Amex Membership Rewards 33% Transfer Bonus to Hilton (Targeted)
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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.