Thanks to a reader for reminding me about another promotion that could actually provide you more value if you are looking to redeem your Amex Membership Reward points for Hilton points.
Through December 29, 2012, Amex is running a promotion with Virgin Atlantic where you will receive a 35% bonus on transfered points. This means that 1,000 Membership Reward points = 1,350 Virgin Atlantic miles. Then, as many of you are already aware, you can ALWAYS transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton HHonors points at a 1:2 ratio. This means that those 1,000 Membership Reward points will ultimately equal 2,700 Hilton Honors points (which is clearly better than the 1,000 MR points = 2,000 Hilton points promo I described earlier today).
Now, the only disadvantages of this promotion are the following:
- When transferring Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton points, you must transfer a minimum of 10,000 miles at a time and from there you can transfer in increments of 5,000 miles. So you can transfer 10k, 15k, 20k, 25k, 30k, etc. at a time. If you only need a small number of Hilton points this will not help you.
- It states that transfers from Virgin Atlantic to Hilton points can take up to 30 days. I personally have no experience transferring points/miles between these two programs so am not aware of the actual time it takes, but if you need the points ASAP, this promotion won’t help you.
- This promotion ends December 29, 2012, where the one described earlier this morning ends January 31, 20213.
- You must have a Virgin Atlantic account (which is easy to set up online).
While this 33% promo from Amex Membership Rewards to Hilton directly (without having to go through Virgin Atlantic) can provide you value, you can ALWAYS get this bonus by going the roundabout method by including Virgin Atlantic in the transfer mix. This is because even without the Amex promo with Virgin Atlantic, you can ALWAYS transfer between these two programs with 1,000 MR points = 1,000 Virgin Atlantic points. Once transferring those Virgin Atlantic points to Hilton you end up with the same 2,000 points that you would earn with the limited time promotion without involving Virgin Atlantic.
Hope this makes senese, and let me know if you have questions!