American Express Permanently Increases Transfer Ratio to Hilton Honors
To start off 2018, American Express and Hilton have increased the transfer ratio when converting your Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors points. As TPG reader Nolan B. points out, the transfer ratio from Amex MR points to the Hilton Honors program has been increased to 1:2.
Effective immediately, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to the Honors program at a 1:2 ratio. The new transfer ratio is 33% better than its previous rate of 1:1.5. Now, for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you transfer, you'll get 2,000 Honors points deposited in your account.
Hilton has confirmed that as of January 1, 2018, this change is permanent. There is a 1,000-point minimum required to transfer.
In recent months, we've seen plenty of transfer bonuses, encouraging members to transfer MR points to Hilton, the most recent being 34%. This elevated transfer ratio makes sense, given Hilton's decision to drop Citi to make Amex its exclusive credit card issuer. In the aftermath of that announcement, consumers have one less transfer option to the Honors program, as Citi ThankYou dropped the Honors program as a transfer partner in December 2017.
While this increased transfer ratio is a nice change for both programs, transferring Membership Rewards points to the Honors program probably still isn't the best way to get the most value out of your points. Based on TPG's most recent valuations, Hilton points are worth 0.6 cents apiece whereas Amex Membership Rewards points are worth more than triple that at 1.9 cents apiece. So, even with this 1:2 transfer ratio, you're still losing out on some value here. Say, for example, you transfer 10,000 Amex points (worth $190) — you would get 20,000 Hilton points, which are worth $120.
Of course, transferring Amex points to Hilton isn't always a bad decision. If you have a specific redemption in mind, this new transfer ratio could mean good news for you. But keep in mind it’s never recommended to transfer points or buy points without a specific redemption in mind, as there’s no way to reverse the transfer or sell points back after they’re bought. Check out this post for how to maximize double-dipping with the Honors program, and this guide for everything you need to know about the program as a whole.
*Update 1/2/18 3:55pm: This story has been updated to reflect that the transfer ratio is permanent.