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Points Valuations by Prince of Travel Ricky June 4, 2019

Points Valuations by Prince of Travel

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. 

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Points Valuations

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:

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:

  • Alitalia MilleMiglia

  • American Airlines AAdvantage

  • American Express (US) Membership Rewards

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Citi ThankYou Points

  • Delta SkyMiles

  • Etihad Guest

  • Hilton Honors

  • IHG Rewards

  • World of Hyatt

  • United MileagePlus

Conclusion

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!

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10 Comments
  1. Avatar
    bingo

    How are you determining these valuations?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You can find a justification for each valuation on the Points Valuations page itself: princeoftravel.com/points-valuations

      1. Avatar
        bingo

        I see the justification for some, like BMO, and HSBC, etc., but there’s little in the way of Aeroplan, Avios, and other points programs.

        1. Avatar
          Ricky

          That’s because those programs don’t have any kind of fixed value, so the value is dependent on what you redeem for.

          Valuing these points is therefore an exercise in estimating what the average user (who’s willing to put some effort into maximizing their points) might get on average across all their redemptions.

          1. Avatar
            bingo

            I see, I see. With that being said, what do you calculate as the upper bound of valuation for those non-fixed programs? AP in particular.

            1. Avatar
              Andrew

              Finding an upper bound is a easy enough goal, but you’ll probably end up finding an even higher bound. And what would you do with an upper bound? Only redeem if it’s higher than that?

              One high value case will be 16 Aeroplan segments in first class on specific dates between specific cities that are expensive. If you’re not available to fly on those dates, have no interest in going to those cities or don’t enjoy first class, what good is it?

              I think part of a good point valuation is if you’d pay cash for the ticket vs. using points. At that equilibrium point, that would be the real cash value of a point.

  2. Avatar
    CHARLES KAPLAN

    Your future IHG & Hilton would be important comparisons to Marriott & BW

  3. Avatar
    Avid Reader

    Look into porter airlines points

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      That’s quite possibly the first time I’ve heard anyone say that! 😉

    2. Avatar
      Andrew

      Is the only way to earn VIPorter points to fly Porter? If so, it’s going to be very hard to collect enough points for a meaningful trip for those not flying Porter. I tend to prefer credit card welcome bonuses and transferable points. 🙂

Ricky

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