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Let’s say you’re booking a last-minute flight on Delta and you have the option of either:
Paying $450 cash.
Paying 30,000 Delta miles + $40 in fees.
Which is the better deal? Should you book that flight with cash or miles? What should you do when booking hotels?
To help answer this common conundrum, we created a point value calculator that pairs our airline mile valuations with your own booking options.
» Learn more: Which travel credit cards give travelers the best value?
Airline miles to dollars calculator
Enter the airline award program, cash fare, equivalent award fare and any fees associated with your award fare, and our points and miles to dollars calculator will do the rest.
Hotel points to dollar calculator
You can also use a calculator when deciding if you should book a hotel with cash or points. Keep in mind some hotels charge resort fees, which may add extra cash costs to your award booking. The policy varies based on your elite status and the hotel brand.
Also, some brands offer a free night when you book on points, which means you may get even more value. Hilton and Marriott offer a fifth free night when you book five nights with points. IHG offers a fourth free night when booking four nights with points if you have an IHG credit card that’s linked to your profile.
Some of these brands require that you have elite status, so in general, you’ll want to be logged in to your account when checking the price of the hotel stay in points.
Keep in mind that our valuations, while based on real-world data, are only estimates for how much miles and points are worth. If the cash and award values are similar, use your best judgment for which option is better for you.
Mile-redeeming whizzes might opt to save miles for better redemptions, but in general, we encourage spending miles rather than saving them because they devalue over time.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card