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 Rewards1.75 cents per pointPersonal: Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Freedom Flex®, 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.
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 Rewards1.7View 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 Rewards+®, Citi Preferred®, Citi Forward®, Citi® AT&T® Access Card, Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card for Students, CitiBusiness ThankYou® card (available only in-branch)ThankYou points are valued a bit lower than the others because they have no US transfer partners aside from Choice hotels and, in most cases, take a long time to transfer, but extremely notable Points can be combined among ThankYou earning cards. The value also assumes you will take advantage of transfer partners rather than book via the portal.
Capital One1.6See info and offers for Capital One credit cards.Now that Capital One Miles transfer 1:1 to partners, the value is roughly on par with Citi ThankYou.

It's worth noting that some Capital One cards earn 2 miles per dollar on everything, making the 1.5 cent per mile value an understatement as you'd be earning a 3% yield on every day spend.
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
Wells Fargo1See info and offers for Wells Fargo credit cardsWorth a penny each
American Airlines1.5Citi:
AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, AAdvantage Executive Select World Elite Mastercard, AAdvantage MileUp card,
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select card

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
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 Airlines1.2Personal:
United Explorer Card, United MileagePlus Club Card, United TravelBank Card

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. As well, after implementing dynamic pricing and raising partner awards by 10%, we cut 0.1 cents off its value in April 2020.
Delta Air Lines1.2Personal:
Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card, Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
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 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.
Southwest1.4Southwest Airlines Credit Cards

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 1.4 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.
JetBlue1.4Barclays 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.
Alaska Airlines1.8Cobranded credit cards; transfers in from Marriott BonvoyAlaska 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 American Express Membership Rewards cards, Chase Ultimate Rewards from late 2021 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 ThankYouYou 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.
Marriott0.6Marriott Bonvoy Credit CardsMarriott points continue to have a ton of value since the merger, though they have become much harder to earn and hotels now top out at 100,000 points on "peak" nights. 60,000 Marriott points are still, at a minimum, worth 25,000 airline miles on almost any major airline. You'd need to know your redemption value there to value the Bonvoy points. 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 0.6 cent base level valuation.
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.
Hyatt1.6The 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.
IHG0.4IHG One Rewards 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 four tenths of a cent in value, following a 2021 devaluation and move to dynamic pricing. I'll redeem when I can get more than that. While you can transfer 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
100,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $8,000 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 $1,250- $1,500 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.
Learn More

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Get $750 in the form of 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $6,000 in your first 3 months. Points are transferrable if you also hold a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred.Best 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.
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Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Earn $350 in the form of 35,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 in the form of 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening. Points are transferrable if you also hold a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred.5x 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.
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The Business Platinum Card(R) from American Express
120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months. Terms apply.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.
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The Business Gold Card
70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 in 3 monthsEarns 4x Membership Rewards points on two categories that you spend the most on each statement cycle - up to $150,000 a year in spend). Other eligible 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 moderately high annual fee. Learn More

Capital One Spark Miles for Business
You will earn a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of opening your accountThis card earns 2 miles per dollar. These miles are transferable to 11 frequent flyer programs (0.75 airline miles per one Capital One mile for most partners). Learn More