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Following yesterday’s announcement of a targeted 50% transfer bonus to Starwood, American Express Membership Rewardshas also launched a targeted offer for a 33% transfer bonus to Hilton through November 30, 2014.
Membership Rewards is the points program of American Express credit cards such as the Platinum Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card, and the new EveryDay cards, and Hilton HHonors is one of its four hotel transfer partners. Rather than the normal transfer rate of 1,500 HHonors points per 1,000 Membership Rewards points, this promotion earns you 2,000 HHonors points per 1,000 Membership Rewards points.
This is a good deal, but not a great one. After all, in the wake of HHonors’ massive devaluation in 2013, some of its premium redemptions have increased by as much as 100%, earning my vote for the least customer-friendly hotel loyalty program.
If you were to transfer Amex points to Hilton with this promo, here’s how many HHonors and Membership Rewards points you’d need for each hotel category, per night:
Category 1: 5,000 HHonors (3,000 Amex)
Category 2: 10,000 HHonors (5,000 Amex)
Category 3: 20,000 HHonors (10,000 Amex)
Category 4: 20,000-30,000 HHonors (10,000-15,000 Amex)
Category 5: 30,000-40,000 HHonors (15,000-20,000 Amex)
Category 6: 30,000-50,000 HHonors (15,000-25,000 Amex)
Category 7: 30,000-60,000 HHonors (15,000-30,000 Amex)
Category 8: 40,000-70,000 HHonors (20,000-35,000 Amex)
Category 9: 50,000-80,000 HHonors (25,000-40,000 Amex)
Category 10: 70,000-95,000 HHonors (35,000-48,000 Amex)
The 33% bonus is hard-coded into the 1:2 transfer ratio, so you just need to log into Membership Rewards, click on the “Rewards” tab, and select Hilton under the Hotels section of their transfer partners. Your points should transfer automatically, but you can check Hilton.com or call HHonors at 800-446-6677 to confirm that your transfer was successful.
Overall, this bonus isn’t stellar, so I wouldn’t transfer Membership Rewards points to Hilton unless you’re looking to top up your HHonors account for a specific redemption. In my monthly valuations for September, I list Membership Rewards at 1.8 cents apiece and Hilton HHonors points at just 0.5 cents apiece, so even at this better ratio, you’re sacrificing about 45% of the value of your Amex points by transferring speculatively. That said, if you have plans to transfer anyway or to redeem points for an upcoming Hilton stay, then you may as well do it while the bonus is available.
How would you maximize this Amex-Hilton transfer bonus? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
- Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
- Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
- No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
- See Rates & Fees