Travel bloggers spend a vast amount of time and page after page of data and justifications of why some program point is worth .001 cents more than some other one. While I am not dismissing their painstaking calculations, there are limits. Just because you can send points to some program and get a “value” of whatever out of them does not mean you would ever pay that much yourself. Yes that is the point, of the points, but not always practical in real world examples.
Since anyone who has a Delta AMEX airline travel card can use “Pay with Miles” and get a firm 1 cent each of a Skymile, they have an intrinsic value at 1 cent each. After that, it is all subjective and up to you.
To me, and if you read the blog you will see me say, I value a Skymile at 1-2 cents. How do I personally come to this number? For me it is a simple calculation of a trip to Sweden to see my mom. I want to fly business but if I were paying out of my own pocket I would MAX pay $2500 for such a ticket (and not easy, if not impossible to find from my SBN home airport) but $2000 would be an even better number of what I would shell out. So 1 to 2 cents value each – that is my simple math.
I am today returning from a wedding in Newburgh NY (SWF). Delta flies from DTW to SWF. There are, as you can see, not a bunch of choices; I guess when you see a CRJ200 as the choice of advertising you should know what to expect (yes I know SBN only had CRJ200 service too). So my trip was two CJR’s each way (at least I got a HOOU each way to ease the pain).
So on to the point of this Sunday trip down the path of point value. 1.5 cents – that’s the value I got redeeming 65,000 Skymiles for Lisa & I to fly SBN-SWF. Did I get great value for my points? Well I did not have to spend $1,000 of my own money. That is value. Oh, and I rented the car with 50% Hertz points and paid for the rest on my Barclays Arrival+ World MasterCard so I will pay myself back for the rest of the charge. My hotel was not good and I will post about that later but I also paid with Arrival points so that will cost me zero out of pocket. Bottom line, $20 for the award tickets, some gas, tolls (I brought my own I-Zoom btw – tip), and that is about it.
What do you think a point is worth? Wait, don’t answer that, they are worth just what you think they are worth to YOU! – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.