What are your credit card points and miles worth?


In a Nutshell

If you’re trying to figure out how much your credit card rewards are worth, Credit Karma can help. Our credit card experts crunched the numbers on some of the most-popular rewards programs to show you how much your points and miles could be worth in terms of dollars and cents.
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It pays to think of your credit card rewards like money.

If you’re shopping for a new credit card, you’ve probably noticed the eye-popping sign-up or welcome bonuses from some of the best travel rewards cards. You might see an offer for 30,000, 40,000 or even 50,000 points after spending X dollars in X number of days. While that all sounds nice, it also begs the question: “How much are those points or miles worth?”

The answer isn’t always clear-cut. Just as the U.S. dollar is worth a different amount than the British pound, Japanese yen or Mexican peso, each rewards program has its own unique value. And just as the values of those currencies can fluctuate, so can the values of points and miles.

So what’s an aspiring rewards traveler to do? That’s where we come in. Our credit card experts crunched the numbers for 21 popular rewards programs to show you how much your points and miles could be worth in terms of dollars and cents.

Credit Karma’s point valuations for summer 2022

Credit Karma final ranking Rewards program Our calculated value per point/mile (in cents)
1 Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.64
2 (tie) BILT Rewards 2.18
2 (tie) Chase Ultimate Rewards® 2.18
2 (tie) United MileagePlus® 2.18
5 American Airlines AAdvantage® 2.11
6 (tie) American Express Membership Rewards® 2.07
6 (tie) Delta SkyMiles® 2.07
8 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ 1.80
9 (tie) Capital One Venture® rewards 1.73
9 (tie) Air Canada Aeroplan 1.73
11 World of Hyatt® 1.66
12 Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles® 1.37
13 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® 1.35
14 (tie) Citi ThankYou® Rewards 1.32
14 (tie) JetBlue TrueBlue 1.32
16 Frontier MilesSM 1.09
17 Wyndham Rewards® 1.04
18 Bank of America® rewards 1
19 Marriott Bonvoy™ 0.91
20 IHG® Rewards Club 0.62
21 Hilton Honors™ 0.48

Note: Values in the above table are approximate and subject to change. Values for flexible rewards
programs reflect the highest redemption value when redeemed through the associated rewards program or through a hotel or airline transfer partner we reviewed. Values for nonflexible rewards programs reflect the highest redemption value when redeemed through the associated rewards program. Values for airline and hotel rewards programs represent an averaged redemption value based on the best redemption options. Values may vary depending on the credit card(s) associated with each rewards program. Valuations are rounded to the nearest cent. All values are meant to serve as guidelines; refer to your credit card’s terms and conditions or contact your credit card issuer for further clarification.

A note on our calculated rewards values

Rewards valuations are subjective by nature. The value you squeeze out of a single point or mile may depend on any number of factors, including when you book, where you’re traveling and how you plan to get there.

With that said, we tried to be as objective as possible in our calculations. Our credit card experts created five distinct methodologies to compare airline, hotel, train, flexible and nonflexible rewards programs.

Airline rewards programs

We looked at nine popular airline rewards programs.

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™
  • American Airlines AAdvantage®
  • Delta SkyMiles®
  • Frontier Airlines Frontier MilesSM
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®

To calculate the value of these frequent-flyer miles, we compared the cost in dollars to the miles required to book sets of one-way flights.

We looked at economy tickets that typically include basic amenities, like allowing travelers to pick their seats or bring a carry-on bag without paying extra.

Hotel rewards programs

We looked at five popular U.S. hotel rewards programs.

  • Hilton Honors™
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy™
  • World of Hyatt®
  • Wyndham Rewards®

To calculate the value of hotel rewards, we compared the cost in dollars to points required to book a stay at a centrally located hotel in some of the nation’s largest cities. Since prices tend to fluctuate between weekday and weekend nights, we looked at the cost of both and used the average to calculate our value per point.

Train rewards programs

We looked at a major U.S. train rewards program: Amtrak Guest Rewards.

To calculate the value of train rewards, we compared the cost in dollars to the points required to book a set of one-way, domestic train rides. This closely reflects the methodology we used to determine the point values of the various airline and hotel rewards programs listed above.

Flexible rewards programs

We looked at five flexible rewards programs.

  • American Express Membership Rewards®
  • BILT Rewards
  • Capital One Venture® miles
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Citi ThankYou® Rewards

Typically, points from flexible rewards programs are considered more valuable than points from nonflexible rewards programs. This is because flexible programs can allow you to transfer points to a number of airline and hotel partners, some of which may offer better redemption values. For example, you may be able to maximize the value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points by transferring to United MileagePlus®, which on average would be worth more than redeeming through Chase.

We calculated the best value you can get for your points in these programs by comparing the value you can get from redeeming your points through the card’s own rewards program to the values you could get from transferring your points to partner hotels and airlines we reviewed.

In general, whether the card’s rewards program or a transfer partner offers a higher points value is case specific. It will depend on the dates you’re traveling and the transfer partner, so we recommend you do your homework to make sure you’re getting the best value.

What if I don’t want to transfer my points?

If you want to redeem your points through the same flexible rewards program in which you earned them, here’s what they can be worth, depending on which card you hold for the program and how you use your points.

Rewards program Our calculated value per point/mile (in cents)
Chase Ultimate Rewards® 1.5
Citi ThankYou® Rewards 1.11
American Express Membership Rewards® 1
Capital One Venture® rewards 1

Nonflexible rewards programs

We also looked at one nonflexible rewards program: Bank of America® rewards.

Nonflexible programs earn their name because they require you to redeem your points and miles through the card’s rewards program. That means you generally can’t transfer points to an airline or hotel rewards program.

We only measured the most valuable redemption option when determining the value of a point or mile. In many cases, that’s cash back or travel statement credits. But in some cases, other redemption options may offer more bang for your rewards buck.

How to calculate your own rewards values

It’s important to keep in mind that the value of your rewards depends on how you redeem them. For the most accurate measurement, we recommend you do your own calculation based on where, when and how you want to redeem.

To calculate your own rewards values, simply divide the price you would pay in dollars for a particular reward by the number of points or miles required to redeem. That calculation will give you the value per point for that specific reward.

Bottom line

Knowing how much points and miles are worth can help you decide which credit card to apply for when the time comes. It can also help you squeeze the most value out of the cards you already have, which can put you one step closer to the vacation of your dreams.

“But wait!” you might say. “How do I know I’m getting the best possible deal?”

You can use Credit Karma’s point valuation estimates as a benchmark. Start by comparing the point valuation you calculate for a particular flight, hotel or train to our results to determine whether you’re getting a good deal.

Though redemption values vary between programs, typically each point or mile is worth 1 cent when you redeem for cash back. So another way to figure out whether you’re getting a good value is to determine whether your rewards are worth more or less than 1 cent.

About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.