The value of the credit card or travel program reward points or miles you earn depend entirely on how you use your card and how you redeem your points.
We acknowledge, however, that for some rewards programs, a value of more than one cent per point or mile is typical and easy to achieve.
We assign the following values to the points and miles earned via these popular travel credit cards:
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offer mentioned in this article is expired and is no longer available through our site, CreditSesame.com
|Credit Card||Value of one point or mile|
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®||1 cent|
|British Airways Visa Signature® Card||1.4 cents|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||1 cent|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||1 cent|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1.4 cents|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite Mastercard®||1.4 cents|
|Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®||1.4 cents|
|JetBlue Card||1.4 cents|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card||1.4 cents|
A value of 1.4 cents per point or mile is a conservative estimate, based on the methodology explained below, for the value a typical consumer can get from airfare redemptions.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are valued at a minimum of 1.25 cents since they can be redeemed for airfare at that rate, and we value them at 1.4 cents each since they can be transferred to certain airline programs.
To study the value of airline miles, we looked at sample ticket prices on three different routes 6 months in the future. This produced a total of 18 datapoints for each loyalty program. By dividing the dollar cost of each ticket by the cost in miles, we then calculated both the average and median value for each airline’s mileage program. Here are the results.
Southwest Airlines (Routes: NYC-LAX, WAS-SEA, CHI-DAL)
- Average point value: 1.66 cents
- Median point value: 1.66 cents
- Maximum point value: 1.76 cents
JetBlue (Routes: NYC-LAX, WAS-SEA, CHI-HOU)
- Average point value: 1.49 cents
- Median point value: 1.48 cents
- Maximum point value: 1.54 cents
American (Routes: NYC-LAX, WAS-SEA, CHI-DAL)
- Average point value: 1.21 cents
- Median point value: 1.19 cents
- Maximum point value: 2.33 cents
Delta (Routes: NYC-LAX, WAS-SEA, CHI-DAL)
- Average point value: 1.52 cents
- Median point value: 1.49 cents
- Maximum point value: 2.45 cents
Hawaiian (Routes: LAX-HNL, SEA-HNL, HNL-LIH)
- Average point value: 1.29 cents
- Median point value: 1.19 cents
- Maximum point value: 1.79 cents
As you can see, the revenue-based programs (JetBlue and Southwest) feature fairly steady valuations, as you’d expect, while American, Delta, and Hawaiian show much more variation. Of course, you can use that to your advantage, redeeming miles only when you’re able to get above-average value for them, and paying with cash the rest of the time.
British Airways is a special case because British Airways Avios points are most valuable when redeemed for flights on their oneworld airline partners. That’s because British Airways charges significant fees for additional taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges on award flights to and from their main hub at London Heathrow. However, if you can find award space on partners like American Airlines, you can get a lot of value from their distance-based award chart.
If you are curious to learn more about how rewards programs experts value points and miles, you can check out FreequentFlyerBook.com (Credit Sesame’s resident rewards expert’s blog).
Disclaimer: All the information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, British Airways Visa Signature® Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, JetBlue Card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by CreditSesame.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, British Airways Visa Signature® Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, JetBlue Card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® are not available through CreditSesame.com.
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