There are three types of Miles and Points that can be used differently depending on your needs.

Airline Miles/Hotel Points:

Most people are familiar with airline miles and hotel points. These are basically a form of rebate that you earn by flying a certain airline or by staying at specific hotels. These airline and hotel companies set how many you points you earn per flight or stay. They also set their redemption values according to their terms and conditions.

Bank/Credit Card Points (Fixed Value):

Banks offer rewards programs through using their own credit cards and services. Some of these include (but not limited to):

•Citi ThankYou points
•Bank of America Worldpoints
•US Bank FlexPerks Rewards
•USAA Rewards
•Wells Fargo Rewards
•Capital One No Hassle Rewards
•Barclaycard Arrival Miles

The most common redemption value for these points is 1¢ per point. Which basically means that if an airline is offering a ticket for $200, you can redeem 20,000 points to offset the cost of that ticket. This type of points can be useful in redemptions towards domestic economy tickets. However, if you’re looking to fly internationally in a premium cabin, it is almost impossible to do that with fixed value points. An international business class ticket to Asia for example can cost anywhere from $4,000 to upwards of $7,000 which means you would have to use 400,000 or 700,000 fixed value points valued at 1¢ per point. On the other hand, the same international ticket might only cost 100,000 airline miles, which gives a much higher redemption value.

Transferrable/Flexible Points:

These are programs that allow you to transfer points directly to their airline or hotel partners. This is a huge perk that gives you lots of options when you decide to redeem your points, as you have the chance to pick which partner airline will give the best deal to reach your desired destination.

The main flexible points currencies are American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints. Citi ThankYou Points can be also transferrable if you have either the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card or Citi Prestige Card.


Next: Airline Alliance