The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Miles and Points 2023

Miles and Points has seen some significant changes in the first half of 2023. From Hyatt’s devastating award category changes, to United’s out of the blue massive devaluation things haven’t been pretty. In this segment, I will examine the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in the miles and points game!

Table of Contents

The Good

American Airlines

an airplane with american text
Photo by Alfred GF on

Who doesn’t like good news? Let’s start with the good! While 2023 saw some pretty significant devaluations of currencies, American Airlines made tweaks to their loyalty point system and got rid of flight segment requirements for loyalty choice rewards. That means I could earn 150,000 loyalty points and also earn 2 complimentary upgrade passes(must use choice rewards option). If you’re able to earn an additional 75,000 loyalty points, you can also get the option to earn 2 more upgrade certificates as choice rewards. For someone like me with plans to travel abroad with Jen next year, a free upgrade on a round trip ticket could represent considerable savings!

Hilton x American Express Increased Credit Card Sign Up Offers

Amex Hilton Offers back with increased bonuses, photo by American Express

American Express is back at it again with some great signup offers on their co-branded Hilton credit cards. In addition to a nice haul of points, signup bonuses also include a free night certificate ( few restrictions). If you are currently not holding any Hilton Credit Cards, picking up 2 or even three of these can net you 3 free night certificates and over 300,000 points. Good enough for a luxurious getaway!

Some of the best places to use the free night certificate included the Waldorf Astoria Los Pedregal Cabo, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills(Los Angeles, CA, Grand Wailea A Waldorf Astoria Resort (Hawaii), Waldorf Astoria or the Conrad Rangli Island (Maldives), Conrad Bora Bora. Redemption at any of these properties would provide exceptional value.

New Airport Lounges

Jen and I enjoy traveling and visiting various airport lounges. While some have been exceptional, we have also encountered our fair share of subpar lounges. 2023 is filled with many new exciting lounge concepts. Capital One is continuing to open new lounges and will be opening a handful of new locations including one in Denver, Colorado. Chase is also pushing out their first wave of lounges with a sleek looking lounge in Boston’s Logan Airport. These new lounges rolled out by credit card companies to compete with American Express shows just how crowded the space has become. Either way, I’m excited for more options at the airport!

The Bad

Hyatt Category Changes

Alila Marea Encinitas, Photo by Hyatt

World of Hyatt routinely makes annual revisions to hotel categories. For the last couple of years, some of my favorite properties have steadily climbed from category 6 to now category 8. While annual changes and some properties getting more expensive are expected, this year’s upgrades was utterly devastating. Many properties were bumped from category 4 to category 5 which means you are no longer able to use category 1-4 free night certificates at these properties. In addition, some absolute steals in Asia moved up a level. Devaluations are never good but this year hurt a lot.

Virgin Atlantic Devaluations

This flew under the radar, but Virgin Atlantic also implemented some award changes, particularly with partner awards. While prices used to be fantastic with airlines such as ANA, recent changes still make redemptions enticing but you’re getting less bang for your points.

The Ugly

United Airlines Massive Devaluations

white united airlines plane
Photo by Pascal Borener on

United Airline’s Devaluations were a tough pill to swallow. As someone who’s utilized United Miles frequently in the last decade, this might be the last straw. While I’ve already refrained from carrying a cobranded United Airlines Credit Card for some time, this new round of devaluations leave little room for premium class awards. Premium class flights on to Asia now start at over 100,000 points one way. Just in 2019, I was able to use 70,000 to fly San Francisco to Hong Kong in business class. The same flight cost over 100,000 points just 4 years later!

Delta Airlines Continues it’s Ridiculous Award Pricing

No surprise here, but Delta Airlines continues to have outrageous award prices via dynamic award pricing. It’s not unusual to see premium class redemptions cost upwards of 300,000 Delta mile. To be quite frank, this is getting out of hand and I don’t see why anyone should even consider opening a Delta Airlines cobranded credit card.


It’s not always sunshine and rainbows in the award space. From massive devaluations to outrageous pricing, this year has been among the toughest in my short career. While there have been many negatives, I’m hoping for some positive news in the later half of this year.

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