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50% bonus when you convert Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton – worth it?

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Many of you who have American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, the Amex Rewards Credit Card or one of the other Membership Rewards cards will have received an email yesterday with an interesting offer.

Until 31st October, you will receive a 50% bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into Hilton Honors.

This means that you will receive three Hilton Honors points per one Membership Rewards point, instead of the usual two.

There is minimal small print:

You must transfer at least 1,000 Membership Rewards points

The bonus will arrive separately and could take up to eight weeks

IMPORTANT:  whilst most HFP readers seem to have received this offer, some have not.  It is possible that these people ticked the wrong box once upon a time and opted out of emails like this.  However, it is also possible that not everyone can participate.

This offer is not mentioned anywhere on the Membership Rewards website.  If you make a transfer without receiving the email, you have no grounds for complaint if you do not receive the bonus.

50% bonus when you convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors

Is it worth transferring my Amex points to Hilton Honors?

It depends.

(Yes, I’m sticking my neck out here …..!)

Let me explain why I say that.  Whenever we write about Hilton Honors on Head for Points, I say that I value a point at 0.33p.  This is based on many redemptions over the years.

There are two interesting caveats here:

The value of a Hilton point is capped, because Hilton regularly sells them with a 100% bonus.  In fact, it launched such a bonus yesterday.  At present, you can buy Hilton Honors points for 0.5 cents (0.40p).  You can’t value something at more than you can buy it for.  This means that, at most, you are getting 1.2p (0.40p x 3) of value per American Express point you transfer.

The value of a Hilton point has a floor.  If there are no redemption rooms available, Hilton lets you use your points as part payment towards a cash room.  This generally gets you around 0.25p per point, so the floor value of an Amex point under this offer is (0.25p x 3) 0.75p.

And, of course, under my 0.33p per point valuation, you are getting 0.99p (0.33p x 3) per Amex point if you convert them to Hilton under this offer.

50% bonus when you convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors

How does this compare with other Membership Rewards redemptions?

I ran a long article on what Membership Rewards points are worth back in December.  Click the link for my reasoning, but my conclusions were:

0.75p – 1.5p per point for airline miles

1p per point – Radisson Rewards hotel transfers

0.75p per point – Marriott Bonvoy hotel transfers

0.66p per point – my usual value for Hilton Honors transfers

0.66p per point – Club Eurostar transfers (but I am thinking of raising this after seeing the price of cash tickets recently)

0.5p per point (guaranteed) – High Street gift cards

0.5p per point (guaranteed) – converting to Nectar points

0.45p per point (guaranteed) – converting to Amazon credit

0.4p per point (guaranteed) – redeeming for American Express statement credit

So, looking at this list, converting your Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors points is a decent deal.

It is NOT, for total clarity, a ‘slam dunk, no discussion, get it done, why are we even still having this conversation?’ deal.  It IS very good and better than most of the other options, but there are other routes to get you equivalent value.

You need to remember that transfers of Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors do NOT count towards status.  The only points that count towards Hilton status are the base points you earn from hotel stays.

If you can identify a good place to use your Hilton points – although remember that you won’t get the bonus for up to eight weeks so availability may have gone – then give this deal some serious thought.  At present, I don’t think I will be taking advantage but I am not totally writing it off either.

Bits: join me at Loyalty Summit next week, £1 Europcar redemptions back, Amex / Waitrose cashback
Bits: 100% bonus buying Hilton points, another £1 Avios redemption quirk, £15 Lufty / SWISS Amex cashback
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Comments

  1. Does it, or does it not, mention the higher transfer rate on the Amex site when clicking through from the email to redeem? I received the email, but still only see mention of the usual 2:1 when clicking through.

    Shoestring seemed to be implying yesterday that there should be text indicating something along the lines of “limited time offer: 3 HH for 1MR”. I see no such text.

    Thanks!

    • It didn’t say anything last time and I got the extra HH points a few weeks later.

      • Was that with or without receiving the email John? I didn’t get the email and I am signed up for email offers.

        • Last time it didn’t say anything for those receiving the email.

          Those who transferred without receiving the email got nothing.

          I didn’t receive the email, but chat mistakenly told me that I was eligible and I transferred points on the basis of that chat.

          Of course, no bonus points were forthcoming. A battle later, and I did get the bonus points awarded on the basis of what chat had told me.

          Moral of the story: Assume you are not eligible and will not get any bonus points if you did not receive the email. Or, see what chat tell you, and keep a record!

    • Shoestring says:

      That text disappeared for me on my own link as well, I think they just changed the page

  2. When booking a Hilton redemption with points, do you get upgrades and all the benefits relating to your status? Im looking to book Conrad Hong Kong and wondering if its worth buying points with 100% bonus rather than paying cash but want to be certain I still have a chance of being upgraded and Executive Lounge access.

    • Oh yes, if you have the status you get all the benefits 🙂 You need to be careful buying points for a redemption even with a 100% bonus. I imagine hotel prices in HK have hit rock bottom at the moment so I doubt buying points will make sense but check the maths.

    • If anything, I have a better track record of securing decent upgrades on reward bookings than on cash bookings. This may, however, be more to do with the fact that the majority of my cash bookings are during the week (business travel) and the majority of my reward bookings are at the weekend (personal travel)…

  3. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    I did this last year and the points took about 4-5mths to arrive. Lots of calls to Hilton and lots of broken promises Iater, I ended up with 4x the points.

    • The Streets says:

      +1 neither Amex of Hilton wanted to take responsibility after months of phone calls explaining that my points posted at the 2:1 rate and not 3:1. In the end I was credited with the MR back to my account of the equivalent amount of missing bonus Hilton points I should have received … not going through that again!

      • ankomonkey says:

        Getting some Amex MR back is an even sweeter deal as you can use them for a non-Hilton redemption. I’d sign up to that offer if it could be guaranteed 😉

  4. I was hoping for something along these lines. I tend to be fine for Avios and FC miles from flying, but hotel points much less so as mostly use hotels com. The points are useful with the stay 5 pay for 4 thing.

  5. I didn’t get the offer last time on my Plat card nor this time on my Amex Rewards Card and I have ticked all the right boxes for marketing emails. I previously always transferred my MR pts to Hilton but am sitting on my small stash of 22k for now.

  6. Chelseafi says:

    Are there many Europe properties for family or couples summer holidays? I have been converting points to Marriott, had a wonderful stay at Domes of Elounda in June and trying the Corfu Domes next June for 5 nights? Thanks

  7. Will making a transfer from Amex to HH extend the expiry of my existing HH balance as my balance is set to expire in a couple of months time?

  8. No targeting email for me 🙁

    Should I assume this is because I’ve already made a few MR->Hilton transfers this year anyway?

    • I would guess not.

      I have made a few such transfers this year, usually smallish amonts, in order to boost my total to just beyond what I need for a redemption (eg I have 37 560 and I need 40 000).
      I got the e-mail and it seemed a good idea to me.

      • Aaaargh! Just realised email marketing was disabled in my online account, that probably answers why I didn’t recieve a targetting email.

        Funny thing is I definitely had it enabled before! I guess whatever I put on my most recent application (for a SPG card) must have overriden all my preferences, including for my Plat…

  9. Christopher Dempster says:

    O/T, but has anyone received the bonus MR points for a cumulative spend of over £350 at Hilton hotels? This offer finished 31 August, but I have still not received the bonus points.

  10. Good morning all,

    Using my wifes AMEX points and converted to Hilton Honors? Can she book a hotel for just me (husband) and my son without her being on reservation?

    • It is against policy but some hotels do it.

      HH points are easily transferable to skip the faf

      • I have never had any problems booking for someone else, done it loads of times, including on the phone to the call centre. Not convinced it is against policy, happy to be proved wrong if you can give the detail.
        Look on flyer talk, doing this is not a problem.

    • Yes, just put your details in additional guest field. However, to keep everything watertight when I’m booking for others I usually just call Hilton and get them to book the stay in the other persons name using my points. They then send email confirmation directly to third party if you provide an address. Interestingly my sister has always received my status benefits when doing this.

  11. Just checking, but this offer can be used multiple times before October 31st, right? It’s not just the first transfer that gets the bonus?

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