best deals ever, was the ability to earn 240x American Airlines miles per dollar spent when donating to a specific charity through SimplyMiles with your linked Mastercard.

For those who are unaware, SimplyMiles is similar to Amex Offers in that you’ll receive offers to earn X number of miles per dollar when shopping with that merchant.

One particularly lucrative (now expired) offer allowed you to earn 240x miles per $1 for donations to Conservation International, effectively allowing you to purchase American Airlines miles at a price of 0.42 cents while donating to a good cause.

To illustrate how incredible of a deal that is, consider that purchasing the 70,000 miles needed to fly to the Maldives in Qatar Airways Qsuites would cost you just $292 — a ticket that usually retails for over $3,000!

Chase and Bank of America Launch New Credit Cards

Aeroplan® Credit Card

Last month, Chase launched the Aeroplan card, which offers some interesting perks and benefits aside from what you might usually expect from a co-branded airline card.

For starters, breaking away from the traditional welcome bonus of a certain number of points, the new Aeroplan card offers 2 Welcome Flight Reward Certificates valid for up to 50,000 points each after spending $4,000 on the card in the first 3 months. Those that signed up for the card’s waitlist will also earn 10,000 Aeroplan bonus points and 10 eUpgrade certificates if they submit their application by February 15, 2022.

The card earns 3x points per $1 spent directly with Air Canada, at grocery stores, dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), and 1x point per $1 on all other purchases. Plus you’ll earn 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month).

In terms of benefits, some of the top ones are:

  • Automatic Aeroplan 25K elite status (and keep it by spending $15,000 on your card in a calendar year)
  • Get a 1-level boost to your Aeroplan status by spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Free checked bag for the cardholder and up to 8 traveling companions on Air Canada flights
  • Pay Yourself Back at 1.25 cents per point towards Air Canada flights
  • Various travel protections

Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card

Chase had a big month as the bank also launched a new premium business credit card, the Ink Business Premier card, which is now its most expensive Ink-branded card with an annual fee of $195.

It offers a compelling welcome bonus of $1,000 in cash-back after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership.

With it, you’ll earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases made through the Chase travel portal, 2.5% cash-back on purchases of $5,000 or more, and 2% cash-back on all other purchases.

However, travel rewards aficionados will be saddened to learn that, while the Ink Business Premier card will earn Ultimate Rewards, you may not be able to combine these points with your other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite Credit Card

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite card is the credit issuer’s new premium travel rewards card that comes with a $550 annual fee.

You’ll receive a bonus of 50,000 points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, which is worth $600 when redeemed through the Bank of America Travel Rewards Center.

Earning rates on the card are a bit paltry at 2x points per $1 on travel and dining, and 1x point per $1 on all other purchases. However, these rates can be boosted quite considerably up to 3.5x and 2.625x, respectively, for those who are Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors members or higher.

The card also offers some solid benefits like:

  • $300 annual statement credit for qualifying airline incidental fees
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • $150 annual lifestyle credit towards rideshares, food delivery, streaming services, and fitness transactions at select merchants
  • 20% discount when redeeming points through the Bank of America Travel Rewards Center

Delta Removes Mileage Earning from Basic Economy

Last month, Delta made a real head-scratcher of a decision to not only remove elite qualifying mileage earning from its basic economy tickets, but also remove the ability to earn redeemable miles as well!

This change is effective for tickets purchased on December 9, 2021, onward, for flights departing on or after January 1, 2022.

Of course, most flyers that were purchasing basic economy tickets likely weren’t going for Delta Medallion status anyway, but not being able to earn redeemable miles for these tickets lowers the value proposition even further, and is the bedrock of how consumers interact with any loyalty program.

In fact, consider that basic economy tickets from the legacy airlines were originally introduced to compete with low-cost carriers on what is many travelers most important factor: fare price. Bet yet, even all of the low-cost carriers still offer flyers the opportunity to earn points within their respective programs.

This is now back-to-back months that Delta has been featured for unfriendly changes to its program, following its GUC devaluation in November 2021, but we just call it as we see it here at Upgraded Points!

JetBlue Launches New Elite Tier: Mosaic+

New for 2022, and 2022 only, JetBlue has launched a new elite tier above Mosaic named Mosaic+.

The new elite tier comes with just 2 benefits: a FoundersCard Elite membership and 4 space-available Mint upgrade certificates.

These certificates are valid on all Mint routes except for flights to London, but what is strange is that they are only valid for segments purchased and flown between January 5, 2022, and December 31, 2022. Assuming you don’t qualify for Mosaic+ status until late in 2022, you might end up only having a few months in order to use these certificates.

In any case, since this status level is currently just valid for 1 year, this perhaps could be a preview of a more robust Mosaic+ (or further elite levels) set to launch in 2023 or beyond.

New Airline Route Changes

Here are the airlines that announced last month that they were adding, removing, or relaunching routes:

U.S. Airlines

International Airlines

Final Thoughts

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


The information regarding the Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card and Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 


Frequently asked questions

What are points and miles worth?

Unfortunately, there is no single set value for most points and miles programs. So the valuation is entirely subjective and depends on what the points are worth to you, and how you plan to redeem them.

Why do Upgraded Points' valuations change month to month?

Loyalty programs, and the points or miles associated with them, are constantly changing. Programs often gain or lose transfer partners, change the number of miles required for a given route, or sometimes even ditch their award charts altogether.

When these things happen, certain programs’ miles or points can increase or decrease in usefulness based on the changes that were made.

Are points and miles the same thing?

The terms points and miles are used interchangeably, and it really just depends on which term a given program calls its loyalty currency. Some loyalty programs refer to their currency as miles, and others points, but they ultimately have the same function.

How many points do you need for a free flight?

That will depend entirely on the type of points you have, and where you’re hoping to fly. Each airline loyalty program has its own method for pricing redemptions. Some use an award chart where the number of miles needed for a certain flight route is predetermined. Others use revenue-based redemptions where the number of points needed for a free flight will depend on how expensive the cash price of the ticket is.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Jarrod first became fascinated with the world of points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. On his first major award trip, he spent 3 months traveling through Europe, financed nearly entirely with points; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences. Jarrod has been writing about credit cards and travel loyalty programs for 4 years, and his work has been featured by Travel and Leisure, The New York Times, Matador Network, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.

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4 comments

  1. I was wondering if anything had changed with Avios, and their AerClub program? I just tried to book a flight using my Avios, and the Avios to dollar value was nowhere near what your site (or other similar sites) said it was. For example, in the article above it says that 100,000 Avios is worth about $1,300. On Aer Lingus’s site today (October 7, 2021), 100,000 is worth $640 – less than half that amount. The lowest estimate I found anywhere was 1 point worth 1 cent. This is 1 point worth .64 cents, a huge drop off.
    Also, there was no option to choose how many Avios points you could use. I have 150,000 Avios points, and it would only let me select from a few options they presented, the maximum of which was 81,350 Avios ($526). So my flight total was coming to 81,350 Avios + $1,500 cash. Does this sound right? Am I trying to use Avios completely wrong?
    I’m freaking out because I’ve been saving these points for almost two years thinking they would be worth close to $2,000, and now they look like they are almost useless.

    Reply

    • Hi Daniel,

      That is our valuation for Avios when redeeming through British Airways, which has a significantly better award chart than Aer Lingus. Trying doing your award search through British Airways instead and I’m confident you’ll find their quoted rates are much better than through Aer Lingus.

      Reply

  2. Re: “ and on all other eligible purchases up to $5,000.” Shouldn’t that be “…over $5K”? Or did I carelessly miss that change?

    Reply

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