How Much Are Points Worth? (Quarter 1 2023)

 

Now that Quarter 1 of 2023 has arrived, it’s once again time to revisit our Points Valuations, which we update on a quarterly basis.

During the previous quarter, there wasn’t too much movement in the loyalty landscape. Several programs signalled possible shifts to take place, but nothing of note has since materialized.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan unveiled a new award chart, but there hasn’t been any material changes as of yet. We are all anxiously awaiting Marriott Bonvoy’s full transition to dynamic pricing, which is expected to roll out in the near future.

Otherwise, the loyalty scene remains fairly stable once again this quarter.

Before we delve into the valuations, I should remind you that the focus of these valuations lies in the target redemption value of each points currency, rather than the acquisition cost that you might incur (which can vary significantly depending on how you prefer to earn points).

Aeroplan

Aeroplan was consistently in the news feed over the last quarter of 2022. The loyalty program added partnerships with Bamboo Airways, Emirates, and SunExpress, inching the total number of partner airlines closer to 50.

In 2023, Emirates First Class will become available using Aeroplan points, albeit with a separate (and more costly) award chart. With the recent brutal devaluation of Emirates Skywards, Aeroplan will establish itself as the loyalty program of choice for premium cabin bookings on Emirates going forward.

Furthermore, we also saw the unveiling of widespread business class award availability on long-haul Singapore Airlines routes, which is a welcome development for access to one of the world’s best airlines.

Aeroplan continues to dazzle with its ever-increasing list of partner airlines and the ease with which we can earn Aeroplan points.

Our valuation of Aeroplan points remains stable this quarter. However, there has been plenty of upward momentum in the program as of late, and this long-held valuation could change for the better in 2023 if the program reaches the impressive 50-partner mark.

  • Continued valuation: 1.6 cents/point (USD), 2.1 cents/point (CAD)

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles continue to become more interesting and readily available in the North American context. Each month, the program unveils its Promo Rewards, which reduce the cost of redemptions on specific routes.

In December, the cost for a business class flight between Montreal and Europe dropped to just 27,750 miles, which was an outstanding deal.

The program also signalled that it will allow free stopovers in Paris or Amsterdam on reward bookings, although we have yet to see it officially roll out.

With a widespread network in Canada and the United States, as well as intriguing possibilities with Promo Rewards, Air France/KLM Flying Blue continues to be on our radar as a great option for flights across the Atlantic.

Our valuation of Flying Blue miles remains steady this quarter, but hopefully we’ll see even more improvements to the program that result in an upward shift in the near future.

  • Continued valuation: 1.3 cents/mile (USD), 1.8 cents/mile (CAD)

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Since officially joining the Oneworld Alliance, Alaska Airlines has been busy adding a number of partner airlines for earning and redeeming on its Mileage Plan loyalty program. Furthermore, the Canadian MBNA Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards were suddenly discontinued, marking an unfortunate end to Canada’s only easy path to Alaska miles accumulation.

In late December, the loyalty program released a “simplified” award chart, which replaced the previous multitude of separate charts.

While we haven’t seen any of the program’s sweet spots, such as Cathay Pacific First Class or Japan Airlines First Class, evaporate, the new chart uses concerning “starting at” prices. This could signal an eventual shift towards dynamic pricing, but at least for now, it’s business as usual.

Be sure to lock in any redemptions for 2023 before any further changes possibly take place. While the valuation of Alaska miles remains unchanged this quarter, this may not be the case in Q2 of 2023 if we see a devaluation.

  • Continued valuation: 1.8 cents/mile (USD), 2.4 cents/mile (CAD)

CIBC Aventura: 1.25cpp Extended Through to July 16, 2023

In the second quarter of 2022, CIBC’s Aventura program put on a special promotion which allowed Aventura cardholders to use points to redeem against any travel purchase at double the usual rate: 1.25 cents/point instead of 0.625 cents/point.

This promotion, which was originally set to expire at the end of 2022 has been extended once again to July 16, 2023.

In November, CIBC released new credit card offers worth over $500 (CAD). If you’ve had your eye on an Aventura credit card, which could be very helpful for incidental travel purchases, now is as good of a time as ever to add one to your wallet.

The valuation of Aventura points should remain steady through the first two quarters of 2023, unless CIBC decides to make this a permanent value. 

  • Continued valuation: 1.25 cents/point (CAD)

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy saw some major changes in 2022, with the move towards dynamic pricing being rolled out in stages. We’re now in 2023, and the next and final phase of the move is imminent.

When the loyalty program fully implements dynamic pricing, there will no longer be a floor or a ceiling for redemptions. This is surely bad news for aspirational hotel redemptions, which are likely to increase significantly.

 

If you haven’t already, be sure to lock in any hotel stays for 2023 before the ceiling lifts on award prices.

All signs are pointing towards an imminent devaluation, but as of this moment, the value remains the same.

  • Continued valuation: 0.7 cents/point (USD), 0.9 cents/point (CAD)

Points Valuations, Quarter 1 2023

Here’s a summary of our Points Valuations for Quarter 1 of 2023. You can refer to the Points Valuations page for a full list with additional notes.

Points Program

Value (CAD)

Value (USD)

Aeroplan

2.1 cents/point

1.6 cents/point

Air France/KLM

Flying Blue

1.8 cents/mile

1.3 cents/mile

Air Miles

11 cents/mile 

Alaska Airlines

Mileage Plan

2.4 cents/mile

1.8 cents/mile

American Airlines

AAdvantage

1.9 cents/mile

1.4 cents/mile

American Express (Canada)

Membership Rewards

2.2 cents/point

American Express (US)

Membership Rewards

2.4 cents/point

1.8 cents/point

Best Western Rewards

0.8 cents/point

0.6 cents/point

BMO Rewards

0.67 cents/point

British Airways Avios

2 cents/Avios

1.5 cents/Avios

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

1.8 cents/mile

1.3 cents/mile

Chase Ultimate Rewards

2.3 cents/point

1.7 cents/point

CIBC Aventura

1.25 cents/point

Citi ThankYou

2.3 cents/point

1.7 cents/point

Delta SkyMiles

1.6 cents/point

1.2 cents/mile

Hilton Honors

0.7 cents/point

0.5 cents/point

HSBC Rewards

0.8 cents/point

IHG Rewards

0.5 cents/point

0.4 cents/point

Marriott Bonvoy

0.9 cents/point

0.7 cents/point

National Bank À la carte Rewards

1 cent/point

RBC Avion

2.0 cents/point

Scene+

1 cent/point

Singapore Airlines

KrisFlyer

1.8 cents/point 

1.3 cents/point

TD Rewards

0.5 cents/point

WestJet Rewards

$1.02/WestJet Dollar

World of Hyatt

2 cents/point

1.5 cents/point

Conclusion

The last quarter of 2022 saw relatively minor developments in the loyalty landscape.

Aeroplan added another three airline partners, and bolstered its relationship with Singapore Airlines by providing members access to long-haul business class awards

Air France/KLM Flying Blue continues to offer great value with Promo Rewards, and hopefully we’ll see more discounted business class on North American routes in 2023.

CIBC’s inflated value for Aventura points has been extended through to July 16, 2023, which is particularly great when combined with the current credit card offers.

Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan have us questioning the future of the two programs, but for now, there aren’t any major shifts to report.

Remember, treat these numbers as merely a suggestion for reasonable target redemption values when deciding whether to redeem points or pay cash for your next trip.

Ultimately, the value derived from every redemption will be subjective to the individual traveller, and our valuations are designed to illustrate an average benchmark across the community to help inform your decision as you consider your next points redemption.