Above all else – the key to maximizing credit card, hotel or airline points is having an idea of what they are worth. You never want to go in blind. Because, at the end of the day – points can unlock unforgettable travel experiences – or just travel in general. Before you go and spend what you got – or figure out what to collect, consider these valuations for what each point is worth…

First – Understanding

This can all get very convoluted if you don’t know just exactly what we mean. If we say a point is worth 1.5 cents, it means we think that 10,000 points are worth a minimum of $150, so we’d suggest never settling for less. Make sense? Ideally, always go for more.

In general using points for things you wouldn’t (or couldn’t purchase) is a good rule of thumb. This generally involves expensive business or first class flights, last minute flights, swanky hotels and so forth. Some higher points valuations are also due to how hard the points are to earn, making them more exclusive. We good? Ok, good.

Credit Card Points

Amex Membership Rewards Points: 1.9 Cents Per Point.

Fave Uses: Transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic, for First Class ANA flights. Also access to Emirates Skywards program.

Citi Thank You Points: 1.6 Cents Per Point.

Fave Uses: Transfers to Singapore KrisFlyer for business or first class flights, or Air France/KLM Flying Blue for promo awards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: 1.9 Cents Per Point.

Fave Uses: Transfers to Hyatt, Korean or British Airways for fancy hotels, first class flights or last minute tickets – respectively.

Barclaycard Arrival Points: 1 Cent Per Point.

Fave Uses: There’s no arbitrage to get more or less value for your points. Just use them.

Bank Of America Rewards Points: 1 Cent Per Point

Fave Uses: There’s no arbitrage to get more or less value for your points. Just use them.

Airline Points

Air Canada Aeroplan Points: 1.4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: On Air Canada and extensive partners in business and first class throughout US, Asia and Europe. Especially on EVA, Swiss, ANA and Thai.

Air France Flying Blue Points: 1.3 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Promo awards, requiring discounted points. Also, upgrades from good premium economy deals to business class.

American Airlines AAdvantage Points: 1.4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Last minute U.S. flights, long haul first class flights on Qantas, Cathay and Japan Airlines. Etihad First Class from Europe to Middle East.

Alaska Mileage Plan Points: 1.9 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Use on partners Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas at phenomenal rates. Also, excellent flights in the U.S. starting at just 5,000 points one way.

ANA Mileage Club Points: 1.6 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Etihad First Class using distance chart. ANA retains excellent rates, since their points are harder to collect. Only via Amex or flying, for the most part.

Asiana Club Points: 1.5 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: First Class on Lufthansa or Etihad. Asiana offers a lucrative chart for quite a few desirable destinations.

Avianca Lifemiles Points: 1.4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Frequent sales and new Citi Transfer partner makes acquiring points easy. Use them for business and first class throughout Asia, at exceptional rates.

British Airways Executive Club Points: 1.4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Last minute short distance flights in economy – all around the world, medium haul flights in first class on partners like Qantas, Cathay, Qatar and Japan Airlines.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 1.4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Cathay has a lucrative distance based chart, allowing for some clever routings. Use them for around the world tickets on Cathay and partners.

Delta Skymiles Points: 1 Cent Per Point

Fave Uses: Anything fast! Use points at promotional rates in the US, for Delta One Business Class Transcontinental Upgrades or or for business class across the Atlantic Ocean on Delta, Air France, KLM or Virgin Atlantic.

Emirates Skyward Points: 1.2 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Loopholes are closing, so Emirates Skywards points are now one of the best ways to book their first class. They’re also great for upgrades from economy to business class.

Etihad Guest Points: 1.3 Cent Per Point

Fave Uses: Etihad has a few tricks left for cheap flights using points throughout Europe, and for business class from Europe to Asia. They’re also the easiest way to fly Etihad First Apartment.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Points: 1.7 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Emirates first class originating Hong Kong, Tokyo or Seoul. You’ll get incredible rates. Also top notch rates for Cathay, Qantas, American, Malaysia, Qatar and JAL.

JetBlue TrueBlue Points: 1.3 Cent Per Point

Fave Uses: There’s really no arbitrage here, use them whenever you want to save money.

Korean SkyPass Points: 1.6 Cent Per Point

Fave Uses: Korean offers some of the best rates in the business between the US and Europe, and between the US and Hawaii. Additionally, their points have fabulous value on their own flights.

Lufthansa Miles & More Points: 1.2 Cent Per Point

Fave Uses: Lufthansa’s points are getting easier to come by, thanks to frequent promotions – but with surcharges it’s hard to do better than using them for long haul business class.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Points: 1.5 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Fly Singapore’s gorgeous new business and first class suites, or unlock excellent rates for business class between Europe and the Middle East.

Southwest RapidRewards Points: 1.3 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: There’s no real arbitrage here, so use points when you want to save money on pricey flights.

United MileagePlus Points: 1.3 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: United has introduced cheap point options for short haul flights to complement their solid “saver” rates on international business class. We love upgrades using United as well.

Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub Points: 1.1 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: First Class on ANA between Asia and Europe or the US (either direction) using Virgin points is unbeatable, upgrades to Upper Class are great as are short haul flights on partners.

Hotel Points

AccorHotels: 2 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: 2,000 AccorHotel points can take €40 off a reservation, or be used for other hotel related services. That makes the math fairly simple, though they’re hard to come by.

IHG Points: .5 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: IHG points can be great to unlock cheap stays at Intercontinental properties which usually are prohibitively expensive. But since prices are on the way down – so is the value.

Hilton Points: .4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: With the introduction of dynamic pricing, it’s harder to secure great rates using points with hilton. Use your points for a great cash and points rate, or a Conrad stay.

Hyatt Points: 1.5 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: We love redeeming for Andaz and Park Hyatt stays, as well as fantastic suite or club room upgrades to liven up a leisure stay.

Marriott Points: .8 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: Marriott points can be handy for cash and points rates, or swanky stays at Ritz Carlton properties. Earning for social media activity makes these points more valuable.

SPG Points: 2.4 Cents Per Point

Fave Uses: SPG points unlock many of the best airline points tricks – at the very best rates. They can also be valuable for undervalued hotels, which do not require many points.

The Methodology

We’ve based these valuations off of previous successes using points, as well as current opportunities in the marketplace, available with each currency. These valuations reflect the most current changes, devaluations and new potential uses. For an interesting comparison of other top bloggers valuations of points, check out this article.

Is there a currency you’d like to see listed? Do you have any disagreements? Let us know…

Featured image courtesy of Ja Manafaru Maldives.