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Million Mile Secrets reader, Freeman Grover, commented:
Love reading your articles! Your recent post on transferring hotel points to airline miles was interesting. I wonder if you can tell me if it’s possible to transfer miles to hotel points?
Good question! It is usually NOT possible to transfer airline miles to hotel points. Except in a limited number of mileage programs.
I’ll explain the few instances when it’s possible. And when it can be a good value.
Should You Transfer Miles to Hotel Points?
I’ve written before about how to transfer hotel points to airline miles. And how it’s usually NOT a good idea.
The same is true when you transfer airline miles to hotel points.
You usually won’t get a good ratio. And transfers can take ~2 weeks or more.
But transferring airline miles to hotel points can be useful if:
- You’re sure you won’t fly the airline again
- The miles are going to expire
- You’re close to a hotel award stay and are NOT in a hurry to receive the points
- You value the hotel points more than the airline miles
You’ll usually get more value by using your airline miles for award flights. And you have to transfer a LOT of miles to make them useful for hotel award stays.
Hotel Programs and Their Airline Partners
Hilton and Hawaiian Airlines
If you transfer 10,000 Hawaiian miles, you’ll get 15,000 Hilton points.
That’s enough for 3 award nights at a Hilton Category 1 hotel. Or 1 award night at a Hilton Category 2 hotel. Travel Is Free talks about the best Hilton Category 1 and 2 award stays.
However, award flights on Hawaiian Airlines start at 7,500 Hawaiian miles for 1-way coach flights between Hawaiian islands.
And 20,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles to fly between Hawaii and the mainland US 1-way in coach.
Considering that Hawaiian Airlines has lots of partner airlines, it might be better to save up enough miles for an award flight. As always, choose what is best for you.
If you do decide to transfer Hawaiian miles to Hilton points, call the HawaiianMiles Service Center at 877-426-4537. Note that transfer take 10 to 15 business days. And that the names on both accounts must match.
If you want more Hilton points, you can get sign-up bonuses from credit cards, like the American Express Hilton HHonors or the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature. Or the Citi Hilton Reserve, which gets you 2 weekend nights.
Hilton and Virgin Atlantic
Emily and I have flown on Virgin Atlantic.
When you redeem Virgin Atlantic miles for award flights, you’ll have to pay extra fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars.
If you don’t want to pay the extra fees, it might make sense to transfer your Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton points.
If you need to top off your Virgin Atlantic account, remember that you can transfer 1:1 from Chase Ultimate rewards.
If you decide to transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton points, call the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Helpline at 800-365-9500.
Give the agent your Hilton account number and your Virgin Atlantic account number.
It can take up to 30 days for the points to post, but in my experience, it usually takes ~15 days.
Marriott and United
To begin, link your accounts.
To be eligible to transfer your United Airlines miles to Marriott points, you must have Premier Silver elite status or higher with United Airlines.
Considering the value you can get from Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages, some folks may decide that the transfer is worth it.
But also remember how useful United Airlines miles are. Before you make the transfer, read my series about all the ways to use United Airlines miles. You may get more value per point if you redeem for Big Travel on United Airlines’ airline partners instead of staying at Marriott hotels.
As always, make sure you’re getting a good deal before you make the transfer.
In general, you’ll get better value by using your miles for award flights.
There are a few times when it’s possible to convert your airline miles into hotel points.
You should only make the transfer if you’re sure you won’t use your airline miles in the future. Or before they expire.
You may choose to transfer your miles to avoid paying huge fees on award bookings. Or to take advantage of Marriott’s Air + Hotel packages. But you usually have to transfer a LOT of miles to get a good deal.