Many credit cards offer exclusive travel benefits, making it more affordable to go on vacation as long as you know the best ways to earn points. American Express has great programs for travelers—especially its partnership with Hilton. This makes it easy to convert Amex credit card points to Hilton HHonors Points that you can use for your next hotel stay. Learn how to make the easy switch with this handy tutorial.
What the Points are Worth
It used to be that one American Express Membership Reward point was worth 1.5 Hilton HHonors points (1:1.5 ratio). But starting in 2018, this transfer ratio has jumped to make it even more worthwhile for Amex users. Now, every one Amex reward point is worth two Hilton HHonors points (1:2 ratio).
How to Convert Points
Converting Amex points to Hilton HHonors points is a very simple process and only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
- Log on to your American Express account.
- Go to "Membership Rewards."
- Click on "Use Points/Travel."
- Browse by hotel and hit the "Hilton HHonors" tab.
- Click on the "Transfer Points" tab (clearly labeled). Enter the number of HHonors points you need (must transfer in increments of 1,000).
- The points equivalent will be converted and displayed to you. If you agree to the terms, click on the "I have read the restrictions" statement and hit "Transfer this Amount."
- From the shopping cart page displayed next, hit "Proceed to Checkout."
- Enter your Amex ID number (the four-digit number on the front of your card above the account number).
- Enter your Hilton HHonors number on the next page and hit "Continue" when done.
- Enter your contact information.
- You'll be taken to a verify screen for final approval. Done!
What to Know Before Transferring Points
It can take about 48 hours for the transfer to be completed, so don't expect immediate results or wait until the last minute to cash out. Also, keep in mind that there is a 1,000-point minimum required to make a transfer and there are no refunds—once you transfer or buy points, you can't go back.
Apply for a Hilton American Express Card
If you're really loyal to the Hilton brand, you may want to invest in an actual membership card, operated by Amex. While Hilton and Citi used to have a co-branded card, that partnership ended in June 2017, making Amex the exclusive credit card issuer for Hilton. There are three different cards you can apply for: the basic Hilton Honors Card, the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, and the premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.
The basic Hilton Honors Card has no annual fee and the easiest and largest sign-on bonus (spend $1,000 in your first three months of membership, and you'll receive 50,000 Hilton Honors Points). Whereas the middle-ground Ascend card has great rate ratios, including 12x points on Hilton purchases; 6x at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations; and 3x on all other purchases.
The premium Aspire card has a hefty annual fee, but major perks such as a $250 annual airline credit; $250 annual Hilton resort credit; $100 property credit on eligible stays of two or more nights at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels; and one free weekend night stay at a Hilton Hotel when you open your card, and another every year after you renew.