Updated January 27th, 2020
This is only a “light” valuation. I do this type of analysis on carriers with programs that are especially low in value. This month, I’m assigning an ACRV of 8.5¢ per El Al Matmid point. At first glance, this seems extremely high. But let’s not forget, American Express Membership Rewards transfer at a rate of 50:1
All Award Flights Begin or End in Tel Aviv
This makes comparing El Al’s availability to our hypothetical basket of currencies really tough.
So How Did we Arrive at 8.5¢
Matmid Points are like the Bitcoin of frequent flyer miles. They’re worth a lot, but you also don’t earn them very easily. American Express Membership Rewards transfer at a rate of 50:1. So, one should divide the above figure by 50 to view them on the same scale as most other award miles. In order to value them, we went quick and dirty. As illustrated in the table below, we simply took a small sampling of available award seats, found the lowest cost cash alternative and did the math. It’s the basic process that we’d use to value any other currency, just on a much smaller scale.
|Route||Class||Date||Points||Fees||Low Cost Cash||Redemption Value|
|BOS -> TLV||Econ||02/20/2020||4,446||$328||$579||5.65¢|
|BOS -> TLV||Business||02/20/2020||12,558||$446||$2,441||15.89¢|
|JFK -> TLV||Econ||02/20/2020||4,536||$328||$499||3.77¢|
|JFK -> TLV||Premium||02/20/2020||5,076||$446||$726||5.52¢|
|JFK -> TLV||Business||02/20/2020||13,254||$446||$1,792||10.16¢|
|LAX -> TLV||Premium||02/20/2020||6,834||$446||2,295||27.06¢|
|El Al Matmid Point Value||8.50¢|
To put the results in some context that makes them more comparable to other award miles, lets divide the point value by 50(the Amex transfer ratio)…this provides us with a “normalized value” of 0.17¢, just terrible.
Ultimately, we view El Al’s Matmid program as a low tier transfer option. Unless one is planing to fly from a US gateway to Tel Aviv, and is willing to be very flexible with their travel dates, look elsewhere.