American Express has just launched a 25% transfer bonus when you move your Membership Rewards points into Hilton Honors points.
Let’s see if this is enough to move the needle or not.
Which American Express cards offer Membership Rewards points?
The key cards we cover which offer Membership Rewards points, at a rate of 1 point per £1 spent, are:
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
American Express Rewards
The only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
What is the transfer bonus?
The standard transfer rate from Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors is 1:2.
Under this promotion, it is 2:5 (ie 1 to 2.5) as you can see here. This means that you are getting 25% more Hilton Honors points than you would usually get.
What are the terms and conditions?
Here is the small print from the Membership Rewards website:
“Minimum transfer is 200 Membership Rewards points and maximum transfer of 499,950 points. Points need to be transferred in increments of 50 points. Redeem for this exclusive offer from 04:00am GMT on 17 November 2020 to 11:59pm on 15 December 2020. Please note that your points will be transferred to your Hilton Honors account within five working days. Please allow up to two weeks for the additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points to be awarded. Hilton Honors Bonus Points do not count towards elite tier qualification.”
Looking at this, it appears that the offer is open to everyone. You will see it clearly on the Membership Rewards website:
Is it worth transferring?
In general, with any bonus, 25% should not be a game changer for you.
50%, probably. 100%, definitely. However, 25% shouldn’t be enough to persuade you to do something that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.
This is because your estimate of the value you will get from the points is always going to an educated guess, and you could easily be 25% off.
My standard valuations of hotel points are:
- Hilton Honors – 0.33p
- Marriott Bonvoy – 0.5p
- Radisson Rewards – 0.33p
You can easily do a lot better and a lot worse than these numbers, but this is the cut off at which I am happy to spend points rather than pay cash.
Translating these to the standard Membership Rewards transfer rates, we get:
- Hilton Honors: 1 Amex point = 2 Hilton points so 1 Amex point = 0.66p
- Marriott Bonvoy: 1 Amex point = 1.5 Marriott points so 1 Amex point = 0.75p
- Radisson Rewards: 1 Amex points = 3 Radisson points so 1 Amex point = 1p
If you adjust the Hilton Honors figure to reflect the 25% bonus, the value jump from 0.66p to 0.82p per Amex point.
This is still poorer than a Radisson Rewards transfer. For most people, it is also poorer than a transfer into Avios or another frequent flyer programme at 1:1. Most HfP readers would value an Avios as 1p+.
If you have an Amex Businesss Gold or Business Platinum card …..
You’d get a better deal selling your points back to Amex than taking Hilton Honors points, even before you factor in the flexibility of cash vs points.
It’s always good to see American Express transfer bonuses.
They have been few and far between in recent years, but Amex just bought $1 BILLION of Hilton points at a massive discount as part of Hilton’s bailout. This is clearly how they intend to use them up!
If you tend to convert your Membership Rewards points to Hilton anyway, this is an offer to jump on. It may offer value for other people too, but you should have a specific high value redemption in mind first.