Reward Points Value: What are Your Rewards Really Worth? (January 2021)

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Not all rewards points are valued the same. Everyone is always asking things like “How much is a point or mile really worth?”. It can be confusing, especially if you haven’t been involved in the points and miles community for a long time. Marketing and television commercials don’t make it any better by telling you how many points you earn per dollar. That’s not the most important thing when it comes to reward points value.

Redemption rate is the key ingredient. You could have a points program that earns 5 points per dollar spent but also only has a redemption rate of 0.4 cents per point. Earning points with that program would essentially give you 2 cents of redemption value for every dollar spent. On the flip side, you could have a points program that earns 3 points per dollar and a redemption rate for those points of 2.0 cents per point. With this points program, you would get 6 cents of redemption value for every dollar spent. It’s all about the redemption rate!

What are Your Reward Points Currently Valued at?

Most airlines and hotels don’t have a set amount that their reward points are valued at. It’s up to the customer to determine that. We’ll help you out by analyzing each program from our own experiences and the experiences of other frequent travelers. I’ve also taken into consideration the values given by some other trusted travel sources. Our goal is to give you a good estimation of what you can expect to redeem your points for.

Another thing that makes valuing reward points hard is the fact that rewards programs are always changing. Redemption rules, transfer partners, and loyalty programs are changing all the time which can make the reward points value fluctuate. For this reason, we will update our reward points values every month if there are changes.

points value

There are 3 Main Types of Points

  • Transferable Credit Card Points
  • Airline Points
  • Hotel Points

There are three types of points that we focus on, here at Travel Freedom. They are transferable credit card points, airline miles, and hotel points. For the most part, transferable credit card points are the most valuable because you can transfer them to a multitude of airlines and hotels. Airline points typically have a better redemption value than hotels. There are 14 airlines that have an average reward points value of at least 1.4 cents per point. With hotels, there is only one rewards program that has a points value of over 1.4 cents and that is the World of Hyatt program.

These reward points values are determined with the informed points traveler in mind. It takes into effect the ability to transfer points to partners to make the most of your points. Honestly, many of the valuations (especially of the transferable points) are on the low end. There are times when Chase Ultimate Rewards, for example, can be redeemed for more than double what their value is listed at. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the current reward points value in each program.

Transferable Credit Card Points Value

Rewards ProgramReward Points Value
Chase Ultimate Rewards2.0 Cents
Amex Membership Rewards2.0 Cents
Citi Thank You Points1.7 Cents
Capital One Miles1.4 Cents
Barclaycard Arrival Miles1.0 Cents

Airline Points Value

Rewards ProgramReward Points Value
Air Canada Aeroplan1.5 Cents
Alaska Mileage Plan1.8 Cents
American AAdvantage1.4 Cents
ANA Mileage Club1.4 Cents
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1.3 Cents
Avianca Lifemiles1.7 Cents
British Airways Avios1.5 Cents
Delta Skymiles1.4 Cents
Emirates Skywards1.2 Cents
Etihad Guest1.4 Cents
Air France Flying Blue1.2 Cents
Frontier Miles1.1 Cents
Hawaiian Miles0.9 Cents
JetBlue TrueBlue1.3 Cents
Korean Air Skypass1.7 Cents
Lufthansa Miles & More1.4 Cents
Singapore Krisflyer1.4 Cents
Southwest Rapid Rewards1.7 Cents
United MileagePlus1.3 Cents
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1.5 Cents

Hotel Points Value

Rewards ProgramReward Points Value
Best Western Rewards0.7 Cents
Choice Privileges0.6 Cents
Hilton Honors0.6 Cents
IHG Rewards Club0.5 Cents
Marriott Bonvoy0.9 Cents
Radisson Rewards0.4 Cents
World of Hyatt1.7 Cents
Wyndham Rewards1.2 Cents

Remember, just because a reward points value isn’t the highest in our tables doesn’t mean you can’t get good value out of it. Ultimately, if you’re saving your money by using points instead, you’re winning. The value of the redemption just scores how much you’re winning by.

The Best Travel Credit Cards to Earn Each Type of Point

  • Best Transferable Credit Card Points Value Card

[earnist_link ref=”chase-sapphire-preferred-card” id=”6313″]Chase Sapphire Preferred[/earnist_link] – Personal

[earnist_link ref=”chase-sapphire-preferred-card” id=”6313″]Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card [/earnist_link]

[earnist_link ref=”ink-business-preferred-credit-card” id=”6240″]Ink Business Preferred[/earnist_link] – Business

[earnist_link ref=”ink-business-preferred-credit-card” id=”6240″]chase ink business preferred credit card art [/earnist_link]

  • Best Airline Points Value Card

[earnist_link ref=”southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-plus-credit-card” id=”6747″]Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus[/earnist_link] – Personal

[earnist_link ref=”southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-plus-credit-card” id=”6747″]southwest rapid rewards plus card art [/earnist_link]

[earnist_link ref=”united-explorer-business-card” id=”11120″]United Explorer Business Card[/earnist_link] – Business

[earnist_link ref=”united-explorer-business-card” id=”11120″]united explorer business card [/earnist_link]

  • Best Hotel Points Value Card

[earnist_link ref=”the-world-of-hyatt-credit-card” id=”6276″]World of Hyatt Credit Card[/earnist_link] – Personal

[earnist_link ref=”the-world-of-hyatt-credit-card” id=”6276″]world of hyatt credit card [/earnist_link]

None – Business

Keep in mind what you’ve learned here. Reward points are not valued the same. They are not all worth 1 cent. Yes, understanding reward points value can be confusing, but now you are educated on the subject. Remember that points earned per dollar is not the whole story.

Reward point redemption rates are the most important factor in their value. It’s important to remember that if you earn fewer points from a far more valuable program it can be more valuable than more points earned in a less valuable program. Do the simple math and you’ll be fine. Earn them hard and redeem them wisely to gain your own travel freedom.

Travel Credit Card Offers