Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get a 50% bonus on American Express transfers to Hilton Honors – but is it worth it?

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American Express emailed a lot of HfP readers yesterday with an attractive transfer bonus.

Between 21st November and 21st December, they will receive a 50% bonus on Membership Rewards transfers to Hilton Honors.  The rate increases from 1:2 to 1:3.

This is very good.  I value a Hilton Honors point at 0.33p.  Because you can use Hilton points to part-pay cash bookings at roughly this level, even if you can’t get a standard redemption room, there is a floor beyond which the value won’t fall.

With the transfer bonus, you are getting around 1p per Amex Membership Rewards point.  This is as good as it gets, and puts Hilton Honors transfers on a par with Radisson Rewards (usually 1:3 with a similar 0.33p per point value) and frequent flyer mile transfers (assuming 1p per mile of value).

The bad news is that the offer appears to be targeted.  I didn’t get it (I have transferred to Hilton Honors before) and neither did my wife (no previous Hilton transfers).  I have done a speculative 200 point transfer and will report back, but if you didn’t get the email you should assume that you are not getting the bonus.

If you DID get the email then it is well worth considering.  It isn’t a knockout deal – as I said, it simply moves Hilton onto equal footing with Radisson and the airlines – but it is also as good as you’ll see for an Amex redemption.


How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (May 2022)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 120,000 Hilton Honors points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (245)

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  • Tom W says:

    O/T: Random but does anyone know if there’s a way to check historic offers on Emirates Skywards? (I’ve tried googling with no luck) As i’m interested in one of the golf tournaments in Dubai next year but unsure how many points are required. Thanks in advance

  • Walty says:

    OT: Anyone able to help with how to find out when your Marriott status expires?
    Thanks

  • the_real_a says:

    OT – Curve have released AMEX pricing for their closed beta testing beginning this month.

    O Curve Black* customers will be able to top up their Amex wallet up to £1,000 monthly fee free. If you top-up more than £1,000 in a month, you will pay a 0.65% fee on any top-up over £1,000. This means, for example, that if in day 1 of the month you top up £500, you pay no fee. And if within the same month you then top up £600, you will pay a fee on £100 which in this case would be 65p.

    O Curve Blue customers will be able to top up their Amex wallet using our pay-as-you-go offer at a fee of 0.65% per top-up. This means that if you top up £100, your Amex account will be charged £100.65 and you will have £100 in your Amex wallet on Curve to spend from.

    • the_real_a says:

      Seems you will “top up” an e-wallet within Curve. Any foreign exchange using the topped up funds will be converted fee free for foreign purchases. ATM withdrawals from the e-wallet will NOT be allowed.

      • MDA says:

        I know its been said but there might be a loss of section 75 consumer rights. As your topping up an account and not paying a retailer directly. Also curve might go bust when you have electrical faults 👋

        • the_real_a says:

          You (arguably) wont get S75 on any curve transaction Amex or not.

        • Genghis says:

          Exactly. Top up or back to back. Nothing has changed in this respect.

        • Shoestring says:

          @the_real_a there’s no ‘arguably’ about it – definitely no S75 protection using Curve. You’d have to persuade them you have a valid case for chargeback

    • Anna says:

      So for blue customers it’s quite a bit cheaper than Billhop but costs more than PayPal. Any confirmation of when the beta testing period will end?

      • Luthar says:

        Yes. I think I’ll keep using Billhop when I’m forced to use bank transfers and switch to curve where debit card payments are permitted. Does anyone have any info on whether HMRC still accept Curve?

      • MDA says:

        Paypal is only cheaper for £500 but if your sending 1k plus its cheaper with curves topup function

        • Colin JE says:

          How do you pay bills with Paypal for a fee please?
          I have my Amex attached to fund Paypal purchases but don’t get charged if a retailer takes Paypal.
          Presumably there is another wrinkle? What is it and how do you use it please?

    • Anna says:

      I know it’s early days, but does anyone know whether the “top up” amount leaves your Amex account as soon as you transfer it, or when you make a purchase with that money? Could be useful for hitting spend targets…

      • Genghis says:

        It’s “top up”, a la Revolut not back to back (like old Curve).

        • Shoestring says:

          Doesn’t the 0.65% fee make it almost pointless for Blues to even think about using Amex on Curve? OK, I get the point about spend targets but that’s largely irrelevant for many people, how much would you want to credit to Sky anyway? Nearly all my other bills can get paid with Amex direct/ Paypoint, no 0.65% fee.

        • Anna says:

          I don’t know how either of those work! Can you explain for the unenlightened?

        • lev441 says:

          @anna – i assume it would be like topping up revolut where the amex card is charged as soon as you top up..

          When you want to spend the money, there would then be a virtual card in the curve app which has for example £1000 in which then applies this money as payment.

        • Anna says:

          That sounds like good news, especially for holiday spending.

        • RakishDriver says:

          @Shoestring Yeah, with 0.65%, it does seem pointless for ongoing spend.
          Say I spend £1500 a month/ £18K p.a. using my plat/gold amex, I’ll be paying around £120 via the blue curve – better off getting the paid virgin reward+ card instead and end up with a much bigger stash of points at the end of the year.

        • Genghis says:

          @RakishDriver for ongoing spend I can see value for some even if they’re Curve Blue if:
          a + 0.65% < b where
          a = return on MC / Visa of card of choice and
          b = return on Amex

        • RakishDriver says:

          @Genghis
          What card(s) & scenarios do you envisage where mc/visa return < (amex -%0.65 hit) return ?
          Can't think of any..

        • Genghis says:

          Loads of scenarios.
          Eg I have IHG black (0.8% return) but could pay 0.65p and get 1.5p return on BAPP, a tiny profit.
          I want to collect avios but can’t get HSBC prem. best non Amex card I have is Tesco cc at 0.3p but I have BAPP so can pay 0.65p and get 1.5p, a 0.55p profit.

        • Genghis says:

          E.g. You like collecting Marriotts but have that tax bill to pay.
          I could pay on my defunct Creation Marriott card via Cueve and earn 1 point (0.5p). Or pay 0.65p and earn 3 Marriotts (1.5p), a 0.35p profit. I could go on…
          Obviously this is for low earning ongoing spend. Much different for sign ups.

        • RakishDriver says:

          Gotcha now. Thanks

  • Mark S says:

    OT – Curve and Amex
    The Curve blog is now up with a link to apply for phase 2 beta on Amex use. Note a 0.65% usage fee – not worth it from my point of view unless I need to stick a chunk of change through to hit the spending target (trying to do 2 at once)
    It might be interesting to see how the wallet works as a means of manufacturing spending.

    • Rob says:

      That fee means you are buying Avios (on a BAPP) for 0.4p. I think we’re all buyers at that price. Even 0.65p on a free BA Amex is decent, and that’s before you factor in the help in hitting the spend target.

      On a Starwood Amex it is an excellent deal given 3 points per £1.

      • Shoestring says:

        Don’t want to be churlish and if you are an enthusiastic 2-4-1er then you could possibly regard the BAPP £195 fee as covered by the free flight. I have no use for 2-4-1s & the fee *is* payable – I reckon that therefore the £195 should be factored in. Eg annual spend £10K. Getting you 15K Avios. So £195/15000 = 0.13p. Plus the 0.4p (Curve) = 0.53p.

        • Shoestring says:

          What am I saying? It’s 1.3p + 0.4p

        • Shoestring says:

          Anyway I get the point about ‘buying’ cheap Avios but that only really applies to specific opportunities such as HMRC/ Sky. You can’t use the ATM. Most other bills can be paid direct/ Paypoint with Amex to get the same points without Curve’s fee.

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          It is only £195 if you keep the card for the full year – or if it takes you a full year to get to the 10K. It is a significantly better deal if your spend is more than that…

        • Shoestring says:

          True enough – but then again you couldn’t use the BAPP for Curve after cancellation.

          Summary:

          Great for HMRC payers who want 2-4-1s.

          Pointless for me.

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          I do agree that unless you have a significant amount of non-Amex spend then it is a waste of time.

          If you do have non-Amex spend though you are likely to do better than 0.65% return on that spend (free gold card gives you 1%).

          I think it is just a question of whether there is enough non-Amex spend to be bothered with the hassle or not..

      • KSB says:

        Does anyone know if the AMEX spend will be included in the Curve annual limits? – I am guessing it probably will be, but hoping not (with the top-up element being different).

    • Colin JE says:

      Applications for beta testing closed a couple of days ago. I missed it by hours. Grrr.

  • Boi says:

    OT: has anyone used jetabroad.ie to book flights? looking at flights from dublin and they are cheaper….reviews online are bad but thats for australia version

  • Thomas Howard says:

    Parochial Flybe news: Newquay flights will switch from Gatwick to Heathrow in April 2019: https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/17241000.destination-switches-from-gatwick-to-heathrow/?ref=rss

  • Dev says:

    Those Avios offers from Charles Tyrwhitt (promotion or standard) never post – at least they have not done for me since September 2017. Each time I make a purchase in store or by phone, I am assured that they “will post this time” but my BAEC account shows nothing.

    Rob – does HFP have any say with Mr. Nick Wheeler on this? Thanks!

    • Colin JE says:

      I got a Charles Tyrwhitt entry on my BAEC account with ‘zero’ points a few months back. I went through all the palaver of filling in the claims form with a copy of my receipt, then POSTING it royal mail to BAEC (who uses post for that sort of thing these days!), and the points eventually appeared. Though whether it was connected with my claim I don’t know. BAEC never emailed an acknowledgement.

      • @mkcol says:

        Related: Avios from AVIS hire cars have consistently failed to post for at least my last 3 rentals, probably more.
        AVIS do not make it easy to retrieve required info from their website.

  • JPV says:

    OT: Found out than an Iberia rewards booking made for my wife has incorrect last name – it should be “Jones” but in Iberia it appears as “Jones Jones” and in BA it appears as “JONESJONES”

    Flight is on BA

    Flying from UK to America so correct surname is, I imagine, essential

    Is there a realistic chance of fixing this, either through Iberia or BA, or should I resign myself to cancelling and rebooking?

    • Shoestring says:

      I think you need to establish if you definitely made an error or not. Ie did you fill in Jones twice on the Iberia booking page? Easily done if you put Jones in for 1st surname then again for 2nd surname.

      If that’s the case, you probably need to get it corrected.

      If you didn’t – and this is quite frequent – and it’s a system error out of your control, then general advice is to ignore it. Eg system error sometimes gives you JONESMASTER, which could look worrying, but people just fly without correcting it and it’s not an issue.

      • Shoestring says:

        Did you already change the frequent flyer details to BAEC? You can do this on the Finnair site in manage my booking. Try that & see if one of the JONES disappears.

    • gavin says:

      Is this perhaps not an error and actually deliberately coded into Iberia systems due to the Spanish habit of having two surnames?

      • Shoestring says:

        No, funnily enough I’ve got 20 Iberia bookings coming up and they only have one surname in them 🙂

        • Genghis says:

          It’d be interesting to get reports from ppl who did actually fly the last flight of the day from Santander to Madrid say to see how busy these planes actually are

    • Jonathan says:

      Sounds like an auto-complete repeater word.

      I’ve misspelt my surname before when booking a flight early one morning when really hungover. Ask the airline to reissue the ticket with corrected name and ask that as this is a mistake rather than passenger change to please waive the charge as a gesture of goodwill.

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