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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Michael Bodaken

I have found that CNB air rewards, secured through the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite card are much less than the advertised airline rewards for the same flights and/or the reasonable cost of the flight. In general, from my home base of Washington DC, flying any real distance to another city, I will use, for example, 67000 or 81,000 points for a roundtrip business class ticket that would cost more than twice that much in dollars and most typically over 100,000 airline points (comparing United and/or American airlines typically). Note: this does not work for foreign flights. ONLY domestic.

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Jeremy

Greg,

Shouldn’t Bank Points (AMEX, CITI, CHASE) be worth at maximum the value of the most valuable transfer partner? I understand the ability to transfer to multiple partners some may value more than just transfer to one partner, but I fail to see how you can justify valuing a bank point at something more than the most valuable redemption.

My $0.02

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Mbh

For what it’s worth, I think 30% is just about perfect. To say there should be no increase in valuation due to flexibility is nuts. If I offer you 50000 AA miles or the same # of chase points, the vast majority will choose the latter because it gives them lots of options. Even if you know you want to use them for a trip from A to B, the chase points will let you look at lots of options and choose the one with available seats (or better flight times) before you transfer the points.

Omer

There is something I do not understand – if flexible points can be transferred to airline loyalty programs at a ration of 1:1 and if most airlines points are worth 1.4 cents a point, then how come the flexible point is valued at 1.82 cents a point?

Mser

Makes little sense to value flexible currencies like that. The usual problem (which I think is far and away the most common) I encounter is lack of finding reasonable redemptions due to lack of seat availability. It’s rare as hen’s teeth to consistently find outsized value.

Also, I think it’s more appropriate to use average values from Hotel Hustle, not median values.

CJ

Makes no sense to me to inflate transferable points by 30%. In fact, I will go as far as to say the value of transferable points equals the value of the partner where points will be transferred into and the value of the flexible points cannot exceed the value of its highest transfer partner. Makes no sense to value UR points at 1.82 cpp when 1.70cpp (Hyatt) is based on your calculations the highest possible redemption value. Someone who collects UR points for the sole purpose of booking Southwest flight will always get 1.6cpp value whether they hold points in the form or UR points or Southwest Points. Saying the points are worth 1.82cpp makes no sense at all because it cannot be redeemed at that value.

Frank

The problem is you are talking about two different things: RRV is what you can “reasonably redeem” for — if transfer partners tend to be 1.4 then the flex currency RRV will be 1.4. The “value” of flex currencies will obviously be higher than the fixed currencies but the value of fixed currencies will be below the RRV (if I can redeem for 1.4 then I certainly value them less than 1.4 due to time value, devals, etc.).

tl;dr: flexcurrency RRV should be 1.4, value of any currency is < RRV

Mark

Fairmont points should really be worth 1.0 because they can be redeemed for giftcards (Amazon and other retailers) for 1.0 in 2500 point increments.

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