What Are Points and Miles Worth?

what are points and miles worth

If you’re interested in using credit card rewards to fund your next vacation, or you simply want to build up points or miles with one loyalty program, it’s important to know what the rewards are worth before you make a choice.

There are three main types of rewards programs: airline, hotel, and credit card rewards programs. As you review the valuations of the following programs, think about their value and how easy or difficult they are to earn. 

What are points and miles worth?

With general travel rewards programs, your points or miles typically have a set value based on how you redeem your points. For instance, you may get 1 cent per point on travel and 0.5 cents per point on cash back.

With airline and hotel rewards programs, however, your point values are based not only on how you redeem them, but they also vary with each reservation. For these programs, we provide an average value based on award flights or hotel stays.

Airline rewards programs

Depending on your status with an airline — or if you have its co-branded credit card — you may get special benefits with the airline in addition to free flights through its rewards program.

Common perks include free checked bags, priority boarding, and discounted in-flight purchases. Airline rewards miles tend to be more valuable than hotel rewards points, but they’re harder to earn. 

Program Value per mile
Alaska Airlines 1.8 cents
American Airlines 1.4 cents
British Airways 1.3 cents
Delta Airlines 1.3 cents
Frontier Airlines 1 cent
Hawaiian Airlines 1.1 cents
JetBlue Airways 1.3 cents
Southwest Airlines 1.3 cents
Spirit Airlines 0.4 cents
United Airlines 1.4 cents

Hotel rewards programs

In addition to rewards points, you can also get other perks for being a loyal member, such as early check-in and late check-out, room upgrades, and complimentary Wi-Fi, among others.

Program Value per point
Best Western 0.7 cents
Choice Privileges 0.6 cents
Hilton 0.5 cents
Hyatt 1.7 cents
IHG 0.6 cents
Marriott 0.9 cents
Radisson 0.4 cents
Ritz-Carlton 0.9 cents
Starwood  2.4 cents
Wyndham 1 cent

General travel rewards programs

Some credit card issuers provide their own proprietary rewards program on some of their cards. While some, such as Barclays Arrival and Capital One Venture rewards programs, are pretty straightforward no matter how you redeem your rewards, others may offer more value depending on how you redeem.

Program Value per point/mile
American Express  1.9 cents
Bank of America 1 cent
Barclays Arrival 1 cent
Capital One Venture 1 cent
Chase Ultimate Rewards 1.7 cents
Citi ThankYou 1.7 cents

Methodology: These points and miles valuations are based on a general consensus of top travel and credit card rewards experts. They are updated quarterly. Don’t see a favorite loyalty program? Leave a comment and we’ll look into adding it.

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi

Ben is a freelance travel and money writer, who's always planning his next trip. When he's not traveling, Ben enjoys spending time with his kids, scoping out new restaurants, hiking, reading, and working through his never-ending Netflix queue. He's also a co-host on the podcast Just One More Trip.

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