Posted by William Charles on October 13, 2017

Published on October 13th, 2017 | by William Charles


Recap: Suing British Airways, Real Points Valuations & More


22 Responses to Recap: Suing British Airways, Real Points Valuations & More

  1. AB says:

    I’m curious as to whether these are domestic or mixed with international bookings.l, as well as whether taxes were factored in. I’ve recently gotten more than 1.5cpp from Hilton overseas after taxes and fees were added in as well as the value of foregone earned points subtracted out. But Hilton is never worth using domestically.

    • E Dantes says:

      Agreed, AB. These valuations seem really low for what I’ve gotten, too. Then again — maybe we are just more conscious than others about using the points wisely.

      There are some real dud Starwood redemptions, but plenty of great ones too, especially with the Marriott crossover now.

      Also: Great point about the tax. I don’t think that gets taken into account nearly enough….sometimes, on a $500 reservation, the tax is a whole extra $100+

      • DaWoodMan1 says:

        I’m thinking we’re the conscientious ones when it comes to maximizing our points. Not everyone cares as much as we points/miles hobbyists AND not everybody knows better. I’ve certainly gotten WAY more than the top 75th percentile of redemptions at all of those properties on a REGULAR basis, so I would certainly skew the data upwards if Pointimize was tracking my redemptions.

        Now obviously, I’ll take a bit of hit on value per point if I really need/want to make a redemption or if its last minute, but for the most part when I’m planning a trip I patiently search for redemptions that get me the best value I can. And I will rarely ever take less value than TPG’s valuations with taxes included and exchange rate included.

        • E Dantes says:

          Yep — exactly the same thing here. Worst case, I’ll take something that’s relatively on par with TPG valuations. Maybe it’s a bit limiting of your options, but you can overcome that by having points at multiple brands and then just pick the right one. Call it a sickness, but I think there’s almost a creative art to it.

          I would imagine most people on this site play it the same as us. If anybody here doesn’t think they’re getting good values, let me know…I’d love to help.

    • Your top redemption rate is of course going to differ from the median redemption rate.

    • John says:

      Can you please share a recent example where you have gotten 1.5 cents per Hilton point? I know the 5th night free benefit can raise the value but still 1.5 cents seems better than anything I have seen.

    • sdsearch says:

      Please note that it says the data was generated from their users’ SEARCHES, NOT from their users’ REDEMPTION’S. Thus you cannot tell what value the users got from their redemptions!

      The chart thus simply has an average of what the hotels are charging, not what the users are redeeming.

  2. Chris says:

    The question that always runs through my head. SPG or CFU (Hyatt transfer being most valuable form) for everyday spend.

    I tend to lean towards SPG. According to this the 1.5 Hyatt points would be better as each $1 I spend would be worth 2.61 compared to the 1.83 with SPG.

    However knowing SPG transfers to Marriot at 1 to 3 then the Marriott value gets you closer to the Hyatt value at .72*3=2.16.

    This still shows the value being nearly .5 cents higher with Hyatt. I guess the other pro to CFU is the points have a minimum cash value of 1.5 were SPG really has no cash value.

    I am still going with SPG as I am focussing primarily on the 7 night package with Marriott and I don’t think this point value takes that into account. For example my less 7 night package was 120 SPG and in return $3500 hotel stay at Wailea Marriott and 120,000 SW miles.

    • Tyler says:

      I have the same thought process when it comes to everyday non-bonus spend. I go back and forth between SPG and CFU (except right now I’m getting 2.3MR from the discontinued Amex Blue Biz).
      It’s good that you have a specific goal in mind with the MR 7 night package. Hopefully you can find a good hotel to use the certificate on!
      But the everyday spend question is very much YMMV depending on what your goals are.

  3. frogger says:

    Hopefully they will do this with airlines as well. Some of the other bloggers over inflate the value of Airline and credit card reward points dramatically.

  4. Josh says:

    I agree these still seem slightly inflated, especially because it isn’t hard for some of these to get 5% to 10% off a gift card or a stay via an Amex
    Offer or 20% off a gift card with the one free night after 10 nights. Not to mention the portal stacking Will mentioned.

    In airline cpp numbers, the $5.60 per way tax is rarely included which slightly brings down the cost and the points lost due to using miles/points is another factor. On that $1,000 room you used points for, you could have grabbed 2,000 SPG points with the SPG Amex and another 2,000 at least for the stay. If you calculate SPG points at 2 cpp, you just “lost” $80 using points and not paying. Plus whatever portal bonus you can find. Plus there is an Amex offer for $60 off $300 or more.

    Point values tend to be inflated.

  5. JC says:

    These valuations are pretty close to what I value these currencies at currently. I spend 50+ nights a year in hotels across the globe and rarely find better valuations. Hilton I used to value at 1 cent per point when travelling internagionally on cash and points but with the new rewards program fixed at roughly 0.5 cents per point needed ton make adjustments. Also, IHG I used to value at 1 cent per point until about 2 years ago. Now 0.5 to 0.7 cents seems reasonable with the steep increase in pricing on many properties. Club Carlson appear over valued to me based on my current redemption value of 0.3 cents per point. Used to be able to get 1 cent per point until the massive devaluation in 2015.

  6. Dave says:

    The median IHG and Hyatt valuations are higher than I expected. I haven’t been able to consistently get more than 1.5c per Hyatt point. SPG should be higher than that.

    Regarding taxes, I don’t like to include taxes in the cost because award bookings don’t earn points, and I think the lost points and no taxes cancel each other out.

  7. Ricardo says:

    Typo in title – “Suiting”

  8. James B. says:

    It is difficult to place an estimated redemption value on hotel rewards. The hotel space is selection is more plentiful, much more competitive, and much more scattered in price points vs. the airline space.

    For example: I found pricing at a non-chain 4-star hotel for $30/night. The equivalent IHG hotel in the same city costs $90/night or 15k points. So the reward value is equivalent to about 0.2 cents at the non-chain hotel vs. <0.6 cents at the IHG hotel.

  9. Adam says:

    Thank you for sharing this more detailed chart with the 25% and 75% values. It just goes to confirm the significant premium placed on SPG points by TPG. I feel like an SPG valuation of 2.7 cpp is unrealistic for the masses that read TPG. I’ve dreamed up ways I could build a database to track actual cpp for point redemptions but Pointimize beat me to it! I feel like the case for fixed value rewards like cash back or Arrival +, Venture, BoA, etc. is only getting better for the masses.

    • James B. says:

      I agree that points programs generate perceived overvalue in order to create marketing hype for credit card offers, credit card brand loyalty, hotel brand loyalty, airline brand loyalty, etc…

      Cash is king, but does not generate the same brand loyalty, marketing hype and excitement that points programs do.

      Conclusion: consumers are not always rational in their purchasing decisions and marketing executives exploit this.

      • Adam says:

        I think you hit the nail on the head there. Consumers are RARELY rational in their purchasing decisions. Life is too busy and hectic to be a fully informed consumer and most people make emotional decisions with purchases, ESPECIALLY when it comes to travel.

  10. Elena says:

    That’s a great recap and really got me thinking on how I could probably get more value out of the rewards I’m getting… Maybe someone knowledgeable will be willing to share her/his strategies on how to get the most out of your points? I wouldn’t even know where to start…

    • Kimberly says:

      I think the usual approach to finding high-value redemptions is just trial and error, and having multiple points currencies in case one produces a more valuable redemption than another. I used to think the best point redemptions were on tickets or stays with high cash values, especially because long-distance international flights tend to be good redemptions, but more recently I’ve found some great redemptions for hotel stays that would be cheap if I paid in cash. For instance, I often stay at the Buffalo airport Aloft when I visit family in Buffalo. I always assumed it wasn’t a good redemption because stays are so cheap, but my sister had been telling me for a while that it’s actually a good redemption. I finally checked it a few weeks ago, and it’s giving me 3 cents value on my SPG points, so a great find for my dates. If you are looking to travel for at least five nights, the Hilton, SPG, and Marriott fifth night free benefit can also bring up your point redemption values.

  11. Blue says:

    Figuring hotel valuations really gets complicated if you take into account fungibility among different hotels and offers. If you are in a situation where a lot of hotels are priced roughly the same–for example, a road trip across the Western US–some of these programs really shine because they have wide availability in smaller locations. For the right trip, for example, BW has great value.

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