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How to (wastefully) convert Marriott Bonvoy points into Hilton Honors or IHG One Rewards

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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.

How to convert Marriott Bonvoy points into Hilton Honors or IHG One Rewards

The rate isn’t great, to be honest.  Take a look here. Virgin Points can be converted into Hilton Honors points at the rate of 2:3 (minimum 10,000 Virgin Points, and in multiples of 10,000).

Virgin Atlantic also lets you convert into IHG One Rewards points.  Take a look here.  The conversion rate is 1:1 (minimum 10,000 Virgin Points and in multiples of 5,000).

I value a Hilton point at 0.33p and an IHG One Rewards point at 0.4p.  Whichever way you go, you won’t be getting more than 0.5p of value for each Virgin Atlantic point you move.

However, for anyone who earns Virgin Points 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 One Rewards

This leads us on the article headline – can you convert Marriott Bonvoy points into Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards 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 with most airlines 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 Points
  • Convert 25,000 Points to 37,500 Hilton Honors points or 25,000 IHG Rewards points

WARNING:  You won’t gain any value by doing this.

In general, 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points will get you a better hotel than 37,500 Hilton Honors points or 25,000 IHG One Rewards 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 One Rewards points.  You are losing up to 2/3rd of the value of your Marriott Bonvoy points if you do this transfer so it isn’t recommended unless you have a very good reason.

Comments (10)

  • john says:

    The minimum transfer to an airline is 3,000 right? What’s the best plan if you have 2,664 points expiring soon? Top up from amex MR? Looks like minimum to that is 400.

    And then I could transfer to Virgin or avios and end up with about 1,000 extra? Better than them expiring I suppose.

  • Wally1976 says:

    Could do with a way of earning IHG points via a credit card (yes, yes, I know some people still have the Creation cards). Unfortunately this isn’t it!

    • Peter K says:

      The Virgin card, then turn the Virgin points into IHG points at a 1:1 ratio.

  • Alexander says:

    I guess a reason for converting from Mariott to Hilton is to save on exorbitant resort fees though I do admit that I haven’t done the maths to see if still worth it.

    My need is to find some way to convert Amex points into Hyatt or some other ways to earn Hyatt points. Any ideas?

  • Eggtastico says:

    I like Marriott, but its tricky collecting points outside of staying at a hotel to keep expiring points active..

    • Peter K says:

      Amex is your friend here. Any amex MR card can earn points that can be transferred to Marriott. Or the Amex Bonvoy card itself.

  • Degsy says:

    Whilst the Virgin to Hilton conversion rate may not be great, as far as I can work out collecting points on the Virgin Reward+ credit card then converting is the most optimal route for collecting HH points. £100 spent on the Virgin card gets you 225 HH points v 200 HH points via £100 spent on Amex. I think?

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