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For the first time in months, American Express is offering a bonus on transfers of Membership Rewards points to a travel loyalty program and the promotion that I’m seeing in my account is for a bonus of 40% on transfers into the Hilton Honors program.
Amex To Hilton Transfer Headline Terms & Conditions
- Get 40% more Hilton Honors points when you transfer Membership Rewards points through 10/31/2020.
- You must be enrolled in Hilton Honors in order to participate in this offer.
- Once you have transferred Membership Rewards points, they become subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Hilton Honors program and cannot be transferred back to your Membership Rewards program account.
- This offer is non-transferable and may not be combined with other offers.
- To be eligible to receive these offers, all Card accounts linked to an enrollee’s Membership Rewards program account must not be canceled, past due or have a return payment at the time of point redemption.
- Minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards points.
- Please allow up to eight weeks for the additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points to be awarded.
The full terms and conditions can be found on the promotion page within your Amex online account.
Is This A Good Deal?
I’ve been targeted for a 40% transfer bonus but it could be that others are seeing different bonus levels in their accounts – Amex sometimes likes to make these transfer promotions targeted. For the purpose of this discussion, I shall be assuming that the 40% bonus that I’m seeing in my account is the best bonus available.
Amex Membership Rewards points ordinarily transfer over to Hilton in the ratio of 1,000 : 2,000 so, under the terms of this transfer bonuses, the transfer ratio is now 1,000 : 2,800.
I value Hilton Honors points at just 0.4 cents each while I value Amex Membership Rewards at 1.5 cents each and based on those valuations (yours may differ) this is what American Express is offering me: 1,500 cents : 1,120 cents
That doesn’t look promising, does it?
However, having said that, this is not necessarily the end of the story and it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a time when making a transfer between Amex and Hilton makes sense. When hotel prices are particularly high a transfer between Amex and Hilton (with a bonus) can look a lot more appealing.
Take the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills as an example. On a random night in February this property can be booked for $800 including taxes and fees or 95,000 points:
The same room can be booked for 95,000 points which would mean that, by using points, a Hilton Honors member could get ~0.84 cents of value out of each Hilton point…which isn’t bad when they’re really only worth around 0.4 cents in the first place.
If you’ve been targeted for a 40% transfer bonus, 95,000 Hilton Honors points can be generated from 34,000 Amex Membership Rewards points which, based on my valuation of 1.5 cents/point, are worth $510. In this instance a transfer of Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton would see you effectively pay $510 for a night which would otherwise have cost $800…and that’s a pretty good deal.
Note: Things can look even better on stays of 5 nights thanks to the fact that Hilton Honors members get the 5th night free on award bookings.
The majority of the time the math will dictate that transferring Membership Rewards points to Hilton is a poor value proposition regardless of what transfer bonus you’ve been targeted for because Membership Rewards points are so much more valuable than Hilton Honors points…but there will be times when a transfer makes sense.
If you’re topping up an account or booking a standard room at a property where prices are high (especially if you’re booking a 5-night stay) then a transfer from Amex may save you quite a bit of cash….but make sure you do the math before you enact any transfer as there’s no going back!
Did you get targeted for a 40% transfer bonus or something else?