What is the Value of ANA Miles?

The schedule to earn ANA international flight awards is somewhat complicated. Here are some of the basics of how it all works:

  • Unlike many other frequent flyer programs which base their mileage redemption requirements on the region you are flying to (for example, flying from the US to Europe may cost 50,000 miles), ANA bases its mileage schedule on the number of total miles you will be flying (see the ANA Mileage Redemption Chart for full details).
  • ANA mileage redemption amounts are also based on the season you fly. It’s worth pointing out one sneaky downside of ANA’s redemption formula. For example, if you fly from San Francisco to Tokyo during low season, and then return during say mid or high season, the whole ticket is assessed at the highest season level of all segments of the given flight, and would thus require more miles to acquire.

Key Assumptions for Calculating the Value of ANA Miles

GetDebit makes the following assumptions in order to estimate the dollar value of ANA miles:

  • Since ANA specializes in travel to Asia, we only focus on routes from major US cities to several major Asian cities. See our analysis, Detailed Analysis of Flight Costs to Asia, to view GetDebit’s estimates of market-rate, pre-tax ticket prices along these routes.
  • The ANA Seasonality Schedule reveals that about 45% of the days in 2010 are classified as low season; 47% are classified mid-season; and only 8% are classified as high season. While it’s tempting to just assume that GetDebiters will conduct travel in those proportions, we have assumed that only 30% of travel will be conducted in the low season, 60% in the mid-season, and 10% in the high season. There are two reasons we have made this adjustment. Firstly, the ANA rule that charges you the miles of the highest season leg of your trip makes it more difficult to find a purely low-season ticket. Secondly, there’s a reason it’s called “low season”—because no one wants to go there during it. We assume that while GetDebiters may be willing to fly off-season more than the average bear, even we like to go during the “good weather” sometimes.
  • GetDebit as applied a 15% non-cash adjustment to the value of ANA miles, comprised of a 5% baseline adjustment, plus an additional 10% adjustment due to the fact that ANA really only covers the Asian market.  See our article, Rules of the Sky, for more information.

Bringing it All Together: GetDebit’s Best Estimate of the Value of ANA Miles

The table below brings it all together-the miles required by season, GetDebit’s estimate of how much travel is done each season, and average market-rate pre-tax ticket prices to key destinations in Asia-in order to estimate the value of ANA miles.

Estimating the Value of ANA Miles
Route Roundtrip Miles Low Season Miles Req’d Mid Season Miles Req’d High Season Miles Req’d % travel low season % travel mid season % travel high season Low season avg ticket price Mid season avg ticket price High season avg ticket price Avg $ value per mile
LAX-Tokyo 10,916 40,000 50,000 60,000 30% 60% 10% $519 $614 $696 $0.0124
NYC-Tokyo 13,474 45,000 55,000 65,000 30% 60% 10% $741 $741 $1,152 $0.0148
Chicago-Tokyo 12,566 45,000 55,000 65,000 30% 60% 10% $905 $720 $1,047 $0.0155
LA-Hong Kong 14,390 50,000 60,000 70,000 30% 60% 10% $573 $573 $573 $0.0100
NYC-Hong Kong 16,108 50,000 60,000 70,000 30% 60% 10% $657 $657 $657 $0.0115
Chicago-Hong Kong 15,586 50,000 60,000 70,000 30% 60% 10% $842 $842 $842 $0.0147
LAX-Seoul 11,912 45,000 55,000 65,000 30% 60% 10% $819 $925 $819 $0.0168
NYC-Seoul 13,770 45,000 55,000 65,000 30% 60% 10% $974 $974 $974 $0.0186
Chicago-Seoul 13,092 45,000 55,000 65,000 30% 60% 10% $992 $992 $992 $0.0190
Total Pre Non-Cash Adj $0.0148
Total Post 15% Non-Cash Adj

As the table illustrates, GetDebit estimates the value of ANA miles to be worth about $0.0148 before the non-cash penalty, and $0.0126 after applying the non-cash adjustment. The GetDebit blog post, Why Does GetDebit Penalize the Value of Non-Cash Rewards?, explains the basis of this adjustment in greater detail.

We here at GetDebit (yes, still just me:) hope you found this post useful and possessing enough analytical rigor to pass the tough standards of the GetDebit community.  If you see any gaps in the logic, or anything else that could have been improved or addressed, just leave a comment and I will respond and make adjustments as needed.

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