Points Value and Rebate Percentage for 20+ Airlines, Hotels, Rail, and Rental Cars – January 2019

Table includes the value of one point and the rebate percentage (in points) for 20+ airline, hotel, rail, and rental car rewards programs. Valuations were last updated in January 2019.

Value of a Point or Mile and Rebate Percentage

Scroll right on the table for additional information on earnings and rebate percentage for co-branded credit card spending. There are quite a few assumptions and calculations that go into determining these values (more below chart), and it is important to remember that valuation can often be more of a subjective art than an objective science.

Definitions

Provider
This is the name of the travel provider and the associated rewards program.

Type
This specifies whether the provider is an airline, hotel, rail, or car rental provider.

Overall USD Value of One Point or Mile
This is overall average value of a point or mile, in USD, as calculated by Sundry Scoop, after adjusting for the size of the program’s network, the variety of redemption options available, and the availability of redemption options. The calculations take into account the following: (1) the size of the program’s network (i.e., destinations), (2) the variety of redemption options available, notably “upper upscale” and luxury options for hotels and first and business class options for airlines, and (3) the availability of redemption options (e.g., blackout periods, sold-out dates, limited award inventory, etc.). This value can differ from the value of a point or mile disregarding network size, variety, and availability for a program by up to ± $0.005 (half a cent).

Rebate % in Points for Non-Elite
Think of this metric as your “return on investment” or rebate (in points) for eligible spending with a provider as non-elite member in a given rewards program.

This figure is calculated by taking the Overall USD Value of One Point or Mile and dividing it by the amount (USD) you have to spend as a non-elite member to acquire one point or mile in a given program. For example, if one point is worth $0.015 and you have to spend $1.00 to acquire one point (as a non-elite member), your rebate percentage would be ($0.015 / $1.00) which equals 1.5%.

Top Published Elite Status
This reflects the name of the top published elite status level in a given rewards program.

Rebate % in Points for Elite
You can think of this metric as your “return on investment” or rebate (in points) for eligible spending with a provider as a member with the top (published) elite status in a given rewards program. Top elites tend to earn more points per dollar spent than non-elite members do in most rewards programs.

This figure is calculated by taking the Overall USD Value of One Point or Mile and dividing it by the amount (USD) you have to spend as a top elite member to acquire one point or mile in a given program. For example, if one point is worth $0.015 and you have to spend $0.25 to acquire one point (as a top elite member), your rebate percentage would be ($0.015 / $0.25) which equals 6.0%.

Co-Branded Credit Card (selected)
This is the name of the co-branded credit card issued for the rewards program. If a rewards program has multiple credit card options, the selected co-branded credit card will be the “premier” card, provided that the annual fee is $150 or less. For details about each credit card, check out information from the card issuer.

Co-Branded Credit Card Additional Rebate % on Direct Spend
Think of this metric as your “return on investment” or rebate (in points) for eligible spending directly with the relevant travel services provider on the eligible co-branded credit card (e.g., using the AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass card to pay for a hotel room at a Hilton Garden Inn). The rebate is exclusive of the points you receive from the rewards program itself (instead of the credit card issuer).

This figure is calculated by taking the Overall USD Value of One Point or Mile and dividing it by the amount (USD) you have to spend on the co-branded credit card to acquire one point or mile in a given program. For example, if one point is worth $0.015 and you have to spend $0.20 on the credit card to acquire one point (i.e., you get five points for every dollar spent directly with the relevant travel services provider), your rebate percentage would be ($0.015 / $0.20) which equals 7.5%.

Assumptions

Point values assume that you will redeem points for travel services provided by the respective provider. For instance, you could redeem your airline miles for kitchen appliances, but your points are more valuable when used to book flights with the respective airline.

Within the category of direct travel services redemption, the point values also assume that you redeem points towards awards that are neither atrociously expensive (points-wise) nor an excellent bargain (again, points-wise). Think of the redemptions as falling in the middle 50% of all award redemptions for a given rewards program, in terms of the efficiently redeeming your points.

Rebate percentages assume that you are maximizing your accumulation of points with the travel services provider’s own rewards program and not having points credits to other rewards program. For instance, the Hilton Honors program awards 10 based points per dollar spent on most qualifying stay plus either (a) an additional 5 bonus points per dollar spent, or (b) airline or car rental points. In situations like the aforementioned one, the rebate percentage assumes you elected to earn 15 total Honors points (10 base + 5 bonus) per dollar spent.

Airline valuations were based on the following routes, provided the airline offered service between the origin and destination city, including flights with layovers. Layovers had to be four hours or less. Cities with two or more major airports, i.e., a city without one primary airport, are generally avoided.

Domestic Flight Routes (roundtrip) departing in early April 2019

  • ABQ – IND
  • ATL – DEN
  • AUS – PIT
  • BNA – PHX
  • BOS – SEA
  • CLT – LAS
  • HNL – STL
  • MSP – MCO
  • PHL – SAN
  • RDU – SLC

International Flight Routes (roundtrip) departing in early April 2019

  • ATL – PVG
  • AUS – NRT
  • BOS – FRA
  • DEN – DUB
  • MCO – YVR
  • MSP – GIG
  • PHL – MEX
  • RDU – BOG
  • SEA – BCN
  • SLC – SJO
  • STL – ICN

Hotel valuations were based on a one-night stay at an upper upscale and/or luxury hotel at the following destinations, provided there was a hotel affiliated with the rewards program in the destination city. If no upper upscale or luxury hotel were available, but the hotel group did have less upscale hotels available in the area, the valuation is based on the hotel group’s most upscale hotel in the destination city. When possible, the selected hotels were as close as possible to the city center.

Domestic Hotel Destinations in early April 2019

  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Denver, CO
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Seattle, WA

International Hotel Destinations in early April 2019

  • Barcelona, ESP
  • Dublin, IRL
  • Frankfurt, DEU
  • Mexico City, MEX
  • Rio de Janeiro, BRA
  • San José, CRI
  • Seoul, ROK
  • Shanghai, PRC
  • Tokyo, JPN
  • Vancouver, CAN