MemberNovember 20, 2023 at 5:56 pm
Membership Rewards are much more difficult to use for base value. MR are only worth .8 cpp to about 1.3 cpp when you’re redeeming for a statement balance or transferring. You really have to understand how to leverage partner award sweet spots (and usually be planning to fly abroad) to get good value out of MR. Their hotel partners are absolute crap for average redemptions.
UR have much better base value through the Chase Portal (1.25 – 1.5 cpp), and they have Hyatt as a transfer partner, which is hands down the best hotel awards program for their points value. They also have most of the same airline transfer partners as MR, and United can offer pretty great value under certain circumstances, especially if you know how to leverage their excursionist perk.
As for points, yes, AmEx has historically been generous with welcome bonuses, but the new family language that they’ve been adding to their cards has cut down on a lot of people’s ability to get multiple large SUBs. Chase on the other hand seems to have really loosened up their grip on their Ink cards and you can get many larger UR SUBs before running up against limits with Chase.
Lastly, as an advanced points game player, I would never pick one over the other. Both currencies have their advantages and disadvantages and you should really be collecting both if cheap travel is your end goal.