Because most frequent traveller currencies can be converted into something else, there are always odd opportunities that get thrown up. Sometimes you can do a conversion which you would logically not expect to be possible. This is one of them.
In general, a golden rule of airline programmes is that you cannot convert OUT of them. Pretty much every hotel and car hire programme lets you convert INTO airline miles, but very rarely the other way.
The main exception is Hilton. There were once quite a few airlines that let you convert INTO Hilton Honors points, including American Airlines, but they have gradually been chipped away. Virgin Atlantic is the last major airline offering a conversion into Hilton Honors points.
The rate isn’t great, to be honest. Take a look here. Virgin Flying Club miles can be converted into Hilton Honors points at the rate of 2:3 (minimum 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, and in multiples of 10,000).
Virgin Atlantic also lets you convert into IHG Rewards Club points. Take a look here. The conversion rate is 1:1 (minimum 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and in multiples of 5,000).
I value a Hilton point at 0.35p and an IHG point at 0.4p. Whichever way you go, you won’t be getting more than 0.5p of value for each Virgin Atlantic mile you move.
However, for anyone who earns Virgin Flying Club miles through work but doesn’t like redeeming them for flights due to the taxes and charges involved, or the restrictions of the Virgin Atlantic route network, this could be an acceptable way to use them.
How to move Marriott Bonvoy points to Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club
This leads us on the article headline – can you convert Marriott Bonvoy points into Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club points? It turns out that you can – at a price.
Most hotel programmes allow you to convert your hotel points into airline miles. By far, the most attractive rate is offered by Marriott Bonvoy. The usual transfer rate is 3:1, but you get a 25% bonus if you convert 60,000 Bonvoy points at once into airline miles.
You could therefore do the following transfer:
- Convert 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles
- Convert 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles to 37,500 Hilton Honors points or 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points
WARNING: You won’t gain any value by doing this.
In general, 60,000 Marriott points will get you a better hotel than 37,500 Hilton Honors points or 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points.
I’d value 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (x 0.5p) at £300. This compares with (x 0.35p) £131 of Hilton Honors points or (x 0.4p) £100 of IHG Rewards Club points. You are losing up to 2/3rd of the value of your Marriott Bonvoy points if you do this so it isn’t recommended unless you have a very good reason.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (April 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus 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.)