I’ve just added a brand-new section to our Resources called Points Valuations, which aims to provide a fair valuation of all the major Canadian points currencies, alongside a short justification for why I’ve assigned those points a certain value.
The Challenges of Valuing Points
Assessing the value of each point is an inherently subjective exercise. We can talk about stretching the value of your miles and taking advantage of redemption sweet spots all we like, but at the end of the day, the points you’ve collected will only be worth was much as you redeem them for.
Nevertheless, I do think it’s worth putting together a rough valuation of what a point in each program can be redeemed for, as it gives us a better make sense of how much the credit card welcome bonus offers out there might be worth.
For example, someone who’s new to Miles & Points could easily be under the impression that the 80,000 TD Rewards points on the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite is worth more than the 30,000 Alaska miles on the MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard, whereas pretty much the opposite is true.
I should also mention that these valuations are geared towards the Prince of Travel readership (i.e., people who are willing to put at least a bit of effort into maximizing their Miles & Points). For example, while many Avios collectors might be redeeming their Avios on British Airways flights and paying out the nose in surcharges, our valuation of 1.6 cents/mile assumes that you’re looking to avoid hefty surcharges and redeem your Avios on more compelling sweet spots instead.
Going forward, I’ll be referencing these valuations in order to place a rough dollar amount on the various opportunities to earn miles that we encounter, as well as using them as a benchmark to judge whether a particular redemption opportunity might be worth pursuing. Of course, I’ll also be making updates to these valuations as time goes by and program changes take effect.
For now, the Points Valuations page has launched with the below points programs, which I’d consider to be among the most significant for Canadians:
Aeroplan: 2.2 cents/mile
Air Miles (Cash Rewards): 11.5 cents/mile
Air Miles (Dream Rewards): 15 cents/mile
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: 2.4 cents/mile
American Express (Canada) Membership Rewards: 2.4 cents/point
American Express (Canada) Membership Rewards Select: 1.5 cents/point
Best Western Rewards: 1.1 cents/point
BMO Rewards: 0.7 cents/point
British Airways Avios: 1.6 cents/point
CIBC Aventura: 1.2 cents/point
HSBC Rewards: 0.7 cents/point
Marriott Bonvoy: 1 cent/point
RBC Avion: 1.7 cents/point
Scotia Rewards: 1 cent/point
TD Rewards: 0.5 cents/point
WestJet Rewards: $1.05/WestJet Dollar
Without further ado, head over to the Points Valuations page for a brief rationale of how I’ve determined the value for each of these currencies.
In the future, I’ll also be adding valuations for more points currencies, including the following programs that Canadians might also participate in, and any additional programs that are suggested by readers:
American Airlines AAdvantage
American Express (US) Membership Rewards
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Citi ThankYou Points
World of Hyatt
It’s definitely useful to think about what one point in a certain program might be worth on average, since it allows you to assign a dollar value to a specific credit card signup bonus or the cost of redeeming miles in a certain way, and that’s where I hope you’ll find Points Valuations a useful resource.
However, it’s best to treat these valuations as a rough guideline instead of the value that you’ll definitely derive out of a certain points currency, since ultimately the value of your points will depend on the specific redemption you choose to pursue.
Of course, the subjectivity in valuing Miles & Points is also what makes it a fun exercise, so let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with any of my valuations and think they should be higher or lower!