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(Targeted) New Amex Transfer Bonuses With Hilton, Choice and Starwood

by on April 3, 2012 · 9 comments

in American Express, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, Starwood

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Edit: These bonuses seem to be targeted and may vary on the Amex card that you have. Feel free to report your experience in the comments

I personally think the American Express Membership Rewards program is great – for airline redemptions. However, when it comesto their hotel transfer ratios, I don’t see a lot of value in transferred 2 Amex to 1 stinking Starwood point or even a 1: 1.5 ratio to Hilton. This is in comparison to Chase Ultimate Rewards program that allows instant 1:1 transfer to Hyatt, where you can get top rooms at any Park Hyatt in the world for 22,000 points. Now that’s amazing value.

However, Amex just announced several new transfer bonuses on their hotel partners, but none of them really have me excited:
1) Hilton 25% Rebate Until June 30, 2012, which means 1 Amex = 2 Hilton points. This still isn’t as good as taking advantage of the current Virgin Atlantic 25% transfer and then transferring those Virgin miles to Hilton at a 2:1 ratio as I highlighted in this post.
2) Starwood Preferred Guest 25% Rebate until June 30, 2012. Considering Amex just had a 50% Starwood transfer bonus, which I took advantage of, this one isn’t really exciting me either (though the 750 Amex = 333 SPG is a 44% bonus, which isn’t too far off.).

3) Choice 25% Rebate until June 30, 2012. Normally the ratio is 1:1, however now 750 Amex = 1,000 Choice. They ran a 50% bonus back in October, so this 33% bonus has me yawning a bit. When I covered the 50% bonus I noted a logical way to play this deal would be to transfer to Southwest in order to help qualify for the annual companion pass, which is an amazing benefit. Otherwise, if you want to use these points for free hotel rooms, do the math before jumping into a transfer.
There are also some discounted hotel gift card options, such as 9,600 points for $100 gift cards with Fairmont, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental and Marriott, Ritz-Carlton.

Hyatt gift card for roughly 1 cent a point

That’s getting just a smidge over 1 cent per point in value, which isn’t really great in my opinion. I personally get more value from taking advantage of lucrative airline transfer promotions, like the current British Airways 50%, but these might make sense for you are rich in Amex points and looking to save on hotel spend.

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  • Dmckenzie02

    Hi TPG…follow the blog regularly. Thanks for the tips and suggestions. As an FYI when I click your Hilton 25% off link it takes you to a page that lists the promo as 20% off…not 25%….same thing when I log into my AMX PRG account as well…so there appears to be some sort of discrepancy or change….

  • Evan

    It must be targeted. When I login to my AMX PRG I am only seeing 15% off the Starwood bonus. I took advantage of the 50% bonus (helped with SPG points for my honeymoon in December in Asia) but I won’t be taking advantage of the 15%!!

  • JosephM

    I agree with Evan – Definitely targeted. I log in to AMEX and see no bonus at all.

  • PJ

    ouch !! who needs that sort of transfers into Hilton points. Avios is the one there making sense
    pray to see trasnfer 50 amex to delta and get 20 back promotion or 20 % on aeroplan ie trasnfer 20 amex 20K to get 24K aeroplan

  • Sean

    I have Plat and PRG, I got the offers

  • Galway1ca

    Which hotel credit card is the best for transferring hotel points to airline miles at a one to one ratio? I’m playing the airline credit card churn game, but haven’t played the hotel points game. Thanks!

  • Ozaer N.

    Brian….can the Mandarin Oriental gift cards acquired from Membership Rewards be used overseas as well?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-MacGregor/100002817173966 Robert MacGregor

    Just wanted to remind people there are some good values to be found in the Choice inventory in Western Europe. The Clarion hotels can go for up to $300 a night or so, or 8000 Choice points, that’s a value of nearly 4cpp plus the bonus here you would be getting 5cpp or so for the Amex MR points. There is a Clarion at Hyde Park in London, for instance, that is good bang for the buck for a hotel redemption.

  • TheInternationalLine

    This is very strange… I wanted to transfer to Choice Hotels, so I went to choicehotels.com and clicked on their “Membership Rewards” link. To my surprise, it took me to the points transfer page on membershiprewards.com and showed the 25% discount! I calculated the number of points to transfer (at the 25% discount), agreed to the terms and conditions, and entered my login information. On the final confirmation screen, I got a message that the price had changed, and now I would be charged the full number of points!

    Now I can’t get back to the discount page, and customer service denies any current promos for choice hotels. Argh!

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