What is a Mile or Point Worth?

What is a frequent flyer mile or credit card point worth?

To better help understand why some points are worth more than others and to help you better understand exactly why a A point is not equal to a point… or a mile, I’ve created this table to show you how I value various transferable currencies, points, and miles.  It will help you get a feel for what a frequent flyer mile or credit card point is worth.

How to Read This Chart:

Each “value” is basically the absolute minimum I would redeem for. The average person, with just a tiny bit of effort to understand the sweet spots of each program, should be able to extract this valuation fairly easily.

The way I recommend reading it is that you wouldn’t ever want to redeem for less value than in this table (unless you are points rich and cash poor), nor would you ever want to buy or transfer miles to these programs for more than the stated value unless you had a specific redemption lined up.

It also follows, then, that as long as you are redeeming one of these currencies for more than the stated value, it’s potentially worth using the points or miles. You will have to determine the so-called yield curve for yourself. For example, I value Marriott points at 0.7 cents. For one person, a yield of 0.7 cents is great. For another person, they may tend to get better yields and only redeem when the value is a penny or more. There’s no right or wrong, but this table should help you make an informed decision.  In all likelihood, the faster you earn points, the lower the value you will take for each point.

It’s worth noting that transferable points (the major credit card currencies) have an inherently higher value than most miles because they offer the flexibility to transfer to whatever airlines/alliance has the availability you need at a given time.

It’s also worth noting that while I do run calculations on various redemption scenarios in determining values, there is also a fair bit of discretion involved. That’s because it would be impossible to calculate all possible redemption scenarios due to the constantly fluctuating cash prices of the redemptions that the usage of miles and points replace.

So, to be clear, these values are not a minimum possible redemption value, nor are they a guarantee that you will receive this much value or more, but they represent a value at which it is reasonable to use the points or miles instead of paying cash (or another point or mile.

Here are the most common points and miles values according to MilesTalk

BanksCents per pointWhich cards earn these points?Notes
Chase Ultimate Rewards1.85 cents per pointPersonal: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited

Business: Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Cash, Ink Business Unlimited

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
After a recent loss of Korean SkyPass as a transfer partner, I decreased this value from 2.0 cents to 1.85 as this was a big loss on many levels. The instant transfers to most of its partners, especially Hyatt, keep the value this high as it's easy to exceed 2 cents per point on Hyatt award stays.

NOTE: You can redeem for travel via the portal at the following rates: 1.5 cents per point with a Chase Sapphire Reserve; 1.25 cents per points with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Preferred. You can also only transfer to airline/hotel partners if you have one of these cards. The value stated assumed you possess one of those three cards. If you do not, the value of an Ultimate Rewards point is just 1 cent. The value also assumes you will take advantage of transfer partners rather than book via the portal.
American Express Membership Rewards1.75View all American Express cards

Personal: The Platinum Card from American Express (Learn More), American Express Gold Card (Learn More), American Express Green Card, Amex EveryDay Credit Card, Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

Business: The Business Platinum Card from American Express (Learn More), The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express (Learn More), The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express (Learn More)
Instant Transfers as well as solid transfer partners. The value would go up if they had any hotel partners with a fair exchange rate. ANA and Avianca are top airline partners for maximizing your points. The stated value also assumes you will take advantage of transfer partners rather than book via the portal, where they are only worth between 1 and 1.5 cents.
Citi ThankYou1.6Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Preferred, Citi Forward, Citi AT&T Access Card, Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card for Students, CitiBusiness ThankYou card (available only in-branch)

Note the Citi 1/24 rule on new applications.
ThankYou points are valued a bit lower than the others because they have no US transfer partners and, in most cases, take a long time to transfer. In addition, the most value you can get booking via their travel portal is 1.25 cents for Prestige/Premier card holders or 1 cent with other ThankYou cards. The value also assumes you will take advantage of transfer partners rather than book via the portal.
Barclay Arrival Plus1.05Barclay Arrival PlusThese are worth a penny each plus a 5% annual bonus
US Bank FlexPerks1.5U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card, U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card, U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select+ American Express CardRedeemable at 1.5 cents a point
Discover1Worth a penny each
Capital One1.2See info and offers for Capital One credit cards.Previously worth just a penny a point, they recently announced new transfer partners. The transfer rate is 0.75 miles per Capital One mile. I'm initially calling the value at 1.2 cents. This reflects getting 3/4 the number of miles per point transferred as compared to Citi. I may adjust up or down once we know how fast the transfer times are to airlines. The minimum value is 1 cent when used as a Purchase Eraser.

It's worth noting that some Capital One cards earn 2 miles per dollar on everything, making the 1.2 cent per mile value an understatement as you'd be earning a 2.4% yield on every day spend.
Wells Fargo1See info and offers for Wells Fargo credit cardsWorth a penny each
Bank of America1Premium Rewards credit cardWorth a penny each
Airlines
American Airlines1.5Citi:
AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, AAdvantage Executive Select World Elite Mastercard, AAdvantage MileUp card,
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select card

Barclay:
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard

More info on: Airline Credit Cards
I value these a bit better than the other two US legacy carriers because of their partner redemptions. Learn about the best options here. Also, if you have an AA Citi Platinum or Barclay Aviator credit card, you get a 10% mileage rebate when you redeem for awards, up to 10,000 a year.
United Airlines1.4Personal:
United Explorer Card, United MileagePlus Club Card, United TravelBank Card

Business:
United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card, United MileagePlus Club Business Card

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
They have a similar network to AA in terms of reach via the Star Alliance, but they charge noticeably more for Partner Awards than AA.
Delta Air Lines1.25Personal:
Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (Learn More), Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (Learn More), Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Business:
Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card (Learn More), Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card (Learn More), Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

Business:

More info and offers for: Airline Credit Cards
Delta has become almost punitive about getting more than 1.5 cents per point in value and often tried to steer you to redemptions worth around a penny. I think it's safe to say you can get 1.3 cents a mile out of them, but more is increasingly difficult except with partners and during Flash Sales.

Unfortunately, their partner network is relatively weak with Skyteam compared to the others. They are the only US airline whose miles cannot be used to book International First Class on a partner airline (except, rarely, on China Eastern). They also have a history of devaluing the program with no notice. At least the miles don't expire.

The MilesTalk valuation was reduced in Dec 2018 to reflect the introduction of Basic Economy awards at the same price they used to charge for awards that included seat selection and carryon bags and upgrades, requiring more miles for a standard economy award.
Southwest1.5Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
When used on Wanna Get Away fares, 1.3 centsis the approximate value you get. On certain international routes with high taxes, however, you may be able to yield close to 2 cents. Those are the exceptions to the rule, though, so I peg the value at 1.5 cents.
British Airways1.25British Airways Visa Signature Card

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
British Airways points are best used for short haul flights on Oneworld partners. What keeps these from being worth more are the high redemption costs and surcharges for long haul flights in premium cabins. When you book a US domestic award on AA metal with Avios, you can also cancel and lose only the $5.60 per segment in taxes as the penalty.
JetBlue1.5Barclays JetBlue card and JetBlue Business cardJetBlue varies the exact rate of points needed based on the cost of the ticket, but beyond that it still fluctuates based on their proprietary formulas. 1.3-1.5 cents is standard and though that would normally have me peg it at 1.4 cents, I add 0.1 cents for the option to use jetBlue TrueBlue points to fly Hawaiian on a fixed award chart.
Alaska Airlines1.9Alaska Airlines Visa and Alaska Airlines Visa Business

More info on: Airline Credit Cards
Alaska miles have a few things going for them that make them worth more than the average mile. You can book US-Asia in First Class on Cathay Pacific or JAL for 70k and get a free stopover. You can also book Emirates in Business (105k one way) or First (180k one way) to the Middle East and beyond with a stopover and no fuel surcharges (which can be around $1,000 via Emirates direct). Additionally, only Marriott points transfer to Alaska making them harder to acquire than most.
Air France / KLM1.2All five transferable points currencies transfer here. There is also an Air France KLM World Elite credit card. Air France recently changed award pricing to be very dynamic. I'm safely seeing value for money over 1.2 cents a mile, but it's a bit hard to see right now where outsized value may still lie, if any.
Iberia1.15Chase Iberia credit card, or transfer points to Iberia from partner credit cards

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
Iberia's Avios are very similar to British Airways, with a few differences. While you can redeem them for extremely cheap business class flights from the East Coast USA to Madrid, you can only book most partner flights as round trips and most partner awards are also non-changeable/non-cancellable.
Air Canada Aeroplan1.5Transfer in to Aeroplan from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Capital One While these miles book the same Star Alliance routes as United (higher surcharges but generally lower award rates), Aeroplan allows up to two stopovers or one stopover and one open jaw - giving you the ability to have 2 or 3 flights nested in one round trip award. 110,000 would get you round trip to Europe from the US in Business Class plus a free stopover. United would cost 120k on United metal or 140k on partner flights.
Virgin Atlantic1.2Virgin Atlantic Black credit card and White credit cardThe bad: Virgin miles are terrible for use on Virgin Atlantic flights because of insane surcharges. The good: There are two great sweet spots if you know where to look.

1) 110,000-120,000 Virgin miles gets you a round trip in First Class from the US to Japan on partner ANA. That's just 55k-60k each way for First.

2) 45,000 miles buys you a transcontinental flight NYC-LAX) on Delta in Delta One. (Note limited availability).

These are great ways to use Virgin miles, but their value is hurt by not having broader utility and because you can transfer to Virgin from all transferable currencies.
Singapore Airlines1.25Transfer in from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou or MarriottSingapore miles are transferable in from all major points currencies. They are most valuable for booking flights on Singapore Airlines itself as they will not release long haul premium cabin awards to partners. So it's the only way to fly Singapore's famous First Class Suites. Award ticket cancellations cost just $75 and you can book Star Alliance flight as well. One major flaw with SQ miles is the inability to book mixed cabin itineraries. If your primary flight has a First class cabin and a connecting flight only has Business, you cannot book them as one award.
Avianca1.2Transfer in from American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYoYou can frequently buy direct from Avianca for even a drop under this valuation and there are frequent transfer bonuses as well. Best used for Star Alliance awards with high fuel surcharges as they won't pass them along, saving you a ton. They lose a bit of value for extremely poor phone support and no other way to change/cancel flights. As well, availability is often less than via other Star Alliance members for no apparent reason. They are a transfer partner from both American Express and Citi. More info on using Avianca miles.
Hotels
Marriott0.7Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (Learn More), Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express (Learn More)

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying for one the first two cards above (Chase cards). Also be sure to read the language on each of the above cards that may restrict you from opening one of them if you hold another.
Marriott points continue to have a ton of value since t he merger, though they have become much harder to earn. 60,000 Marriott points still, at a minimum, are worth 25,000 airline miles on almost any major airline. Still, you'd have to get a minimum of 1.68 cents value from that mile to break even if you, like me, value Marriott at 0.7 cents each.

The real value is in redeeming at Marriott properties and in 5 night intervals, since Marriott gives you the 5th night free. Example: A hotel costs $225 per night or 35,000 points. 5 nights is then 140,000 points. $1,125 / 140,000 = 0.8 cents, slightly ahead of the MilesTalk value. When demand is higher, rates will be higher. That's when you redeem for outsized value and beat the 0.7 cent base level valuation.

At the highest end, until March 2019, you can book the highest end Marriott hotels for 60,000 a night. With rates for these resorts often over $1,000 and the 5th night free, 240,000 points can be redeemed for 5 nights at values of over 2 cents per point.
Hilton0.5Hilton Honors Credit Card from American Express (Learn More), Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card from American Express(Learn More), Hilton Aspire, Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Learn More)Since Hilton moved to a variable pricing model, on average you'll be offered roughly a 0.5 cent value per point. They've even recently offered redemption via Amazon at this half a cent rate. You can beat this redemption value easiest on the highest end properties like Conrad. I discuss how to get 1 cent or even 2 cents per point in value here.
Hyatt1.8The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
Hyatt award rates range from 5,000 to 30,000 points per night. Almost without fail, during even remotely peak times, I can find roughly 2 cents per point in value. You can even book Suites for incrementally more points. I tend to find these are one of the best ways to spend Chase Ultimate Rewards points which transfer 1:1 if you don't have the Hyatt credit card.
IHG0.5IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Chase 5/24 rule before applying.
IHG, home of hotel brands like Intercontinental and Holiday Inn, generally provide about half a cent in value. I'll redeem when I can get more than that. While you can trnsfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG, you really never should as you are cutting the value in half as they transfer 1:1.

If you have any questions at all or want to discuss, I’m available on Twitter and in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

Small Business Credit CardsBonus OfferBest FeaturesMore info

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
80,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 monthsEarns 3x points on travel, advertising, and shipping.

This massive Welcome Bonus offer makes this card a great first business card. The bonus alone is worth $1,000 - $1,200 at a minimum.

These points can be transferred to a range of Ultimate Rewards partners like United and Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio or spent in the Ultimate Rewards portal on travel with a value of 1.25 cents per point. Also provides complimentary cell phone insurance if you pay your monthly bill with the card. $95 annual fee waived the first year.
Learn More

Chase Ink Business Unlimited
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (or $500 cash) when you spend $3,000 in 3 monthsBest for small businesses with a lot of every day spend. This card earns 1.5x everywhere.

If you don't spend a lot in the bonus categories of other cards, or want a second card to pair with one that you use in the bonus categories, this is a great card. No annual fee. Pair this with the Chase Ink Preferred for a killer 1-2 card combo.
Learn More

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (or $500 cash) when you spend $3,000 in 3 months5x points on up to $25,000 in office supplies, internet, cable, and phone annually.

There are lots of ways to maximize this amazing 5x benefit. If you combine these points into a Chase Sapphire Reserve account to book travel, it's like 7.5% effective cash back. No annual fee.
Learn More

The Business Platinum Card(R) from American Express
75,000 possible bonus Membership Rewards points. 50,000 after you spend $10,000 within 3 months and 25,000 more if you spend a total of $20,000 in your first 3 months. Access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta SkyClub lounges (with Delta ticket) $200 annual airline creditLearn More

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
60,000 Rapid Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in 3 monthsThose trying to get a Southwest Companion pass (the bonus points count).

Read more about how to qualify for the Companion Pass here.
Learn More

The Business Gold Card
50,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months (this is a personal referral offer - click "View All Cards with a Referral Offer" on landing page to find this deal)Earns 4x Membership Rewards points on two categories of your choice (options include US-based: advertising, computer services, gas stations, restaurants, or shipping - up to $150,000 a year in spend). Other purchases earn 1X. This card is a good choice IF you will spend heavily on at least one of the bonus categories, as this card has a $295 annual fee. Learn More

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card
10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months (personal referral offer) Earns 2x Membership Rewards points on all of your purchases, regardless of category, up to $50,000 a year. This is a great card to earn Membership Rewards from spend in categories with no bonuses on other cards and has no annual fee.

As well, it earns standard Membership Rewards points meaning that if you wanted to close a Green/Gold/Platinum card, you would keep your points alive if you have this card.
Learn More

Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Limited Time Bonus of up to 200,000 miles (which would become 150,000 airline miles). You will earn a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and then another 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months. This card earns 2 miles per dollar. As of December 2018, these miles are transferable to 11 frequent flyer programs (0.75 airline miles per one Capital One mile). If you spend the full $50,000 for the full bonus amount, you would have 300,000 Capital One miles worth 225,000 airline miles - enough for a first or business class round trip almost anywhere. Learn More

Capital One Spark Cash
Limited Time Bonus of up to $2,000. You will earn a bonus of $500 when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and then another $1,500 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months. This card earns 2% cash back. If you spend the full $50,000 for the full bonus offer, you'll have $3,000 in total cash back in your account. ($2,000 for the bonus + $1,000 in earned rewards from spend)Learn More

Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Business Credit Card from American Express
75,000 bonus Marriott points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 monthsEarn 6 points per dollar at Marriott/SPG properties, 4 points per dollar for US restaurants, gas, wireless telephone services, and shipping, and 2 points per dollar on everything else.

It also comes with a free night at any Marriott/SPG hotel up to 35,000 points each year after you renew the card.

A great card if you stay often at Marriott/SPG branded hotels.

Learn More

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
125,000 bonus Hilton points when you spend $3,000 in 3 monthsComplimentary Gold Status in the Hilton Honors program (Diamond upgrade if you spend $40,000 in a calendar year). 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits. Free weekend night rewards (valid for any hotel) when you spend more than $15,000 in a calendar year and again if you spend more than $60,000.

Earns 12x points at Hilton, 6x points on US gas, wireless services, shipping, flights booked direct with the airline or Amex Travel, and car rentals. 3x on everything else
Learn More