Middle Age Miles

Credit Card Baseline Point Values

Philly & I often use credit card points for airline tickets, like when we recently purchased our tickets to Paris using Amex Membership Rewards points!

Credit Card Baseline Point Values

Points CurrencyVariationsBaseline Value
(Cents Per Point)
AmEx Membership RewardsWithout any Platinum Card, or with Personal Platinum only1.1
With Biz Platinum only1.6
With Biz Platinum and Personal Platinum cards1.7
Chase Ultimate RewardsWithout Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card1.0
With Sapphire Preferred only1.25
With Sapphire Reserve1.5
Citi ThankYou PointsWithout Premier or Prestige card1.0
With Premier or Prestige card1.25
BofA Premium Rewards1.0
Capital One Miles1.0
US Bank FlexPoints1.4

Discussion of Credit Card Point Values

When you are earning points and miles and considering possible redemptions, it is critically important to have a general understanding of the value of those points and miles.

To help readers with a sense of point and mile values, Middle Age Miles provides a baseline value for all major points and miles currencies.  This article focuses on credit card points – that is, the major credit card points currencies from Amex (Membership Rewards), Chase (Ultimate Rewards) and Citi (Thank You Points).

We firmly believe that precision in assigning values is impossible, as different points have different values according to a traveler’s priorities, and reasonable methods of calculating value can vary widely.  Our values, therefore, are focused on assigning a “baseline” value to each currency – that is, a value that readers should be able to generally obtain without too much trouble, as a baseline.  Actual redemption values may be significantly higher than these baselines, depending on the quality of the redemption.  There is no pure mathematical formula for these baseline valuations; rather, Middle Age Miles uses its research in the industry and its experience in formulating its values.

In the case of credit card points, our baseline values are generally straightforward, because they are the exact rates at which the points can be redeemed for travel purchases or cash.  Note that the value of a point may depend on whether or not you hold a particular premium card from that issuer that allows its points to be redeemed for a higher value.

Specifically with respect to credit card points from Amex, Chase and Citi (and for one credit card, for Barclays), you may obtain an actual redemption value that is significantly higher than our baseline, by transferring the points to specific airline and hotel points programs for a high-value redemption.  Here is some important general advice, though:

(1)  Do not transfer your credit card points to an airline or hotel program unless and until you have a specific redemption in mind.  Flexibility in keeping points in the credit card program is key.

(2)  Only transfer your credit card points to an airline or hotel program if your redemption value exceeds our baseline value for the credit card points.  For example, if you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve card that gives you the ability to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5 cents per point for travel, don’t transfer them out if your redemption would be for less than 1.5 cents per point (that is, don’t move 15,000 UR points to United to redeem for a flight that would cost you less than $225 in cash).

 

 

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