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Through March 15, 2015, most transfers of hotel points to American Airlines miles earn a 25% bonus. Is this a good deal?

Well, there are a lot of ways to earn American Airlines miles right now.

You can even get the US Airways card, knowing that some time between April and June, your US Airways and American Airlines miles will be combined into your AA account. (Link your two accounts now to facilitate this.)

  • The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will no longer be offered to new applicants as soon as the US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer programs integrate. The card offers 50,000 bonus miles after first purchase and payment of an $89 annual fee.

Or you can buy American Airlines and US Airways miles. Right now there is a 40% bonus and 10% discount on purchased miles that gets you up to 210,000 miles for 2.07 cents each.

So not only does this hotel points conversion deal need to be good, it needs to be better than those deals.

The Hotel Points Deal

Unfortunately, I don’t this deal is very good at all because the two “good” hotel-points-to-airline-miles deals are both excluded from a further 25% bonus.

SPG points are not included in the deal. Twenty thousand Starpoints always convert to 25,000 American Airlines miles, which is kind of a built in 25% bonus. In a previous, similar promotion, SPG points transfers were bonused a further 25%, so 20k Starpoints equaled 31,250 Avios. Not this time.

*Point conversions from Starwood Preferred Guest®, Melia Hotels International & Resorts, La Quinta Inns & Suites® and Langham Hospitality Group OUIDA program are not eligible for the 25% bonus offer.

The other great hotel-points-to-airline-miles transfer is the Marriott Hotel and Air Package. You redeem a certain number of Marriott points and get seven nights in a Marriott hotel plus up to 132,000 airline miles with the airline of your choice. The best American Airlines Hotel and Air package is 270,000 Marriott points for seven nights in a Category 5 hotel plus 120,000 American Airlines miles. Unfortunately this conversion would also not get the 25% bonus.

Conversions for hotel and air packages from eligible AAdvantage hotel participants are excluded from this offer.

So what conversions do count?

Participating Hotels*

Best Western International Convert Now
5,000 Best Western Rewards® points = 1,000 AAdvantage miles

Choice Hotels® Convert Now
5,000 Choice Privileges® points = 1,000 AAdvantage miles

Hilton Portfolio of hotels Convert Now
10,000 Hilton HHonorsTM Points = 1,500 AAdvantage miles

Hyatt® Convert Now
5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points = 2,000 AAdvantage miles

InterContinental Hotels Group Convert Now
10,000 IHG® Rewards Club points = 2,000 AAdvantage miles

Marriott® Convert Now
10,000 Marriott Reward points = 2,000 AAdvantage miles
20,000 Marriott Reward points = 5,000 AAdvantage miles
30,000 Marriott Reward points = 10,000 AAdvantage miles
70,000 Marriott Reward points = 25,000 AAdvantage miles
140,000 Marriott Reward points = 50,000 AAdvantage miles

Carlson Rezidor Hotels Convert Now
2,000 Club Carlson Gold Points = 200 AAdvantage miles
10,000 Club Carlson Gold Points = 1,000 AAdvantage miles
50,000 Club Carlson Gold Points = 5,000 AAdvantage miles
100,000 Club Carlson Gold Points = 10,000 AAdvantage miles

Wyndham Hotel Group Convert Now
6,000 Wyndham Rewards® points = 1,200 AAdvantage miles
16,000 Wyndham Rewards points = 3,200 AAdvantage miles
30,000 Wyndham Rewards points = 6,000 AAdvantage miles

Looking at the redemption options, I see a lot of 5:1 and 10:1 ratios. If we assume AA miles are worth 1.8 cents, that means we’d have to have spectacularly low values for our hotel points to make these transfers.

Superficially the best deal is probably 140,000 Marriott points to 50,000 American Airlines miles, which would be 62,500 after the 25% bonus. But if you have 140,000 Marriott points, you’re getting close to the 270,000 points needed for the better value Hotel and Air redemption.

Bottom Line

Many hotel-points-to-American-Airlines-miles transfers can be done with a 25% bonus through March 15, but not the two best: SPG transfers and Marriott Hotel and Air Packages.

Because of those restrictions, I will not be participating in the deal.

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