What Are Credit Card Points and Miles Worth?

American Airlines, Hyatt, and Chase offer the most valuable rewards

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American Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, and Chase credit cards have the most valuable rewards points among airline, hotel, and bank credit card loyalty programs respectively, according to the latest analysis by The Balance. On average, travel rewards points across more than two dozen programs have regained some value lost in 2020 and 2021. 

That’s helpful to know because credit card rewards points can offset the cost of your next trip. Research by The Balance shows that, in general, you’ll get the most value when you use points and miles to book international flights and standard hotel stays. But it’s always important to crunch the numbers to find the best deal available.

The Balance periodically analyzes more than 25 different airline, hotel, and general travel credit card rewards programs to learn what credit card rewards points are worth and how they can help you make up for lost travel time. Here are our findings.

Key Takeaways

  • The most valuable hotel, airline, and credit card travel rewards points are from World of Hyatt, American Airlines AAdvantage, and Chase Ultimate Rewards, respectively. 
  • American Airlines AAdvantage miles have the highest value overall and the highest value for international flights, while Southwest RapidRewards are best for domestic economy flights.
  • Most travel rewards points and miles values didn’t have major changes year over year, according to The Balance’s research, but the majority are beginning to inch back toward pre-2020 levels.
  • While some hotel points had slight value losses or stayed the same, both Radisson and Wyndham have had double-digit percentage increases since we last looked.
  • Hotel point values are sometimes worth more when booking standard hotel rooms versus luxury stays, but with some chains like Hilton and Marriott, premium room bookings are the better deal.

Overall, our research looks at the average per-point value you can expect from the top rewards programs based on the most common ways Americans use points and miles. 

What’s New

Six out of nine airline loyalty programs saw an increase in point values over the last year, and overall among the nine there was an average increase of 5.17%. For hotels, four out of seven loyalty program points stayed the same or increased in value, with a 3.76% average increase in total, according to research by The Balance. After two years of losses, this may signal that a recovery toward pre-pandemic values could be underway. 

For credit card points programs, it’s more of a mixed bag. Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi Thank You points are still below early 2021 levels, while American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One Venture Rewards have fully recovered, and then some. 

Just remember that figures are averages, so it’s always worth it to seek out the best deals as prices and point values fluctuate all the time.

What Are Airline Miles Worth?

We found the average value of miles from the nine domestic airlines we monitor to be 1.24 cents apiece, which is higher than the 1.06 they were worth one year ago. American Airlines offers the most valuable airline miles, which we calculate are worth 1.76 cents each, on average. In contrast, Frontier Airlines has the lowest valued miles, which are only worth about 0.9 cents each. 

Based on our research, average domestic flight costs are higher than they were a year ago for most airlines. Overall, U.S.-based airlines have increased dollar costs of flights by about 33% over the past year, but the average mile cost of those same flights has increased by about only about 10.5%, resulting in slightly higher average mile values overall.

Airline Miles Value Trends

Most Valuable Airline Miles
  • American Airlines: 1.76 cents each, on average

Least Valuable Airline Miles
  • Frontier Airlines: 0.9 cents each, on average

Point and mile values are expressed in cents or fractions of cents. To make that easier to comprehend, we’ve also calculated the average dollar value of 50,000 points.

Average Value of Domestic Airline Miles
Airline Loyalty Program Value Per Mile (Cents) Value of 50,000 Miles
American Airlines (AAdvantage) 1.76 $880
Hawaiian Airlines (HawaiianMiles) 1.48 $740
United Airlines (MileagePlus) 1.37 $685
Southwest (Rapid Rewards) 1.35 $675
JetBlue (TrueBlue) 1.33 $665
Delta (SkyMiles) 1.30 $650
Spirit Airlines (Free Spirit) 1.25 $625
Alaska Airlines (Mileage Plan) 1.12 $560
Frontier (Frontier Miles) 0.90 $450

International Travel

Airline miles are typically worth more when used for international travel. For example, American Airlines miles are worth about 1.29 cents each when used for domestic flights (averaged across all classes), but their average value nearly doubles to 2.22 cents each when used to book international travel.


To quickly check how much your rewards will be worth when used for a particular flight you’re interested in, divide the price in dollars by the cost in points. So, if a $200 flight costs 25,000 miles, those miles will be worth 0.80 cents each. As a rule of thumb, rewards should be worth at least 1 cent each when redeemed to consider that option a good value.

Remember: Ticket prices and reward values vary for each airline, so it helps to think about how many one-way tickets you may get for 50,000 miles with each frequent flier program, based on our average point valuations. In some cases, our research found that your points would also buy you an extra fraction of a flight, but we’ve rounded down to show you the number of whole tickets you could actually buy.

While we found that the average cost for an international first-class ticket was more than 129,000 miles for all the major airlines, each rewards program has deals to be found under 50,000 miles. Keep that in mind when looking for award flights.

Economy vs. First Class  

If you prefer premium seats (business or first class) when flying, Southwest Rapid Rewards offer the best value for those award flights when traveling around the United States (1.37 cents each, on average). 

American Airlines offers the most valuable international award flights (2.45 cents each, on average) when you book a premium-seat ticket with rewards. 

(Note: Hawaiian Airlines points are worth 1.81 cents each on domestic flights and 3.04 on international flights when booking premium tickets, but there are fewer flight options.)

If economy seats will do, American Airlines miles offer the best average per-mile value for domestic coach seats (1.39 cents each), and Virgin Atlantic miles are best for economy seats when traveling abroad (5.14 cents each).

Most Valuable Airline Miles Based on Flight and Seat Type

Domestic Flights: Hawaiian International Flights: American Airlines
Economy 1.00 1.99
Business/First Class 1.81 2.45

What Are Hotel Points Worth?

Based on The Balance’s research, the average per-night cost of a hotel rewards stay is now higher than it was a year ago for most loyalty programs, which has driven point values down. The Balance determined it cost about 49,481 points, on average, to stay at a hotel for one night in Q3 2022. That average cost has since risen from 44,232 from one year earlier, an 11.87% increase.

Overall, our research found that the average value of points issued by the loyalty program tied to the top seven hotel brands is 0.88 cents each.

Hotel Point Trends

The average value of hotel points has traditionally been less than the average value of airline miles, with all but two of the major hotel rewards programs tracked by The Balance either staying the same or showing a slight per-point value drop over the past year. Wyndham and Radisson, however, have had major increases in point values since 2021—22.73% and 15.38% increases, respectively.


Compared to airline miles, hotel rewards aren’t usually worth as much per point, but credit cards typically dole them out at a higher rate. For example, airline credit cards typically award two to three miles per $1 spent on flights, while hotel cards may award three times as many (or more) points per $1 spent on eligible hotel stays.

Most Valuable Hotel Points
  • World of Hyatt: 1.82 cents each, on average

Least Valuable Hotel Points
  • Hilton Honors: 0.48 cents each, on average

The World of Hyatt loyalty program offers the most valuable points, worth 1.82 cents each, on average. They’re worth 1.94 cents each when redeemed for standard hotel stays and 1.70 cents each when used at a luxury hotel. For comparison, Hilton Honors and Radisson have the least valuable hotel points, which are only worth 0.44 to 0.56 cents each, on average, depending on the type of room booked.

Average Value of Hotel Points

Hotel Loyalty Program Value Per Point (Cents) Value of 50,000 Points
Hyatt (World of Hyatt) 1.82 $910
Wyndham (Wyndham Rewards) 1.10  $550
Marriott (Marriott Bonvoy) 0.98 $490
Best Western (Best Western Rewards) 0.63 $315
IHG (IHG Rewards Club) 0.61 $305
Radisson (Radisson Rewards)  0.52  $260
Hilton (Hilton Honors) 0.48 $240

Much like flights, the cost of hotel stays varies based on the length of your reservation, the type of hotel, and the chain. The chart below should give you an idea of how many award nights you can book for 50,000 points with each hotel loyalty program, depending on the hotel. As with flights, our research found that your points may be able to buy an additional fraction of a hotel stay, but we’ve rounded down to show how many nights you could actually pay for with points, on average.

How To Maximize Hotel Points

Hotel points aren’t significantly more valuable when you use them to book premium stays. In fact, sometimes they are worth more (or about the same) when used to book award nights at economy or standard hotels. 

While World of Hyatt points are the most valuable regardless of the type of room you book, some chains provide more value when used for a premium room over a standard one, including Marriott and Wyndham.

What Are Credit Card Points Worth?

Several credit card issuers have their own flexible travel rewards programs that allow you to redeem points for multiple types of expenses, such as flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, and cruises. We cover the four major programs in this report.

Points in these types of programs are worth at least 1 cent each, on average, when used to book travel through the program’s reservation system or redeemed for a statement credit against travel-related charges. But they can be worth more, especially if the program allows you to transfer them to an airline or hotel program whose point values are significantly higher. So, even though you may be able to redeem them for cash back, merchandise, or gift cards, travel is usually the best way to use flexible card points.

Most Valuable Credit Card Points
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards points: 1.28 cents each, on average

Least Valuable Credit Card Points
  • Capital One Venture Rewards: 0.92 cents each, on average

Since the four bank rewards programs described below offer rewards that can be used in numerous ways, our average point valuations factor in the values of the travel redemption options that consumers are most likely to use.

Your points will be worth at least 1 cent each when used for travel with any of the cards listed in the following sections, with values going higher if you use the right card and airline or hotel transfer partner.

Average Value of Bank Rewards Program Points

Credit Card Reward Program Value Per Point (Cents) Value of 50,000 Points
Ultimate Rewards (Chase Sapphire Reserve Card) 1.28 $640
Ultimate Rewards (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card) 1.24 $620
Citi ThankYou Rewards (Citi Premier/Prestige Cards) 1.28 $640
American Express Membership Rewards 1.08 $540
Capital One Venture Rewards 0.92 $460

What Is Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a flexible rewards program offered on a handful of Chase-branded credit cards. Cardholders can earn points on a wide variety of travel expenses and some more routine purchases such as dining out, depending on the card. These Chase cards earn Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Freedom Flex
  • Chase Freedom Student
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Chase Ink Business Premier Credit Card
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred cards, your Ultimate Rewards points are best used for travel. Those cards allow one-to-one point transfers to 14 participating airline and hotel loyalty programs, which may have even higher-value points.  

Based on our analysis, moving Ultimate Rewards points to the World of Hyatt program makes them worth an outstanding 1.82 cents each (the average value of a Hyatt point, based on our research). If you want flights, transferring Ultimate Rewards points to United’s MileagePlus program makes your rewards worth 1.37 cents each (our valuation of the average United mile).

What Is Citi ThankYou Rewards?

Citi ThankYou Rewards is Citi’s flexible rewards program offered on a handful of its cards. Cardholders earn at least one point per $1 spent with eligible cards and extra points on travel, gas, restaurant, entertainment, or grocery purchases, depending on the card. These Citi cards let you earn ThankYou points on eligible purchases:

  • Citi Double Cash Card
  • Citi Rewards+ Card
  • Citi Custom Cash Card
  • Citi Premier Card
  • AT&T Points Plus from Citi

If you have the Citi Premier cards, you can transfer your ThankYou points to travel partners to boost their value a bit. For example, The Balance found that transferring points to JetBlue’s TrueBlue frequent flier program, the program’s only domestic airline transfer partner, makes them worth 1.33 cents each, on average. 

If you have a Citi Rewards+ or Double Cash card, you can only transfer points to JetBlue’s TrueBlue program, and you’ll only get 0.80 JetBlue miles for each ThankYou point, or 800 JetBlue miles for every 1,000 ThankYou points you transfer.

If you don’t transfer your ThankYou points, your rewards are still generally best used for travel that you book through the Citi travel portal. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed that way.

What Is American Express Membership Rewards?

Membership Rewards are points earned by cardholders of these American Express cards, plus several corporate cards:

  • American Express Gold Card
  • American Express Green Card
  • Platinum Card From American Express
  • Amex EveryDay Credit Card
  • Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card
  • Blue from American Express
  • Business Platinum Card From American Express
  • American Express Business Gold Card
  • American Express Business Green Rewards Card 
  • Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express

Among the consumer cards, the Gold, Green, and Platinum cards award the most points for travel purchases—as many as 5 points per $1 spent. Membership Rewards points don’t expire as long as you have an active Membership Rewards account, and there’s no limit on how many you can earn. 

You can use Membership Rewards points to book flights through the American Express website at a value of 1 cent each; or you can use them for other travel reservations, such as hotel rooms and rental cars, at a value of 0.70 cents each.

Membership Rewards are most valuable when transferred to one of the more than 20 participating travel loyalty rewards programs, such as Delta SkyMiles. Your points could be worth 1.30 cents each when transferred to Delta, based on our average value calculations.

What Is Capital One Venture Rewards? 

Venture Rewards is a flexible travel rewards program offered on a few of Capital One’s consumer and business cards:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

Venture Rewards is a straightforward program overall: All consumer-card purchases earn 1.25 to two miles per $1 spent, depending on the card, and there’s no limit on how many miles you can earn. 

The Balance found Venture Miles are most valuable when used for travel on Capital One’s booking portal. That’s largely due to Capital One’s lackluster collection of transfer partners. There are 17 in all, but the collection does not include a single domestic airline. You may be able to squeeze extra value by transferring points to an international airline that’s an alliance partner with a domestic brand you fly and then using your points for domestic airfare, but that’s a lot of hassle. 

Fifteen out of the 17 Venture Rewards transfer partners are 1:1 partners, meaning you’ll need one Venture Rewards point to buy a point or mile from the transfer partner.

Should I Redeem My Points or Miles for Cash?

Typically, no. For starters, that’s rarely a cash redemption option with hotel and airline-branded travel rewards cards. Those programs do often have ways to shop with points or miles like you are using cash, but your points or miles are still worth much more when they are used to book travel.

With general travel rewards cards, you’ll have the option to redeem points for cash (either in the form of a statement credit or bank account direct deposit), but The Balance has found that points are still best used for travel if you’re trying to maximize your hard-earned rewards.


Loyalty and credit card rewards programs are not all the same, so our data gathering and calculation process for each category of rewards cited in this report—airline miles, hotel points, and general travel credit card points—were performed using different processes described below. All data in this report is current as of September 2022. 

Airline Mile Values

There’s more than one way to use airline miles to save on air travel, so we included more than one type of flight in our value calculations. Our average per-mile value data includes one-way economy and first-class (or the equivalent classifications) ticket prices for domestic and international flights from nine airlines. The flights follow popular routes for each airline, with departures one to five months out to account for trip planners and last-minute flight shoppers. We do not factor in fuel surcharges when determining value. Unless otherwise noted, our average mile values are cumulative and include flight information gathered each month (excluding February 2021, when we experienced a data-gathering glitch) since October 2019.

Hotel Point Values

To calculate our average hotel point values, we looked at reservations available at luxury and economy hotels for seven major hotel chains. Reservation price data was gathered for five-night stays at the selected hotels in the top nine travel destination cities for each chain. We collected information for reservations one, two, and three months from the date of data collection. Unless otherwise noted, our average hotel point values are cumulative and include hotel stay information gathered each month (excluding February 2021) since January 2020.

General Travel Credit Card Point Values

The rewards tied to these cards are intended for travel, so we leaned on that while making our value calculations. We took the average value of each of the four programs’ domestic (U.S.) travel transfer partners, as well as the value of booking travel through the bank’s reservation system or getting statement credits to reimburse you for travel expenses. We used those values to establish an average point value that represents these multiuse rewards programs.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Citi. “ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards.”

  2. American Express. "About the Membership Rewards Program."

  3. American Express. “Membership Rewards Point Calculator.”

  4. Capital One. “Travel and Miles Rewards Credit Cards.”

  5. American Express. "Membership Rewards: Explore Your Rewards."

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