How Much Are Points Worth? (Quarter 1 2024)

 

We’re now in Quarter 1 of 2024, and it’s once again time to revisit our Points Valuations, which we update on a quarterly basis.

In the last quarter, we continued to see the effects of some ongoing issues surrounding partner awards on Aeroplan. Notably, Oman Air awards are once again available; however, some partner airlines are still missing from the platform.

A very welcome move came from Air France KLM Flying Blue, which harmonized award pricing for flights between North America and Europe. In many cases, this resulted in lowering the cost of redemptions, which is almost unheard of these days.

Alaska Airlines released details about some massive updates to Mileage Plan, which are set to take effect as of March 2024. We’re still waiting to hear details about some features of the revamped program, which appears to be a mix of good and bad.

British Airways Executive Club quietly devalued award pricing for flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. This certainly isn’t the first time this has happened, and unfortunately, it’s likely not the last.

World of Hyatt announced some changes to the way the Guest of Honor and Milestone Rewards are structured. For many members, the changes are positive, and it’s also worth noting that Canadians can expect a greater presence from Hyatt in the coming years.

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).

Air Canada Aeroplan

In the latter part of 2023, some issues that Aeroplan has been facing really came to a head.

While there haven’t been any official changes to the program (aside from some updates to its terms and conditions), anyone who frequently engages with Aeroplan will have noticed awards with some partner airlines, such as Etihad Airways, to be missing.

Furthermore, Air Canada and other Star Alliance airlines launched an offensive against third-party award search websites in an effort to combat data scraping from their websites. Unfortunately, this has marked the loss of utility of some tools, such as ExpertFlyer, for monitoring award availability.

On the positive side, Oman Air awards returned to Aeroplan after a lengthy absence, and we also saw the resurgence of ANA premium cabin awards, if not temporarily. Aeroplan also announced flydubai as the newest partner airline, and it’s expected that there are more to come this year.

We know that Aeroplan continues to work on the issues it faces, and hopefully they’re able to find lasting solutions sooner than later. 

As with last quarter, we’ll hold the valuation steady this time, and we’ll also be keeping a close eye on any noteworthy developments as they come out.

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

Air France KLM Flying Blue

Air France KLM Flying Blue continued to bring forth good news to its members to close out 2023.

In a very welcome and unusual move, the program harmonized award pricing so that baseline award pricing for flights between Europe and North America is now the same. Previously, it would cost more for a flight to Europe from Western North America to Europe than it would from Eastern North America, and now, it costs the same.

In many cases, this resulted in awards costing less than they used to, which is an outlier in a year marred by devaluations in many other loyalty programs.

Furthermore, Flying Blue added redemptions with ITA Airways and Etihad Airways to its roster. While award pricing might not be the most competitive with these new partners when compared to other programs, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

As it stands, Flying Blue remains one of the best programs to use for transatlantic flights, especially if you can take advantage of a Promo Reward

After raising the valuation last quarter, we’re giving it another bump this time around for going against the grain by decreasing baseline award costs, adding partners, and releasing popular Promo Rewards.

  • Previous valuation: 1.9 cents/point (CAD) / 1.4 cents/point (USD)
  • Updated valuation: 2 cents/point (CAD) / 1.5 cents/point (USD)

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Moving over to the Oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines announced some significant changes to Mileage Plan, which are set to take effect in March 2024. While the program had been making some smaller changes throughout 2023, it’s soon getting a full overhaul.

The changes result in a bit of a mixed bag: in some cases, award prices are dropping, while in others, award prices are increasing. Depending on how you engage with the program, you’ll either be upset by or pleased with the news.

It’s worth noting that some of the long-held sweet spots, such as Cathay Pacific First Class, are disappearing entirely; however, there hasn’t been any award availability for these sweet spots for quite some time, so the loss isn’t quite as painful as it could have been.

More details about the changes will be released in the coming months. In the meantime, be sure to compare the costs now with the future costs, and redeem your miles accordingly.

In Canada, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan should become much more accessible in 2024, as MBNA has signalled that MBNA Rewards will become transferable to Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio at some point in the future. 

Plus, Alaska Airlines announced its intention to acquire Hawaiian Airlines, and also inked a partnership with Porter Airlines. It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out for Mileage Plan members on both sides of the border in 2024.

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

British Airways Executive Club Avios

Continuing to the Oneworld ecosystem, British Airways Executive Club quietly increased the number of Avios required for redemptions with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

The exact size of the devaluation varied between 10% and 32%, depending on the route and the class of service. 

While devaluations are always bad news, the worst part is that this is yet another example of the program making changes to popular redemptions without any notice whatsoever. 

In some cases, it’s still competitive to book flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines using Avios; however, it’s surely not as good as it once was.

Furthermore, there are still many other uses of Avios that can result in solid value, especially for flights with partner airlines.

We’ll keep the valuation unchanged this time around; however, we won’t call it steady, as any further no-notice devaluations could indeed warrant a downward movement.

  • Continued valuation: 2 cents per point (CAD) / 1.5 cents per point (USD)

World of Hyatt

In the last quarter of 2023, World of Hyatt announced some changes to the benefits offered to its elite members. The changes to the Guest of Honor and Milestone Awards have taken effect, and in our opinion, they’re positive on the whole.

World of Hyatt remains one of the only hotel reward programs to use fixed pricing, and fortunately, there haven’t been any announcements about plans to adopt dynamic pricing.

Something to keep in mind this year is that Hyatt plans to double its Canadian footprint by 2026 by opening another 23 hotels across the country.

While the total number of properties will still be much lower than those under the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors umbrellas, it’s good news for anyone who wishes to remain loyal to World of Hyatt on their domestic travels.

In an ideal world, an expanded presence in Canada would include the addition of a co-branded credit card, which would make it much easier to access the lucrative loyalty program.

Our valuation of World of Hyatt points remains steady this time around, as there have been no changes to award pricing.

  • Continued valuation: 2 cents per point (CAD) / 1.5 cents per point (USD)

Points Valuations, Quarter 1 2024

Here’s a summary of our Points Valuations for Quarter 1 of 2024. 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

2 cents/mile ▲

1.5 cents/mile ▲

Air Miles

10.5 cents/mile 

Alaska Airlines

Mileage Plan

2.1 cents/mile

1.6 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

Capital One Miles

2.3 cents/mile

1.7 cents/mile

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

1.6 cents/mile

1.2 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/mile

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

0.8 cents/point 

0.6 cents/point 

MBNA Rewards

1 cent/point

National Bank À la carte Rewards

1 cent/point

Qatar Airways Avios

2 cents/point

1.5 cents/point

RBC Avion

2 cents/point

Scene+

1 cent/point

Singapore Airlines

KrisFlyer

1.7 cents/point 

1.3 cents/point

TD Rewards

0.5 cents/point

United MileagePlus

1.6 cents/point

1.2 cents/point

WestJet Rewards

$1.02/WestJet Dollar

World of Hyatt

2 cents/point

1.5 cents/point

Conclusion

The last quarter of 2023 saw the continuation of some themes we saw throughout the rest of the year. 

Aeroplan has been working through some issues surrounding partner award availability, third-party award search websites, and misuse of the program. Towards the end of the year, there were some positive developments, and hopefully we continue to see concerns resolved in early 2024.

Air France KLM Flying Blue harmonized award pricing for flights between Europe and North America, and continued to add new partner airlines to its growing roster. It’d be great to see the program continue to establish itself as a strong player in 2024 and beyond.

In March 2024, we’ll see some sweeping changes introduced to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, with both positive and negative outcomes. Fortunately, the program should become much more accessible to Canadians via MBNA Rewards.

British Airways Executive Club continued its nasty trend no-notice devaluations, as it quietly increased the number of Avios required for flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. 

Lastly, World of Hyatt made some changes to the benefits offered to its elite members, and also announced plans to expand its presence in Canada by 2026.

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.