GM’s new loyalty points update is as clear as mud.

Two months ago, I blogged about how I had saved over 17,000 GM loyalty points for all the maintenance my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze “Dracourage” underwent. When I went to cash in those loyalty points, I discovered that 17,000 points barely equals $80 bucks in redeemable credit. Ugh.

That’s right, pull out your calculators, a GM “loyalty point” is only worth half a cent.

See, they don’t mention this to you when you enroll in the service. All you hear about how are how many “points” you have earned. Not what those points are worth.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from GM, in which they “clarified” their points system. From now on, each point earned counts as one penny towards future purchases.

So that 17,000 points I had in the bank? Does this mean my value bumps up to $170 worth of credit?

Yeah, no.

Instead of bumping up the points, GM is actually halving the accumulated points, so that you’re actually getting the equivalent earned of one penny per point. Instead of y=2x, the formula is now y=x.

Nuts. So I still only have about $80 worth of value, it just means that I now have 8,000 worth of points.

This change will take place in September, so when you see those offers of “earn 1,000 points for signing your name on this application,” guess what – that 1,000 points adds up to $10 in credit. Go into a GM dealership and tell me what you can buy for $10. I don’t even think you can get a Hot Wheels GM car for $10. Yeesh.

Still, I get it. It’s all a case of image and perception. “Points” sound great. Hey, you’re getting points! Points points points points!! Lots of points!! More points than in a cactus farm!

But, in honesty, “points” don’t mean much. The point is only worth whatever the value one prescribes upon it.

So now the value is that every point is now worth a penny.

So yeah, maybe I can get some GM-branded Hot Wheels cars with all my points. And have enough left over to get an orange track. Oh, and maybe that plastic clamp that affixes part of the track to the table, so that the cars can race down the track as fast as possible.

I wonder if there’s a Chevrolet-branded model of the Splittin’ Image. Or maybe a Buick edition of the Side Loading Beach Bomb.

Well, at least it’s something to think about.