The short version.

The world of points is vast and complex with a many different terms being used that leave most people confused.  Most banks, airlines, hotels, car rentals and many other companies all offer some form of rewards, regardless of their name.  To keep it simple I'm going to refer to all of them as points. 

Three Main Types of Points:

  • Loyalty Program Points: You get these from airlines, hotels and car rentals when you sign up as a member and use their services.  Their value can range greatly depending on the program and how you use the points.

  • Fixed Points: These come from banks such as Capitol One, Barclay Arrival, and Wells Fargo, and can be used to deduct travel expenses from your credit card statement, usually at a rate of 1¢-2¢ per point.

  • Flex Points:  These are earned through credit card companies such as Chase, American Express, and Citi Bank.  You can use them for cash back, to book travel through the bank's travel portal or by transferring them to loyalty program.