Credit Cards

Great deal: AMEX offering 3 Hilton Honors per Membership Rewards point

One of the best opportunities to earn hotel points in Singapore via credit cards.

I’ve often lamented how hard it is to earn hotel points in Singapore. Only American Express and Citibank offer transfers to any hotel partners, and the rates are decidedly poor.

If you hold a Citibank PremierMiles Visa card, you’ll earn the equivalent of S$1= 1.2 IHG points (~S$0.01 in value), a pretty miserable return considering that you could earn 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles instead (~S$0.024 in value). If you hold an AMEX Platinum card, you’ll earn the equivalent of S$1=1.56 Hilton points (~S$0.011 in value), also a rather dismal return.

However, there’s a special transfer bonus now available to all AMEX cardholders that changes the equation significantly…

Get 3 Hilton points for every 1 MR transferred

From now till 20 December 2018, all AMEX cardholders can transfer Membership Rewards points to Hilton at a ratio of 1:3. This offer is not targeted, it is open to anyone who holds an AMEX card that earns Membership Rewards points. AMEX Platinum Charge, AMEX Platinum Reserve, AMEX Platinum, AMEX Rewards Card all qualify.

This offer will also apply to those who sign up for AMEX cards after the promotion started. In other words, it doesn’t matter when you get your AMEX card, so long as you do the transfer before 2359 hours on 20 December 2018.

There’s been some confusion about this offer because the eDM says:

Receive 3 Hilton Honors Points for each Membership Rewards point, when you transfer 1,000 or more points. That’s 50% higher than the usual rate

But if you know your usual rates, you’d know that 1,000 MR points is 1,250 Hilton points. 50% higher would be 1,000 MR points to 1,875 Hilton points. Moreover, if you click through from the eDM, you’re brought to the rewards portal where you still see the regular rate of 1,000 MR= 1,250 Hilton points.

The AMEX team has told me to ignore the “50% higher than the usual rate” line, so I assume the eDM has a typo. They’ve confirmed that the rate is indeed 3 Hilton Points to 1 Membership Rewards point, but say that the online redemption portal will not be updated to reflect the bonus rate.

Why I think this is a bit strange is that AMEX is currently running a 25% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios, and this bonus rate does get reflected on the Membership Rewards portal (250 * 1.25= 312.5 Avios)

So I’m not sure why tactical transfer bonuses appear for British Airways but not Hilton, and if you’re the paranoid sort you may want to wait until I’ve clarified the matter further with AMEX. I don’t doubt that the rate is indeed 1,000 MR= 3,000 Hilton points, but I’m sure everyone would feel a bit better if all the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted.

Edit: The AMEX team has confirmed the promotion will be honored

Remember that it may take a few days to link your Hilton account to your Membership Rewards account, so you want to factor that time into the equation as well. It may take up to 8 weeks for bonus points to appear in your Hilton account.

Should you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Hilton at a 1:3 ratio?

Ads

In so many words, yes.

To put it another way: KrisFlyer miles can be earned quickly and easily everywhere in Singapore. Credit cards (especially the 10X ones), Kaligo, Mileslife, Esso, Shell, Grab, Chope, M1, PAssion card… I could go on and on.

Hotel points, on the other hand, are almost impossible to get in Singapore without (1) staying at hotels (2) buying them outright.

So here’s the math: if you’re a Platinum Charge cardholder, you earn MR points at a rate of

  • S$1.60= 2 MR points for regular spending
  • S$1.60 = 5 MR points with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot
  • S$1.60=20 MR points with Platinum EXTRA Partners for the first S$16,000, subsequently 10 MR

Thinking about this in terms of Hilton points…

  • S$1.60= 6 Hilton points for regular spending
  • S$1.60 = 15 Hilton points with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot
  • S$1.60=60 Hilton points with Platinum EXTRA Partners for the first S$16,000, subsequently 30

Looking at this on a points per S$1 basis…

  • S$1= 3.75 Hilton points (general spending)
  • Hilton sells points at 0.5 US cents each, so you get 2.59 SG cents of value per S$1 of general spending if you pick Hilton points
  • KrisFlyer miles are valued at 2 SG cents each, so you get 1.56 SG cents of value per S$1 of general spending (0.78 mpd) if you pick KrisFlyer miles

The upside is obviously even greater if you spend on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or any Platinum EXTRA partners.

Maximise this promotion through sign up bonuses

AMEX Platinum Charge

Why this particularly excites me is I’m well on my way to hit the $20,000 sign up bonus that comes with the AMEX Platinum Charge card, thanks to some upcoming nuptial payments.

Sign up for the AMEX Platinum Charge here

Assuming I hit the bonus, I’ll get a total of 100,000 MR points (75,000 bonus, 25,000 base), which would be 300,000 Hilton points. That would cover 3 nights at one of Hilton’s top tier properties in high season, with 15,000 points to spare.

Conrad Koh Samui

That’s one short trip next year with The Milelioness sorted.

Or if you really want to stretch your points, you could use those 300,000 points for 60 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Bali (yes, it’s near the airport, but still…)

Hilton Garden Inn Bali
Ads

or 30 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi…

Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi

Or 15 nights at the Doubletree Beijing

Doubletree Beijing

I think you get the point. 300,000 Hilton points from S$20,000 of spending may not be much to our MS-ing, churning, American brethren, but it’s one of the most amazing ways to earn Hilton points in Singapore.

If you’re planning to do this, please remember that the points from the sign up bonus typically take at least 4 weeks to credit. This means you’ll pretty much have to hit your minimum spending a couple days before 20 November to be on the safe side.

As a Platinum Charge cardholder, you also get complimentary Hilton Gold status. Have a read of the full benefits here.

AMEX Platinum Reserve

If spending $20,000 in 3 months is out of the question, you might want to try the AMEX Platinum Reserve. Spending $5,000 in the first 6 months gets you 56,250 Membership Rewards points (6,250 base + 50,000 bonus), which would be 168,750 Hilton points. That’s actually a better spending:points yield than the AMEX Platinum Charge.

The AMEX Platinum Reserve has a $150,000 income requirement with a non-waivable $535 annual fee. The same caveat goes for the Reserve as for the Platinum Charge- the sign up bonus points may take 4 weeks or more to credit, so hit your spending threshold early.

AMEX Rewards Card

Ads

If spending $5,000 in 6 months doesn’t work for you, you can try getting the AMEX Rewards card. Spending $1,500 in the first 3 months gets you 24,000 Membership Rewards points (1,500 base, 1,500 first 3 months bonus, 21,000 sign up bonus), which would be 72,000 Hilton points. That, again, is a better spending:points ratio than the AMEX Platinum Reserve.

The AMEX Rewards card has a $30,000 income requirement with a $53.50 annual fee.

Conclusion

This is one of the best opportunities to earn hotel points in Singapore that I’ve seen so far, and that’s definitely where I’m going to put my Membership Rewards points once they get credited.

On Wednesday and Thursday’s Hotel Hacks webinar, we’ll discuss other ways to earn and burn hotel points. If you’ve not signed up yet, here are the links to register for Part 1 and Part 2.


Found this post useful? Subscribe to our Telegram Channel to get these posts pushed directly to your phone, or our newsletter (on the right of your screen) for the latest deals and hacks delivered to your inbox.

46
Leave a Reply

avatar
12 Comment threads
34 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
samsingJohn doeAaron WongHappy CamperNicholas Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
lifeonthego_k
Guest
lifeonthego_k

Is this promo only for SG issued AMEX cards or is the bonus a global promo from Amex?

Hendrick
Guest
Hendrick

Hi Aaron. I called AMEX yesterday and the CSO told me differently. It’s bonus 3 HH points on top of the existing 1.25 point for every RP transferred subject to minimum 1000 RP transfer. That made up 4.25 HH points per RP. Not sure if is true but Ive made my transfer yesterday. Let see the result after 3 weeks

khen
Guest
khen

where can i see this edm?

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Thanks! The charge card annual is 100% unwaivable?

Ken
Guest
Ken

Hmmm…

225,000 KF Miles or 1,080,000 HH Points..?
225,000 KF Miles or 1,080,000 HH Points..?
225,000 KF Miles or 1,080,000 HH Points..?

Decisions.. decisions… ?

Ken
Guest
Ken

I called AMEX and was told..

“1MR=1HH, immediately.. then bonus 3HH, in up to 8 weeks time”

1MR = 4HH Points?!?!

Did anyone else call and either got same answer or different answer?

225,000 KF Miles vs 1,440,000 HH Points?!

?

Can you say, “Mai Tu Liao!”?? ??

DK
Guest
DK

Hi, I have never converted MR to Hilton points before. Does anyone know if there’s a min amount of MR required to transfer and any fees to pay? Appreciate the advice.

Lastly, can I assume it’s only a good deal if I were to use the AMEX card for general spend that would generate up to 1.3 MPD beyond which I should continue to use other miles generating cards?

Ken
Guest
Ken

Hi DK.. I haven’t done this before either, but AMEX supposedly stopped charging for MR>HH transfer fees.. so.. no fees… Your last question re “…using Amex to earn 1.3 mpd…” I wouldn’t use Amex to earn 1.3 mpd.. why would you? There are so many other cards that will give you between 2-4 mpd for local use and up to 5 mpd for overseas use…. Also.. for my own calculations (NOT using the calculator I bough from Sungei Rd) and Aaron (or anyone else for that matter) please correct me without scorching my ass… converting Amex MR to HH.. unless… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

If I already have a co-brand kf ascend, will I still be eligible for the Rewards Card sign up bonus? Thank you so much!

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

Hi Aaron, is there any confirmation about this promotion yet? It is still not reflected correctly on the rewards website. Thanks!

trackback

[…] I’m currently seeking to rack up as many Membership Rewards points as I can, in light of the amazing transfer bonus that AMEX is running with Hilton Honors (1 MR to 3 Hilton points, until 20 December). The AMEX Platinum Reserve card offers 50,000 bonus MR […]

Ken
Guest
Ken

My Amex MR to Hilton Honors is done… but at ‘normal rate’ of 1:1.25… I’ve called Amex and they’ll reach out to Hilton to sort…

Anyone else have same problem?

popeye88
Guest
popeye88

Noticed the offer for US. Not too sure about SG. Would be good if anyone who succesfully received 3 Hilton Points can share here.

https://www.google.com.sg/amp/s/thepointsguy.com/news/targeted-amex-transfer-bonus-hilton-honors/amp/

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

Hi Ken, was about to ask the same question. Just received my HH points and it was also done at the “normal” rate. Called Amex and they said the remaining “bonus” would be given in 8 weeks time. Wonder if anyone else had same experience?

Ken
Guest
Ken

Hi Nicholas.. Indeed.. When I called them today, I was told almost exactly that.. that first I’ll get the normal rate of 1:1.25, and then the bonus rate “4-8 weeks later”..

JX
Guest
JX

CSO said only platinum card is eligible for the bonus points but i’m holding the rewards card. Take a leap of faith and hope the bonus comes in.

Craig
Guest
Craig

I just got my bonus credited. I used the membership rewards card.