Rohit

Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors have launched a new transfer bonus offer for American Express cardmembers in Australia. The promotion starts today and is valid until 31st December 2021.

Best I can tell, cardmembers have received no formal communication from Amex about the promotion, but when logged into your account, you will see that both Marriott & Hilton are flagged for Bonus points on the transfer page.


Earn bonus points on transfers to Marriott and Hilton

Generally speaking, transferring Amex points to hotel loyalty programs is a bad idea. You will do much better by transferring them to one of Amex’ airline partner and redeeming them for long-haul business and first class flights.

So does this bonus offer change the equation enough to make the transfers worthwhile? Lets find out.

30% bonus points on transfers to Marriott

The standard transfer rate from Amex to Marriott Bonvoy is 3:2 (3 Amex points = 2 Marriott points). If you take advantage of this promotion and transfer points, the rate improves to 3:2.6 (3 Marriott points = 2.6 Marriott points).


Redeem Marriott points for a stay at St Regis Maldives

I value Membership Rewards Points at a minimum 1 cent per point, although there are ways to extract 2-3x more value out of them. On the other hand, I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.007 cent (7/10th of 1 cent) per point.

In other words, if you transferred 9,000 Membership Rewards Points to Marriott, you will receive a total of 7,800 Marriott points, which is like swapping a points currency worth $90 for a different currency worth about $55 (including the 30% bonus). That’s not to say you can’t do better than that, but please do your due diligence before you pull the trigger as transfers once made cannot be reversed.

Transfers from Amex to Marriott start at 600 points and go up in 300 points increment. There is no cap on the total number of points you can transfer. Transfers are instant but can sometimes take up to 24 hours.

30% bonus points on transfers to Hilton

The standard transfer rate from Amex to Hilton Honors is 2:1 (2 Amex points = 1 Hilton points). If you take advantage of this promotion and transfer points, the rate improves to 2:1.3 (2 Amex points = 1.3 Hilton points).


Redeem Hilton points for a stay at Hilton Queenstown

I value Hilton Honors points at about 0.006 cent per point (6/10th of 1 cent) which is substantially less than my valuation of Membership Rewards Points. Put another way, even with a 30% boost, a transfer of 10,000 Membership Rewards Points will yield just 6,500 Hilton points. That is like swapping $100 of points value for $39.

As always, there might be circumstances where you could do a little better, but on the whole I suggest you save your Amex points for transfers to one of its airline partners.

Transfers from Amex to Hilton start at 2,000 points and go up in increments of 2. There is no cap on the total number of points you can transfer. Transfers are not immediate and take up to 72 hours.

In Conclusion

Until 31st Dec 2021, American Express cardmembers can transfer points to Marriott and/or Hilton and earn 30% bonus points. Although the promotion improves the value proposition of transferring points, it does not do this sufficiently to make it a good deal.

Membership Rewards Points are a highly valuable points currency and best utilised for premium cabin airline redemptions.

Do you stay much with Marriott or Hilton? Leave a comment below.

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