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While American Express Membership Rewards points – the points you earn on cards like the Premier Rewards Gold, Business Gold Rewards and Platinum cards – usually transfer to Hilton HHonors points at a ratio of 1 Amex point to 1.5 Hilton points, but now through January 31, 2014, there is a 33% transfer bonus, which means the ratio is 1 Amex : 2 Hilton.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.29.19 AMHowever, even if you were thinking about transferring Amex points to Hilton, you might still want to hold off on this unless there is a specific, imminent redemption you need them for and need the points instantly. That’s partly because Hilton’s massive devaluation means using Amex points for Hilton transfers generally doesn’t get you great value from your Amex points.

For example, let’s say you wanted to spend a weekend at the new Waldorf Astoria in Berlin. Nights there in March are going for 197 EUR ($271) or 60,000 HHonors points, so you’d have to convert 30,000 Amex points with this promo.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.57.00 AM

So you’re getting about 0.9 cents per point – not bad, but not great. On the other hand, let’s say you wanted to stay at the Conrad Maldives like I just did. Award nights there start at a whopping 95,000 points, which usually is not a great value even considering room rates start at about $1,200. However, with this transfer bonus (if you can find award nights), you’d only need to transfer 48,000 Amex points for an award night.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 10.01.53 AMThat same King Beach Villa would cost you $1,240 per night, so you’d be getting a value of 2.58 cents per point – much better, but we’re still talking a lot of points here. As with all transfer bonuses, I would do the math for yourself and the redemptions you’re interested in and see if it makes sense.

No Rush Thanks To Virgin Atlantic

But also remember you can get 2 Hilton points from 1 Amex point any time by first transferring your Amex points to Virgin Atlantic at a 1:1 ratio, then converting those Virgin miles to Hilton HHonors at a 1:2 ratio. And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that Amex runs transfer bonuses to Virgin Atlantic as well, including a recent 30% one in October/November where you could convert 1 Amex point to 1.3 Virgin miles and then to 2.6 Hilton points, so if you’re not in any hurry, you could wait to see if Amex offers another transfer bonus to Virgin in the next few months and convert your points then.

So if Hilton points are your end goal and you have a specific, good-value redemption to make, it’s worth taking the transfer bonus into consideration, but I wouldn’t transfer points speculatively – especially because you can always get the same 1:2 transfer ratio with Amex points by using the Virgin Atlantic transfer option – though keep in mind those conversions can take a couple of weeks to go through.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

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More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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