What’s a mile or point worth?

One of the questions I get asked most often is what a mile or point is worth. People seem to wonder both what the cash value and the relative value of a mile is (though knowing one, it’s easier to figure out the other). Why does the cash value of a mile matter? Because in the past few years the airlines and hotel chains have been doing a lot more straight selling of miles and points than before. Beyond that, the relative value of miles or points is quite significant, as you often have to choose between earning miles in various programs. For example, for many of my Hyatt stays I choose to earn miles instead of points if the numbers work out in my favor.

There’s a few things to keep in mind before I get started with my actual valuations. First of all, when “rating” a dozen or so programs, it’ll be easy for anyone to provide a counterargument for any one program. So feel free to share your thoughts, but please keep in mind that the numbers I come up with are just my perspective; there is no right or wrong valuation, as we all have different things we use our miles and points for.

Second of all, a question I’m frequently asked is whether to use miles or pay for a revenue ticket. Hopefully this post will help in the decision making process. So if your option is between booking an $800 ticket from New York to Singapore or using 65,000 miles for coach, which would you go with? There’s one important factor people often overlook, which is absolutely vital — on the revenue ticket you’d earn miles, while you wouldn’t on the award ticket. So let’s say you’re flying from New York to Los Angeles to Tokyo to Singapore roundtrip, and have top tier status with United. By booking the award you’d be giving up 45,000 redeemable miles (actual flown distance of 22,500 miles, plus the 100% elite bonus), which needs to be factored in when making your decision. So now the question is whether you’d rather spend $800 or what essentially amounts to 110,000 miles, and that doesn’t even begin to take into account the status benefits you could get from the revenue ticket.

Next, some may completely disagree with me about the absolute value of points. I don’t base the values of my points on the revenue price of a flight. I know many people like to say they get 15+ cents of value per mile, and that’s fine, but when that’s based on a $20,000 ticket to Singapore, I doubt you’d actually pay that. I like premium cabins, but ultimately I don’t “value” a first class ticket to Asia at more than $2,500 or so, when coach would be half the price. Of course I’m also a college student and don’t make a million dollars a year, so that’s a big part of it.

Lastly, my valuation will be based on what I think the miles are actually worth, and not how much they can be purchased for. US Airways, for example, has had promotions for a couple of years now whereby it’s possible to purchase miles almost continuously for around one cent each. If I valued those miles at one cent each, though, this post would be pretty worthless, since I’m more focused on comparative value. So everything below is based on what I consider them to be worth in relative terms, as opposed to in absolute terms.

Anyway, without blabbing on forever, here are my thoughts:

Airlines:

Air Canada Aeroplan — 1.8
I consider Aeroplan to be the most valuable mileage currency for a few reasons. First of all, they have one of the most favorable award charts. From the US, first class to Europe is only 100,000 miles, first class to most of Asia is only 120,000 miles, and first class to Australia is a mere 140,000 miles. Beyond that, they don’t charge any fuel surcharges as long as you don’t fly on Air Canada, and they have some very liberal routing and stopover rules. On intercontinental awards, you’re allowed two stopovers or a stopover and an open jaw, which is very generous. They allow you to route from the US to Asia via the Atlantic or the Pacific, or even one in each direction!

Furthermore, I have quite a bit of faith in Aeroplan. They’re an independent company from Air Canada, so they have an incentive to keep their redemption rates reasonable, especially since they get a lot of their “business” from Membership Rewards, which people transfer miles from. Screw up the redemption values and they’ll be out quite a bit of $$$.

There’s nothing I love more than the 120,000 mile redemption option from the US to Asia. Last year I went to Istanbul and Hong Kong on an award (via Chicago, Zurich, and London, returning via Bangkok, Munich, Zurich, and New York), and I just got back from an award to Singapore and Seoul (via Washington, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Frankfurt).

Alaska Mileage Plan — 1.4
I consider Alaska Airlines to be the slut of the skies, in the most endearing way possible. They’re partners with dozens of airlines, and have very reasonable redemption rates. There are some real bargains of their award charts, and they are partners with some real world class airlines, like Cathay Pacific and Qantas. Actually, there are very few OneWorld and SkyTeam airlines they aren’t partners with. And they also have some very nice routing rules. For example, they’ll let you fly from the US to Australia via Asia on Cathay Pacific.

But there’s one major problem, or maybe it’s a good thing: they’re safe about their sluttiness — they don’t let you mix and match partners. This can be incredibly frustrating and challenging. So if you want to fly Cathay Pacific, you can’t fly American Airlines to a Cathay Pacific gateway, even though American is another one of their partners. They will, however, allow you to book Alaska to a partner airline gateway for no additional cost, but that’s not all that valuable unless you live on the west coast.

So if you live in a city that has international service by one of their partners your miles are probably worth a bit more, but living in Tampa I’d have to buy a ticket to a gateway.

It’s also worth noting that they have a limited number of good partners to Europe. British Airways is a partner, but they charge fuel surcharges of up to $500 for flights on them.

American AAdvantage –1.5
American has a reasonable award chart, though I wouldn’t call the redemption options bargains, really. They do allow one way awards, which means you can mix-and-match cabins, but when they started offering that, they also eliminated stopovers. Stopovers are one of the things I loved most about awards, and what really added value to them compared to a revenue ticket.

American has some great airline partners, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, JAL, LAN, and Qantas. Unfortunately you can’t fly British Airways between the US and Europe on an award using AAdvantage miles, which is a real negative. So that really limits the selection of quality airlines to Europe…

Continental OnePass — 1.6
Continental miles have become much more valuable since the airline joined the Star Alliance. Unlike United they don’t block any partner award availability, and they allow one stopover AND one open jaw on award tickets. Their award chart isn’t a particular bargain, but they do seem to have access to some award space that other airlines don’t have access to. Not sure how, but they’ve had quite a bit of space on both Singapore Airlines and Swiss that other Star Alliance members don’t have access to, which makes their miles a bit more valuable.

There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding OnePass miles, as the merger with United progresses. We know they’ll still exist, but the question is whether United’s policies of Starnet blocking will be adopted, which could devalue OnePass miles a bit.

It’s also worth noting that Continental is partners with Emirates for the time being, which is pretty cool. That means A380 business class award space isn’t too tough to come by at a reasonable cost.

Delta SkyMiles — 1.0
They’re called SkyPesos for a reason. Delta miles are the absolute bottom of the barrel mileage currency. They used to at least be redeemable for Singapore Airlines flights, including in first class, but that partnership ended last month. Now there are no options to redeem miles in international first class.

With Delta miles you have access to the rather limited SkyTeam award availability, and space on Delta is especially tough to come by. Through their “tiered” award system, they’ve basically made the low level awards near impossible to come by. Even off season, most business class award tickets to Europe will cost you 150,000 miles.

United Mileage Plus — 1.3
Ah, United miles. They’re so close to being awesome, yet so far away. United’s award chart looks very similar to Continental’s, with one huge asterisk — they block some Star Alliance partner award availability, which is referred to as Starnet blocking. This is especially common on airlines like Lufthansa, where you might find award space using various tools, but when you call United they don’t “see” the flight. Unfortunately there’s no transparency either, as there’s no way to search their Star Alliance availability online, with the exception of Continental and US Airways, as of last week.

United does allow one-way awards on their own flights (not on partners), and on all intercontinental Star Alliance awards allows one stopover OR one open jaw, but not both.

We can hope that if/when the United/Continental merger goes through, Starnet blocking will be a practice of the past. But I’m probably just dreaming.

US Airways Dividend Miles — 1.6
Ah, US Airways miles. They’re comically valuable. US Airways constantly has promotions through which they give away sell miles for anything from 0.7 cents to 1.3 cents each, but if used properly, their miles are worth so much more. They recently increased the cost for some Star Alliance awards, but their rates are still reasonable.

Most importantly, though, they have virtually no routing rules, at least in practice. Agents will allow almost any kind of ticket to be booked. I’ve even heard of people going from the US to Europe via Asia!

The one thing that prevents me from valuing US Airways miles at more than Continental miles is that I just don’t trust US Airways. And I’m not even talking about them going out of business, but rather in terms of the way they run Dividend Miles. There’s just some small bit of uncertainty in me that prevents me from keeping too many US Airways miles in my account at once. But if you can earn and burn right away, they’re great.

Hotels:

Hilton HHonors — 0.7
As of early this year, top Hilton hotels go for 50,000 points per night, which is quite steep. Fortunately they do have some really nice properties which make it worthwhile.

The best way to get a better value with Hilton points is by getting the American Express Hilton credit card, because they have some special award values through it. For example, four nights at a category 7 hotel cost 170,000 points, instead of the usual 200,000 points. They have various types of special awards for card members depending on the length of the stay and category of the hotel, but the savings are substantial.

Hyatt Gold Passport — 1.5
Since a few months ago, Hyatt is my all around favorite hotel chain. They did, however, recently devalue the Gold Passport program slightly, by increasing the award cost per night, especially for top hotels. Top hotels used to cost 18,000 points per night, but now cost 22,000 points per night.

Even so, Hyatt has some incredible properties that are even a bargain at that rate. Some Park Hyatt properties are among the best hotels out there, and Hyatt honors all elite benefits on award stays, which is nice. So as a Diamond member, for example, you get free internet and free breakfast, even when using points.

It’s worth noting, however, that Hyatt has tons of promotions through which you can earn free nights, which is an out-of-this-world good bargain. For example, Hyatt’s “Big Welcome Back” promotion is just coming to an end, through which you earned one free night at any hotel worldwide for every second stay. And they typically have a similar promotion in the fourth quarter of each year.

There’s a reason I switched most of my business to Hyatt back in March, and am coming up on 40 stays.

Marriott — 0.8
Marriott, frankly, is the hotel program I’m least familiar with. Their high elite qualification requirements and limited benefits have prevented me from being loyal to them. But they do have a reasonable award chart and some very nice properties, especially in Europe. A top hotel goes for 40,000 points, and using points the fifth night is free. While I don’t usually spend that much time in any given city, that would bring the cost down to 32,000 points per night for a five night stay. Not bad for one of their super-nice hotels in Europe.

But I just have a hard time valuing them at much more than Hilton or Priority Club points.

Priority Club — 0.6
I know I said I wouldn’t base the value of points off the price they can be purchased at, but Priority Club points can consistently be purchased for 0.6 cents each using this trick, so it’s hard to value them at more. In general I think it’s a fair value, though. Top InterContinental hotels cost 40,000 points per night, and I’d say $240 is a fair value for them, given that you’re not earning points.

One slight frustration with Priority Club points is that they don’t technically honor elite benefits on award stays, unlike most other hotel chains. As a Royal Ambassador I usually get fantastic in-hotel benefits, so the lack of benefits on award stays reduces the value of points for me somewhat.

At the same time Priority Club often has Point Breaks hotels, where they offer stays for 5,000 points per night at select properties. This is a complete bargain, and a huge lure for the program. Occasionally there are even top InterContinental hotels on that list, but not quite as often as in the past.

All that being said, Priority Club points are incredibly easy to earn through their various promotions, which is yet another huge plus for the program. So don’t take the low points value as a reason to avoid them.

Starwood — 2.5
Ah, Starwood points, the most valuable currency out there. A lot of people redeem Starwood points for hotel stays, and that can definitely be a good value, but I’m not in any way loyal to Starwood hotels, but rather only their American Express card. So for me the value is in mileage redemptions.

Starwood allows miles to be transferred to dozens of airline programs at a 1:1 ratio, and for every 20,000 points you transfer, you get a 5,000 mile bonus. So that means that 20,000 Starwood points get you 25,000 miles in most programs.

But even then, the math wouldn’t add up there if that were it. That brings the cost of each mile to two cents, and I stated above that Aeroplan is the most valuable currency, yet only worth 1.8 cents.

So what makes up for the difference? There have been so many transfer promotions lately, that I’m starting to think it only makes sense to transfer Starwood points when there’s some massive bonus offer. For example, American is offering a 35% bonus on Starwood transfers over the next few days, and US Airways is offering a 50% bonus. And keep in mind, that’s in addition to the 25% bonus when transferring in chunks of 20,000.

The only slight downside to the mileage transfers is that it can take a week or two for the miles to post to the account. That’s quite frustrating, unlike Membership Rewards, where the transfer is typically instant. Lots of times you’ll see the award you want and then make the transfer, but that’s not typically possible with Starwood.

Credit Cards:

Membership Rewards — 2.0
Membership Rewards points can be converted at a 1:1 ratio to many mileage programs. There are lots of options, but the best is definitely Air Canada’s Aeroplan program. In some cases a transfer to ANA might make sense as well, as they have incredible bargains for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class tickets.

But the flexibility and ability to instantly transfer the miles to many programs is what makes Membership Rewards points incredibly valuable.

—————————————————–

Anyway, that’s about it. If you have any questions or comments, let me know. And if you find these types of posts useful, please let me know, as I’d be happy to make more of ‘em. Lastly, if there are any other programs you’d like me to “value,” I’d be happy to make a follow-up post with my thoughts. And if readers do find this useful, I’d be happy to keep a post like this current as programs make changes.

Comments

  1. Bonesaz says

    Great information. I’m still pretty new to all of this but wanted to know your thoughts on the following. I have close to 100k US miles, I’m looking to book a business award on AC. You mentioned fuel surcharges, will I get stuck paying them on AC flights? I’m going US to Europe and based on lack of availability on most airlines AC has the most open flights right now. I was wondering your opinion on the value of it.

  2. lucky says

    @ Bonesaz — US Airways doesn’t charge fuel surcharges, so even though you’re flying Air Canada you won’t have to pay them. Also, Air Canada actually has a really solid business class product as well, so I’d definitely fly them.

  3. Paul says

    Lucky- Thank you and keep them coming!! I have my thoughts on valuation but its good to hear your perspective as you’ve introduced thoughts I hadn’t factored in.

  4. says

    Great post… Curious how you value BMI miles? I credit my BD account when flying any Star Alliance in premium cabin given their generous earning chart + Gold bonus. Should I start thinking about Aeroplan instead? Thanks

  5. Bonesaz says

    @ lucky thanks for clarifying that, business does look impressive compared to some others.

  6. Dracs says

    Great Post!! Definitely helps and keep it coming and it gives flavor of different programs and what to expect and what not.

  7. Dracs says

    @Lucky, does this Priority Club trick, still work? A reader has commented on Gary’s blog that IC may have closed this loophole.

  8. growler says

    I don’t follow the Priority Club “trick”, and hopefully someone less dense than i can explain it.

    Also, any suggestions for how to best use British Airways (to Europe or elsewhere) miles to avoid their hefty fuel surcharges?

    Thanks!

  9. Carol says

    Tell me more about why ANA is a good bargain for Virgin redemptions, specifically from the West Coast.

  10. says

    @Dracs the report was someone saying that buying miles in this way didn’t count towards status, not that they couldn’t buy the miles.

  11. Gene says

    Nice write-up, Lucky.

    I value my miles about 20% higher than you, pretty much accross the board. I even figure that you can squeeze more than 1.0 from a DL mile.

    So, I am also curious, how you value bmi miles?

  12. astroGG says

    My comment on the 35% transfer bonus offered by AAdvantage: It’s not bound to SPG. Any hotel program transfer counts and gets you 35% bonus.

    So I think in this case, it’s not an advantage of SPG points.

  13. astroGG says

    Another comment about the American AAdvantage miles: AAdvantage miles coming from any source count as Lifetime status miles. This is a significant incentive for me to buy AAdvantage miles or transfer hotel points to AAdvantage.

  14. says

    Tremendous write-up, Lucky! A lot of valuable info in this post.

    @astroGG: Great point about earning lifetime AA miles.

  15. Nin Ros says

    Astro GG , IIRC the t&c of the hotel points transfer offer said they would not count toward lifetime status on AA.

  16. gba says

    Lucky, I’ve been staying at Marriott properties for a while due to work requirements and have finally found the secret to driving value out of there award chart — they offer “travel package” awards with both a hotel and airline miles component so when you redeem for the package you get a seven night hotel stay plus a bunch of airline miles. As it works out, when redeeming for a seven night hotel award, you can move points into miles at a ratio of 1:1 – given how much easier marriott points are to earn then starwood, this can yield some great values (I’m close to cashinout out 300,000 points for a week somewhere plus 120,000 aeroplan miles to get me there).

  17. lucky says

    Thanks for all the thoughts, folks!

    @ robertol — I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I value bmi miles at around 1.3 cents each. While cash and points can be a good bargain, their fuel surcharges ruin the value a bit. Ultimately I don’t value a first class redemption to Asia at more than $2,400 or so, and by the time you add in cash and points, miles, and fuel surcharges, you’re not that far ahead with bmi.

    As far as switching from bmi to Aeroplan goes, keep in mind Aeroplan doesn’t offer the same high yields for premium fare classes.

    @ growler — To avoid fuel surcharges just stay away from British Airways flights. I’d say one of the best values from the US is either Cathay Pacific business class to Asia for 100,000 miles, or first class for 150,000 miles. Since they allow stopovers, you can stop in Hong Kong and continue to somewhere else. Otherwise business class redemptions on LAN can be quite a good value, too.

    @ Carol — ANA’s award chart is distance based. Los Angeles to London roundtrip in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, for example, would be 85,000 miles. And you’re not charged fuel surcharges for travel on Virgin Atlantic when booking through ANA, so you’d just end up paying the taxes. Book the same thing through Virgin Atlantic and you’d pay 100,000 miles and well over $500 in taxes and fuel surcharges.

    @ astroGG — True, but my point is that SPG already has a favorable transfer rate, and the constant bonuses offered by airlines make the redemption value even better. I would say that even with promotions, most other hotel chains don’t have a favorable conversion ratio. That’s why I do consider it a benefit of SPG.

    As far as lifetime miles go, you’re absolutely correct, and I struggled as to whether or not to include that in my valuation. In the end I decided against it, because it is an unpublished benefit. I could picture American changing this policy sooner rather than later, so the person with 900,000 lifetime miles could very well be out of luck.

    @ gba — Thanks for the info! I had heard of that and it sounds like a fantastic value. I guess that’s really only a benefit if you have *lots* of points, though. But a great value nonetheless.

  18. Mark says

    I wouldn’t be so sure about Aeroplan keeping their redemption rates low, especially when you (and many other sources recently) go on raving about how great a value they are. I know you’re trying to provide a service and boost the popularity of your website but teaching people how to make use of the first class/multiple stopover rewards is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. Eventually the demand will becomes too great and/or other airlines with F class will start complaining and you can be sure that they WILL raise their redemption rates. I would love it if you toned down your praise of it… especially since you, and likely most of your website visitors don’t really ever fly Air Canada.

  19. jraphs070 says

    Great post.
    It’s nice to have a balance of trip reporting (travel p0rn) and useful info.
    Keep on sharing with your readers – even with a few more of us snagging premium awards, there are still waaaayy more seats out there than readers to fill them.

  20. AJ says

    Also, would be extremely helpful if you were to reevaluate the value of a programme when changes are implemented: raised redemption levels, newly enforced routing restricts, etc. This would help us quantify the severity of the changes being undertaken. Frankly, given the poor state of many of these airlines’ balance sheets and a generally murky outlook for the industry at large, I’m expecting some pretty significant devaluations in the future.

  21. HockeySTL says

    If there’s an award for One Mile At A Time Post of the Year, I think we have a winner. Thanks for taking the time for such an in-depth analysis. I’ve forwarded it on to my other FF friends.

  22. Nancy says

    I have status with them, but I just booked six Delta Skymiles coach awards for 25,000 miles each, in one shot. Each ticket would have been $500 if I had paid. That seems like 2 cents per mile to me. Whomever wrote this article doesn’t know how to use Delta miles I guess.

  23. willy says

    Ben,

    Thank you for these very information post. one question on Post #13 AstroGG was posting the AA transfer good for any hotel? I thought it will not work for PC.

    Please clarify this if you could.
    Thanks,

    Willy
    ========================================
    13.astroGG, on June 27th, 2010 at 3:50 pm Said:
    My comment on the 35% transfer bonus offered by AAdvantage: It’s not bound to SPG. Any hotel program transfer counts and gets you 35% bonus.

  24. lucky says

    @ Mark — Fair enough, but I write a blog through which I try to share the best tips out there. I want to help out as many people as possible, so I might as well shut down my blog if I’m going to keep some basic tips from readers. Regardless of whether or not they fly Air Canada, Aeroplan is an independent company and probably makes as much money from someone that transfers Membership Rewards points as they do from a Super Elite.

    @ Sam — This one was for you in particular. Sorry it took so long!

    @ AJ — Will definitely do a follow-up post or update this post as stuff changes. Thanks.

    @ Bikeguy — Toughie. I’ll see 1.4 for the time being. The fuel surcharges are insane when flying British Airways, though there are some nice options on Cathay Pacific and other partner airlines. While the redemption rates are still higher than with American, the ability to do stopovers helps a bit.

    @ HockeySTL — Wow, thanks! Will try to make a post like this at least once a week, so let’s see if we can’t top that. :D

    @ Nancy — I’m actually very familiar with Delta miles and know how to use them quite well. There’s no doubt that there are cases where you can use Delta miles at the “saver” level quite efficiently, but compared to other carriers there’s not nearly as much award space with them.

    @ Willy — As far as I can tell, Priority Club points would work as well, though the transfer ratio doesn’t work out even nearly as nicely.

  25. Marc says

    Fantastic post! As a relative newbie to this, the comparison of various programs gives me a great head start vs. trying to understand the implications by reading the program literature.

    I know this runs counter to how you operate, but my value system on reward redemption is significantly different than yours in that I value the flying experience much less than my time in the destination (i.e., you value a first class flight to Asia at up to $2,500, whereas I’d value it at about $200 more than flying coach simply because my interest is in seeing Asia rather than on getting there in style – i.e., I’d rather take multiple coach trips than a single first-class trip). From that perspective, then, I’d be interested in seeing a post doing a similar comparison of airline programs with the assumption that the point is to get where you’re interested in going. For example, I assume Skypesos would become more valuable in this scenario because I’m not trying to redeem for a first-class ticket.

  26. says

    great post. Ever since I reached my first 20,000miles I’ve always opted for the cash purchase of a coach seat which allows me to upgrade. Thus I get the benefit of the mileage earned + better seating/service/flight.

    I convert all my hotel points into miles, based on what airline I get the best conversion rate. Such as Marriott converts better to Virgin Atlantic than to Singapore Airlines.

    I have most of my miles collected with American Express, & thus for transferring them 1:1 to the airlines I fly the most. Not to say I’m not a member of several airline programs, but none of them have over 80,000 miles on them.

  27. Nancy says

    @Lucky – And why would less inventory require one to use Skymiles in a manner where they are worth 1 cent each? I have friends who are also Medallions that redeem similarly and frequently for 2 CPM on domestic travel.

  28. lucky says

    @ Nancy — No doubt you can get redemptions at one cent each using SkyMiles. I’ve also made redemptions where I’ve gotten 30 cents per mile value out of a mile. But I’m not about to value miles at that.

    Ultimately my comparison is relative. I’m arguing that a Delta mile is worth substantially less than other currencies. This is what I value the miles at. You’re certainly entitled to feel otherwise.

  29. hobo13 says

    Ben —

    Here’s the true test to see if your valuation makes sense.

    From your analysis, you indicate that you would be indifferent between receiving 130,000 DL miles and 100,000 UA miles. That’s because 130k DL has a value of $1300, and 100k UA has a value of $1300, according to you.

    Hence, if I offer you slightly more DL miles, you should JUMP at the trade. Therefore, i propose to trade you 135k DL for 100k UA. According to your valuation, I would be trading you $1350 worth of DL miles for $1300 UA miles, i.e. a trade you should make every day of the week.

    Will you do it? If not, I suggest that your valuation is flawed.

  30. hobo13 says

    Follow-on to the previous post —

    I’m 95% serious about doing that DL for UA trade. And I’m 99% certain that you won’t do it. Which makes me believe that you are misrepresenting the relative difference between DL and UA.

  31. lucky says

    @ hobo13 — Between you and Nancy, I just can’t win. ;)

    Truth be told, I think that’s a fair trade. Only two issues:
    — There’s not any award you can redeem for 135K miles. You’d need to trade in increments that work for both parties, and that’s not one of ‘em.
    — I only redeem for international first class, so Delta miles are fairly useless to me. Then again, for someone like Nancy, a Delta mile is worth as much as a United mile, apparently.

  32. Chris says

    Any comments on using miles for Upgrade awards rather than for full tickets? For example, on AA (North America to/from Japan / Northern Chin) Most Discount Economy to Business: 25,000 + $300; Full Fare Economy to Business: 15,000; Business to First: 25,000. This should be compared to between 50-125k miles for business or first (milesaaver or aanytime) outright. Thanks!

  33. hobo13 says

    I’m sure you could redeem something for 135k. Probably searching a RT TPA-ATL-DEN for August to come visit me would cost about that much!!! :-)

    For the record, I’d be happy to trade (at that ratio) in whatever increment worked for you. But like you say, you can’t get first class on DL, so you don’t want to do the trade. In that case, you should offer what you WOULD do the trade at — in other words, if someone GAVE you 150k DL, I’m sure you would suffer in C just for the heck of it. In fact, you’d probably pay something for it, just not all that much. And indeed, that ‘something’ is what we’re looking for here.

    Honestly, I don’t care what anyone else values miles at. I’m reading One Mile At a Time to see what Lucky values miles at! If you value DL at $0.005 (half-cent) per mile, you should say so. If they are worth a tenth of a cent, say that. After all, this is YOUR blog! But don’t say that they are worth 1cpm just because it seems right.

  34. says

    Crap, right on cue LH announces the timeline to end BMI’s DC. Any advice on where to post premium *A travel? Any program as generous as BMI when traveling paid C or F, yet still relatively good value on redemptions? Thanks!

  35. naroowal says

    @ Aeroplan being high at 1.8c per mile – my issue is I would like to redeem miles to a trip to Inida where Aeroplan fades away because they do not have it in their miles chart but it is there in the *A chart on aeroplans website. The economy award starts at 135K making it a very costly redemption.

    – naroowal

  36. beltway says

    Another incremental benefit of SPG points — for some of us, at least — is the ability to transfer between accounts of customers residing at the same address. In practice, this means that I can transfer points from my SPG account not only into my own airline FF accounts, but also into my wife’s (or son’s) miles accounts if they need topping up for an award.

  37. Brian says

    Lucky, how do you value Asiana and Virgin Atlantic miles? When I ask about VS, I mean VS itself, not transferring MR points to ANA. The reason I ask about these two airlines is their respective Bank of America credit cards.

  38. beltway says

    For example, four nights at a category 7 [Hilton] hotel cost 170,000 points, instead of the usual 200,000 points.

    Lucky, 170K is the VIP award (GLONP), which Hilton Amex cardholders would indeed receive — but much better is the separate Amex cardholder award (AXON7), 145K, for a discount of 55K off the standard award.

  39. Dave says

    It’s not mathematically possible for United miles and Continental miles to have a different value, given that at the moment you can instantly transfer miles back and forth between the two.

  40. lucky says

    @ Dave — This post was written in June 2010, when the points couldn’t be freely transferred between accounts.

  41. Dave says

    @lucky: Yeah, dunno what happened there, sorry. Was reading in RSS reader on my phone, must have fat-fingered the “my June 2010 post” link in your post yesterday instead of the “my weekly column over at TravelSort.com” link.

  42. says

    @ Lucky, with so much devaluations in the past two years, is it possible to revisit this awesome post with updated values of miles/points? Thank you! :)

  43. Joel says

    I concur with Kalboz. When you feel the dust has settled, please update us on what you think each airline’s points are worth. Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. […] While I am definitely an amateur and a beginner when it comes to this miles and points game, one of the pros has made up a valuation of the miles and points of various programmes.  Lucky over at One Mile at a Time does much more travelling than I do and has much more experience in both earning and using points from various sources.  He has been kind enough to analyse the values of various programmes which he uses.  I hope he does not mind me reposting his work here since I am giving him full credit for it.  This write up is actually a continuation of a valuation he did back in June.  The first part can be found here. […]

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