A big change to Frequent Miler’s point values.

31

a man opening his shirt with coins inside

Over the weekend, a friend showed me her wallet full of carefully labelled credit cards.  One card was labelled “gas”, another “rental cars”, and another “grocery”.  She had applied these labels to remind her which card to use where.  That was all great.  Then I saw one card was labelled simply “2.73”.  I asked what that was about.  She answered that it was her Freedom Unlimited card using “your numbers”.  She meant that the Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5X everywhere, so with the Frequent Miler Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) for Chase points at 1.82 (at the time), the Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 x 1.82 = 2.73%.

The RRV problem

My friend was using the Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) not as intended.  RRVs estimate how much travel you can reasonably expect to get from your points if you use those points wisely.  I think that’s useful when trying to decide which points to use for an award.  Will you get more value than the RRV?  If so, you can call it a win.  Similarly, I find RRVs useful for comparing credit card welcome bonuses.  We use RRVs to estimate “first year value”.  The idea is to be able to compare, across cards, how much travel value you might get from the first year of owning the card.

RRVs were not meant to tell you a good price to buy points.  In fact, you should never buy points for the same price that you’ll redeem them for.  You should always look to buy them for less.  Here’s an example: suppose you can buy a flight to Europe straight-up for $1,000.  And further suppose that it would cost $1,000 to buy enough points to book that same flight as an award.  Would you buy the points?  No, of course not.  The only reason to go through the extra hassle of acquiring points is if you’ll either save money or get a better outcome such as first class instead of coach.

When you decide to use a points earning card over a cash back card, you are essentially buying points.  Here’s an example: if you can choose between earning 2% cash back or earning 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, then picking Chase points costs you 2 cents for every 1.5 points you “buy”.  In other words, by making that trade-off, you are buying Chase points for 1.33 cents each.  Nick covered this topic in detail in his post: How much do you pay for your miles and points? And, I’d argue that 1.33 cents is a fair price to pay for Ultimate Rewards points, so that’s fine.  The problem is that my friend was using the 1.82 RRV number to decide which card she should use.  By labeling her Freedom Unlimited as “2.73%”, she would likely use this card instead of a card earning 2.5% cash back (if she had the Alliant card, for example).  If she made that choice, she would be essentially buying Chase points for 2.5/1.5 = 1.67 cents per point.  That’s not terrible, but it’s also far from a bargain, especially if she uses those Chase points to buy travel through the Chase portal for 1.5 cents per point value.

RRVs were not intended to be used for comparing credit card spend rewards.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, I think that RRVs are a decent way to compare credit card welcome bonuses, but that’s because credit card welcome bonuses do not have the same type of opportunity cost as points earned through spend.  There are opportunity costs involved in signing up for new cards, but they’re different in nature.  That topic could easily make for an entire post or two.  With points earned through spend (or from shopping portals for that matter), there are clear cash trade-offs which make it important to consider the opportunity cost of earning points rather than cash.  If my friend doesn’t have any cash back cards to compare to, then RRVs are a fine way to compare the relative value of credit card rewards.  But when cash rewards are part of the equation, I think a better metric would be an estimated cash value, rather than estimated redemption value.  View from the Wing describes this concept as “the amount at which you are indifferent to holding miles versus cash.”

It’s my fault.  Not long ago, I enhanced our credit card displays to show point earnings in the form of RRVs.  For example, the page “Best Everywhere Else Rewards Cards,” previously showed this for the Freedom Unlimited:

a green and white box with black text

See how it says that the Base earnings for this card are 1.5X which equals 2.73%?  Yeah, that’s my bad.  That display absolutely encourages the RRVs to be used the way my friend was using them.

Identifying the correct cash value is an impossible task. I described this problem at length in the 2013 post “Impossible point valuations and the joy of free.”  There I discussed the fact that points are worth more or less based on how they’re used, how many you already have, how easy they are to use, whether or not they add value (such as free flight changes), whether or not you have elite status, your travel habits (e.g. airline miles are often worth much more on international premium cabin flights), and your subjective value of the “joy of free.”

It is important for us to establish estimates, even though getting it right is impossible.  Most consumers have no idea how to estimate the value of points earned.  For example, many consumers would assume that Hilton cards, which earn at least 3 points per dollar on all spend, must be better than the World of Hyatt card which earns only 1 point per dollar for most spend.  In reality, most of us who understand the relative value of these points would probably choose 1 Hyatt point over 3 Hilton points (unless you frequently use Hilton points at category 1 and 2 hotels) if we didn’t have a brand preference.  In other words, I strongly believe that consumers need some guidance as to how to value points and miles.

A better solution may be to estimate ranges based on use case scenarios.  For example, “for those who use points to fly domestic economy, United miles are worth between XX and YY.”  Ranges would be more accurate, but less useful.  Ultimately our goal is to compare rewards earned from different cards, different promotions, different portals, etc.  Point estimates work far better than ranges for those purposes.  Point estimates based on use cases would be a better solution, but it would be much harder to create and maintain.  I need to make a lot of decisions with this blog as to where to invest my time (and Nick and Stephen’s time too), and I’m not interested at this moment in investing in such a large project.  The problem isn’t just creating the estimates, but rather in displaying them in a useful way.  Our credit card database and displays are setup right now to expect a single point value estimate.  Anything different would be a lot of work.

The RRV fix

Over the weekend, Nick and I discussed this in detail.  Rather than try to generate brand new cash value estimates, we decided to improve our RRV calculations in ways that would make the values more useful when comparing card spend rebates.  Specifically, we made the following adjustments:

  • All airline mile RRVs were adjusted downward by 7%.  This is intended to approximate the loss in earned rewards for those flights.  Previously we calculated that most airline Miles are worth 1.4 cents each. Now, we’ve reduced that 1.4 value by 7% to 1.3. Similarly we used previously calculated values for the rest of the airlines (see: What are oddball airline miles worth?) and reduced those values by 7%.
  • We did not make a similar adjustment to hotel values because there are two counter-weighting factors with hotel RRVs which were based on observed hotel prices compared to observed point prices: Our RRVs are arguably too high because we don’t account for the fact that you don’t earn hotel points on award stays; and our RRVs are arguably too low because we don’t account for the fact that you usually do not pay taxes and fees on hotel award stays.  A simplifying decision is to assume that those two factors cancel each other out.
  • We changed our adjustments for transferable points programs.  With transferable points currencies there is a much larger pool of high value awards one can pick from.  So, we assume that a reasonable award value for informed consumers will be higher for transferable points.  Previously we accounted for this by simply increasing the standard airline RRV at the time (1.4) by 30% for all transferable points programs.  There were two problems with this: 1) 30% was arguably too big of a bump; and 2) we treated all transferable points programs as being equal.  Now, we use the adjusted airline mile RRV (1.3) and adjust upward differently based on our subjective assessment of each transferable points program.  We then rounded each one to the nearest .05 as follows:
  • We lowered the Hyatt RRV to 1.5.  We no longer have a data driven source for Hyatt point values, so we instead lowered this value to match the Chase Ultimate Rewards point value.  This makes sense to us because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to Hyatt 1 to 1.

While none of the above RRV changes alter the nature of RRVs, the RRV values were reduced to where Nick and I feel reasonably good about them being used for the purpose of comparing point rewards to cash rewards.  No, it’s not perfect, but nothing is.

With the above changes in place, we now see that earning 1.5X Ultimate Rewards points equals 2.25% rewards based on RRVs.  That seems about right.

Card Info Name and Earning Rate (no offer)
Earning rate: 5% back at all bookstores, including Amazon (note: this is capped at $1000 in purchases per month) ✦ 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, Netflix, Spotify, Uber and Lyft.
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: Tier One Rewards (which now requires $1,000 in an Alliant high-yield checking account and 2 electronic transactions per month) offers 2.5% cash back everywhere on up to $10K per billing cycle, then unlimited 1.5% cash back beyond $10K in purchases in a billing cycle. (Note that some purchases, like those from GiftCards.com, are not eligible for cash back)
Base: 2.5%
Earning rate: 3X Delta ✦ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ✦ 1.5X on transit, eligible U.S. shipping, and purchases of $5K or more (up to $100K per year)
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 3X (3.9%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 1.5X (1.95%)
Earning rate: 3X Delta ✦ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ✦ 2X restaurants ✦ 2X US Supermarkets
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 3X (3.9%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Grocery: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 3X Delta ✦ 1.5X on eligible transit, U.S. shipping & office supply store purchases
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Office: 1.5X (1.95%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 1.5X (1.95%)
Earning rate: 3X Delta
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 2X Delta ✦ 2X U.S. purchases for advertising in select media and U.S. shipping purchases (capped at $50k per year starting 1/1/24)
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X Delta ✦ 2x restaurants worldwide ✦ 2x US supermarkets
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Grocery: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X restaurants worldwide ✦ 2X Delta ✦ 1X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 5X flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com ✦ 1.5X points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5000 or more (on up to $2 million of those purchases per year) ✦ 1.5x on US construction/hardware stores, US electronic goods, and US shipping ✦ 1X elsewhere ✦ Terms apply.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Other: 1.5X (2.33%)
Earning rate: 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ✦ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 5X (7.75%)
Earning rate: 3X points for flights booked with airlines or on amextravel.com ✦ 4x points at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 1x) ✦ 4x at restaurants worldwide ✦ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 3X (4.65%)
Dine: 4X (6.2%)
Grocery: 4X (6.2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X on travel & transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, and rideshares) ✦ 3X dining ✦ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. See
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 3X (4.65%)
Dine: 3X (4.65%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X at AmexTravel.com ✦ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 2X (3.1%)
Earning rate: Earn 4X in combined eligible purchases in the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle (capped at $150K spend per calendar year, then 1x): Electronic goods retailers or software and cloud system providers in the U.S. ✦U.S. purchases at restaurants ✦Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S. ✦ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ✦ U.S. purchases at gas stations ✦ Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways. ✦ 3x on eligible purchases through AmexTravel.com ✦ 1x on all other purchases. Terms apply.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 3X (4.65%)
Dine: 4X (6.2%)
Gas: 4X (6.2%)
Shop: 4X (6.2%)
Phone: 4X (6.2%)
Biz: 4X (6.2%)
Earning rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on eligible charges when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. Pay your Minimum Payment Due by your Payment Due Date and the discount is applied to your next statement
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: ✦ 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) ✦ 1x on other purchases
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Grocery: 2X (3.1%)
Earning rate: Make 20 or more purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points, less returns and credits ✦ With 20% more points, earn: 2.4X points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1.2x) ✦ 1.2X on other purchases
Base: 1.2X (1.86%)
Grocery: 2.4X (3.72%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) ✦ 2x points at US gas stations ✦ 1x points on other purchases.
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Gas: 2X (3.1%)
Grocery: 3X (4.65%)
Earning rate: Earn 50% more points: Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. With 30 or more purchases, earn: 4.5x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1.5x) ✦ 3x points at US gas stations ✦ 1.5x points on other purchases.
Base: 1.5X (2.33%)
Gas: 3X (4.65%)
Grocery: 4.5X (6.98%)
Earning rate: ✦ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ✦ 5X prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 5X (7.75%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X U.S. Restaurants ✦ 2X select U.S. Department Stores ✦ 2X Car Rentals Purchased Directly from Select Car Rental Companies ✦ 2X Airfare Purchased Directly from Airlines
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 2X (3.1%)
Dine: 2X (3.1%)
Shop: 2X (3.1%)
Earning rate: ✦ 6% cash back as a statement credit at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) ✦ 6% Cash Back as a statement credit on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. ✦ 3% Cash Back as a statement credit on transit (includes taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 3% cash back US gas stations ✦ 1% cash back on other purchases ✦ Terms apply.
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Gas: 3%
Grocery: 6%
Shop: 3%
Other: 6%
Earning rate: ✦ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ✦ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 5X (7.75%)
Earning rate: 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
Base: 2X (3.1%)
Earning rate: 2% cash back as a statement credit on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1% thereafter). Terms apply.
Base: 2%
Earning rate: ✦ 6% cash back as a statement credit at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) ✦ 6% Cash Back as a statement credit on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. ✦ 3% Cash Back as a statement credit on transit (includes taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 3% cash back as a statement credit US gas stations ✦ 1% cash back as a statement credit on other purchases ✦ $7 monthly statement credit on Disney Bundle subcription of $12.99 or more. Enrollment required. ✦ Terms apply.
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Gas: 3%
Grocery: 6%
Shop: 3%
Other: 6%
Earning rate: ✦ 3% cash back as a statement credit at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) ✦ 3% cash back as a statement credit at US gas stations on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. ✦ 3% cash back as a statement credit on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% ✦ 1% cash back as a statement credit on other purchases ✦ Terms apply.
Base: 1%
Gas: 3%
Grocery: 3%
Shop: 3%
Earning rate: ✦ Up to 5% Cash Back as a statement credit at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & select U.S. drugstores (Everyday Purchases) ✦ Up to 1% Cash Back as a statement credit on other purchases. ✦ For your first $6,500 in purchases in a reward year, you will earn 1% on Everyday Purchases (5% thereafter), and 0.5% on other purchases (then 1%) ✦ Terms Apply.
Base: 1%
Grocery: 5%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: Prime Members: 5% in Amazon rewards on US purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, Whole Foods on up to $120K in purchases per calendar year, then 1% ✦ 2% Back in Amazon rewards at US restaurants, US gas stations, and on US wireless telephone services ✦ 1% back on all other purchases
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 5%
Shop: 5%
Phone: 2%
Brand: 5%
Other: 2%
Earning rate: ✦ 5% US office supply stores and US wireless phone services ✦ 3% your choice from list of categories (e.g. airfare, hotels, car rentals, gas stations, restaurants, select media buys, shipping,computer) ✦ 1% other purchases. 3% and 5% rebates are capped at $50,000 per rebate year and then earn 1% thereafter. Terms Apply.
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Gas: 3%
Phone: 5%
Office: 5%
Biz: 3%
Earning rate: ✦ 14X Hilton spend ✦ 7X US restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, select car rental companies ✦ 3X on all other eligible purchases ✦ Terms & Limitations Apply.
Base: 3X (1.44%)
Travel: 7X (3.36%)
Dine: 7X (3.36%)
Brand: 14X (6.72%)
Earning rate: ✦ 12X Hilton spend ✦ 6X U.S. restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ✦ 4X U.S. Online Retail Purchases ✦ 3X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 3X (1.44%)
Dine: 6X (2.88%)
Gas: 6X (2.88%)
Grocery: 6X (2.88%)
Shop: 4X (1.92%)
Brand: 12X (5.76%)
Earning rate: ✦ 12X Hilton spend ✦ 5X on other eligible purchases (on the first $100K in purchases per calendar year, 3X thereafter). ✦ For eligible purchases made from March 28, 2024 through June 30, 2024: 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases (flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel; car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; US restaurants; US gas stations; wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service provider; US shipping purchases)
Base: 3X (1.44%)
Brand: 12X (5.76%)
Other: 5X (2.4%)
Earning rate: ✦ 7X Hilton spend ✦ 5X US restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ✦ 3X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 3X (1.44%)
Dine: 5X (2.4%)
Gas: 5X (2.4%)
Grocery: 5X (2.4%)
Brand: 7X (3.36%)
Earning rate: 6X Marriott ✦ 2X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: 3X airfare -on flights booked directly with airlines; 3X restaurants worldwide, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Travel: 3X (2.4%)
Dine: 3X (2.4%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: 6x at Marriott Bonvoy properties ✦ 4x at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. suppliers and on U.S. purchases for shipping ✦ 2x on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Dine: 4X (3.2%)
Gas: 4X (3.2%)
Phone: 4X (3.2%)
Biz: 4X (3.2%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: 6X Marriott.✦ 4X restaurants & U.S. Supermarkets on up to $15K spend per year ✦ 2X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Dine: 4X (3.2%)
Grocery: 4X (3.2%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: 1.5% on all eligible purchases
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% on all eligible purchases
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 5X at FlyFrontier.com ✦ 3X restaurants
Base: 1X (0.95%)
Dine: 3X (2.85%)
Brand: 5X (4.75%)
Earning rate: 3X Hawaiian Airlines ✦ 2x gas, dining, and office supply stores ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.75%)
Dine: 2X (1.5%)
Gas: 2X (1.5%)
Office: 2X (1.5%)
Brand: 3X (2.25%)
Earning rate: 3X Hawaiian Airlines ✦ 2x gas, dining, and grocery stores ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.75%)
Dine: 2X (1.5%)
Gas: 2X (1.5%)
Grocery: 2X (1.5%)
Brand: 3X (2.25%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X AA ✦ 2X hotel and car rentals ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 2X AA ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X AA, office supply, telecommunications services, and at car rental agencies ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Phone: 2X (2.6%)
Office: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X Carnival ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Brand: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X Holland America ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Brand: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X Princess ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Brand: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 2X restaurants and grocery ✦ 6X JetBlue ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.33%)
Dine: 2X (2.66%)
Grocery: 2X (2.66%)
Brand: 6X (7.98%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X restaurants and office supply stores ✦ 6X JetBlue ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.33%)
Dine: 2X (2.66%)
Office: 2X (2.66%)
Brand: 6X (7.98%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X restaurants and grocery ✦ 3X JetBlue ✦ 1X everywhere else✦
Base: 1X (1.33%)
Dine: 2X (2.66%)
Grocery: 2X (2.66%)
Brand: 3X (3.99%)
Earning rate: 3X Emirates ✦ 2X airfare, hotel, and car rentals ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 3X Emirates ✦ 2X airfare, hotel, and car rentals ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 2X Miles on all purchases
Base: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 2X Miles on all purchases
Base: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X Miles for travel and dining ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 2X (2%)
Dine: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 5X Wyndham ✦ 2X gas, utility, & grocery ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.88%)
Gas: 2X (1.76%)
Grocery: 2X (1.76%)
Brand: 5X (4.4%)
Other: 2X (1.76%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X Wyndham ✦ 2X gas, utility & grocery ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.88%)
Gas: 2X (1.76%)
Grocery: 2X (1.76%)
Brand: 3X (2.64%)
Earning rate: ✦ 5X Wyndham & gas ✦ 2X restaurants & grocery ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.88%)
Dine: 2X (1.76%)
Gas: 5X (4.4%)
Grocery: 2X (1.76%)
Brand: 5X (4.4%)
Earning rate: 6X Wyndham & gas ✦ 4X restaurants & grocery ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.88%)
Dine: 4X (3.52%)
Gas: 6X (5.28%)
Grocery: 4X (3.52%)
Brand: 6X (5.28%)
Earning rate: 8X Wyndham & gas ✦ 5X marketing, advertising, and utilities (telecommunications, cable, satellite, electric, gas, heating oil and water) ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.88%)
Gas: 8X (7.04%)
Phone: 5X (4.4%)
Biz: 5X (4.4%)
Brand: 8X (7.04%)
Other: 5X (4.4%)
Earning rate: Earn 1.529% back on your purchases when your Upromise Program account is linked to an eligible College Savings Plan or 1.25% if it is not ✦ Up to $250 cashback rewards per calendar year on gift card purchases at MyGiftCardsPlus
Base: 1.25%
Earning rate: Earn 5x on eligible Priceline.com purchases. Earn 2x on gas and restaurants.
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Brand: 5%
Earning rate: 5X on Breeze Airways Nicer and Nicest Bundles & Trip Add-ons ✦ 2X on Breeze Airlines Nice Bundles ✦ 2X grocery ✦ 2X restaurants ✦ 1X everywhere else (including Breeze flights)
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 3% drugstores and gas stations ✦ 2% medical expenses ✦ 1% everywhere else
Base: 1%
Gas: 3%
Other: 3%
Earning rate: 3% airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals ✦ 2% restaurants ✦ 1% everywhere else
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 2%
Earning rate: Choose one of ten categories for 3x and one for 2x each quarter, then 1x everywhere else. Must choose 3x and 2x categories before each quarter starts or all purchases will default to 1x. You may select your categories as early as the first day of the preceeding quarter. Bonus categories are not capped.
Base: 1X (1%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 3X Alaska Airlines ✦ 2x gas, EV charging, local transit, rideshare, cable, and select streaming services purchases ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X Alaska Airlines ✦ 2x gas, EV charging, shipping and local transit ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X Virgin Atlantic ✦ 1.5X everywhere else
Base: 1.5X (1.95%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 3X on Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam purchases ✦ 1.5X everywhere else
Base: 1.5X (1.95%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X Virgin Atlantic ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X gas and grocery ✦ 3X Asiana.
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Grocery: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 2X Asiana
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X airfare, car rental and dining ✦ 3X Sonesta
Base: 1X (0.75%)
Travel: 2X (1.5%)
Brand: 3X (2.25%)
Earning rate: 1.5X everywhere; 3X for travel booked through BOA's travel center
Base: 1.5X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, this card earns: 2.625X points for all spend (and 5.25X for travel purchased through BOA's travel center)
Base: 2.625X (2.63%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere; Earn up to 2.625% back everywhere with Bank of America Platinum Honors status. Note that you'll need Preferred Rewards on the business side ("Preferred Rewards for Business") to earn a greater return.
Base: 1.5X (1.5%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere; Earn up to 2.625% back everywhere with Bank of America Platinum Honors status
Base: 2.625X (2.63%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere; Earn up to 2.625% back everywhere with Bank of America Platinum Honors status
Base: 2.625X (2.63%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X travel and dining ✦ 1.5X everywhere else
Base: 1.5%
Travel: 2%
Dine: 2%
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, earn: 3.5X travel and dining ✦ 2.625X everywhere else
Base: 2.625X (2.63%)
Travel: 3.5X (3.5%)
Dine: 3.5X (3.5%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X travel and dining ✦ 1.5X everywhere else
Base: 1.5%
Travel: 2%
Dine: 2%
Earning rate: 3% back on your choice of the following: gas and EV charging, online shopping, cable, streaming, internet & phone plans, dining, travel, drugstores, home improvement & furnishings (can choose a new category monthly). ✦ 2% back at grocery stores & wholesale clubs ✦ 1% back everywhere else. 2% and 3% rewards are capped at $2500 in combined purchases per quarter
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 3%
Grocery: 2%
Shop: 3%
Phone: 3%
Other: 3%
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors Preferred, 5.25% back on your choice of the following: gas and EV charging, online shopping, cable, streaming, internet & phone plans, dining, travel, drugstores, home improvement & furnishings (can choose a new category monthly). ✦ 3.5% back at grocery stores & wholesale clubs ✦ 1.75% back everywhere else. 5.25% and 3.5% rewards are capped at $2500 in combined purchases per quarter
Base: 1.75%
Travel: 5.25%
Dine: 5.25%
Gas: 5.25%
Grocery: 3.5%
Shop: 5.25%
Phone: 5.25%
Other: 5.25%
Earning rate: 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% on one category of your choice between gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings (can choose a new category monthly) up to the first $2,500 in combined 2% and 3% category purchases each quarter, then 1%.
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 3%
Grocery: 2%
Shop: 3%
Other: 3%
Earning rate: 2% on dining plus 3% on 1 choice from: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services (for the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter) and 1% everywhere else.
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 3%
Phone: 3%
Office: 3%
Biz: 3%
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, this card earns: 3.5% on dining plus 5.25% on 1 choice from: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services (for the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases each calendar year, 1.75% thereafter) and 1.75% everywhere else.
Base: 1.75%
Travel: 5.25%
Dine: 3.5%
Gas: 5.25%
Phone: 5.25%
Office: 5.25%
Biz: 5.25%
Earning rate: 1.5X everywhere; 3X for travel booked through BOA's travel center
Base: 1.5X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, this card earns: 2.625X points for all spend (and 5.25X for travel purchased through BOA's travel center)
Base: 2.625X (2.63%)
Earning rate: 2X Spirit
Base: 1X (1.2%)
Brand: 2X (2.4%)
Earning rate: 3X Spirit ✦ 2X dining & grocery ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.2%)
Dine: 2X (2.4%)
Grocery: 2X (2.4%)
Brand: 3X (3.6%)
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
Base: 2X (2.4%)
Earning rate: 3x Norwegian cruise line purchases ✦ 2x air and hotel
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 2X (2%)
Brand: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: 2x Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara
Base: 1X (1%)
Brand: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 2x Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara
Base: 1X (1%)
Brand: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 3x Allegiant ✦ 2x dining
Base: 1X (1%)
Dine: 2X (2%)
Brand: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: 3% travel & AAA ✦ 2% gas, grocery store, wholesale club and drugstore purchases ✦ 1% back everywhere else
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Shop: 2%
Brand: 3%
Other: 2%
Earning rate: 2X miles everywhere ✦ 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
Base: 2X (2.9%)
Other: 5X (7.25%)
Earning rate: 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel ✦ 5x miles on flights booked via Capital One travel. ✦ 2X miles everywhere else.
Base: 2X (2.9%)
Other: 10X (14.5%)
Earning rate: 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel ✦ 5x on flights booked via Capital One travel. ✦ 2X everywhere else.
Base: 2X (2.9%)
Other: 10X (14.5%)
Earning rate: 1.25X miles everywhere ✦ 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
Base: 1.25X (1.81%)
Other: 5X (7.25%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere ✦ 5% on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
Base: 1.5%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: 3% on dining, entertainment, select streaming services, and purchases at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) ✦ 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases ✦ 5% on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel (terms apply) ✦ 1% everywhere else
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Grocery: 3%
Other: 3%
Earning rate: 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services ✦ 3% at grocery stores ✦ 1% everywhere else ✦ 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases ✦ 5% on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
Base: 1%
Dine: 4%
Grocery: 3%
Other: 4%
Earning rate: 2X Miles everywhere ✦ Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car
bookings through Capital One Travel
Base: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: 1.5X miles everywhere ✦ Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel
Base: 1.5X (2.18%)
Earning rate: 2% everywhere
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 2% everywhere ✦ 5% on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere ✦ 5% on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 5x Rocket Points everywhere
Base: 1.25%
Earning rate: Prime Members: 5% in Amazon rewards on US purchases at Amazon.com and Amazon physical stores ✦ 5% back at Whole Foods ✦ 5% back on Chase Travel purchases ✦ 2% Back in Amazon rewards at US restaurants, local transit and commuting (including rideshare), US gas stations, and drugstores ✦ 1% back on all other purchases
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 5%
Shop: 5%
Brand: 5%
Other: 2%
Earning rate: 3% in Amazon rewards on US purchases at Amazon.com and Amazon physical stores ✦ 3% back at Whole Foods ✦ 3% back on Chase Travel purchases ✦ 2% Back in Amazon rewards at US restaurants, local transit and commuting (including rideshare), US gas stations, and drugstores ✦ 1% back on all other purchases
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 3%
Shop: 3%
Brand: 3%
Other: 2%
Earning rate: This card only earns 1% back in the form of "Disney Dream Dollars" on most purchases (and 2% in bonus categories) and the meet & greet is also available on the Disney debit card. However, the current signup bonus makes it worth a look.
Base: 1%
Earning rate: 2X grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and most Disney locations ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Brand: 2%
Earning rate: 3X British Airways. Iberia, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL ✦ 2X hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.09%)
Travel: 2X (2.18%)
Brand: 3X (3.27%)
Earning rate: 3X British Airways. Iberia, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL ✦ 2X hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.09%)
Travel: 2X (2.18%)
Brand: 3X (3.27%)
Earning rate: 3X British Airways. Iberia, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL ✦ 2X hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1.09%)
Travel: 2X (2.18%)
Brand: 3X (3.27%)
Earning rate: 2X local transit and commuting, including rideshare ✦ 2X internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming ✦ 2X Southwest
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 2X (2.8%)
Phone: 2X (2.8%)
Brand: 2X (2.8%)
Earning rate: 3X Southwest ✦ 2X Rapid Rewards(R) hotel and car partners ✦ 2X rideshare ✦ 1X on all other purchases.
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 2X (2.8%)
Brand: 3X (4.2%)
Earning rate: 4X Southwest ✦ 3X Rapid Rewards(R) hotel and car partners ✦ 2X rideshare ✦ 2X social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services ✦ 1X on all other purchases.
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 3X (4.2%)
Phone: 2X (2.8%)
Biz: 2X (2.8%)
Brand: 4X (5.6%)
Earning rate: 3X Southwest ✦ 2X Rapid Rewards(R) hotel and car partners ✦ 2X local transit and rideshare ✦ 2X internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming ✦ 1X on all other purchases.
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 2X (2.8%)
Brand: 3X (4.2%)
Earning rate: 3X Southwest ✦ 2X Rapid Rewards(R) hotel and car partners ✦ 2X local transit and rideshare ✦ 2X internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming ✦ 1X on all other purchases.
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 2X (2.8%)
Phone: 2X (2.8%)
Brand: 3X (4.2%)
Earning rate: 2X at restaurants including eligible delivery services , gas stations, and office supply stores ✦ 2X United ✦ 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxicabs, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Office: 2X (2.6%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: ✦ 4X United ✦ 2X dining & travel
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 4X (5.2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X United ✦ 1.5X everywhere else
Base: 1.5X (1.95%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X United ✦ 2X restaurants ✦ 2X on hotel stays
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X United ✦ 2X restaurants including eligible delivery services ✦ 2X on all other travel ✦ 2X select streaming
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X United ✦ 2X gas stations ✦ 2X local transit and commuting
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Other: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X Air Canada ✦ 3X grocery stores ✦ 3X dining ✦ 500 bonus points with each $2K calendar month spend, up to $6K spend per month (1,500 points max) ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 3X (3.9%)
Grocery: 3X (3.9%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 10X hotels & car rentals booked through Chase Travel℠ ✦ 10X Chase Dining ✦ 5X flights booked through Chase ✦ 3X Travel and Dining ✦ 10X Lyft (through March 2025)
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (4.5%)
Dine: 3X (4.5%)
Other: 10X (15%)
Earning rate: 5X Travel booked through Chase Travel℠ (2X all other travel) ✦ 3X Dining ✦ 3X Select streaming services ✦ 3X Online grocery ✦ 5X Lyft (through March 2025) ✦ 10% annual point bonus
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 2X (3%)
Dine: 3X (4.5%)
Other: 3X (4.5%)
Earning rate: 5X Lyft through March 2025; 5X in rotating categories on up to $1,500 spend per quarter (Q4 2023: PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities).
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Shop: 5X (7.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: 5x travel booked through Chase Travel℠ ✦ 5X Lyft through March 2025 ✦ 3x dining ✦ 3x drugstores ✦ 5X in rotating categories on up to $1,500 spend per quarter (Q2 2024: Amazon, Hotels & Restaurants)
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Dine: 3X (4.5%)
Shop: 5X (7.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: 5x travel booked through Chase Travel℠ ✦ 5X Lyft through March 2025 ✦ 3x dining ✦ 3x drugstores ✦ 1.5X everywhere else
Base: 1.5X (2.25%)
Dine: 3X (4.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: This card does not earn ongoing rewards beyond the welcome bonus.
Base: 0%
Earning rate: 1.5X on all purchases ✦ 5X Lyft through through March 2025
Base: 1.5X (2.25%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: 5X office supplies and cellular/landline/cable (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) ✦ 2X on the first $25K in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each cardmember year ✦ 5X Lyft through March 2025
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Dine: 2X (3%)
Gas: 2X (3%)
Phone: 5X (7.5%)
Office: 5X (7.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: 3X travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year) ✦ 5X Lyft through March 2025
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (4.5%)
Phone: 3X (4.5%)
Biz: 3X (4.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: ✦ 5X office supplies, 5X cellular/landline/cable ✦ 2X gas and hotels ✦ 5X Lyft through March 2025
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 2X (3%)
Gas: 2X (3%)
Phone: 5X (7.5%)
Office: 5X (7.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: 2.5% cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more ✦ 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel(SM) ✦ 2% cash back on all other spend
Base: 2%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: ✦ 2X restaurants / cafes / coffee shops, airlines, local transit, fitness clubs and gym memberships ✦ 4X Hyatt and Mr & Mrs Smith
Base: 1X (2.1%)
Travel: 2X (4.2%)
Dine: 2X (4.2%)
Brand: 4X (8.4%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X in the top 3 spend categories each calendar quarter through 12/31/24 (then the top 2 categories after that). Eligible categories include dining; airline tickets purchased directly with the airline; car rental agencies; local transit and commuting; gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; social media and search engine advertising; and shipping ✦ 4X Hyatt and Mr & Mrs Smith
Base: 1X (2.1%)
Brand: 4X (8.4%)
Earning rate: 3% restaurants and gas stations.
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 3%
Earning rate: ✦ 5X IHG ✦ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants
Base: 1X (0.63%)
Dine: 2X (1.26%)
Gas: 2X (1.26%)
Grocery: 2X (1.26%)
Brand: 5X (3.15%)
Earning rate: 10X IHG ✦ 5X travel, dining, and gas stations ✦ 3X on all other purchases
Base: 3X (1.89%)
Travel: 5X (3.15%)
Dine: 5X (3.15%)
Gas: 5X (3.15%)
Brand: 10X (6.3%)
Earning rate: 10X IHG ✦ 5X travel, gas stations, restaurants and dining, social media and search engine advertising, office supply stores ✦ 3X on all other purchases
Base: 3X (1.89%)
Travel: 5X (3.15%)
Dine: 5X (3.15%)
Gas: 5X (3.15%)
Office: 5X (3.15%)
Brand: 10X (6.3%)
Earning rate: ✦ 5X IHG ✦ 3x dining, gas stations utilities, cable, Internet, phone, and select streaming services ✦ 2X everywhere else
Base: 2X (1.26%)
Dine: 3X (1.89%)
Gas: 3X (1.89%)
Phone: 3X (1.89%)
Brand: 5X (3.15%)
Other: 3X (1.89%)
Earning rate: 6X Marriott.✦ 4X restaurants & grocery on up to $15K spend per year ✦ 2X everywhere else
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Dine: 4X (3.2%)
Grocery: 4X (3.2%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: ✦ 6X Ritz & Marriott.✦ 3X airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants ✦ 2X everywhere else
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Travel: 3X (2.4%)
Dine: 3X (2.4%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X airline, car rental, & restaurants ✦ 5X Marriott.
Base: 1X (0.8%)
Travel: 2X (1.6%)
Dine: 2X (1.6%)
Brand: 5X (4%)
Earning rate: ✦ 6X Marriott Bonvoy ✦ 3X gas stations, grocery stores, and dining on up to $6K in combined purchases each year ✦ 2X everywhere else
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Dine: 3X (2.4%)
Gas: 3X (2.4%)
Grocery: 3X (2.4%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X Marriott Bonvoy ✦ 2X travel ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.8%)
Travel: 2X (1.6%)
Brand: 3X (2.4%)
Earning rate: 6X Marriott ✦ 4X dining, internet, cable and phone service ✦ 4X gas stations and shipping ✦ 2X everywhere else.
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Gas: 4X (3.2%)
Phone: 4X (3.2%)
Biz: 4X (3.2%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Earning rate: 2X restaurants ✦ 2X gas ✦ 2X AA
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 2X grocery ✦ 2X AA ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Grocery: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2X AA ✦ 2X certain telecommunications merchants ✦ 2X car rental merchants ✦ 2X gas
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Phone: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 4X AA ✦ 10X hotels booked through AA.com/Hotels ✦ 10X car rentals booked through AA.com/Cars ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 4X (5.2%)
Other: 10X (13%)
Earning rate: 3x travel ✦ office supply ✦ professional services
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Other: 3X (4.35%)
Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ✦ 3X hotels and cruise line ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 5X (7.25%)
Dine: 5X (7.25%)
Earning rate: 5X gas ✦ 3X grocery and dining ✦ 2X Sears and KMart
Base: 1X (1%)
Dine: 3X (3%)
Gas: 5X (5%)
Grocery: 3X (3%)
Other: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 3X grocery ✦ 3X dining ✦ 3X gas stations & EV charging ✦ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies ✦ 10X hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked through Citi Travel℠
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 3X (4.35%)
Dine: 3X (4.35%)
Gas: 3X (4.35%)
Grocery: 3X (4.35%)
Earning rate: 2X dining and entertainment
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Dine: 2X (2.9%)
Other: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: 5x on travel booked through Citi Travel℠ Portal through December 31, 2025 (excludes air travel) ✦ 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ✦ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Gas: 2X (2.9%)
Grocery: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ✦ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Gas: 2X (2.9%)
Grocery: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ✦ 3 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ✦ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 3X (4.35%)
Shop: 3X (4.35%)
Brand: 3X (4.35%)
Earning rate: ✦ 2 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ✦ 2 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ✦ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 2X (2.9%)
Shop: 2X (2.9%)
Brand: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3 points per $1 at gas stations ✦ 2 points per $1 oat grocery stores ✦ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Gas: 3X (4.35%)
Grocery: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: 2% cash back everywhere (1% cash back for each purchase + 1% when paying your credit card bill for that purchase). ✦ For a limited time: Earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi TravelSM Portal through 12/31/24.
Base: 2X (2.9%)
Earning rate: 5x on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1x thereafter. Eligible categories: Restaurants, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs and Live Entertainment. ✦ 1x on all other purchases
Base: 1X (1.45%)
Travel: 5X (7.25%)
Dine: 5X (7.25%)
Gas: 5X (7.25%)
Grocery: 5X (7.25%)
Other: 5X (7.25%)
Earning rate: ✦ 4% gas and EV charging (up to $7K spend / year) ✦ 3% restaurant & travel; 2% Costco ✦ 1% everywhere else
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 4%
Earning rate: ✦ 4% gas & EV charging (up to $7K spend / year) ✦ 3% restaurant & travel ✦ 2% Costco ✦ 1% everywhere else
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 4%
Brand: 2%
Earning rate: 4X Expedia purchases ✦ 2x restaurants & entertainment
Base: 1X (0.71%)
Dine: 2X (1.42%)
Brand: 4X (2.84%)
Other: 2X (1.42%)
Earning rate: 3X Expedia purchases
Base: 1X (0.71%)
Brand: 3X (2.13%)
Earning rate: 5X on rotating categories each quarter. 5% limited to $6K spend per year.
Base: 1%
Grocery: 5%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: 1.8% back everywhere
Base: 1.8%
Dine: 1.8%
Gas: 1.8%
Other: 1.8%
Earning rate: ✦ 3X airline, hotel, taxi, limousine, rental car, train bus, restaurant, fast food and takeout food and dining purchases ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.11%)
Travel: 3X (3.33%)
Dine: 3X (3.33%)
Earning rate: X1 offers "Boosts" of additional point earnings for various categories of spend, for specific merchants, and for certain thresholds of spend. You must enroll in these boosts to earn more points. Additionally, earn 3x for all spend between $1000 and $7,500 each calendar month
Base: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5 miles per dollar for all spend.
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5 miles per dollar for all spend. All Miles are doubled at the end of your first card membership year.
Base: 3%
Earning rate: 1.5% cash back for all spend.
Base: 1.5X (1.5%)
Earning rate: 5X in rotating categories, up to $1500 spend per quarter (Q1 2024: Gas Stations & Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, Home Improvement Stores & Public Transit)
Base: 1X (1%)
Grocery: 5X (5%)
Shop: 5X (5%)
Other: 5X (5%)
Earning rate: 5X in rotating categories, up to $1500 spend per quarter (Q4 2023: Amazon.com and Target)
Base: 1X (1%)
Dine: 5X (5%)
Shop: 5X (5%)
Other: 5X (5%)
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 8x Rideshare ✦ 5x Brex Travel ✦ 4x Restaurants ✦ 3x on recurring software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Twilio, and more ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Dine: 4X (5.6%)
Biz: 3X (4.2%)
Other: 8X (11.2%)
Earning rate: 2.5% for groceries, drugstores, sporting goods, fitness, and athletic apparel ✦ 1.5% everywhere else. Earn double (5% or 3%) each week when you meet fitness goals.
Base: 1.5%
Grocery: 2.5%
Shop: 2.5%
Other: 2.5%
Earning rate: 5x Cavs season tickets and streaming services ✦ 3x other Cavs tickets, dining, grocery, and delivery ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Grocery: 3%
Brand: 5%
Earning rate: 5x rideshare and streaming services ✦ 5x bars and restaurants on match days ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1%
Dine: 5%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: 5x points on Liverpool FC merchandise at the Official Liverpool FC Store and on Liverpool FC ticket purchases, select rideshare and streaming services ✦ 3x at bars, restaurants, and select delivery services ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Brand: 5%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: 5x on Marlins tickets ✦ 5% back on retail & concessions at IoanDepot Park ✦ 3x on dining, food delivery, gas and drugstores ✦ 1x on everything else
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Brand: 5%
Other: 3%
Earning rate: 4x gas ✦ 4x bars, restaurants, and select food delivery services ✦ 4x on Pelicans tickets ✦ 10% statement credit for concessions purchases at Smoothie King Center and at the in-venue and online Pelicans team store
Base: 1%
Dine: 4%
Gas: 4%
Brand: 4%
Other: 4%
Earning rate: 4x Qatar purchases ✦ 2x dining ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.09%)
Dine: 2X (2.18%)
Brand: 4X (4.36%)
Earning rate: 5x Qatar purchases ✦ 3x dining ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.09%)
Dine: 3X (3.27%)
Brand: 5X (5.45%)
Earning rate: 3x TAP Air Portugal purchases ✦ 3x hotels, car rentals, & rideshare ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.2%)
Travel: 2X (2.4%)
Brand: 3X (3.6%)
Other: 2X (2.4%)
Earning rate: 5% back at at every store at every Simon Mall, Mills, or Premium Outlet in the U.S. Use your card 5 times each statement period to earn Rewards. ✦ 1% back on all other purchases.
Base: 1%
Shop: 5%
Brand: 5%
Earning rate: 2x Avianca purchases, dining, and grocery ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Grocery: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X Avianca purchases ✦ 2X dining and other travel ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 2X Gas ✦ 2X Grocery ✦ 2X Travel ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1%
Travel: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Brand: 2%
Earning rate: 2X Amtrak ✦ 2X dining ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (2.56%)
Dine: 2X (5.12%)
Brand: 2X (5.12%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X Amtrak ✦ 2X qualifying travel, dining, transit, and rideshare ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (2.56%)
Travel: 2X (5.12%)
Dine: 2X (5.12%)
Brand: 3X (7.68%)
Earning rate: 2% everywhere
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 2% everywhere
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
Base: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3X Travel, Dining and Gas ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 3X (3%)
Dine: 3X (3%)
Gas: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: 3X MGM ✦ 2X Gas and Grocery ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Gas: 2X (2%)
Grocery: 2X (2%)
Brand: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: 10X at Best Western properties ✦ 2X elsewhere
Base: 2X (1.08%)
Brand: 10X (5.4%)
Earning rate: 3X on Sun Country purchases ✦ 2X Gas and Grocery ✦ 1X elsewhere
Base: 1X (1%)
Gas: 2X (2%)
Grocery: 2X (2%)
Brand: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: 2x travel (includes airlines, hotels, and car rentals)
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 3x travel (includes airlines, hotels, and car rentals) ✦ 2x dining
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 3X (3%)
Dine: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 3% cash back on up to $2K in spend in the category you choose each quarter: gas stations, travel & entertainment, restaurants, discount & warehouse stores, grocery stores, utilities & office supply stores, electronics and computer and camera stores, department and apparel and sporting good stores, auto parts & service, and home improvement stores
Base: 1%
Travel: 3%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 3%
Grocery: 3%
Shop: 3%
Office: 3%
Biz: 3%
Other: 3%
Earning rate: 2.5%, 5%, or 10% back at select retailers ✦ 1.5% everywhere else ✦ Note a monthly limit of $200 in earned rewards.
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 4x Dining, takeout, & delivery ✦ 2x grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas station, and streaming services ✦ 1x everywhere else
Base: 1%
Dine: 4%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Earning rate: 4X Travel for PenFed Honors Advantage Members ✦ 3X travel otherwise ✦ 1.5X everywhere else. Advantage membership is available to anyone who opens an Access America Checking account, or to military members.
Base: 1.5X (1.28%)
Travel: 3X (2.55%)
Earning rate: 5x Gas and EV Charging ✦ 3X supermarkets, restaurants, and TV, radio, cable, streaming services ✦ 1X everywhere else.
Base: 1.5X (1.28%)
Dine: 3X (2.55%)
Gas: 5X (4.25%)
Grocery: 3X (2.55%)
Other: 3X (2.55%)
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
Base: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 4X gas stations ✦ 3X dining ✦ 2X grocery stores (up to $8,000 spend per cardmember year across all three categories combined)
Base: 1X (1%)
Dine: 3X (3%)
Gas: 4X (4%)
Grocery: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 3% on your eligible top spend category ✦ 2% on your second top category ✦ 1% everywhere else ✦ Eligible cateories include Dining & Nightlift, Travel, Bills & Utilities, Health & Beauty, Grocery, Gas, Transportation, Entertainment
Base: 1%
Earning rate: ✦ 2X Cathay Pacific ✦ 1.5X dining ✦ 1.5X purchases outside of the US ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.09%)
Dine: 1.5X (1.64%)
Brand: 2X (2.18%)
Other: 1.5X (1.64%)
Earning rate: 3% cash back when you check out with PayPal ✦ 1.5% cash back everywhere else
Base: 2%
Brand: 3%
Earning rate: 3% cash back when you check out with PayPal ✦ 2% cash back everywhere else
Base: 2%
Brand: 3%
Earning rate: Earn Verizon Dollars: 4% grocery & gas ✦ 3% dining ✦ 2% Verizon (including monthly wireless bill) ✦ 1% everywhere else
Base: 1X (1%)
Dine: 3X (3%)
Gas: 4X (4%)
Grocery: 4X (4%)
Brand: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 2X Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on Air Canada purchases
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X travel & dining
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 3X (3%)
Dine: 3X (3%)
Earning rate: ✦ 3% dining ✦ 2% grocery stores
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Grocery: 2%
Earning rate: 3% phone, internet and cable services ✦ 2% dining and gas stations
Base: 1%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Phone: 3%
Earning rate: 3x for commercial air travel, 2x for gas and groceries, and 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (4.5%)
Gas: 2X (3%)
Grocery: 2X (3%)
Earning rate: 3x for air travel and hotel stays, 2x for eligible business expenses (office supplies, business cable/internet, shipping, business phone and advertising), 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (4.5%)
Phone: 2X (3%)
Office: 2X (3%)
Biz: 2X (3%)
Earning rate: Earn 2% cash back on your first $100,000 in eligible purchases each year then 1%
Base: 2%
Earning rate: 2x on top two categories where you spend the most each month.
Base: 1%
Other: 2%
Earning rate: ✦ 2X cell phone ✦ 2X charity ✦ 2X gas, office supply, or airline purchases (whichever is most each month).
Base: 1X (0.71%)
Travel: 2X (1.42%)
Gas: 2X (1.42%)
Phone: 2X (1.42%)
Office: 2X (1.42%)
Other: 2X (1.42%)
Earning rate: 2X charity and then 2X in one of the following: cell phone providers, gas, grocery, or airline purchases (whichever category you spend most on each month).
Base: 1X (0.71%)
Travel: 2X (1.42%)
Gas: 2X (1.42%)
Grocery: 2X (1.42%)
Phone: 2X (1.42%)
Other: 2X (1.42%)
Earning rate: 6x on first $1,500 in purchases each quarter with two retailers you choose ✦ 3x on first $1,500 in purchases per quarter on one everyday category (like wholesale clubs, gas and EV charging stations, bills and utilities)
Base: 1.5%
Gas: 2%
Other: 6%
Earning rate: ✦ 3X restaurants ✦ 2X gas stations and airlines
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 2X (2%)
Dine: 3X (3%)
Gas: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 5x prepaid hotel & car rental through Altitude Rewards Center ✦ 3X travel and mobile wallet payments
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (4.5%)
Shop: 3X (4.5%)
Other: 5X (7.5%)
Earning rate: 6x prepaid hotel & car rental through Altitude Rewards Center ✦ 2.5X mobile wallet payments (on up to $5,000 spend per quarter)
Base: 2X (2%)
Shop: 2.5X (2.5%)
Other: 6X (6%)
Earning rate: 4X take out, food delivery (including apps like GrubHub, UberEATS, etc), and dining ✦ 2X grocery (including meal kit delivery), gas stations, and streaming services
Base: 1X (1%)
Dine: 4X (4%)
Gas: 2X (2%)
Grocery: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 4X travel and gas stations ✦ 2x take out, food delivery (including apps like GrubHub, UberEATS, etc), dining, grocery (including meal kit delivery) and streaming services
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 4X (4%)
Dine: 2X (2%)
Gas: 4X (4%)
Grocery: 2X (2%)
Other: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 5x hotels and car rentals when booked through US Bank Portal ✦ 4X travel, gas stations and EV charging ✦ 2x take out, food delivery (including apps like GrubHub, UberEATS, etc), dining and streaming services
Base: 1X (1%)
Travel: 4X (4%)
Dine: 2X (2%)
Gas: 4X (4%)
Other: 5X (5%)
Earning rate: 2X on spending with LAN & TAM
Base: 1X (0.62%)
Brand: 2X (1.24%)
Earning rate: 2x on Korean Air, Hotels and Dining
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: 3X miles on Korean Air, 2x on Other Airlines, Car Rental, Hotels and Dining
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Travel: 2X (2.6%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 3X (3.9%)
Earning rate: 2X miles on Korean Air, Gas Stations, Dining
Base: 1X (1.3%)
Dine: 2X (2.6%)
Gas: 2X (2.6%)
Brand: 2X (2.6%)
Earning rate: Each quarter, choose two 5% cash back categories (capped at $2K spend per quarter combined) and one 2% category (uncapped). 1% cash back everywhere else. 5% Categories: Home Utilities ✦ Ground Transportation ✦ Select Clothing Stores ✦ Cell Phone Providers ✦ Electronic Stores ✦ TV, Internet & Streaming Services ✦ Gyms/Fitness Centers ✦ Fast Food ✦ Sporting Goods Stores ✦ Department Stores ✦ Furniture Stores ✦ Movie Theaters. 2% Categories: Gas Stations ✦ Restaurants ✦ Grocery Stores
Base: 1%
Travel: 5%
Dine: 2%
Gas: 2%
Grocery: 2%
Shop: 5%
Phone: 5%
Other: 5%
Earning rate: 3% back at gas stations, office supply stores, and cell phone/service providers ✦ 1% back everywhere else ✦ Note: purchases of gaoline greater than $200 will not be deemed to be a purchase of automotive gasoline and will therefore earn only 1%.
Base: 1%
Gas: 3%
Phone: 3%
Office: 3%
Earning rate: 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants ✦ 1% back everywhere else ✦ Note: purchases of gaoline greater than $200 will not be deemed to be a purchase of automotive gasoline and will therefore earn only 1%.
Base: 1%
Dine: 3%
Gas: 3%
Phone: 3%
Office: 3%
Earning rate: 3X flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, dining, gas, rideshares, transit, and streaming services
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Travel: 3X (4.5%)
Dine: 3X (4.5%)
Gas: 3X (4.5%)
Other: 3X (4.5%)
Earning rate: 3X travel & transit, gas, phone plans (wireless and landline) and streaming services
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 3X (4.2%)
Dine: 3X (4.2%)
Gas: 3X (4.2%)
Phone: 3X (4.2%)
Other: 3X (4.2%)
Earning rate: 2x everywhere
Base: 2X (2%)
Earning rate: 5X hotels ✦ 4X airlines ✦ 3X restaurants & other travel ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (1.4%)
Travel: 3X (4.2%)
Dine: 3X (4.2%)
Other: 5X (7%)
Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months
Base: 1X (1.5%)
Earning rate: 1.5% cash back everywhere if you choose the cash back program (note that you must opt in to the cash back program at account opening to get the signup bonus and 1.5% everywhere. If you choose points, this card earns 1x everywhere and a bonus 1,000 points in any statement period that you spend $1,000 or more.
Base: 1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% cash back everywhere in the form of Go Far Rewards ✦ 1.8% back on Google Pay or Apple Pay purchases for the first 12 months
Base: 1.5X (2.25%)
Earning rate: Collect 1 $110 stamp for every night you stay at any eligible property booked on Hotels.com and collect 1 stamp each time you spend $500 on purchases with your card. Collect 10 stamps, get 1 reward night.
Base: 0.002X (2.2%)
Earning rate: 5X at Choice Hotels ✦ 3X at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, and phone plans ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.68%)
Gas: 3X (2.04%)
Grocery: 3X (2.04%)
Phone: 3X (2.04%)
Brand: 5X (3.4%)
Earning rate: 10X at Choice Hotels ✦ 5X at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, and phone plans ✦ 1X everywhere else
Base: 1X (0.68%)
Gas: 5X (3.4%)
Grocery: 5X (3.4%)
Phone: 5X (3.4%)
Brand: 10X (6.8%)
Earning rate: Must use your card for 5 purchases per month, then: 3x Dining ✦ 3x Lyft ✦ 2x Travel ✦ 1x rent (one payment per month, up to 100,000 points per year) ✦ 1x on other purchases
Base: 1X (1.55%)
Travel: 2X (3.1%)
Dine: 3X (4.65%)
Other: 3X (4.65%)

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[…] 1.33c per point. According to Greg’s work, you’ll likely get more like 1.43c each, but we adjusted airline miles downward in May of 2019. If you do get closer to one and a half cents per point, you’re darn near even in terms of […]

[…] transfer partners. Shortly after we made major changes to our Reasonable Redemption Values (See: A big change to Frequent Miler’s point values.), we published a post on easy ways to get good value out of Citi ThankYou points. Today, we look at […]

R H

It seems to me that “all airline miles are worth the same” is an oversimplification. It’s quite difficult to find cases where Delta miles are worth more than 1.2 cents per point. Southwest miles are worth at least 1.4 cents per point without much variance. BA miles (used for nonstop AA or AS flights) are often worth more than 2.0 cents per point.

Also, with both airline miles and hotel points, the consideration that you don’t earn miles on stays paid for with points is best kept separate from the value of the points themselves. Otherwise, every time you use a valuation, you need to back out the assumed value of the points not earned and replace it with the actual value — which could be nearly zero if you are paying for a ticket for someone else, or for travel on an airline such as TAP Portugal which gives no points for most coach tickets.

Blue

I think it is worthwhile to have valuations for deciding to earn a point to guide purchase decisions (especially for MS) and valuations for spending points.

For earning points, I use cash or travel redemption values (with travel I also back out forgone CSR earning). So for earning I use:

TYP: 1.21 cpp
MR: 1.25 cpp (Schwab)
UR/WF: 1.42 cpp (with 1.5 from CSR and WF Sig)

Hilton I use 0.4 cpp and Marriott 0.7 since there isn’t a good way to convert to cash.

[…] valuable than Chase or Amex points when we recently updated our Reasonable Redemption Values (See: A big change to Frequent Miler’s point values.), ThankYou points still have plenty of great uses (some of which are shared with those other […]

WR2

In the absence of an open market for points, it’s impossible to determine a correct point valuation. There should be some discount from expected RRVs to account for the lack of flexibility, more restrictions, lack of interest/appreciation (indeed a certainty of depreciation), and higher overall risk of holding points relative to cash, but exactly how much depends on each individual preferences as well as balances. Utility theory tells us that the more you have, the less valuable each incremental point will be worth to you, so if you have millions of AA miles, you would likely happily sell a few 100k at 1.2 cpp, but if you only had 100k AA miles then you probably would not.

I try to ask myself at what price would I be willing to buy some points, and at what price point would I be willing to sell some. Somewhere in between there is my valuation.

Jon

Just want to say thank you for putting miles in quotes in Capital One “Miles” – it drives me insane that they call their points miles. It seems obvious that it’s just to mislead people are aren’t as familiar with the concepts of credit card points and airline miles, and it’s completely deceptive.

Extra ironic now that you can exchange 2 Capital One “miles” for 1.5 airline miles. Wait, but if they’re miles (as Jennifer Garner would have you believe), shouldn’t it be 1 for 1???

Darcie

Great post!!!!! Lots of brain work in this. Thank you so much!!!!!

[…] you’re thinking about a Princess Cruise, this is an awesome return on spend. This morning, Greg wrote about our newly-updated Reasonable Redemption Values. Based on our newly-calibrated valuation, that puts […]

MSer

Yup, All were too high. But Delta deserves special ignomy for Skypesos – they are worth a cent, at most. Simply ridiculous redemption values unless you find a sale.

Think you have the pecking order correct for transferable currencies (Amex highest, Cap1 lowest), but I’d argue most are still too high – it’s much harder to find good redemptions unless you base your travel on points destinations, which is a terrible reason to travel (like flying all the way to the Maldives just to sit on a beach – something that can easily be done in the Caribbean/Hawaii for a fraction of time/cost/environmental damage). Thankfully the number of bloggers gushing over the Maldives has dropped dramatically once they all did their obligatory 17-post series – ‘free’ travel – all we had to do was spend 2 days getting there, a $500 boat ride, pay hugely expensive food costs and we sat on a beach! But we were ‘saving’ $1000 a night! Smh)

This hobby is a victim of it’s own success. Guys like you making a living discussing this stuff is proof…

CaveDweller

MSer
No one does that they and ME take what others are doing and adjust it for their travels .The blogs are a Gold Mine if u can get the drift how award travel works . I had like 50 or 60 $20 nites in 4* or 5* hotels .. The deal is that’s nice u got Free Air and hotel BUT most have no money to spend once they get there or need to pay basic bills so their not interest in any of this.
Take Care !!
CHEERs

Justin

Great post. I do think Hyatt (and all partners) need to be lower than their CC point transfer-partner to reflect the lost optionality when transferring to a program (vs. leaving as UR, etc.)

James

I understand the logic, but if someone has no interested in staying at a Hyatt (say they’re a Marriott loyalist, or trying to stay in locations that don’t have Hyatts), then in the situation where Hyatts are generally worth 2 cpp, it could make sense to have UR at 1.5 cpp and Hyatt at 2.

Pam

“Point estimates based on use cases would be a better solution, but it would be much harder to create and maintain.” 100% correct & is why no blog writer has yet offered the best data available for reader’s use.

You “upgraded” MRs, for instance, because your use for them is outsized value on airfare purchases. But you wouldn’t do so if you were only interested in hotel redemptions with MRs.

Separate value categories for hotel; air; cashback; & travel portal redemptions are needed for comparing apples-to-apples. Maybe someday, someone will find that time. Seems intuitive it will one day happen, though, since good redemption is the base objective to every post written.

Larry

Yeah, I think it’s important to distinguish between two related concepts: (1) What redemption value should I be getting? And (2) What card should I use for a proposed purchase?

I agree that the second question is essentially the same as deciding whether to buy points. The way that I think about is: at what point am I at equipoise whether I would rather have cash or have the currency? This number changes over time.
After redemption options, the single most important factor to me is my current balance of each currency. If I’m flush with Chase points, I’d generally rather have cash, so the point at which I’m a buyer of chase points is lower. If I’m low on Amex, they take on much greater value, because the ability to top up instantly to book an award that might come and go quickly is very important to me.

I think the key to all of this is to set some kind of baseline for the best value you can get spending $1 in a nonbonus category. For those with Ban of America deposits over $100,000, maybe that’s 2.65 cents. For those with the Amex Blue Business and a business plat who redeem with the 35 percent kick back, it’s closer to 3.00 cents.

For me, I have an Ink card that gets 5x at office supply stores. So, my baseline for nonbonus spend is buying $300 Visa gift cards with a $9 fee. I know that, unless I have a crazy surplus, I would always buy chase points at 1.5 cents per point, at least until I get a certain amount. A $300 gift card costs me $309 delivered to my door, and I get 1,545 points, which, at 1.5 cents per point, is worth $23.18, minus the $9 to acquire, or $14.20. That’s about 4.73 cents per point for that $300, so that’s my baseline. I need to beat that to use another method.

Debit

While this is a great post there is too much navel gazing going on. It’s better to earn some rewards but not the maximum rewards possible. I have tried to maximize my rewards earning but screwed my stock investing which would have been a lot more lucrative. All the dumb idiots trying to spend their points for 2c instead of 1.5c, hopefully you don’t expend any extra energy. That energy is better spent on your career, investing in stocks or chasing skirts.

Treat this as picking the low hanging fruit. If you can get it easily take it. Anything that needs more effort like getting multiple cards, tracking the best card, reading fine print on amex offers, reading and commenting on blogs is a waste of time. You won’t make enough to justify the time spent. This post is the realm of too much time spent and not worth the effort. Frankly get the best card for top 3 categories of your annual spend and a good cashback card. Keep all 4 cards in your wallet and evaluate once a year which card do you need to update.

KISS people KISS.

CaveDweller

Yup made $900 before I looked @ FM and cut the lawn too. If the card works for YOUR travel not others get it .
KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID !!! ( KISS)
CHEERs

CaveDweller

Oh ok sorry Greg !!
CHEERs

Aloha808

You make some good points, and that’s probably the right philosophy for you, but not for everyone. It reminds me of Elon Musk saying that grad school is a waste of time. Yeah, maybe for him. But not for everyone.
Let me give my example. I’m a husband and a father to 3 kids. Also a military reservist and a grad student. And i churn/MS as one of my hobbies. I find it to be a constructive way to spend some of my time with something that helps my family, without having to think about work or school. And I’m not playing the stock market because that’s just too risky for someone in my boat. Totally happy here just taking my family on trips with points and miles through this game…much less stress thank you very much.

Mbh

That depends on how much fun you have making these calculations (a lot if us ENJOY this) and how much money you can otherwise make with that time.

Russ

You should really be encouraging everyone to calculate their own point values based on their own usage. RRV’s are a great starting point for people who are new to the game or new to a particular point program, but once folks have a few redemptions under their belts they need to tailor their values to their own tendencies. It sounds obvious, but I’ve met a few people who never thought to do it, or simply never bothered.

Doug G.

Fully agree, we are all individuals. Greg’s words: “… points are worth more or less based on how they’re used, how many you already have, how easy they are to use, whether or not they add value (such as free flight changes), whether or not you have elite status, your travel habits (e.g. airline miles are often worth much more on international premium cabin flights), and your subjective value of the “joy of free.”

For me, great experience with United and American reservations, the help they give me getting first class seats when we take our trips, which we’ve worked hard to save for, means so much, that I often focus on earning their miles over other choices – because it’s easier to build and then travel than to mix cash back and such. The same for Hyatt – being able to give my wife a high end room in NYC for her visit with a friend, where the manager greats them in the lobby with a gift (!!!!), priceless, you can not calculate the point value. Our family observes that we are treated far better when visiting hotels on points – with our higher status levels – than we are when paying cash, it happens time and time again.

James

I totally agree with you on Hyatts. I’m primarily a Hyatt person, and I regularly get 2cpp+ all across the spectrum. The fact that I can sometimes even get 3-4+ means that 1.5 is just too low of a value *for me*.

Cat 1 HH/HP/HR – these are hotels that regularly cost $100-$150, so I’m getting 2-3 cpp (and getting free parking) in addition to normal benefits
Cat 4 – This are frequently really nice midrange hotels. Some of the really sweet spots went away, but at 12K points/night, I would have otherwise paid $400/nt for HR Bonita Springs, $500 for Centric San Francisco and more.
Cat 6/7 – This are frequently very nice hotels in expensive locations. Andaz Hawaii at the previous 25K points/nt had a room rate in the $600/nt (not to mention, free valet, waived resort fees, etc).

Blue

Few of us redeem often enough to do so. It’s important to have baseline valuations to help determine whether a specific redemption is wise.