30% transfer bonus from American Express to Marriott and Hilton

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American Express is once again offering a 30% transfer bonus when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors points. These aren’t great deals, but the Hilton deal in particular could be of decent value under the right circumstances.

The Deal

  • American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 30% transfer bonus when you transfer points to:
    • Marriott Bonvoy (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,300 Marriott Bonvoy points with this promotion)
    • Hilton Honors (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 2,600 Hilton Honors points with this promotion)

Key Terms

  • Expires 10/31/21

Quick Thoughts

A 30% bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy isn’t very good. Greg recently found Marriott Bonvoy points to be worth about 0.63 cents per point. That means that getting 1.3 Marriott points is like getting about 0.819c per Membership Rewards point. That’s pretty poor. Even for those who cherry pick awards the value here is about 1c per point which is far less than our Reasonable Redemption Value for Membership Rewards points (1.55c per point). If you’re close to a valuable award and want to top up your account, it might make sense — but keep in mind that Marriott sells points directly for 1.25c per point and puts them on sale for about 0.8c once or twice a year. This transfer bonus just doesn’t excite me much.

The Hilton bonus isn’t amazing either but might be ever so slightly better. American Express Membership Rewards points ordinarily transfer to Hilton at a ratio of 1:2. With this bonus, the ration increases to 1 Membership Rewards point : 2.6 Hilton points. Our Reasonable Value for Hilton points is only 0.4c per point which puts the value for Membership Rewards points at about 1c per point. Hilton frequently sells points for half a cent per point — if you value Hilton points at the half cent level, this bonus is like getting 1.3c per Membership Rewards point. That’s not great, but it’s not awful — but again, that’s only if you value the Hilton points a bit higher than we do and then still only if you have a valuable redemption in mind in the near future. We sometimes see a bonus as high as 40% to Hilton, so I wouldn’t be in a hurry to take up this bonus unless I needed Hilton points right away.

Overall, these bonuses could be OK at best but probably don’t make sense in most situations. It is worth nothing that we’ve seen 40% bonuses to both in the past.

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