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Why I Transferred Membership Rewards Points To – Gasp! – Hilton

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Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Links in this post may provide us with a commission.

Transferred Membership Rewards Points To Hilton

Why I Transferred Membership Rewards Points To Hilton

Hilton Honors, like Delta Skymiles, is a much beleaguered loyalty program.  People love to hate Hilton because of their plentiful devaluations and their lackluster point valuations.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t value there.  Their points are some of the easiest to rack up via welcome bonuses or through spend. Having said that I still transferred Membership Rewards points to Hilton.

RELATED: What Are Miles & Points Worth?  More Than You Think!

Why Would You Do That?

You may be asking yourself why would you do that?  Membership Rewards points are worth so much more than that!

I usually get around half a cent a piece for Hilton Honors points. The transfer rate is normally 2 Hilton points for 1 Membership Rewards point.  While improved from the old 1.5 to 1 that is still not a great return. That would be netting me only 1 cent per point in value.  I would be better off getting gift cards at 1 cent a MR point and paying cash for my stays.  But American Express recently targeted some with a 50% transfer bonus (which ends today).  This means that I am getting 3 Hilton points to 1 Membership Reward point.  That is a return of 1.5 cents per MR point which is more in the ballpark of their value.

Even though I am getting increased value I still had a healthy stash of Hilton points already.  It is not usually a good idea to move transferable points without a plan or immediate need for them.  You can not transfer them back so it is best to hold them until they are needed. However I did find myself with a sudden, immediate need for them because of a deal I could not pass up.

Transferred Membership Rewards Points To Hilton

A Deal I Couldn’t Pass Up

Doctor of Credit reported that Hilton Honors points could be redeemed on Amazon at half a cent a piece.  This deal/mistake offer came around once before and died quickly.  I missed out on it the last time but I wasn’t going to this time.  I cashed in 230,000 Hilton Honors points for $1150 in Amazon gift cards.  For me, Amazon gift cards are about as good as cash.

I knew I had the transfer bonus that I could replenish my Hilton stash for some upcoming stays.  I looked at this as cashing out Membership Rewards for 1.5 cents a piece.  Even though I love to travel for free, cash is king!  I transferred just enough points to book my upcoming travels and I will need to replenish my Hilton Honors war chest.  Hopefully the spending offers American Express sent out will post properly and help get me on my way.


Sometimes deals come up that you may pass up because you value your points for travel.  Remember to look at deals from all angles before making a decision on whether or not to take the deal.  By leveraging my transferable currencies and a transfer bonus I was able to take part in a great deal.  And, I was still able to cover my upcoming travel.

Did you jump in on this offer?  If not hopefully it will come around again.


Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Hi, I would suggest, if someone sees this redemption of Hilton points for 1/2 cent a point to Amazon GC, please let us know. Amazon GCs are the priced best for reselling as they fetch out 95% value in cash.

  2. If you have the Amex Platinum, you get Gold status with Hilton and that gives you the 5th night free when redeeming points. Its like getting 20% off, making your points more valuable.

    • Very true. I rarely stay in one place for more than 3 or 4 nights so I am not able to take advantage of that much but that is something to consider for others who use it a lot.

  3. Amazon gift cards are no longer as good as cash. This is a common mistake and assumption that many point and mile hobbyists make.

    Target matches prices for most products on Amazon and if you use their no fee Target card, you get 5% off on top of that plus free shipping. No need to spend $120 on Prime either.

    This is an incredible value.
    Combine it with an annual sale like the 10% Target gift card sale coming up, and Target comes out ahead.
    I have a boat load of Amazon gift card cash waiting in my account but I always find a better price elsewhere so I have not unloaded them yet.

    • I like Target, but we buy a lot of stuff that target doesn’t stock. The reason that amazon credit is similar to cash is that their selection is enormous and their prices are low (at least for what our family buys).

      • Agreed that Amazon has better selection than Target. But Walmart is equally good and they also ship free above $35 and their prices are frequently lower than Amazon. Amazon has become successful with the Amazon cash strategy but that has given them the market power to dictate higher prices than their competitors.

        • We must shop differently at amazon Mike. I just looked at my last 10 items –wal-mart and target don’t carry 8 of them.

    • I say that because the resale value is high and they have deals/sales on items often that I can flip easily at even money or a slight gain. It has nothing to do with actually purchasing things on Amazon for normal use, for me at least.

  4. Yep, I (amazon) cashed out 170,000 hilton points (150k came from the aspire upgrade). I wish I would have used my entire balance. I will drain my hilton account if this opportunity presents itself again. I feel like I have to work REALLY hard to get 0.5 cent value out of hilton. Most of our aspirational stays are at Hyatt, so I end up using these Hilton points for embassy suites and hilton garden inns. 0.4 – 0.5 cents value is the norm for us. Would much rather have amazon cash than hilton points at the same rate. If anyone knows how to get a better value (without staying 5+ nights), please let me know and I will rethink our strategy.

    • The main way to get a lot of value out of Hilton is to stay in the lower category hotels which are usually in BFE.


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