Mar302010

Hotel Points-to-Miles Conversion tables for 9 hotel programs and 7 U.S. airlines

[July 1, 2010 update: Marriott Rewards and American Airlines AAdvantage ended their relationship as of June 30, 2010. Marriott Rewards members can no longer earn AAdvantage miles through the program.]

After giving the points-to-miles exchange some more thought since my post on Sunday, I have created simplified points-to-miles conversion tables. Here are tables showing hotel points to airline miles conversions for nine major hotel loyalty programs including Best Western Rewards, Carlson goldpoints plus, Choice Privileges, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Wyndham Rewards.

In my prior post on this topic I made elite status rate adjustments and correlated points earned to hotel spend levels. I tossed all that for these tables due to the highly variable rates of earning hotel points dependent on elite status, promotions, credit card activity, and partner activity.

For example, the Hilton HHonors blue member earning Points & Miles at 10 points per $1 compared to the Diamond member with a Surpass card earning Points & Points for 29 points per $1 in hotel spend makes it difficult to correlate points earned to hotel spend across a single program, let alone nine programs.

The tables below are only adjusted for Carlson goldpoints, Hyatt Gold Passport, and Starwood Preferred Guest to compensate for variations in base points and provide a similar points comparison to the 10 points per $1 of other programs. The tables use comparable point level column headers allowing a comparison of points-to-miles exchange across programs. The rate a member earns points is not factored into these tables.

The table for Hilton HHonors reveals the poor points-to-miles exchange rate of this program. In hotel travel the HHonors member would earn far more points with Points & Miles earning, but that is really a separate process to the points-to-miles exchange conversion comparison.

Hotel Loyalty Program Ranking for Points-to-Miles Exchange

Marriott Rewards, Carlson goldpoints plus, and Wyndham Rewards are the five star programs for points- to-miles exchanges. Choice is 5-star for Southwest Airlines exchange.

Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest (AA, AS, DL, US) are four star programs.

Best Western Rewards, IHG Priority Club Rewards, and Choice Privileges are three star programs.

Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest (CO, UA) are two star programs.

Hotel points-to-miles exhange rates (updated 9-24-10)

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. I wonder if you can add some sort of conclusion to your charts to let us know the relative value of one of these conversions.

    Aren’t there some generally respected point values that can be used to do this?

  2. I am a newbie and here is a very basic question:
    By calling Hilton Honors, we can convert 50000 points for 7500 AA miles, is it?

  3. Ed – I do not provide a relative value for the conversions simply because there are too many variables. My basic advice is “do not redeem hotel points for airline miles since hotel points generally have more value for hotel awards”.

    The only time I ever transferred a large portion of hotel points to miles was to beat the award change deadline for British Airways when the First Class USA-Europe-Australia award went from 150,000 miles to 420,000 miles in 2003.

    I save all my hotel points for hotel awards.

    Unless you are going for a great premium class award ticket or you have points in a hotel program account that might expire or are sitting with no hotel award plans, I advise against using hotel points for miles.

    130,000 miles will get an international business award to Asia, Australia, Africa, India, and close to First Class (135,000 miles) to Europe with Continental.

  4. Kay – Yes, you can transfer 50,000 HHonors points into 7,500 AA miles.

    If 7,500 miles gets you to a miles level for a free ticket, then that might be a good use of points compared to a high category hotel award night.

    One of the more valuable aspects of HHonors for AAdvantage members is the ability to change miles into HHonors points. HHonors is the only program allowing this miles-to-points exchange, whereas almost all the major hotel programs allow points-to miles transfers.

    This HHonors feature used to be great when 50,000 AA miles could be exchanged into 100,000 points good for a 6-night GLON award in 2003. I regularly got $1,000+ hotel value from 50,000 miles.

    I transferred nearly one million miles into HHonors over the years. But now many of these awards that were 100,000 points (2000-2003) or 150,000 points (2003-2009)are now 225,000 HHonors points for the same hotels. The miles-to-points exchange rate has remained unchanged over the past decade and there are fewer airline partners, so this is no longer nearly as lucrative an exchange.

  5. Thanks, Ric.

    I’ve got 65K Hilton points which I’ve been sittin on for over a year because it only buys me one night somewhere.

    Actually, the best thing that came of having these points was the recent Priority Clubs “gift” of 15K miles, which can be good for 3 more free nights!! Ha ha!

  6. Just make sure you have some activity in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors is ruthless about deleting account balances with no activity after a year.

    I lost all my 20,000+ points last year and ironically it was just a week before I was planning to stay at a Hilton.

  7. Thanks Ric. Will wait for bigger redemption. We plan to spend 5/6 nights holiday at Hawaii. So miles to points will come in handy for redemption at HH I guess.

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