What are points and miles worth? February 2021 monthly valuations

Feb 17, 2021

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One of the questions we are asked most often here at TPG U.K. is “How much is a point or mile worth?” The answer varies from person to person, and depends on how well you can maximise a particular loyalty currency. Still, some rewards are clearly worth more than others — our goal is to give you a sense of how they stack up.

These valuations are based on a combination of what we would pay to buy points if given the opportunity and the overall value we could get from redeeming them, factoring in variables like award availability, fees and change/cancellation policies. We encourage you to share your thoughts where you think we are off base (and on point, no pun intended), and we’ll take feedback from TPG readers into consideration when we regularly update the valuations.

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Given the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, we are still seeing a lot of uncertainty — and some analysts are saying travel won’t fully rebound until 2024.

Air Canada Aeroplan 1.3p 1.3p
American Airlines AAdvantage 1.2p 1.2p
American Express Membership Rewards 1.4p 1.4p
Alaska Mileage Plan 1.4p 1.4p
British Airways Avios 1.1p 1.1p
British Airways On Business Points 3.3p 3.3p
Delta SkyMiles 0.9p 0.8p
Emirates Skywards 0.9p 0.9p
Etihad Guest 1.1p 1.1p
Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) 1.0p 1.0p
Hilton Honors 0.4p 0.4p
HSBC Premier Rewards 0.6p 0.6p
IHG Rewards Club 0.4p 0.4p
Marriott Bonvoy 0.7p 0.7p
Lufthansa Miles & More 1.1p 1.1p
Radisson Rewards 0.3p 0.3p
Qantas Points 0.8p 0.8p
Qatar Qmiles 0.6p 0.6p
Singapore KrisFlyer 1.2p 1.2p
United MileagePlus 1.0p 1.0p
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1.3p 1.2p
World of Hyatt 1.5p 1.5p

Movers and Shakers

As noted above, the biggest news of the past couple of months has been the coronavirus outbreak. Some airlines have completely suspended operations during the pandemic, while others have filed for bankruptcy — which may or may not affect their respective frequent flyer programmes. We’ve also seen elite status extensions from almost every major airline and hotel programme, ensuring that loyal members can retain their benefits in 2021.

Even though the year is just starting, we’ve already seen two major devaluations.

We saw Virgin Atlantic devalue its Flying Club programme by removing low-cost Delta award tickets. The carrier used to offer a very reasonably priced region-based award chart on these flights. Earlier this month, prices skyrocketed when it switched to a distance-based award chart.

Thankfully, Virgin Atlantic backtracked on rolling out the new pricing on flights from the U.S. to Europe. You can still book these flights for 50,000 Virgin points one-way in business class, keeping the old award pricing for the time being.

With this in mind, we’ve lowered the value of Virgin points to 1.2p apiece from 1.3p. One of the most valuable Virgin Atlantic redemptions — Delta One from the U.S. to Asia — is now significantly more expensive than it was in the past. You’ll also now pay more for economy Delta-operated flights that cover more than 2,000 miles in distance — which includes all transcontinental flights from New York-JFK.

Thankfully, other sweet spots like low-cost ANA first and business class flights remain.

Speaking of Delta, the airline devalued its SkyMiles programme in early February. Partner award tickets to Europe and Asia now start at 120,000 SkyMiles in business class, up from 95,000 and 102,500 SkyMiles, respectively, last year. Some economy awards were also devalued, but not to the same extent as business class.

This is the second time that Delta’s devalued partner redemptions in recent history. This shows us that the airline is encouraging members to redeem miles on its own planes. But since Delta award availability is so volatile, this ends up making Delta SkyMiles harder to use for international trips across the board.

In response to this change, we’ve lowered SkyMiles from 0.9p per point in value to 0.8p per point.

This is The Points Guy UK’s permanent page for the most up-to-date valuations, so you can bookmark it and check back each month for updates. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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