Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs)

Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) are estimates of how much value you can reasonably expect to get from your points.  With almost all points programs, it’s possible to get very little value or, sometimes, huge value from your points.  RRVs are intended to be mid-point values that are reasonably easy to achieve with just a bit of work in finding good rather than poor value awards.

Additional background

With hotel points, we took an easy approach: the RRVs are the median observed values found when users search for hotel awards.  Half of the available awards offered better value and half worse.  You can read more about hotel RRVs and how they were originally determined here.  Airline miles are more complicated since award values vary tremendously based on a huge number of factors.  So, we developed a methodology to simplify things.  You can learn about that here: Airline Miles are worth 1.4 cents each. A simplified approach to Reasonable Redemption Values.

Please also see: Are points worth what they buy or what they save?

Transferable Points

Program Reasonable Redemption Value Source
Amex Membership Rewards 1.55 20% over standard airline mile value (based on the idea that you can transfer points to any of a number of programs in order to find the best award deals) and round to the nearest .05
Chase Ultimate Rewards 1.5 15% over standard airline mile value (based on the idea that you can transfer points to any of a number of programs in order to find the best award deals) and round to the nearest .05
Citi ThankYou Rewards 1.45 10% over standard airline mile value (based on the idea that you can transfer points to any of a number of programs in order to find the best award deals) and round to the nearest .05
Capital One “Miles” 1.45 10% over standard airline mile value (based on the idea that you can transfer points to any of a number of programs in order to find the best award deals) and round to the nearest .05
Brex 1.45 10% over standard airline mile value (based on the idea that you can transfer points to any of a number of programs in order to find the best award deals) and round to the nearest .05

The above RRVs assume that points are transferred to airline miles and used for medium to high value awards. If, instead, you pay with points for travel the redemption value will be lower.

Airline Miles

Program Reasonable Redemption Value Source
Air Canada Aeroplan 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Alaska MileagePlan 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
American AAdvantage 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Avianca LifeMiles 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
British Airways Avios 1.09 What are oddball airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Cathay Pacific Asia Mies 1.09 What are oddball airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Delta SkyMiles 1.2 See: What are Delta miles worth?
Frontier Bonus Miles 0.95 What are oddball airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Hawaiian Miles 0.75 What are oddball airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
JetBlue TrueBlue 1.33 What are JetBlue TrueBlue points worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Korean SkyPass 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
LATAM Pass 0.62 What are oddball airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Miles & More (Lufthansa) 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Southwest Rapid Rewards 1.4 The new true value of Southwest points, 2018 edition. New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
United MileagePlus 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.

Hotel Points

Program Reasonable Redemption Value Source
Best Western Rewards 0.54 See: What are Best Western points worth? (5/17/21)
Choice Privileges 0.68 See: What are Choice points worth? (5/10/21)
Expedia+ 0.71 3500 points = $25 hotel coupon = .71 cents per point
Hilton Honors 0.40 See: What are Hilton points worth? (5/7/21)
Hyatt 1.60 See: What are Hyatt points worth now, and once they add peak/off-peak pricing? (5/4/21)
IHG Rewards Club 0.60 See our IHG Analysis: Observed mean = 0.58, and observed median = 0.64. (4/9/21)
Marriott Rewards 0.63 See: What are Marriott Bonvoy points worth? (9/28/21)
Radisson Rewards 0.34 See: What are Radisson Hotels Americas points worth? (6/21/21)
Wyndham Rewards 0.82 See: What are Wyndham points worth? (5/12/21)

Other

Program Reasonable Redemption Value Source
Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.56 Points are worth up to 2.56 cents each on Acela trains and up to 2.9 cents each on other routes.
Arrival+ Points 1 Even though there is a 5% rebate when points are redeemed for travel, this estimate is based on the amount of travel that can be bought with existing points regardless of rebates.
CNB Rewards 1.11 When points are used for airfare, the points are more valuable for more expensive flights.  Point values range from 0.9 to 1.16 cents per point. Flights costing $300 offer about 1.11 cents per point value.  See: The Exact Value of CNB Crystal Visa Infinite Points.
FlexPerks 1.5 FlexPerks moved to fixed 1.5 cents per point value as of 1/1/2018
Merrill+ Points 1.44 Assumes using 25,000 points for $360 flight
PenFed Premium Travel Reward 0.85 How much are PenFed points worth?
Uber Cash 0.9 Valuing at 90% of face value since Uber gift cards are often available at a discount.
Most other bank points 1 Most bank point programs have points redeemable for 1 cent each for gift cards or travel.

Update History

  • 6/21/21: Decreased Radisson RRV from 0.38 to 0.34. See: What are Radisson Hotels Americas points worth?
  • 5/18/21: Decreased Marriott RRV from 0.70 to 0.62
  • 5/12/21: Increased Wyndham RRV to 0.82. Decreased Best Western RRV from 0.58 to 0.54.
  • 5/10/21: Decreased Choice RRV from 0.81 (old Hotel Hustle number) to 0.68. See: What are Choice points worth?
  • 5/7/21: Decreased Hilton RRV from 0.45 (old Pointimize number) to 0.4. See this post for details.
  • 5/4/21: Increased Hyatt RRV from 1.5 to 1.6.  See this post for details.
  • 4/19/21: Increased Capital One “Miles” to 1.45 now that they offer 1 to 1 transfers to several programs.
  • 4/9/21: Changed IHG RRV to 0.60.
  • 4/4/21: Changed IHG RRV to 0.50.
  • 6/23/20: With IHG awards now dynamically priced, we determined a new RRV for IHG points (0.65). See this post for details.
  • 10/27/19: CNB point values reduced from 1.25 to 1.11 due to a devaluation.
  • 5/5/2019: Reduced airline RRVs by 7% to account for the lack of earned miles on reward flights. Changed RRV bonuses given to transferable points programs. Capped Hyatt at value of Ultimate Rewards.  Full details can be found here.
  • 11/20/2018: Lowered Amtrak RRV to the Acela rate (1.56)
  • 4/5/2018: Changed Southwest RRV from 1.6 to 1.5 due to devaluation in Wanna Get Away fare awards.
  • 11/14/2017: Updated hotel values based on more recent data. Changed source from Hotel Hustle to Pointimize for many values
  • 3/28/2017: Added CNB Rewards, PenFed Premium Travel Rewards
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Ana

Nick and Greg: I have a question for you. Maybe you can address it on your next podcast. Both of you have recently written articles about sometimes choosing to earn cash back over miles, be it either by using the Bank of America card or the X1 card. I was surprised to read this because, even if a cash back card is used only for non-category spend (ie. the 2.6% BOA card), there are other points cards (like the Amex Blue Business Plus) that would provide a greater value at 2x, based on your reasonable redemption numbers. That makes me feel that, either you are not practicing what you preach, I am missing something, or you have special reasons for your choice of a cash redemption of apparently lower value. I’d love it if you could fill us in. For instance, why choose 3x or 4x on the X1 on dining spend, when the redemption value would be higher (according to your chart) using a points card that gives 2x-4x? Thanks for your comments!

CheerfulCharlie

Where is the love for KLM’s Flying Blue program? Why are they always missing from these lists?

Al C

Interesting to see how you value the points, but something’s not right when Chase is valued at 1.5 and Hyatt is at 1.6…

[…] 先ほどの例を使います。15,000ポイントがHyattポイントなら1.5セント(OMAAT)または1.6セント(FrequentMiler)←どのサイトを参考にするかで変動します。 […]

iheartpoints

Shouldn’t Chase points be set to at least 1.6c/pt given that they are transferrable to Hyatt which is currently 1.6?

Nick Reyes

No. It isn’t surprising that you can get more than one and a half cents in value from some partners (indeed our reasonable redemption values are intentionally conservative and meant to be an expectation of how much you can reasonably get without a large amount of effort to cherry pick the best awards), but a single partner won’t work for everyone. For example, Hyatt has a pretty limited footprint. If they don’t have any hotels where you want to stay, Ultimate Rewards points aren’t worth 1.6 cents based on Hyatt’s valuation. You can reasonably expect to get one and a half cents or more in value from Chase points even if you don’t transfer to Hyatt. If you do transfer to Hyatt, you can reasonably expect to get even more value in the same way that you could reasonably expect to get more value yet if you transfer to Singapore and value a first class redemption on their flights.

Additionally, I think the average card holder is much more likely to redeem points for travel at one and a half cents per point through Chase than to transfer to any partner, so I think it makes sense to have the reasonable floor at that level.

[…] fans.  The annual 7,500 point bonus is almost enough to offset the card’s $75 annual fee (at our Reasonable Redemption Value of 0.82 cents per point, 7,500 points is worth $61.50) and if you stay in Wyndham or Caesar’s properties often enough, […]

[…] 1MR=1.55セントと仮定すると(Frequent Milerのポイント価値を参考にしました) […]

Jags

I think the site has become very pro Capital One lately. I get there’s a lot going on there and all positive, but still…most of their transfer partners are less than 1:1 so why are they getting the same value as TYP?

Randy Sawtelle

Hey @Greg, Any chance the hotel RRV’s can be updated sometime, they are a bit behind..

AAron

The premise that ““Regular” airline miles are those in which 25,000 miles can be redeemed for a US round trip domestic flight. AA, Alaska, Delta, United, and many other airline miles fit this profile.” seems in need of an update since these programs all use variable pricing now except for AS. Do they all need to be downgraded to “oddball mile” 1.09 status?

Also noticed Air France was missing.

Last edited 10 months ago by AAron
Sachin

I think with variable pricing, airlines themselves are providing their estimate or RRVs. Lets say, we sample a large selection of routes for various time frames and compare cash prices to award prices and average them, could it not be reasonable way to estimate RRV?

Lets say, we pick 25 airports across the country, and find cash and award prices for best option between each pair of airports, 1 month away, 2 months away and 3 months away and average the value. If the airline does not offer last seat availability by any means, then we assign a large cost for the case when cash price is available, but award price is not.

This will also solve your problem for transferable currencies. For transferable currencies, while doing the above exercise, you take the best option across all transfer partners, and you have a dynamic way of estimating RRVs. You can alter the number of airports or number of time periods or even take number of stops into account into this algorithm.

Last edited 7 months ago by Sachin

[…] relevant now if you have the Amex Offer for +8 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. Our Reasonable Redemption Values peg Membership Rewards points at 1.55c per point, meaning that using 1 Membership Rewards point and […]

[…] values. In a nutshell, first year value looks at the value of the welcome bonus points based on our Reasonable Redemption Values minus the opportunity cost of putting the spend on the new card rather than a card that earns 2.5% […]

[…] So, that comes to 3.25 points per dollar if you spend exactly $20K, $40K, or $60K.  With the Marriott Reasonable Redemption Value of 0.72 cents per point, that means that you can average 2.34% in rewards.  That’s good, but not good enough for me […]

[…] Base2X(1.44%)Brand6X(4.32%) […]

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