What are points and miles worth? TPG's September 2023 monthly valuations
One of the questions people often ask me is, "How much is a point or mile worth?"
The true answer varies from point to point and person to person. It also depends on your travel goals and how well you can maximize a particular loyalty currency. Still, some rewards are clearly worth more than others, and 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 have now launched a new, data-driven methodology for the top six U.S. airline loyalty programs, and we've also tweaked our approach to valuing the major transferable credit card currencies.
You can read our full breakdown of this methodology in our explainer post, but we've utilized more than 23,000 data points on flights around the world to better estimate the value that you should aim to get from your rewards with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
Looking for a convenient way to see all of your points and miles in one place? Download the free TPG app!
Keep reading to see where these programs now fall — along with all of the news from the previous month.
Note: These valuations are not provided by card issuers.
What are credit card points/Miles worth?
|Program||September 2023 (Cents)||Latest news|
|American Express Membership Rewards||2.0||Increased annual fee for authorized users on its premium consumer card|
|Capital One||1.85||Clarified application restrictions with new 48-month rule, launched new Lifestyle Collection of hotels, opened new lounge at Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport (IAD)|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||2.05|
|Citi ThankYou Rewards||1.8|
What are airline miles worth?
|Program||September 2023 (Cents)||Latest news|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1.5||Launched new welcome bonus on cobranded card|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||1.4*|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||1.5*||Launched promotion for bonus miles on select cruise bookings|
|All Nippon Airways Mileage Club||1.4|
|Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||1.2*||Confirms additional business-class lounge while planning to tighten SkyClub access|
|Etihad Airways Guest||1.2|
|Flying Blue||1.2||Launched new Promo Rewards with flights to Europe from just 11,250 miles|
|Frontier Airlines Miles||1.1|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||0.9|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1.4*||Began service to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)|
|Korean Air SkyPass||1.7|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1.3|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||1.4*||Announced new promotion for limited-time Companion Pass (since expired)|
|Spirit Airlines Free Spirit||1.1|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||1.3|
|United Airlines MileagePlus||1.45*||Launched award sale to South Pacific destinations|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1.5|
* Calculated using TPG's revamped data-backed valuations methodology, launched in September 2023.
What are hotel points worth?
|Program||September 2023 (Cents)||Latest news|
|Accor Live Limitless||2.0|
|Best Western Rewards||0.6|
|Choice Privileges||0.6||Launched college football experiences, selling out in less than 12 hours|
|IHG One Rewards||0.5||Announced new brand (Garner) for budget travelers|
|Marriott Bonvoy||0.84||Launched limited-time offer on cobranded business card|
|World of Hyatt||1.7||Began disclosing resort fees in daily rates, launched limited-time offer on cobranded business card|
Points and miles news
The last month was a busy one for a number of key loyalty programs and card issuers.
Capital One was probably the most active. First, it added new language to its popular personal cards that requires cardholders to wait at least 48 months between earning sign-up bonuses on the same product. But then, it launched two exciting new benefits for travelers:
- New airport lounge: The second Capital One Lounge is now open at Dulles International Airport (IAD), joining the one at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) that opened in 2021. TPG got a sneak peek at the space and came away impressed. With additional locations on the horizon in Denver International Airport (DEN) and Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, the issuer continues to step up its game.
- Lifestyle Collection: Bookings are now live for Capital One's Lifestyle Collection, a curated group of hotels with additional perks for cardholders. These benefits extend to a wider variety of customers than the issuer's Premier Collection — which launched in January 2023.
August also saw a number of promotions hit the market, but perhaps the unofficial "deal of the year" award goes to Choice Privileges, which launched an incredible offer for college football enthusiasts. Fans at 18 schools across the country were given the chance to redeem Choice points for some amazing experiences, though the packages sold out within 12 hours. Since you can transfer rewards from three different programs — Amex Membership Rewards (at a 1:1 ratio), Capital One (1:1) and Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:2) — directly to Choice Privileges, this was yet another offer that demonstrates the power of transferable currencies.
In addition, there are a handful of ongoing transfer bonuses to be aware of:
- American Express Membership Rewards: 25% transfer bonus to Air France-KLM Flying Blue through Sept. 22
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: 30% transfer bonus to Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus through Sept. 22; 50% transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy through Sept. 30
- Citi ThankYou Rewards: 20% transfer bonus to Wyndham Rewards through Sept. 16
Travel credit card offers
Beyond these developments, there is no shortage of incredible new welcome bonuses on many popular cards — here are a few of our favorites this month.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Right now, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Per TPG's valuation, that's worth $1,230 when you leverage transfer partners or $750 if you redeem through the Chase travel portal at 1.25 cents per point.
The card comes with a manageable $95 annual fee, along with a variety of travel protections and additional perks — like a $50 annual hotel credit for reservations made through the Chase travel portal and a 10% anniversary points bonus based on your previous year's spending.
Of course, you may want to spring for the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead. While the card has a hefty $550 annual fee, it includes perks like Priority Pass lounge access, an annual $300 travel credit and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, among other benefits. Plus, you'll earn 3 points per dollar on all travel and dining expenses, so you can quickly rack up rewards for your next big trip.
For more details, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
On the higher end of the spectrum is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, 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 link: 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 link: 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 $8,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership — though you may be targeted for a higher offer through the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time).
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 link: The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
One of the most popular cards with TPG staffers, the Amex Gold offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $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 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 link: American Express Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card offers 120,000 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 $2,400, 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 link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Airline and hotel credit cards
As we enter the fall travel season, a handful of cobranded credit cards have launched limited-time welcome bonuses over the last month. This includes:
- Aeroplan Credit Card: Earn 75,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Plus, earn 25,000 points after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months your account is open.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express Card®: Earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. This offer ends Nov. 1.
- World of Hyatt Business Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Earn an additional 15,000 bonus points after you spend $12,000 within the first six months of account opening. This offer ends Oct. 18.
If you're looking ahead to holiday travel (which you should be doing!) or planning trips for next year, be sure to check out our list of the best travel credit cards for other options that could fit your wallet.
Read more: How to choose the best credit card for you
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.