How do I value my miles and points?

Final approach into Kazan, Russia

Valuation of popular miles and points

I wrote an article about my valuation of a mile/point. Today, I will be sharing the factors that influence those valuations.

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My valuation rules

Rule #1: Do not value it more than what I can buy it for

I do not value my miles and points more than what I can buy them for.

Example: We can usually buy Alaska miles for 2.5 cents (SGD) and Marriott points for 1.2 cents (SGD).

Rule #2: Find out the value of my redemption goal

I value my miles and points based on my redemption goals.

Then, I would compare the prices of these flights or hotel rooms against the number of miles/points required. I do not value my miles/points more than the cash prices of the flights or hotel rooms.

An extra point to note is that revenue (cash) tickets in Business Class can give you a lot of miles and cashback, which can offset the actual cost of the tickets. This is something that you will be missing with an award ticket.

Rule #3: Expiration policy

Miles and points from loyalty programs with activity-based expiry are more valuable.

Example: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Marriott Bonvoy offer activity-based expiry that can be easily extendable while Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles have fixed miles expiration policies of 3 years and are not extendable for free.

Rule #4: Fuel surcharges (applicable to air miles only)

Find out the airlines that absorb or charge carrier-imposed fees and fuel surcharges.

These charges can be exorbitant and hence, decreases the value of your miles/points as you will need to come out with more cash when making an award redemption.

Example: Frequent flyer programs like Singapore Airlines Krisflyer absorb fuel surcharges for flights on their own planes while Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles pass them on to passengers.

Rule #5: Ease of earning

If you are based in Singapore, like me, there is a limited number of Frequent Flyer Programs that you can transfer your credit card miles to. Miles/points from other FFPs can only be earned from other methods like flights and hotel stays.

Rule #6: Ease of finding award availability

There is no point earning all those miles if you cannot find availability for your preferred flights, right?

Different airlines have different patterns when it comes to releasing award seats. And this varies greatly with different routes and partner airlines.

For example, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand are known to be very stingy in releasing their premium cabins to their Star Alliance partners.

Rule #7: Be conservative

Undervalue by a little bit.

Loyalty Programs go through cycles of change to devalue their miles. By valuing your miles and points conservatively, you are saving yourselves from future heartaches and giving yourself the ability to better decide when is it worth it to redeem your miles.



There are plenty of factors that you can look into, when deciding on your valuation. I will be keeping this page updated whenever there is a need to re-evaluate.

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