What are hotel points worth? November 2017 reasonable redemption values.


Hotel points and airline miles vary in value depending upon how you use them.  For example, you could spend 15,000 Hyatt points for a night at a $150 hotel to get 1 cent per point value, or you could spend the same 15,000 points for a $1,500 resort night (as I did in Costa Rica last year) to get 10 cents per point value.

Even though there is no right answer to how much points are worth (until you use them), there is a need to know.  Which credit card signup offer is best?  Which card should I use for spend?  Is 15,000 points per night a good price for this award?  These are just a few of the questions where the answers require point valuations.

My answer to what points are worth is found in our Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) page.  This page aims to answer: How much travel value can we reasonably expect to get from our points?  If you’re not careful, you can get worse value.  Or, if you cherry-pick the best awards you can get significantly more value.  But if you try just a little bit to use points for decent value awards, you should be able to achieve these reasonable redemption values.

Last year, our Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) for hotels came directly from a tool called Hotel Hustle.  Hotel Hustle lets you search for hotels in a given city and it will show both the paid rate for the nights of interest and the points award rate.  Hotel Hustle stores the information from all of the searches done on its site and calculates median point values for various hotel chains (found here).  These median values became our Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) for hotel chains.

Since then, Hotel Hustle has stopped calculating median values for a number of programs.  But, I felt it was past time to update our RRVs.  Fortunately, there’s another tool that offers very similar functionality and also calculates median observed hotel point values: Pointimize.

Pointimize has similar functionality as Hotel Hustle and has (in my opinion) a much nicer interface.

Pointimize’s 2017 hotel point valuations can be found here.  And if you’re interested in an in-depth look at Hyatt point valuations, check out their article on that topic here.

The following table shows how our Reasonable Redemption Values for hotel chains have changed from last year to now.  The left-most column contains last year’s RRVs which came primarily from Hotel Hustle.  The middle column, for reference, shows today’s Hotel Hustle values, where available.  The last column shows today’s RRVs, which came primarily from Pointimize:

Program Dec 2016 RRVs
(Hotel Hustle Values from 12/14/16 except where noted)
Current Hotel Hustle Value
(as of 11/14/17)
Dec 2017 RRVs
(Pointimize 2017 Values)
Best Western 0.57
(Via ValuePenguin Post, not Hotel Hustle)
N/A 0.58
Choice 0.67 0.81 0.81
(From Hotel Hustle)
Club Carlson Gold Points 0.36 0.37 0.38
Hilton Honors 0.40 N/A 0.45
Hyatt Gold Passport 1.70 N/A 1.74
IHG Club 0.54 0.53 0.57
Marriott Rewards 0.68 0.69 0.72
SPG 1.60 N/A 1.83
SPG calculated as 3X Marriott 2.08 (I previously calculated this as 1.6 times 1.3) N/A 2.16
(This is the number used for the RRV)
Wyndham 0.55 0.61 0.70

Significant Changes

I find it interesting that there is very little difference between many of the values between last year and today.  Many of the hotel chains have nearly identical RRVs this year even though the source of the RRVs is new.  That’s good.  It gives me some additional confidence in the methodology.

The biggest changes were as follows:

  • Choice Privileges increased from 0.67 to 0.81 cents per point (a 21% increase).  Pointimize’s report doesn’t cover Choice, so we were lucky that Hotel Hustle continues to offer this information.  This increase in value doesn’t surprise me.  Lately, I have often found opportunities to get 1 cent per point, or better, value from Choice points.
  • Hilton Honors increased from 0.40 to 0.45 cents per point.  That’s a 12.5% increase in value.
  • Wyndham increased from 0.55 to 0.70 cents per point.  That’s a 27% increase!  In this case, though, we still have Hotel Hustle values to compare to and we see that Wyndham increased more modestly with Hotel Hustle (from 0.55 to 0.61, which is a 11% increase).  This is the only case where the change from Hotel Hustle to Pointimize obviously changes the results in a significant way.

Top 10+ Hotel Credit Card Offers

As a reminder, we have a page titled “Top 10+ Hotel Credit Card Offers” where we display the first year estimated value of each card.  All hotel cards are shown and sorted with the best first year value cards on top.  This page (and others like it) automatically use our Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) to calculate first year value.  You can visit the page now to see results that are based on our latest RRVs.  And don’t forget that you can page next to see beyond the Top 10.

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