Yesterday morning I read on Milepoint that the option to transfer points from American to Hilton HHonors was being pulled. This was apparently actually uncovered by Flyertalk’s Community Director, SanDiego1K. With the introduction of the ability to use American Airlines miles directly to book hotels, cars, and vacation packages (not usually a great deal), they view transferring points to hotel chains as extraneous.
It isn’t, because Hilton points generally go farther especially at the higher end properties than using American’s pay with points option. So this will be disappointing for many.
Still, I’ve never considered it a particularly good use of American miles, at least for folks who can accumulate sufficient miles for high-value international airline rewards. But it’s a way to top off a Hilton account, and when you’re booking the truly top HHonors properties, the value proposition can work out. Some folks who would otherwise strand miles in an AAdvantage account have found this useful as well.
While the option is gone from the American Airlines AAdvantage website, it still appears at redeemaamiles.points.com along with the options to transfer American miles to Priority Club (unfavorable conversion rate for sure) and to Diners Club Club Rewards.
The minimum transfer amount is 6000 AAdvantage miles (yielding 10,000 HHonors points, not as good as the old 1:2 conversion rate). There’s a 90,000 mile per transfer maximum, each transfer comes with a $30 fee, and the maximum miles that can be transferred per year is 150,000.
Unclear how this ‘backdoor’ method of transferring points will be left open, I assume not very long, which means that if you want to do a transfer you should consider doing it right away.
I haven’t had a chance to read up on whether it’s confirmed that the option to transfer to Priority Club is going away, I’d assume so though timing could well be different depending on what contracts are out there. I’ve never thought that was close to worthwhile anyway, at less than 1:1 transfer ratio. The one I’m particularly interested in is conversion of American miles to Diners Club, perhaps because I’m one of the last people in the United States that actually still carry a Diners Club card. But moving points 2:1 into Diners Club, and from there to any of their mileage partners, was always an interesting option for topping off other, more obscure mileage program accounts. Since the US Diners Club franchise is no longer owned by Citibank (the issuer of the American co-branded credit cards), I’ve long assumed that this option would be on the chopping block.
All three transfer options can be done at this link, for how much longer is anyone’s guess.