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Last chance: Get a 25% bonus when transferring hotel points to American Airlines miles

Oct. 28, 2019
4 min read
Last chance: Get a 25% bonus when transferring hotel points to American Airlines miles
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While the most well-known hotel-to-airline transfer program is Marriott Bonvoy, a number of airlines have partnerships with hotel loyalty programs that let you transfer hotel points into airline miles. While it's rarely a good value, it can be useful for cleaning out hotel points that you can't use or to top off an airline account if you're just shy of a great redemption.

Back in mid-September, American Airlines launched a 25% bonus when transferring hotel points from four hotel programs to the American Airlines AAdvantage program. If you're interested in taking advantage of this promotion, you only have a few days left. Members need to register and transfer points by Oct. 30, 2019.

The number of hotel points transferred and miles received depends on the program that you are transferring from:

  • Best Western: 5,000 Best Western Rewards points = 1,000 1,250 AAdvantage miles
  • Choice: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,000 1,250 AAdvantage miles
  • IHG: 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points = 2,000 2,500 AAdvantage miles
  • Marriott: 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 31,250 AAdvantage miles (after 5,000-mile bonus from Marriott)

While Hilton, Hyatt and Wyndham points also transfer to AAdvantage, these programs aren't participating in this bonus promotion.

This promotion's terms and conditions note that the 25% bonus miles "will be posted to your AAdvantage account within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by the participating hotel partner."

American Airlines will let you hold an award flight for up to five days. However, if the 25% bonus actually takes seven business days to post, you won't be able to count on those bonus miles to complete your award reservation. So, if award availability is tight, you might want to transfer enough to cover the whole redemption.

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Marriott's Hotel + Air packages aren't as lucrative as before, and this promotion doesn't make it any better. The T&Cs note that "conversions for hotel and air packages from hotel partners aren’t included for this offer."

Is transferring hotel points to American Airlines worth it?

While a 25% bonus sounds good, the conversion rates from hotels to AAdvantage miles aren't very good to start with. So, you're going to need a valuable AA redemption and/or a low personal valuation of your hotel points in order to make this promotion worth utilizing. This promotion can also be useful to clear out smaller hotel point balances.

Let's dig into the numbers to see just how these transfers end up when incorporating the 25% bonus. And because some programs have multiple tiers of potential point transfers, we’re using the smallest transfer amount that has the best transfer rate in this chart.

Value columns are based on TPG valuations and are rounded to the nearest dollar, but the “Change in Value” column is based on un-rounded data:

Hotel programHotel PointsAA Miles (after bonus)Value of
Hotel Points
Value of
AA Miles
Loss
in Value
Best Western5,0001,250$35$17.5050%
Choice Privileges5,0001,250$30$17.5042%
IHG Rewards Club10,0002,500$50$3530%
Marriott Bonvoy30,00012,500$240$17527%
Marriott Bonvoy60,00031,250$480$437.509%

As you can see, based on TPG valuations, you’re going to lose value from these transfers. However, Marriott provides the best option. Combining the standard 5,000 bonus mile bonus for transferring 60,000 points with this 25% bonus, you'll end up with 31,250 AA miles for transferring 60,000 Marriott points.

Also, as you can see, you only have to transfer a small amount of Best Western, Choice or IHG points to get the 25% transfer bonus. So, this transfer bonus offers the opportunity to clear out small hotel point balances with these programs.

Finally, this transfer bonus can make sense when you need to top off your AAdvantage account for an awesome award -- such as 60,000 AA miles for business class to Japan or Korea; 12,500 AA miles for off-peak awards to Aruba, Barbados, Cabo, Cancun or Costa Rica or 70,000 AA miles for Qatar Qsuite to the Middle East or Indian subcontinent.

Featured image by Image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more