If you’re stocked up on airline miles but want to use your rewards to book a hotel stay instead, you may be able to do so directly with the airline. But if you want to transfer your points to a hotel rewards program, your options are more limited.
Here’s what you need to know about how to convert airline miles to hotel points and whether it makes sense to do it.
3 hotel programs that let you convert airline miles to hotel points
It’s not uncommon for hotel rewards programs to allow you to transfer your hotel points to a partner airline, but most won’t do the reverse. Here are three to know about and what to know about each.
|Hotel program||Transfer from|
|Hilton Honors||Hawaiian Airlines: 2:3 ratio
Virgin Atlantic: 2:3 ratio
|Marriott Bonvoy||United Airlines: 1:1 ratio|
|Le Club AccorHotels||Air France / KLM: 4:1 ratio
Qatar Airways: 9:2 ratio
LATAM Airlines: 5:2 ratio
Hainan Airlines: 7:1 ratio
Finnair: 7:1 ratio
Aegean Airlines: 4:1 ratio
Azul Airlines: 5:2 ratio
Oman Air: 3:1 ratio
Royal Air Maroc: 4:1 ratio
If you’re looking for some extra points for a redemption with Hilton Honors, you can transfer miles earned with Hawaiian Airlines or Virgin Atlantic at a 2:3 ratio.
You need to exchange a minimum of 10,000 miles and can only transfer in 10,000-mile increments. Once you submit your request, it can take up to 30 days to complete the process. So this may not be worth doing if you need to book soon.
While you’ll get more Hilton points than you’re exchanging with both airlines, you’ll likely lose value in the transfer. Based on our research and other reports, HawaiianMiles are generally worth about 0.9 cents apiece, and Flying Club miles are worth 1.4 cents on average. In contrast, Hilton Honors points will give you roughly 0.5 cents apiece in value.
So if you transfer 10,000 HawaiianMiles, you’re transferring roughly $90 worth of miles for $75 worth of Hilton points. And if you’re moving Flying Club miles, you’re exchanging $140 in value for $75 in points.
Some United MileagePlus members can transfer their miles to a Marriott Bonvoy account at a 1:1 ratio. It’s only possible, however, if you have United’s Premier Silver status or higher. To qualify for Premier Silver, you need at least 25,000 Premier Qualifying Miles, 30 Premier Qualifying Segments or $3,000 Premier Qualifying Dollars in a calendar year.
If you do qualify, you can transfer up to 50,000 miles each calendar year to Marriott Bonvoy — but it may not make sense to exchange any. United MileagePlus miles are generally worth 1.35 cents apiece on average, while Marriott Bonvoy points are valued at about 0.75 cents each. So if you transfer 10,000 miles, you’re trading $135 worth of free flights for $75 worth of free hotel stays.
Le Club AccorHotels
Le Club AccorHotels offers the widest range of partner airlines to choose from, though several are regional and likely not convenient to travelers based in the United States.
One of its largest partners is Air France / KLM, and if you its Flying Blue miles, you can exchange 4 miles for 1 point with Le Club Accor Hotels. You can transfer in 4,000-mile increments, and transfers are instantaneous and irreversible.
Think twice before you make the exchange, though. Flying Blue points are worth 1.2 cents apiece on average, while Le Club AccorHotels gives you about 2 cents per point. If you were to transfer 4,000 miles, you’d be giving up $48 for $20 in hotel points.
Prefer to transfer Qatar Airways miles instead? You’ll need to convert a minimum of 4,500 Qmiles, which translates to 1,000 Accor points. Qatar miles have been valued at roughly 0.8 cents each; at that valuation, you’d trade about $36 in air miles for about $20 in hotel points. That’s better than the deal you’d get with Air France miles, but you still come out behind in this trade.
When it makes sense to convert airline miles to hotel points
Based on our calculations, it doesn’t make mathematical sense to convert airline miles to hotel points, at least not on the regular. There can, however, be some situations where it’s worth considering.
For example, let’s say you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime redemption with one of these hotel brands, and your balance is just shy of what you need. Giving up a little value in exchange for an incredible experience can be well worth it, especially if you’re not paying anything out of pocket to begin with.
It may also be worth considering if you have a small balance in your frequent flier account and don’t anticipate earning any more with that program.
If you have 10,000 United miles, for instance, that may not be enough to book a trip you want and getting some value is better than letting them expire. Transfer them into Marriott Bonvoy points instead, and you can book up to two free nights with off-peak stays at Category 1 properties.
If you’re thinking about converting airline miles to hotel points, ask yourself these questions:
- Can I use these airline points for free flights? If yes, consider keeping them where they are to take advantage of the better value.
- Is this for a specific, once-in-a-lifetime redemption? If not, it may be better to change up your plans, so you don’t have to transfer miles.
- Are my airline points about to expire? If not, you have plenty of time to decide what to do with them. It may make more sense to keep them in your account for a rainy day, even if you don’t plan to fly in the near future.
- Can I make this work some other way? If there are alternatives available, consider those before you move forward with an exchange.
3 alternatives to converting airline miles to hotel points
If you have a trip coming up and want to use rewards to book your hotel, consider these alternatives so you don’t have to convert airline miles to hotel points and lose value.
Use flexible travel credit cards
Several of the best travel credit cards allow you to use your points or miles to book just about any type of travel.
One example is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Simply use your card to book your hotel stay then use your rewards to get a statement credit for the expense. You’ll generally have 90 days to redeem your rewards for a specific purchase, so you don’t even need enough points or miles right now to start the process.
Other general travel cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve, allow you to transfer your points to hotel rewards programs. With those cards, for instance, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Marriott Bonvoy, IHG Rewards Club, and World of Hyatt.
Get a co-branded hotel credit card
If you’re looking to rack up rewards with a specific rewards program, consider a co-branded card, often one of the best hotel credit cards. These cards not only allow you to earn rewards with your everyday purchases but many of them also offer elite hotel status, which can add more value whenever you stay with the brand, and a free anniversary night’s stay.
Some premium hotel credit cards, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, offer several other valuable perks, too. For example, cardholders get an annual Hilton resort statement credit, a $250 airline fee credit, airport lounge access, and more.
Earn hotel points with partners
Several hotel chains allow you to rack up rewards with dining programs, shopping portals, or select partners. Here’s how you can earn points with some of the bigger hotel brands without booking a stay.
|Hotel brand||Ways to earn points|
|Hilton||Car rentals, cruises and mobile roaming with select partners, Hilton Honors Dining, shopping and subscriptions|
|Hyatt||Avis car rentals and select hotel partners|
|IHG||Apple products, online surveys, travel activities and IHG Rewards Club Dining|
|Marriott||Hertz car rentals, cruises, and the Eat Around Town dining program|
|Radisson||Car rentals, FTD flower delivery, Vinesse Wine Clubs and shopping at Bicester Village|
|Wyndham||Shopping portal, Marathon gas stations, tours and activities, DoorDash, Avis and Budget car rentals and online surveys|
The bottom line
In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to convert airline miles to hotel points. But if you’re in a situation where you need a few thousand points to book an incredible stay or your miles are going to expire anyway, it might be worth transferring them to a hotel partner.
Remember, though, that most airlines don’t offer this option. And even if they do, you’ll usually be better off earning hotel points with one of the alternatives we shared.
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