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Converting AA Miles into Hilton Points

by on August 12, 2011 · 30 comments

in American, Hilton

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I’m betting that after yesterday’s post about getting 150,000 AA miles for free, many of you will be up to your ears in airline miles. With the British Airways Visa 100,000 mile card earlier this year and huge Amex transfer bonuses to Delta and British Airways, it’s literally raining airline miles!

But what happens if you need hotel points? Sure there’s the Hyatt Visa which gives 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world, the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex with 30,000 points and the Chase Sapphire Preferred with 50,000 points that transfer to Hyatt, Marriott and Priority Club – but what if that’s not enough?

Hotels, especially in Europe with the strong Euro, can put throw a huge budgetary wrench into your vacation plans. Generally, I think we all focus too much on accruing zillions of airline miles and we fall short on hotel points. I know I’m personally airline miles rich and barely scraping by with hotel balances (well that may be a bit dramatic, but you get the point).

Luckily, American allows you to transfer your AA miles into Hilton points at a somewhat favorable ratio. It used to be 1 AA mile = 2 Hilton, but now its 1 AA = 1.67 Hilton. Still, not bad since Hilton free nights start at 7,500 points and go up to 50,000 for their top hotels (specialty resorts can be higher). This means those 150,000 AA miles gained practically for free from the two Citi cards can get you 250,000 Hilton points!

Hilton award chart

Hilton recently launched direct hotel and car rental booking so it is rumored that this transfer option to Hilton may go away soon. So if you think this ratio could work in your favor, I’d recommend transferring sooner than later. In fact, there’s no easy way to get to this transfer page from the AA website, so I really think its days are numbered. Once again the link to transfer is here.

Hat tip to TPG reader Carol!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Gene

    Given that the going valuation of Hilton points is about .4 cpm and AA miles is about 1.5 cpm, I think this is a horrible deal.

  • Anonymous

    Yea- but those valuations mean nothing if you have a ton of airline miles and no hotel points and want to take a trip and have the hotels covered.

  • Derek

    @Gene – Brian is right that rates in Europe can be high and the XR makes it worse. I was looking at Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe which has a rate of like E400. With the XR of about 1.40, that is about $560. For 35,000 Marriott pts, that is 1.6 cpm. I am sure you can find similar examples for Hilton in Europe.

  • PJ

    oops I am a person going the other way around:

    I am long 40,000 points plus $1000 spend ; can not find category 3 hotels i can stay for 2 nights which i probably pay less than $75 dollars via expedia
    Hotel Category 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Points for One Free Night (Standard) 7,500 12,500 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 50,000
    any better way you can leverage my hilton points after I DID hit the SPEND the old fashioned way no coin scheme no “amazon payment ” lol
    wish I had one more Sapphire card of my own i can leveage NOW!! ( already got 100K with my duaghter as Primary)
    I applied Hhonors since i thought I needed another fee free card to shore up credti socre only to find I am a good EXCELLENT already tho i have MANY cards and many cancellations

  • Jon S

    Haha I always look at these and laugh… I’m a guy with the other issue… I do a few hundred SPG nights a year, so I am always rolling in hotel points (sitting on a balance of ~300K SPG points right now), but all my flights are short domestic (Boston to Chicago, DC, or NYC) trips, so I lose out on airline miles.

    Just did the 150K AA miles thing… so that should help :)

  • Jon S

    Haha I always look at these and laugh… I’m a guy with the other issue… I do a few hundred SPG nights a year, so I am always rolling in hotel points (sitting on a balance of ~300K SPG points right now), but all my flights are short domestic (Boston to Chicago, DC, or NYC) trips, so I lose out on airline miles.

    Just did the 150K AA miles thing… so that should help :)

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  • Sam

    I bet in many cases you can actually redeem the miles for better value on hotels at aa.com. Its only in Europe and really pricey hotels where this MIGHT begin to make sense.

  • PedroNY

    FYI, this appears to be on the way out. There is a recent FT thread on this, so you may want to transfer you AA miles into HH points soon.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hhonors/1246957-no-more-transferring-aa-miles-hh-points.html

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

  • Megan

    This looks like a great way to use up the “left-over” AA miles I’ll have after booking two flights to Europe. AA isn’t my most convenient airline, but the Citi cards were too good a deal to pass up. With this option I can rely on those 150,000 miles for an entire vacation. Thanks TPG!

  • Frank

    Looks like you can only transfer if you have at least 25K points, which is not in the redemption rules. Kinda sucks since I have 7,000 orphan miles and will never fly AA. Oh well.

  • guest

    Please, please do the math before posting such poor conversions….

  • Guest

    Not just Europe. Just booked 7 nights a Hilton Bora Bora Nui at 26,250 HH points per night (with Gold status). Going rate is 61,500 XPF/nt ~ $733/nt. Of course, I get one room upgrade on that with Gold status so I’m getting Garden Villa priced at 75,500 XPF/nt ~ $900/nt. That’s a 3.4 cents per HH point conversion rate (or ~5.7 cents per AA mile). You can also get ~2+ cents per HH point in the Maldives at Hilton family properties. The aspirational Hilton properties are where the value is in having HH points.

  • Anonymous

    Howd you get it for 26k/night?? That obviously proved me way wrong, but dont know how you got that redemption rate. I would agree either way this only makes sense at the hotels needing a redemption rate of 50k points or more/night.

  • PJ

    do the math : it it saves you less than 1.25 each AA point think again AA is quite helpful

    JFK-TPE ( far east) ~ 65K almost no booking fee

  • PJ

    good points; use hilton points OUTSIDE this beatiful land of America

  • PJ

    anybody in your family circle has AMex MR points? once you are entered as authorized user >> your orphan miles will get new Hhonors to make up the transfer the same trick applies to rescue those orphan miles in other travel accounts. CHase Sapphire works same way: my old piles from Chase Visa and Freedom are now resting peacefully in my daughter’s Sapphire account where i entered myself as suthorize user . This open a better possiblity for me to get a new Sapphire Preferred in my own name.

  • PJ

    thanks for the posting: using Hhonors points on hilton hotel inside USA is tossing dollar coins away ; did not realize they works well on many decent Hilton properties … close to as much fun as you can get on Starwoods points … my travel style is a Hilton Garden Inn is comfortable enough for me :)

  • Guest

    BBN is at “Cat 7″ by name right now, but in their system still showing the Cat 5 redemption rate of 35k/nt. Depending on number of nights and status, you get certain reduced rates. I believe my 26,250 HH pts/nt rate is the built-in GLON award rate (25% off).

  • PJ

    think again, this is a real life case
    Hilton Narita is 73.85 and 86.54 ( with breasfast buffet) per night but take a whopping 25K Hhonors points to stay; my hard work on $1000 SPEND old fashioned way to earn 40K will be virtually shut after that ONE night stay Sniffing

  • PJ

    not to mention when I book through bigcrumbs and pay with my Chase Freedom i get 6.4 % off 64 pretax price or 75 AND i get 5.5 % Rebate off Chase Freedom since I have a mighty Chase Checking account

  • Anonymous

    TPG, thanks for the post. Great idea since the wife and I have 450k AA miles and zero hotel points. Do HHonors points expired?

  • Cocktailwaitress

    Can you do cash and points like you can with SPG?

  • Daniël Benjamins

    I was about to convert my AA-Miles to Hilton Points, then found that “a minimum balance of 25,000 miles or elite status is required to participate in this program.” There are only 12,956 on my account…
    Any other tips to redeem my Miles for something useful?

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  • Samara

    So is this true. I am waiting for 115 more AA miles (through the AA mall) to transfer 12,000 miles to the 20,000 HH points … I hate AA and will not fly anymore and these are points that will go to waste. When I have started the process it does not say anything about a 25K minimum. Can anyone confirm this rule for sure? Thanks!

  • Lindsey

    Same problem. I have 17,000 AA points and got this error: The AAdvantage account number entered does not meet eligibility requirements. A minimum balance of 25,000 miles or elite status is required to participate in this program.

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  • tim

    cheapest I see is 140,000 points/night. sooo…

  • Johnnyulozas1

    FYI-YOU CAN NO LONGER CONVERT AA MILES TO HILTON POINTS!!

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