Bottom line: You can redeem UR at 1 cent per point for cash back (credit statements).
A Better way:
1.25 cents per point: If you have Chase Sapphire Preferred (“CSP”) or Ink Business Preferred, you can book travel through Chase Travel Portal at 1.25 cents per point. With CSP, you can also “Pay Yourself Back” for grocery, dining and home improvement stores at 1.25 cents per point.
1.5 cents per point: If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve (“CSR”), you can use URs to book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises etc via Chase’s Expedia-powered portal at 1.5 cents per point; you can also redeem URs through Chase’s “Pay Yourself Back” option, at the same rate, for grocery stores, dining and home improvement stores.
Highest value: If you have either CSR or CSP, you can transfer URs at 1:1 to Chase’s travel partners. Best values are usually with airline programs. For example, if you transfer URs to United MilagePlus, you can book domestic one-way flight starting at 5,000 miles, or 60,000 miles for business class to Europe, representing cash value of 3 cents per point, sometimes even higher. On average we estimate 2 cents per point if you transfer URs to partnering airline programs and use them properly.
Chase URs can transfer to 14 travel programs, including 11 airlines and 3 hotels:
In short, the bottom line value of Chase URs is 1 cent per point, which increases to 1.25 if you have CSP, or 1.5 if you have CSR. With either CSP or CSR, you can also transfer URs to partner travel programs and maximize their value, which we estimate as 2 cents per point. There’re other ways to use your Chase URs, eg. redeem for gift cards, but generally represent a lower value and are not recommended.
Amex Membership Rewards (MRs) Value:
0.6 Cent: If you redeem MRs as statement credit, you’ll typically get 0.6 cent per point. This is the simplest and easiest way to spend your MRs, but also one of the worst.
0.7 Cent: If you shop online at Amex partners, eg. Walmart.com and Amazon.com, or if you redeem your MRs for gift cards, you’ll typically get about 0.7 cent per point.
1 Cent: Use MRs to book flight on Amex Travel portal, you’ll get approximately 1 cent per point. This is what we consider the “Base Value” of Amex MRs.
1.25 Cents: If you have Amex Platinum Card for Schwab, you can “Invest with Rewards” at 1.25 cents per point by funding into Schwab brokerage account.
1.54 Cents: If you have AmEx Business Platinum Card, you get an additional 35% rewards, which makes the cash value approximately 1.54 cents per point.
2.0 Cents: Among all the major U.S. credit card loyalty programs, American Express has the most transfer partners — 18 airline programs and 3 hotel programs — and this is where its MRs truly shine. Thanks to its flexible partner network, which includes a few high value travel programs, eg. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club, British Airways Executive Club, the overall transfer value of Amex MRs is estimated at around 2.0 per cents, according to most credit cards and travel points bloggers.
Citi ThankYou Points (TYP) Value: 1~1.7 Cents
Bottom line: You can redeem your Citi ThankYou Points (TYPs) through Citi ThankYou travel center, eg. 1 cent per point for flights; or redeem for gift cards from major brands like Starbucks, Olive Garden, Macy’s, Koh’ls, Royal Caribbean, iTunes etc. and get around the same cash value.
A better way: If you have Citi Premier Card (or Citi Prestige Card, which no longer accepts new applications), you can transfer TYPs to parter airline programs at 1:1 ratio. These airlines are mostly based outside U.S., but they do cover the three major airline alliances: SkyTeam, Oneworld and Star Alliance. For example, if you transfer TYPs to Avianca LifeMiles, you can book domestic flights through Star Alliance partner United Airlines, starting around 7,500 points, which is slightly more “expensive” than using Chase URs. We estimate TYP’s cash value to be 1.7 cents per point.
Citi TYP’s partner airline programs include:
Air France/KLM (SkyTeam)
Avianca (Star Alliance)
Cathay Pacific (Oneworld)
Eva Air (Star Alliance)
Malaysia Airlines (Oneworld)
Qatar Airways (Oneworld)
Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance)
Thai Airways (Star Alliance)
Turkish Airlines (Star Alliance)
There are other ways to redeem TYPs, eg. statement credits, paying bills, but they represent less cash value and are not recommended.