How Much Are Points Worth? (Quarter 2 2024)

2 weeks ago 8

We’re now in Quarter 2 of 2024, and it’s once again time to revisit our Points Valuations, which we update on a quarterly basis.

In the last quarter, we saw the rollout of massive changes to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, which are now fully implemented. While some sweet spots are long gone, the program is still very much worth engaging with, especially as it becomes more accessible through new and expanding partnerships.

We’ve added Bilt Rewards to the list this quarter, as it’s a program that’s been rising in prominence since its inception in 2021. 

On this side of the border, CIBC extended indefinitely the promotional redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point for travel booked any way with Aventura Points

Meanwhile, with RBC‘s now finalized acquisition of HSBC Bank Canada, we also lost a transferable points currency.

Before we delve into the valuations, I should remind you that the focus of these valuations lies in the target redemption value of each points currency, rather than the acquisition cost that you might incur (which can vary significantly depending on how you prefer to earn points).

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Throughout March 2024, Alaska Airlines implemented significant changes to Mileage Plan. The updates were spread out over the course of last month, and all major amendments should now be in place.

On the positive side, gone are the old award charts that restricted flights between different parts of the world with partner airlines. Plus, all partner airlines are now subject to the same “starting at” pricing, whereas before, each airline had its own chart.

Award pricing has decreased on some routes, such as short-haul routes within North America, while others have increased, such as long-haul flights across the Pacific.

On the negative side, some of the legacy sweet spots in the program have disappeared entirely, including Cathay Pacific First Class. However, these flights haven’t been available for years, which continues to be the case, so it’s unlikely that we’ll notice that they’re now significantly more expensive. 

We’ve yet to see complex bookings with multiple partners made possible, and we’re also waiting to see what the promised partner award sales will look like.

In Canada, we’re still waiting to hear news about when MBNA Rewards will become transferable to Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio. When that happens, it will join the US-based Bilt Rewards as another points currency that can transfer to Mileage Plan.

We’ll keep the valuation steady this time around, as the recent changes are a mix of good and bad.

  • Continued valuation: 2.2 cents per point (CAD) / 1.6 cents per point (USD)

Bilt Rewards

Speaking of Bilt Rewards, we’ve added the program, which is quickly growing in popularity, to our Points Valuations page.

If you’re not familiar with Bilt Rewards, it was launched in 2021 as a way for people to earn points when paying rent. 

Since then, the program has been rapidly growing in prominence, due to its growing roster of airline and hotel transfer partners, as well as its popular Rent Day promotions. In the past, Rent Day promotions have offered generous transfer bonuses of up to 150%.

Notably, Bilt Rewards can be transferred to a number of top-tier loyalty programs, including Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage (until June 2024), British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and more.

While the program is of most benefit to Americans, Canadians can still participate in the Bilt Rewards ecosystem by way of the Bilt Wallet and the Bilt travel portal, amongst other options. 

It’s always great to see a program adding partners and offering lucrative promotions, and it’s certainly one to keep an eye on in the coming years.

With an excellent roster of transfer partners, we’ll value Bilt Rewards on par with most other major US transferable points currencies.

  • Valuation: 2.3 cents per point (CAD) / 1.7 cents per point (USD)

CIBC Aventura Points

CIBC’s in-house Aventura Points are a useful points currency to collect as part of an overall travel strategy, since you have a few ways of redeeming them for good value.

While they can’t be transferred to any airline or hotel partners, you can choose to redeem them for travel booked through CIBC Rewards Travel Centre at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Alternatively, you can look at getting the highest value for your points with the CIBC Aventura Airline Rewards Chart, which yields a value of up to 2.29 cents per point.

In 2022, CIBC doubled the value for redeeming Aventura Points for travel booked with any vendor from 0.625 cents per point to 1.25 cents per point. 

The promotional rate had been extended a few times, before it was implemented on an ongoing basis in late March 2024

While CIBC can remove this promotional rate at any time, it’s great to see it become a somewhat mainstay feature for Aventura Points. In fact, Aventura Points are Canada’s most valuable fixed-value points currency when redeemed this way.

It’d be great to see CIBC make this feature applicable to charges that have posted to your account, as you have to catch it while it’s pending to benefit from the elevated redemption rate.

  • Continued valuation: 1.25 cents per point (CAD)

HSBC Rewards

In March 2024, RBC finalized its acquisition of HSBC Bank Canada, and all HSBC Canada customers have now been transitioned into the RBC ecosystem.

The acquisition also marks the loss of a transferable points currency in Canada, as HSBC Rewards stood alongside American Express Membership Rewards and RBC Avion points as the most flexible points available.

HSBC Rewards was the sole Canadian points currency (aside from Marriott Bonvoy) that had Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer as a transfer partner, so you’ll have to part ways with hotel points or look south of the border to access the program going forward.

Cardholders who were transitioned to RBC Avion (Elite) points can still access British Airways Executive Club and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and they’ll also enjoy access to American Airlines AAdvantage. For what it’s worth, Avion (Elite) and Avion (Premium) points can both transfer to WestJet Rewards.

With one less points program available in Canada, the door is wide open for existing transferable points currencies to add more partners, and for other presently non-transferable points currencies to join in on the fun.

Points Valuations, Quarter 2 2024

Here’s a summary of our Points Valuations for Quarter 2 of 2024. You can refer to the Points Valuations page for a full list with additional notes.

Points Program

Value (CAD)

Value (USD)

Aeroplan

2.1 cents/point

1.6 cents/point

Air France KLM

Flying Blue

2 cents/mile

1.5 cents/mile

Air Miles

10.5 cents/mile 

Alaska Airlines

Mileage Plan

2.2 cents/mile

1.6 cents/mile

American Airlines

AAdvantage

1.9 cents/mile

1.4 cents/mile

American Express (Canada)

Membership Rewards

2.2 cents/point

American Express (US)

Membership Rewards

2.4 cents/point

1.8 cents/point

Best Western Rewards

0.8 cents/point

0.6 cents/point

BMO Rewards

0.67 cents/point

British Airways Avios

2 cents/Avios

1.5 cents/Avios

Capital One Miles

2.3 cents/mile

1.7 cents/mile

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

1.6 cents/mile

1.2 cents/mile

Chase Ultimate Rewards

2.3 cents/point

1.7 cents/point

CIBC Aventura

1.25 cents/point

Citi ThankYou

2.3 cents/point

1.7 cents/point

Delta SkyMiles

1.6 cents/mile

1.2 cents/mile

Hilton Honors

0.7 cents/point

0.5 cents/point

HSBC Rewards

0.8 cents/point

IHG Rewards

0.5 cents/point

0.4 cents/point

Marriott Bonvoy

0.8 cents/point 

0.6 cents/point 

MBNA Rewards

1 cent/point

National Bank À la carte Rewards

1 cent/point

Qatar Airways Avios

2 cents/point

1.5 cents/point

RBC Avion

2 cents/point

Scene+

1 cent/point

Singapore Airlines

KrisFlyer

1.8 cents/point

1.3 cents/point

TD Rewards

0.5 cents/point

United MileagePlus

1.6 cents/point

1.2 cents/point

WestJet Rewards

$1.02/WestJet dollar

World of Hyatt

2 cents/point

1.5 cents/point

Conclusion

The first quarter of 2024 saw the implementation of major changes to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, which came as a bit of a mixed bag.

Bilt Rewards continues its growth as a strong transferable points currency in the United States, and it’s one that we’ll be keeping a keen eye on for the foreseeable future.

In Canada, CIBC extended the promotional redemption rate for Aventura Points indefinitely, which is great news for anyone who can leverage points for travel.

Meanwhile, we saw the end of HSBC Rewards as part of RBC’s acquisition of HSBC Bank Canada.

Remember, treat these numbers as merely a suggestion for reasonable target redemption values when deciding whether to redeem points or pay cash for your next trip.

Ultimately, the value derived from every redemption will be subjective to the individual traveller, and our valuations are designed to illustrate an average benchmark across the community to help inform your decision as you consider your next points redemption.   

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