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In the first week of Travel on Points, Sarah wrote an article outlining the various “values” of points and miles and hinting that we would present our own valuation of points and miles. Without further ado, let's dive in!!!
The Big Picture
While all award travel bloggers list a “value” of each points/miles currency, few, if any, actually share the details of how they formed their personal opinion of said calculations. Here at Travel on Points, we strive for honesty, integrity, and transparency. The photo above is our 3 year window of all points/miles burned and an “average” cents per point valuation. Note that I did not include any currencies that have a fixed/static valuation, including Jetblue/Southwest (although these move a little, it is not enough to justify anything other than 1.5cpp), Capital One Venture, Barclays Arrival+ (RIP), etc. Lastly, in the grand scheme of things, many of the redemptions above are aspirational and should NOT be a part of your everyday awards travel lives. If anything, I can hoard points until a perfect opportunity comes along. The object of this game is to earn and burn. Do NOT earn points to sit around and collect dust. They will be devalued by the bank/company and you can lose significant value overnight!
Things I learned in Doing this Valuation
These are my three takeaways from spending hours pouring over all our redemptions over a 3 year period: 1) Hyatt points are insanely valuable (4.0 cpp over 3 years); 2) the 3 transferable currencies (UR, TYP, MR) hold major value over all others (2.97, 3.1, and 4.72 cpp over 3 years); and, 3) Marriott points continue to decline (significantly) in value and I can't recommend earning or holding these points in the future.
The Value of Points
Ultimately, you must learn your own calculations, as we told you in week one. However, if you have not earned and burned your own points/miles enough to learn your assigned values, please use our valuations to assist you in your journey.
We assign “minimum” values to each currency, which is the absolute floor that you consider, and “aspirational” values to each currency, which is hitting a walk-off home run redemption if you meet or beat this valuation.
As this post is purely subjective, I'm looking forward to the discussions and opinions this post will create. While the “aspirational” values are not for everyone, I am now convinced, based on the 3 year historical data I've shown, that Sarah and I will almost exclusively use the higher values for our points/miles. That plan is certainly not for everyone and we look forward to hearing about many future award redemptions at any of these valuations!
As always, please comment below or join our Facebook group to discuss your personal views on the value of points and miles.