You can calculate reward point values by dividing the dollar value of what you redeem points for by the number of points required to get that product or service. This will leave you with the value of a single reward point. For example, if a $500 plane ticket costs 40,000 points, that means each point is worth 1.25 cents when redeemed for airfare.
Cost of Item in Dollars / Cost in Points = Value of 1 Reward Point
In many credit card rewards structures, point redemption values change depending on what you redeem them for. Some credit cards give more value point-for-point on travel redemptions than cash back, for example. The average credit card reward point value is 1 cent, for reference.
How many reward points you earn are also calculated by a credit card company when they’re doling them out for purchases. And that depends on what kind of rewards credit card you have. If you have a tiered or bonus category credit card, how many points you earn will generally depend on what kind of purchase you make. Some cards might give 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations, for example, but 1 point per $1 at restaurants. Flat-rate rewards credit cards will give you the same number of points for every dollar you spend, no matter what type of purchase it is. If you’re not sure how many rewards points your card gives, look them up in your card’s terms.
Credit card companies calculate how many rewards points they can offer by looking at interchange rates and revenue from annual fees and interest charges. The interchange rate is the amount they charge merchants for accepting purchases. That, plus annual fees and finance charges, can give a card issuer enough of a profit margin to offer more bonus points.
Credit card points are worth an average of 1 cent apiece, though credit card point values usually range from 0.5 cents to 1.5 cents per point, depending on the card and the redemption method. For example, you might spend 2,500 points on a $25 gift card, but the same number of points might only get you $15 when redeemed for merchandise.… read full answer
More credit cards reward users with points than you might think, too. For instance, some so-called “cash back” cards actually give points, which cardholders can redeem at a rate of 1 cent per 1 point.
Average Credit Card Point Values by Issuer:
Type of Credit Card Points
Average Point Value
Average Value of 1,000 Points
American Express Membership Rewards Points
$0.0076 (less than 1 cent)
Bank of America Travel Rewards Points
$0.01 (1 cent)
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
$0.0125 (1.25 cents)
Citi ThankYou Rewards Points
$0.01 (1 cent)
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Rewards Points
$0.015 (1.5 cents)
Wells Fargo Rewards Points
$0.01 (1 cent)
High Credit Card Point Values:
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold: 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for plane tickets, hotels, and rental cars.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 1 cent per point for other redemption methods.
J.P. Morgan Reserve: 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 1 cent per point for other redemption methods.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 1 cent per point for other redemption methods.
Citi Premier: 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for travel through Citi ThankYou; 1 cent per point for gift card redemptions; 0.5 cent per point for cash back redemptions.
It’s important to note that credit card points can get devalued at any time by the card issuer. That means the point values listed above can change. Usually, card issuers will reserve the right to change rewards programs - including point values - in the card’s terms and conditions.
For example, a card issuer can decide that a $300 plane ticket should cost 1,000 more points than it does currently, which in turn lowers the redemption value of the reward point. That’s why cash back is usually a better value than points - $1 in cash back will always be worth $1.
The best way to use credit card points has been travel since 2014, according to WalletHub research. But that’s not a rule across the board. The best way to use credit card points will vary depending on what credit card you have. Your points could be worth just as much (or even more) in cash back or gift cards, so it’s a good idea to check the value of all the redemption methods before you redeem your points.… read full answer
The best way to find out what your points are worth is to log into your credit card account online, look for a rewards redemption section, and see how many points are needed for merchandise, cash back, gift cards, and travel. Then, find out how much you’d pay for those things outside of the redemption portal and do a points-to-dollars comparison. For example, if 100 points gets you 75 cents of a gift card, or $1 in plane tickets, you should go with the plane ticket.
Exactly how you redeem credit card reward points varies by credit card company, but most credit card users can redeem reward points online through their account summary page. Some credit card issuers also let you redeem rewards over the phone. Credit card reward points may be redeemable for cash back, travel purchases, gift cards, and more, depending on the card.… read full answer
Once you redeem your credit card reward points, they’ll be subtracted from your rewards balance immediately and your account will be credited within 1-3 weeks, if applicable. In some cases, reward points will expire if you do not use them by a certain time.
Here's how to redeem credit card reward points:
Log in to your online account and head to “Account Summary.” Specifics will vary by issuer, but your rewards will usually be featured on a main account page.
Click on “Rewards Balance.” The exact wording may differ depending on the issuer. Once you click on your rewards balance, you’ll be taken to a page with your total amount of unredeemed rewards, and information about your redemption options.
Select how you’d like to redeem your rewards. You may be able to redeem reward points for travel purchases, cash back in the form of a check or statement credit, merchandise, or gift cards, depending on the rewards card.
Redeem your rewards. Once you redeem your credit card reward points, the points will be deducted from your rewards balance immediately. If you’re redeeming for statement credits or covering past purchases, your account will usually be credited within a week. If you redeem your points for gift cards or merchandise, you can expect them to arrive in the mail within 2-3 weeks.
While many rewards cards will let you choose from multiple redemption options, you’ll usually get the most value with one in particular. For example, travel rewards credit cards will often give you the most when you redeem your points for travel purchases, and your rewards may be worth less if you redeem them for cash back or gift cards.
On average, credit card reward points are worth 1 cent each. Most major credit card issuers, like Chase, Capital One and American Express, advertise that your points will not expire as long as your account remains open. But you should check the exact terms and conditions of your specific credit card to make sure you don’t lose any rewards you’ve earned.
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