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After Hilton HHonors’ big points devaluation last year where some award night rates shot up as much as 95%, many members of the program were looking for ways to boost their HHonors accounts for new, higher-priced redemptions, and one of the best workarounds was to transfer Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to Hilton HHonors points at a ratio of 1:2.
However, Virgin Atlantic has announced that starting February 6, Flying Club miles will transfer to Hilton HHonors at a ratio of 1 mile to 1.5 HHonors points – a 25% devaluation. Here’s what Virgin posted:
“Please note from 6 February 2014 the exchange miles to points rate is changing. Flying Club members will be able to exchange miles at the following rate: 2 Flying Club miles for 3 Hilton HHonors points.
You can currently exchange miles at a rate of (up until 5 February 2014): 1 Flying Club mile for 2 HHonors point.
Minimum Level: 10,000 miles and then in increments of 5,000. Just call the Flying Club Helpline with your HHonors account number.”
This is more than bad news just for HHonors members. It also means that instead of being able to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points (which you accrue on cards like the Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum cards) to Virgin Atlantic at 1:1 and then to Hilton at 1:2 – thus getting 2 HHonors points per Amex point instead of just 1.5 by transferring directly from Amex to Hilton, you’re stuck at the 1:1.5 rate with all your options. It also means that Chase Ultimate Rewards cardholders of the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus and Ink Bold who could transfer their points to Virgin instantly and then from there to Hilton, thus getting an additional backdoor hotel transfer partner, that this option is going to be a lot less attractive as well.
All in all, this is another blow to the HHonors program and the ability to rack up and redeem points effectively – and just another reason I won’t be spending much of my time in Hiltons anytime soon. If you were planning on transferring your Virgin miles to Hilton, better do it before next Friday while you can still transfer at the higher 1:2 ratio.
Hat tip: Mommy Points.