Not all reward points are equal. Not all reward programs are equally valuable. Far from it! Different programs tend to offer more bang for your buck and this article will outline which programs have the most valuable points and how much I value these points in dollars.
- Starwood Preferred Guest points are the most valuable points and I tend to value them around 2-2.5 cents per point. It’s very easy to even get more value for that when transferring your points to airlines or using them for hotels. I recently booked a $300 per night hotel for 12,000 Starwood points, effectively giving me a 2.5 cent value for my points. Starwood gives a generous bonus when transferring your points to airlines. Every 20,000 points transferred gives you a 5,000-point bonus for a total of 25,000 points, good enough for a round trip ticket in the U.S.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points should get you at least 1.8 cents per point. Chase points, earned with the Chase Sapphire, Ink Bold, and Plus cards can get you premium stays at Hyatt hotels, cheap reward bookings on British Airways’ distance award chart, and United’s easy to use award booking platform. 60,000 points with United will get you a round trip ticket to Europe that can run you easily over $1,000 per ticket. The Park Hyatt Sydney and Paris hotels can cost up to and over $1,000 per night at 30,000 Hyatt points, giving you over 3 cents a point.
- American Express Membership Rewards points come from cards such as the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and the American Express Platinum card. I value Membership Reward points around 1.6-1.8 cents per point. Amex offers bonus point transfers from 20-50% on certain programs throughout the year. Recently, they had a 35% bonus when you transfer your points to British Airways that make this program more valuable if you wait for the promos. Also, if you transfer your points to airlines such as ANA (All-Nippon Airways, the Tokyo-based airline), you can redeem points for travel with ANA and their Sky Alliance partners for cheaper award point fares. You can fly to Europe in economy for only 43,000 points with their partner United, as opposed to 60,000 points when booking directly with United. Travel to Israel will also only cost you 60,000 points, while United charges 85,000 points.
If you are lucky enough to grab a first class suite on Singapore airlines by transferring your Membership Rewards points, you would be experiencing the frequent flyer’s dream. Singapore’s first class suites have a reputation for being the best in-flight experience one could ever dream of. These tickets can run up to $20,000! But with Membership Reward points, anything is possible.