Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How much is a point or mile worth?”
The true answer varies from point to point and person to person and depends on your travel goals and how well you can maximize a particular loyalty currency. Still, some rewards are clearly worth more than others — my goal is to give you a sense of how they stack up.
Historically, TPG has valued points and miles based on a combination of the price at which we would purchase the miles, award costs in the program (factoring in availability and fees) and our own expertise in the inner workings of the programs. However, we are in the process of evolving our valuations to become as data-driven as possible.
Looking for a convenient way to see all of your points and miles in one place? Download the free TPG App!
That data-driven process began last November with our four major transferable currencies — American Express Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Rewards points and Capital One miles. Now, we are using a mathematical model that takes into account a number of factors specific to transferable points, including:
- Unique transfer partners (not shared by other card issuers).
- The most valuable individual partners in the program.
- The base redemption value when you redeem points or miles directly for travel.
Based on this rollout, we are now rounding the valuations for our credit card currencies to the nearest five-hundredths of a point in order to better capture the real-world value they offer cardholders. We fully expect these numbers to fluctuate over time as we refine our equations and roll out additional data-backed hotel and airline valuations in the coming months.
Likewise, we moved three airline currencies — American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus miles — to a data-backed model last December. However, we have put these valuations on pause while we work out an issue with our data provider. We’re excited to have data-backed valuations updated later this year.
Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.
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Points and miles valuations
* Calculated using TPG’s revamped data-backed valuations methodology, launched in December 2021.
Points and miles news
As you can see in the table above, it hasn’t been quiet in the points and miles space recently.
In big news for Delta loyalists, Delta recently made significant changes to the way you earn Medallion status as well as the benefits of achieving top-tier status. In particular, Delta is raising the Medallion Qualification Dollars thresholds by 33% for all tiers excluding Silver Medallion for 2024 status. Also, beginning Feb. 1, 2023, Delta will roll out six new Choice Benefits options.
American Airlines and British Airways launched reciprocal upgrade certificates, meaning AAdvantage loyalists can now use systemwide upgrades on some British Airways flights. Additionally, Flying Blue announced a new set of Promo Rewards that include some U.S. cities.
Meanwhile, Aeroplan unveiled a new, potentially high-value redemption option in the form of HotelSavers. Best of all, Aeroplan says it has hidden some sweet spot redemptions within its HotelSavers options. Aeroplan elites and premium credit cardholders can also take advantage of a status match opportunity with Avis.
On the hotel side, IHG One Rewards announced a new bonus points promotion, and Marriott Bonvoy launched its Week of Wonders.
Finally, cardholders can once again transfer Capital One miles to transfer partners — this comes after transfers were unavailable for more than a week.
Data-backed valuations update
As noted in the introduction, we moved to data-backed valuations for three major airline programs — American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus — last year. However, we’ve run into an issue with our data provider that’s caused us to put data-backed valuations on hold. What you see now are valuations calculated for March, but we plan to publish up-to-date valuations for these three airlines soon.
Travel credit card offers
There is no shortage of incredible new welcome bonuses on many popular cards — here are a few of our favorites this month.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Toward the end of 2021, Capital One launched its first premium rewards card, and it is one of the most exciting travel credit cards on the market, thanks to great earning rates and included perks.
The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, worth $1,388 according to our valuations, thanks to Capital One’s excellent airline and hotel transfer partners.
For more details, check out our full review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Official application: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The standard Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is currently offering the same welcome bonus as the Venture X. You can earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Like the Venture X, the Venture card earns 2 miles per dollar on everything.
For more details, check out our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Official application: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express
With the current welcome offer on the Amex Platinum, you’ll earn 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months of cardmembership.
Of course, the card is jam-packed with benefits like airport lounge access, hotel elite status and more. These benefits can make your travel experience smoother and more luxurious than ever before — especially with the most recent additions. The card has a $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). Enrollment is required for select benefits.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Platinum Card.
Official application: The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
One of the most popular cards with TPG staffers during the pandemic, the Amex Gold offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. This welcome offer is worth $1,200 based on our valuations, but be sure to check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for an even higher offer (offer is subject to change at any time).
The card is great for many everyday purchases. You’ll earn 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants. The card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Gold Card.
Official application: American Express Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card offers 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership. Per our valuations, this welcome offer is worth at least $3,000, but you can get even more value when redeeming for high-end airfare.
The card also provides a slew of additional perks similar to (but slightly different from) the personal version — you can compare the two cards in this guide to see which one would be a better fit for your wallet.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Business Platinum Card.
Official application: The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier Card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers, road trippers and foodies alike. The card earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and on air travel and hotels. You can transfer these points to top-notch transfer partners like Avianca LifeMiles, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles and others.
The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Premier Card.
Official application: Citi Premier Card
Related: 4 reasons the Citi Premier Card should be on your shortlist
Airline credit cards
Airline credit cards let you earn airline miles and give you perks with their respective airlines, like free checked bags.
Right now, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card is offering 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ from $121($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer after making $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. .
Additionally, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card offers 50,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22). To qualify, you must make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
And if you’re looking to earn American Airlines miles, check out the following cards and their current offers:
Related: The best airline credit cards
Hotel credit cards
Several hotel credit card welcome bonuses provide a simple way to boost your points balances. You can use these points to save money on hotel stays around the world, no matter where your travels take you.
The portfolio of IHG Rewards credit cards underwent major upgrades earlier this year, and there are currently some solid offers available:
All of these new offers put you in a great position to earn a ton of bonus points or miles as you get ready to travel again, and there may be more to come.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Benji Stawski.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page for the most up-to-date valuations, so you can bookmark it and check back each month for updates.