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.

Updates 5/5/2019

We made the following changes to how RRVs are calculated:

  • 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.  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.

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 1.05 Due to the Capital One 1,000 to 750 transfer ratio, we multiply the standard airline value by 0.75 and then increase by 10% (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 1.3 What are airline miles worth? New: reduced by 7% to account for not earning miles on award flights.
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 0.58 Pointimize Median Observed Value as of 11/14/2017
Choice Privileges 0.81 Hotel Hustle Median Observed Value (as of 11/14/2017)
Expedia+ 0.71 3500 points = $25 hotel coupon = .71 cents per point
Hilton Honors 0.45 Pointimize Median Observed Value as of 11/14/2017
Hyatt 1.5 Reduced to equal Chase Ultimate Rewards RRV
IHG Rewards Club 0.57 Pointimize Median Observed Value as of 11/14/2017
Marriott Rewards 0.72 Pointimize Median Observed Value as of 11/14/2017
Radisson Rewards 0.38 Pointimize Median Observed Value as of 11/14/2017
Wyndham Rewards 0.70 Pointimize Median Observed Value as of 11/14/2017

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 1.25 When points are used for airfare, the points are more valuable for more expensive flights.  Point values range from 1.01 to 1.31 cents per point. Flights costing $300 offer about 1.25 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?
Most other bank points 1 Most bank point programs have points redeemable for 1 cent each for gift cards or travel.

Update History

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

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

Last updated on May 5th, 2019

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