This page aims to provide a valuation of the major points currencies in Canada.
Valuing points currencies is a highly subjective exercise, and the value of a point in each program is constantly changing as the program itself changes. These valuations should therefore be treated as a general guideline, taking into account the general best-case usage of each program, rather than a definite representation of how much value you will get out of each point you earn.
I’ll be adding new valuations and updating existing ones as time goes by, so make sure to check back often.
Below are our points valuations for Canadian and global loyalty programs to which we have easy access via the major Canadian credit cards. For the programs with significant participation from US residents, we’ve included the value in US dollars as well.
Aeroplan is one of Canada’s most versatile programs for long-haul international travel.
Its advantageous stopover policies allow you to book some pretty amazing trips, like the Aeroplan Mini-RTW, that you’d never be able to pull off using cash.
Domestic redemptions will be harder to extract value from, but 1.5–2 cents/mile is still a reasonable target.
Air Miles Cash Rewards are typically redeemed at a ratio of 95 Air Miles = $10, giving you a baseline value of 10.5 cents/mile.
Occasional promotions allow Cash Rewards to be redeemed at a higher value, thus elevating our valuation slightly.
If redeemed in the right circumstances (i.e., when the cash price of the corresponding flight is artificially high), Air Miles Dream Rewards can deliver very good value. Last-minute, short-haul domestic flights tend to work best.
Unfortunately, their value is limited to the above scenarios, and a lack of premium cabin redemptions is a major downside to the program.
Alaska Mileage Plan features a wide array of unique airline partners, including some of the world’s best premium cabins.
In addition, their redemption rates on said premium flights are among the lowest in the industry: one-way transpacific flights in business class or First Class can be booked at around 50,000 or 70,000 miles, respectively.
There is currently some uncertainty surrounding the program following Alaska’s entry into Oneworld and the likely changes to Mileage Plan as a result.
Amex MR is by far the most flexible travel rewards currency in Canada. All things being equal, its optimal usage is probably through a 1:1 transfer to Aeroplan (2.1 cents/mile).
Ordinarily, its overall flexibility (including other airline and hotel partners, Amex Fixed Points Travel, etc.) would boost its valuation even further, but the recent phenomenon of unilateral account shutdowns has put that on hold.
Without the ability to transfer to airline partners, Amex MR Select is more limited in value compared to regular MR points.
Transferring to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio is a popular way to redeem, while Amex Fixed Points Travel can deliver even higher value if it’s suitable to your travel needs.
Best Western Rewards redemptions cost up to 70,000 points per night, with the pricing movements generally reflecting the nightly cash rate.
While one of Best Western’s strengths is that it often has hotels in places that other hotel chains lack coverage, an unannounced devaluation in late 2019 slashed the value of the program dramatically.
BMO Rewards can be redeemed towards the cost of travel booked through BMO’s in-house travel agency at a rather perplexing ratio of 140 points = $1, thus giving you 0.7 cents/point.
There aren’t any other uses of BMO Rewards, which limits the potential upside. If anything, the fact that you must book through BMO, instead of using your points for any travel purchase, reduces the value of the program even further
With a unique distance-based award chart, British Airways Avios has a wide range of redemption sweet spots. Examples might include Toronto–Dublin on Aer Lingus or Seattle–Hawaii on Alaska Airlines.
Avios are also incredibly useful for short-haul side-trips on Oneworld partners while you’re travelling internationally.
Asia Miles‘s very generous routing rules, reasonable award pricing for business class and First Class, and access to additional availability on Cathay Pacific’s own flights make it a very strong program for Canadians travelling to Asia and points beyond.
Historically, one of the program’s weaknesses has been a draconian mileage expiry policy, although they have recently improved this policy, making Asia Miles a highly attractive program overall.
CIBC Aventura points offer a baseline redemption option of offsetting the cost of travel booked through the CIBC in-house travel agency at 1 cent/point.
The fixed-value travel schedule, which allows you to get up to 2.2 cents/point on certain redemptions, gives the program some measure of upside.
HSBC Rewards points are worth 0.5 cents/point at a minimum, since you can use them to offset any travel purchase on your card at a ratio of 200 points = $1.
On top of that, the ability to transfer HSBC Rewards points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, or British Airways Avios gives the program some added value.
Marriott Bonvoy is one of the most useful hotel loyalty programs in Canada. The value in redeeming points for hotel nights is quite variable, as there are plenty of high-value and low-value opportunities. Overall, I’d say that 1 cent/point is a reasonable target to aim for.
Marriott Bonvoy points can also be transferred to 40+ airlines, giving it some added value in terms of flexibility as well.
Unique among the Big 5 banks in Canada, RBC Avion points can be transferred to a wide range of airline partners.
The general best-case usage is probably converting to British Airways Avios or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio, but RBC Avion’s value is boosted even further by their frequent conversion bonuses and the option to redeem via the RBC Travel Redemption Chart, which can deliver up to 2 cents/point in value.
Nothing fancy here: Scotia Rewards can be used to offset the cost of travel purchases charged to your card at 1 cent/point. They’re useful to collect for the purpose of reducing your out-of-pocket travel expenses, but not much more.
TD Rewards can be redeemed at a value of 0.5 cents/point via the ExpediaforTD online portal towards flights, hotels, car rentals, vacations, etc. If you don’t go through ExpediaforTD, the value is lower at 0.4 cents/point.
Similar to the other Big 5 banks’ points (besides RBC Avion), their value is rather limited.
WestJet Rewards is unique in using “Dollars” as their rewards currency: 1 WestJet Dollar can be redeemed towards the cost of $1 off a WestJet flight.
WestJet’s new Member Exclusive fares offer small discounts on the cost of a WestJet flight when you book with WestJet Dollars; hence, the valuation is a shade over par.
Below are our points valuations for the major US-based loyalty programs, some of which are accessible via the major Canadian credit cards; others may only be accessible by applying for US credit cards.
American Airlines AAdvantage offers fairly competitive award pricing for premium flights on Oneworld airlines, including a few very attractive sweet spots like 75,000 miles for Qatar Airways Qsuites to Africa with no surcharges.
Other sweet spots lie in the AAdvantage program’s unique airline partnerships, like Air Tahiti Nui business class to French Polynesia for 80,000 miles one-way.
AAdvantage is a 1:0.7 transfer partner from RBC Avion points.
Delta SkyMiles is a dynamically priced program that is subject to frequent unannounced devaluations.
For Canadians, it’s often not worth using Delta SkyMiles to book premium international flights, as there are other programs that are more fit for that purpose.
Instead, it can be a great deal to redeem SkyMiles towards domestic flights within Canada on WestJet at a fixed price of 12,500 SkyMiles one-way.
Hilton Honors does not publish an award chart, so each hotel’s award price point can vary based on many factors. On balance, 0.7 cents/point is a reasonable target to aim for.
In general, award redemptions at both the very lowest and highest ends of the spectrum will give you the greatest chance of maximizing your value.
IHG Rewards is generally considered one of the weakest among the major hotel loyalty programs. The program uses dynamic pricing that varies frequently, and redemption price points are often devalued without notice.
There are select pockets of value at the lower and higher end of the spectrum, but on average, an IHG Rewards point is worth much less than other hotel points currencies.
World of Hyatt points are considered one of the more valuable points currencies for hotel rewards.
Despite a limited global footprint, Hyatt’s hotels are impressive in quality and offer a high level of service, especially for World of Hyatt elite members.
With Hyatt’s top-tier hotels costing only 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night (compared to 100,000+ points in other hotel loyalty programs), it’s no wonder Hyatt’s valuation is much higher than its peers.