Home Points & Miles A 25% Bonus On A Terrible Offer Is Still A Terrible Offer

A 25% Bonus On A Terrible Offer Is Still A Terrible Offer

by joeheg

If you’ve been playing the points and miles game for long enough, you’re no stranger to the bonus offers that regularly come around. Programs offer 25%, 50%, 100%, or even 125% bonuses when purchasing or transferring points. They’re able to do this because, under most circumstances, buying or transferring points between programs comes with a horrible exchange rate. Sure there are times where buying some miles to make a redemption makes sense but I’d usually advise against taking advantage of such promotions.

While I try to keep up on these offers, I was caught by surprise by an email from American Airlines offering a 25% bonus on transferring hotel points to AAdvantage miles from now until June 30, 2021. Registration for the offer can be found here.

I’ll admit that I never knew you could transfer hotel points to American miles. Since I value American AAdvantage miles more than several types of hotel points, I was intrigued.

I clicked through to see the bonus offered when transferring IHG or Hyatt points into American miles.

For this offer, here are the transfer ratios:

  • 5,000 World of Hyatt points = 2,000 AAdvantage® miles + 25% bonus
  • 10,000 IHG® Rewards points = 2,000 AAdvantage® miles +25% bonus

At this valuation, that’s a 2:1 transfer for Hyatt points and a 4:1 ratio for IHG.

I’m not sure how you value points, but I don’t consider American miles 2x MORE valuable than Hyatt points or 4x better than IHG points under almost any condition.

For example, I was able to get 2.4 cents per Hyatt point for this redemption. I’d have to get almost 5 CPP for an AAdvantage mile to break even.

For our recent stay in Key West, we used IHG points to stay at a Kimpton property and I was able to get over 1 cent per point value. I’d need a 4 CPP American AAdvantage redemption to match that value.

If you have an aspirational flight you’re looking to book with AAdvantage miles and are flush with either Hyatt or IHG points, this promotion might make sense. That’s because American isn’t a partner with any of the transferrable point programs and it’s an easy way to add to your balance.

Few American AAdvantage redemptions are worth 4-5 cents per point and that’s the value you’d need to get for your miles to make this promotion work. For everyone else, you’re better off waiting for a good place to use your Hyatt or IHG points than transferring them American, even with the bonus.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

beachmouse June 3, 2021 - 10:29 pm

IMO, pretty much the only time it’s worth it to transfer points among hotels & airlines is when they’d otherwise expire due to lack of use and it’s better to get a little bit of something out of them than nothing. So if you’ve got something like Accor points where you can only reset the expiration by a hotel stay and you aren’t going to be in their footprint in the next year, might as well just move them over to an airline program instead of letting them vanish.


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