Value Of Miles & Points

One of the most frequent questions I get is “what is a ____ mile worth?”

This is very subjective, as it’s hard to assign an absolute value to miles in many cases, and everyone has different travel goals and priorities. It’s absolutely worth taking the time to figure out your own values for the programs you use:

At present, my personal valuations are as follows:

Value of Airline Miles

ProgramValue
Air Canada Aeroplan1.3 cents/mile
Air France Flying Blue1.2 cents/mile
Alaska Mileage Plan1.8 cents/mile
American AAdvantage1.5 cents/mile
Avianca Lifemiles1.4 cents/mile
British Airways Executive Club1.3 cents/Avios
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1.2 cents/mile
Delta SkyMiles1.3 cents/mile
Etihad Guest1.3 cents/mile
JetBlue TrueBlue1.3 cents/point
Korean Air SkyPass1.5 cents/mile
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1.5 cents/mile
Southwest Rapid Rewards1.4 cents/point
United MileagePlus1.4 cents/mile
Virgin America Elevate2.0 cents/point
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1.0 cents/mile

Value of Hotel Points

ProgramValue
Club Carlson0.4 cents/point
Hilton HHonors0.4 cents/point
Hyatt Gold Passport1.5 cents/point
IHG Rewards Club0.5 cents/point
Marriott Rewards0.8 cent/point
Starwood Preferred Guest2.2 cents/point
Wyndham Rewards0.8 cents/point

Value of Bank & Credit Card Points

ProgramValue
American Express Membership Rewards 1.7 cents/point
Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard Miles1.05 cents/point
Chase Ultimate Rewards1.7 cents/point
Citi ThankYou Points1.7 cents/point
Starwood Preferred Guest2.2 cents/point

I try to update these annually, or whenever there are major program changes. For more insight as to how I arrive at these numbers, or to look at past years, please check out the following posts:

2013 | Ultimate Rewards Value After United Devaluation
2013 | Value of Miles & Points
2012 | Value of Miles & Points
2011 | Value of Miles & Points (for travelsort)
2010 | Value of Miles & Points

Comments

  1. Need to get my and my husband’s total sky miles. Our last flight was on June 30, 2014 from Philippines to New York.

  2. How about adding Diners Club to the credit card points?
    It is really useful to see that the Delta Skymiles are valued lower as that helps sort my earning plans in perspective. Also, the comparison on the hotel points which have such a huge range of value is super.
    Thanks!

  3. @ Andrew — Ultimately not really since I didn’t factor the second night free benefit into my valuation (since not everyone has access to US credit cards). That being said, I’ll have a post with an updated valuation very soon.

  4. @lucky
    Is it possible to add a “last updated date” to this as it’s hard to tell if this is end of 2014 or current 2015 valuation?

    Also, I guess Club Carlson value will devalue with the new changes
    so maybe it’s a good idea to update it every 3 or 6 months instead of 12 months

  5. Hey Lucky,

    What is the most exclusive frequent flyer club/status in your opinion?

    Cheers,
    Rolex

  6. How do I find out my total number of points and if sufficient, use them for my Aug 18 reservation?

  7. I read your interesting article about your first class flight with Lufthansa (paid with Aeroplan miles).
    How do you see the value of Lufthansa miles (Miles & More)?

    You have mentioned M&M in your Lufthansa category, but not here in the table.
    Are you not using it?

  8. Lucky:

    You may publicly scold me ;-), but can you help me understand something? This shows how little I “understand the system” on air miles collecting.

    This year I just missed platinum elite status (by 9,000+ miles) on AA. For weeks afterward I kept getting emails telling me for $1750 +/-, I could purchase that premium status. I declined. Now I realize I could have probably flown the 9k miles more cheaply and made status. But can you use this scenario to explain to me and others, What have I actually “missed” by ignoring a chance to pay up or “fly-up” to the premium tier of AAdvantage? I know everyone’s motives and reasons are different but, what kind of perks have I missed out on (between platinum and platinum elite)? Perhaps it’s ignorance on my part, but it wasn’t until just recently that I figured out I was entitled to lounges when traveling internationally and a few other “perks” like this. Maybe your response could help flyers like myself who just don’t know all the details make an informed decision. Thanks

  9. Lucky,

    I’m frequent traveler as well with international travel once / week in Asia. Your blog is very helpful and some topics I figured out by myself after leaving a lots of points on the table. It’s awesome to make this a profession. I share your passion.

    As German working for an American company located in Asia I would appreciate more international programs. E.g. It’s easier to get Gold on Asiana or Thai as collection of less necessary miles in 2 years. Though I not made the full math if the payback comes for redeeming miles. Means a cpm would be great for a bigger scale.

    Thanks, I will enjoy your blogs further.

    Regards
    Marko

  10. Very interesting blog for me as newbie, Lucky! Great job!

    As a member of Miles & More program, I would like also to know, what do you think about M&M and if you use it?

  11. I am an international flight attendant with a major US carrier. We get to fly for free on a stand-by basis anywhere within my airline network internationally = First class included when available.
    We have mostly one night lay-overs but sometimes up to seven like when we flew to Accra, Ghana, or Koweit City. Our hotels fit in the luxurious category. We get paid for this lifestyle. The other side of the coin is the ever present jetlag and fatigue as you correctly mentioned. I am not 25 unfortunately and I think you are doing this at the right age, the right time, before you settle down with the lady of your choice and decide to have a family, if this will ever be your inclination. Well done and Bons Voyages!

  12. I have a delta gold AX skymiles and fly twice a year to France…difficult to get free economy tickets…Should I get a different card ’cause this one is expensive –
    thanks

  13. Hey! Do you have any suggestions for European people or Germans ? Maybe someone you now who does the same here and have tipps like you?
    I have Lufthansa miles and more but you seem to have way better mile offers in the US

  14. Hello, I wonder if you have any recommendation … would travel to Europe with my miles of advantage, I could leave from Miami or NYC, what would be the best time to redeem miles.

    Kind regard

  15. Thanks lucky for this great website and the compilation of the theoretical value of the points.

    I hope you don’t mind sending me a tiny amendment concerning the valuation of the Hyatt points:
    The upselling for 3,000 points per night from the standard room to the Club room including a breakfast and a coffee hour is a unique proposition of Hyatt’s programme. I would value this “upslling” with approx. 80 Euros for European properties (-> approx. 90 US-Dollar). Resulting in a point value of approx. 0,03 USD.

    Best regards gum

  16. The value per point is only one part of it especially for hotels: hotels earn you very different numbers of points per dollar. While SPG are clearly worth the most, you can earn a maximum of 3-4 per dollar on actual stays, so each dollar earns $.06 – $.08.

    Club Carlson are worse the least, but you can earn 20/$ with a maximum of about 35/$, so for every dollar at the highest level, you earn $.14.

    While SPG are clearly the most flexible points, if you are earning them through actual stays and not bonus offers and intent to use them for free nights, you are, in effect, paying a convenience fee of 6-8 cents every dollar that you aren’t taking advantage of.

  17. I have a general comment about valuations, and let me lead by posting a real-world example:

    Let’s say I want to go from RDU to Seoul on AA. Biz fare is $4,282.

    If I buy and upgradeable econ fare at $1,322, use 50k miles and spend $700 to upgrade to Biz round trip, those 50k miles net me $2,260 in cash savings versus buying a business fare. That’s about 4.5 cents per miles.

    Is that not a legitimate valuation for those miles used?

  18. Thank you very much for this helpful and interesting blog, Lucky!
    I have to fly very often with Lufthansa (iwithin Germany and Europe). Should I use the Miles & More program for my Lufthansa flights or is there any other better options for this case?
    Thank you very much!

  19. Hello Lucky,

    I was recently in NY on a business trip and a colleague there told me that he books all his tickets through this broker who purchases airline tickets with miles and sells them for a fraction (of course making a handsome profit) I understand that this is against airline policy in general while only illegal in Utah if I am not mistaken. In your opinion is this okay or is there any substantial risk associated?

  20. I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Through Ultimate Rewards Travel, I can redeem points for 1.5x. Assuming that the price of flights are the same, would it be better to transfer to the airline and use miles or book through Ultimate Rewards Travel? I frequently fly Southwest and Virgin America (now Alaska). But I’m not opposed to using other airlines if transferring points will provide a better value.

    As far as hotels, how is Starwood’s valuation so high?

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