Revaluing my miles and points




Royal Club Lounge at The Athenee Bangkok ( Review )

Royal Club Lounge at The Athenee Bangkok (Review)


I’ve given a lot of thought into this and have decided to lower the value of miles/points from 2 loyalty programs that I am an active member of.

For a number of reasons, miles/points from these loyalty programs are now offering me a little less value.

The changes

  1. Marriott Bonvoy: S$0.01 to S$0.009 per point

  2. Asia Miles: S$0.019 to S$0.018 per mile

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Marriott Bonvoy devaluation

Quarantine aside, I’ve spent over 140 nights in chain hotels since leaving Singapore in Nov 2020 (click here for recent hotel reviews). About 62% of those nights were spent in Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 26% in Hyatts and 12% in Hiltons).

I’ve preferred Marriott Bonvoy hotels in recent months because of the following reasons:

  1. Nightly rates are substantially lower than Hiltons and Hyatts.

  2. I could use Marriott eGiftCards for 20% off the nett amount of my stays. Yes, taxes and fees included.

  3. Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) rules are more lenient than others.

  4. Fantastic elite member recognition.

However, because of point no. 1, it has been very difficult to find a Marriott property for decent points redemption. In fact, I have only made two award redemptions in recent months, at Al Maha Resort, a known Marriott Bonvoy sweet spot and another one at Element Al Jaddaf, Dubai over the new year, when hotel prices in Dubai are sky high.

I am no expert but I see a very slow and gradual recovery of mainstream tourism in the next couple of years and expect hotel prices to remain lower than pre-pandemic rates.

Other than offering a 10% discount on off-peak award rates for a limited time last year, Marriott has not done much to modify their award chart during this pandemic.

I am lowering my valuation of Marriott points as they hold less value to me right now and possibly for the next couple of years.

What about Hilton points?

Dynamic award pricing allows points rates to go much lower than usual (unrestricted by off-peak rates, hotel categories). This allows hotels like Conrad Bali to go for as cheap as 15k points right now, although I’m not staying there any time soon.

For this reason, it is still easy to find good value award stays with Hilton.

What about Hyatt points?

Cash rates for Hyatt properties in the cities that I’ve been in the past few months have remained fairly expensive (as compared to Marriott). This means that at the current valuation, it is fairly easy to find good value award stays.

On top of that, Hyatt is introducing off-peak and peak award rates (like Marriott’s) in the coming months. This can offer better redemption value if off-peak availability is good.


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Asia Miles devaluation

Cathay Pacific recently added fuel surcharges on award flights once again. This simply means that award flights from Singapore to Frankfurt (sweet spot) will now cost about S$80 more each way. It’s a pity that this is happening as they had just removed these charges this time last year.

Another reason for a devaluation is the recent enhancement of Qatar Airways Privilege Club. Flying Qatar Airways to Europe in a Qsuite (with Qatar miles) is cheaper, better and faster than other options from Asia Miles.

However, Asia Miles is still somewhat useful for flights to Europe because only Citibank credit cards transfer to Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

Furthermore, Asia Miles do not expire as long as there is an activity every 18 months. This is especially useful in times like these. This, along with a better list of sweet spots, gives Asia Miles the edge over Krisflyer, for me at least.


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Why the need to value my miles/points?

Miles and points from different loyalty programs are worth differently, based on the value that you get out of it.

For example, 15k Hyatt points get me a night in Andaz Bali but 15k Marriott points get me a night in Four Points Kuta Bali. Having a valuation tells me that Hyatt points are worth twice more than Marriott’s.

I will also be able to compare the value of required points before deciding if I should be paying for a hotel stay with points or cash.

On top of that, having a valuation also allows me to make better decisions when buying miles/points.

I will also make better decisions on where to transfer my credit card miles/points. As I do not need to fly direct all the time, it is bonkers to transfer my Citibank miles/points to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, even with a 15% transfer bonus!

Lastly, as I value Alaska miles 30% more than Krisflyer miles, it makes a lot more sense to credit my Singapore Airlines flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. With this, not only do I receive more value, I’d receive at least 75% more miles too! Having no fixed expiry date with Mileage Plan makes it a no-brainer too.

Bottom line

It’s not a great feeling to be holding large amounts of miles and points that you can’t use in the foreseeable future.

Although Krisflyer miles have expiry dates, the frequent flyer program has been offering free extension of expiring miles for the past year.

Unless if you have insider news that the airline is about to go under, there is no reason to panic and start redeeming your miles for crap on KrisShop.

For this reason, I am keeping my valuation of miles/points from Krisflyer and other loyalty programs.


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2 thoughts on “Revaluing my miles and points”

  1. There is a floor for Marriott Bonvoy points as it can be transferred to vast frequent flyer programs.

    60K Marriott points = 25K various miles/points including Alaska Mileage Plan miles, or any other miles not common in SG.

    • That is right. Dropping my valuation of Marriott points a little lines up nicely with my valuation of Alaska miles.

      25k AS miles = $550
      60k Marriott points = $540


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