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How Much Are Points Worth? (Quarter 3 2022)


Now that Quarter 3 of 2022 has arrived, it’s once again time to revisit our Points Valuations, which we update on a quarterly basis.

Unlike the previous quarter, which brought about many valuation changes, mostly as a result of Qatar Airways joining Avios, this quarter was a bit quieter.

Before we delve into the valuations, I should remind you that the focus of these valuations lies in the target redemption value of each points currency, rather than the acquisition cost that you might incur (which can vary significantly depending on how you prefer to earn points).

Air Miles

If you’ve paid attention to the news lately, you’d have noticed lots of coverage of the continued, gradual demise of the Air Miles loyalty program. In late June, I was a guest on CBC lunch hour radio programs, offering my views on the program and the turbulence it has encountered in recent years.

Safeway and Sobeys, two major Canadian grocery stores, discontinued their relationship with Air Miles, opting to shift to Scene+ instead. Staples has also left the program, representing another major blow to Air Miles, which is becoming more of a relic than a contemporary player in the Canadian loyalty landscape.

Air Miles are becoming more difficult to earn, and with the stocks in its parent company sinking, the long-term value proposition of this program is more questionable than ever before.

Air Miles can predictably be redeemed as Cash Rewards at a rate of 95 Air Miles for $10, representing a baseline value of 10.5 cents per mile. While there are occasional redemption bonuses to potentially use Air Miles for extra value, it’s certainly becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

  • Previous valuation: 11.5 cents/mile (CAD)
  • Updated valuation: 11 cents/mile (CAD)

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

After officially joining the Oneworld Alliance, Alaska Airlines has been busy adding a number of partner airlines for earning and redeeming on its Mileage Plan loyalty program.

The latest addition of Air Tahiti Nui offers travellers direct access to an aspirational destination from two North American cities. Compared to other recently-added partners, whose redemption rates left much to be desired, the cost is much more favourable with Air Tahiti Nui.

While this new redemption opportunity offers a valuable new way to redeem miles for travel to Bora Bora, availability is ultimately fairly scarce to come by.

It’s worth acknowledging here that the addition of Air Tahiti Nui offers an upward boost to the value of Alaska Mileage Plan, but we’ll hold off on adjusting our valuation until we hear further good news from the program.

  • Continued valuation: 1.8 cents/mile (USD), 2.3 cents/mile (CAD)

CIBC Aventura: 1.25cpp Extended Through to September 15

In the second quarter, CIBC’s Aventura program put on a special promotion through allowing cardholders to use points to redeem against any travel purchase at double the usual rate: 1.25 cents/point instead of 0.625 cents/point.

This promotion, which was originally set to expire on June 15, has been extended to September 15.

This promotion came to prominence back when CIBC was offering 45,000 Aventura points with no minimum spend and the first-year fee waived on their CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite and Gold cards, resulting in a net $563 earnings per card that you applied for. 

For most of Quarter 3 of 2022, then, the value of CIBC Aventura points is temporarily elevated to 1.25cpp (cents per point), and we expect this to return to our regular valuation of 1.2cpp (which factors in the baseline redemption of 1cpp against travel purchases, plus the potential upside of the CIBC Aventura fixed-value redemption chart) next quarter when the promotion ends. 

  • Continued valuation: 1.25 cents/point (CAD)

Scene+

As grocery store chains and other retailers are dropping their partnership with Air Miles, Scene+ is becoming a more relevant player on the Canadian earning scene. 

Sobeys and its affiliated stores, such as Safeway, Thrifty Foods, and others, will roll out a partnership with Scene+ as they discontinue the relationship with Air Miles.

While there haven’t been any major changes to redemptions with Scene+, it’s worth mentioning this quarter as we can expect to hear more about it in the months and years ahead.

As a reminder, Scene+ points may be used to offset the cost of travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent/point. 

  • Continued valuation: 1 cent/point (CAD)

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines has recently announced a devaluation for redemptions within its KrisFlyer loyalty program, which will kick in imminently. As of July 5, 2022, redemption rates will be devalued by an average of 10–15%. 

While KrisFlyer miles aren’t the easiest points currency to earn, they do represent the best opportunity to book an aspirational flight with the airline, such as Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class.

There are some other noteworthy sweet spots within the program, too, which are all going up in price. 

  • Previous valuation: 1.4 cents/mile (USD), 1.8 cents/mile (CAD)
  • Updated valuation: 1.3 cents/mile (USD), 1.7 cents/mile (CAD)

Points Valuations, Quarter 3 2022

Here’s a summary of our Points Valuations for Quarter 3 of 2022. You can refer to the Points Valuations page for a full list with additional notes.

Air France/KLM

Flying Blue

Alaska Airlines

Mileage Plan

American Airlines

AAdvantage

American Express (Canada)

Membership Rewards

American Express (US)

Membership Rewards

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Singapore Airlines

KrisFlyer

Conclusion

The second quarter of 2022 has seen relatively minor developments in the loyalty landscape.

The announcement of major earning partners with Air Miles resulted in a slight drop in value, while CIBC’s Aventura program extended the temporarily inflated redemption rates it offers, which is a boon for Canadians who earn points in the program.

Remember, treat these numbers as merely a suggestion for reasonable target redemption values when deciding whether to redeem points or pay cash for your next trip.

Ultimately, the value derived from every redemption will be subjective to the individual traveller, and our valuations are designed to illustrate an average benchmark across the community to help inform your decision as you consider your next points redemption. 





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