Should you transfer hotel points to airline partners?

Hotel rewards programs often partner with airlines, allowing you to convert your hotel points to airline miles. This gives you more redemption options, but is it a good use of your points?

As with most things in the points and miles world, the answer is: It depends. Airline partners and transfer ratios vary from one hotel program to the next, as do the values of points and miles. We’ll cover some of the most common hotel loyalty programs and why you should — or shouldn’t — transfer those points to airline partners.

Should you transfer Marriott points to airline partners?


Marriott Bonvoy has 39 airline transfer partners, and you can transfer as few as 3,000 points. Points transfer to most airlines at a ratio of 3:1, plus for some transfers, you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer (10,000 bonus miles with United Airlines).

Airline partner Transfer ratio (Marriott points:airline miles) Bonus miles (per 60,000 points)
Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus 3:1 5,000
Aer Lingus AerClub 3:1 5,000
Aeromexico Rewards 3:1 5,000
Air Canada Aeroplan 3:1 5,000
Air China PhoenixMiles 3:1 5,000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 3:1 5,000
Air New Zealand Airpoints 200:1 5,000
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 3:1 5,000
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 3:1 5,000
American Airlines AAdvantage 3:1 None
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 3:1 5,000
Avianca LifeMiles 3:1 None
British Airways Executive Club 3:1 5,000
Cathay Pacific Cathay 3:1 5,000
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club 3:1 5,000
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles 3:1 5,000
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 3:1 None
Emirates Skywards 3:1 5,000
Etihad Airways Guest 3:1 5,000
Frontier Airlines Miles 3:1 5,000
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club 3:1 5,000
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 3:1 5,000
Iberia Plus 3:1 5,000
InterMiles 3:1 5,000
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank 3:1 5,000
Korean Air SkyPass 3:1 None
LATAM Pass 3:1 5,000
Multiplus Fidelidade LATAM Pass 3:1 5,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 3:1 5,000
Qatar Airways Privilege Club 3:1 5,000
Saudia AlFursan 3:1 5,000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 3:1 5,000
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 3:1 5,000
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go 3:1 5,000
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 3:1 5,000
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 3:1 5,000
United Airlines MileagePlus 3:1 10,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 3:1 5,000
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 3:1 5,000
Vueling Club 3:1 5,000

These ratios aren’t ideal, even though most airline miles are valued higher than Marriott Bonvoy points.

For example, let’s say you have 60,000 points in your Bonvoy account. Since TPG values Marriott points at 0.85 cents each, these are worth $510. If you transfer them to United MileagePlus, the 3:1 ratio will give you 20,000 miles plus 10,000 bonus miles, for a total of 30,000 miles. TPG values United miles at 1.35 cents each, so your miles are now worth only $405.

But maybe United miles are more useful to you than Marriott Bonvoy points, especially if you are not planning to use your points at any Marriott properties in the near future. Maybe you’re planning to fly United and need to top off your account. Only you can decide how best to use your points, and transferring Marriott points to airlines is an option worth considering.

However, keep in mind that most points and miles transfers are irreversible. Always wait until you have a redemption in mind before transferring your points.

Related: Mistakes to avoid when redeeming hotel points

Should you transfer Hilton points to airline partners?


Hilton Honors partners with 26 airlines, and the transfer ratio for most is 10,000 Hilton points to 1,000 miles. Qantas Frequent Flyer is slightly better at 10,000:1,500, but that’s still pretty dismal.

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To see an airline’s transfer ratio, you must first enter your frequent flyer account number and link it to your Hilton Honors account. Here are the ratios for some common airlines:

Airline partner Transfer ratio (Hilton points:airline miles)
Air Canada Aeroplan 10,000:1,000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 10,000:1,000
British Airways Executive Club 10,000:1,000
Cathay Pacific Cathay 10,000:1,000
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 10,000:1,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 10,000:1,500
Qatar Airways Privilege Club 10,000:1,000
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 10,000:1,000
United Airlines MileagePlus 10,000:1,000

Using the same example from before, if you had 60,000 Hilton points (which TPG values at 0.6 cents each), they would be worth a total of $360. If you transferred them to United, you would end up with 6,000 miles, worth a measly $81. That’s a loss of over 75% in value.

We think there are better ways to redeem Hilton Honors points. But if you have points that are about to expire and no short-term travel plans near a Hilton property, transferring can prevent them from going to waste.

Should you transfer IHG points to airline partners?


IHG One Rewards offers 38 airline transfer partners. For most, you’ll get 2,000 airline miles for every 10,000 IHG points you transfer. Here are some of the transfer ratios for popular airlines.

Airline partner Transfer ratio (IHG points:airline miles)
Aeromexico Rewards 10,000:2,000
Air Canada Aeroplan 10,000:2,000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 10,000:2,000
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go 10,000:2,000
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 10,000:2,000
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 10,000:2,000
American Airlines AAdvantage 10,000:2,000
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 10,000:2,000
Avianca LifeMiles 10,000:2,000
British Airways Executive Club 10,000:2,000
Cathay Pacific Cathay 10,000:2,000
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 10,000:2,000
Emirates Skywards 10,000:2,000
Etihad Airways Guest 10,000:2,000
Iberia Plus 10,000:2,000
JetBlue TrueBlue 10,000:2,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 10,000:2,000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 10,000:2,000
United Airlines MileagePlus 10,000:2,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 10,000:2,000
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 10,000:2,000

This means if you transferred 60,000 IHG points to United MileagePlus, your IHG points (worth $300 at TPG’s valuation of 0.5 cents apiece) would become 12,000 United miles (worth $162) — almost a 50% drop in value.

On top of the poor transfer ratio, IHG’s points transfer process is more difficult than most. You can’t do it online; you have to call the service center and wait two to three weeks for your miles to post.

This isn’t a redemption option we recommend. You’re better off putting your hard-earned points toward award stays, where you can get a fourth night free. But if you have IHG points you can’t use before they expire, transferring them to airlines or other IHG One Rewards members could make sense.

Related: How to earn IHG points via stays, credit cards and more

Should you transfer Choice points to airline partners?


Choice Privileges has 10 airline partners; points transfer to most at a ratio of 5,000:1,000. So you could convert 60,000 Choice points (worth $360 at TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents each) into 12,000 United miles (worth $162).

Airline partner Transfer ratio (Choice points:airline miles)
Aeromexico Rewards 5,000:1,000
Air Canada Aeroplan 5,000:1,000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 5,000:1,000
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 5,000:1,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 2,000:800
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 6,000:1,800
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 5,000:1,000
United Airlines MileagePlus 5,000:1,000
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 2,000:800

You can transfer points to nine of these airlines online at Choice’s Rewards Exchange page; miles take up to 24 hours to post. To transfer to Spirit Airlines, you must call customer service and wait two to six weeks for your miles to be deposited into your account. You must have a minimum of 5,000 points to initiate a transfer, and you must transfer points in increments of 1,000.

This isn’t the best way to maximize your Choice points, but it could be useful if you’re short a few miles for an airline redemption.

Related: Redeem Choice points for a Maldives resort, half-board hotels and more

Should you transfer Hyatt points to airline partners?


World of Hyatt members can transfer points to 25 airline partners at a rate of 2.5:1 for most partners. You must have at least 5,000 points to transfer to get started, and any additional points transferred can be converted in 1,250-point increments. For every 50,000 points you transfer, you’ll get a bonus of 5,000 miles. Here are some well-known airline programs that partner with Hyatt.

Airline partner Transfer ratio (Hyatt points:airline miles)
Aeromexico Rewards 5,000:4,000
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 5,000:2,000
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 5,000:2,000
American Airlines AAdvantage 5,000:2,000
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 5,000:2,000
Cathay Pacific Cathay 5,000:2,000
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 5,000:2,000
Emirates Skywards 5,000:2,000
Etihad Airways Guest 5,000:2,000
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 5,000:2,000
Korean Air SkyPass 5,000:2,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 5,000:2,400
Qatar Airways Privilege Club 5,000:2,000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 5,000:2,000
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 5,000:2,400
United Airlines MileagePlus 5,000:2,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 5,000:3,000

This is one of the best hotel-to-airline transfer ratios, but it’s still not the best use of your points.

At 1.7 cents each, Hyatt points are valued higher than most airline miles, so you lose significant value in the transfer process. Using the previous example, 60,000 Hyatt points would be worth $1,020 when used on Hyatt stays. If you transfer them to United, you’ll end up with 24,000 United miles, worth only $324. Another downside: Transfers take six to eight weeks.

We think you’re better off using your Hyatt points on Hyatt stays. World of Hyatt is known as the most award-friendly hotel program, in part because it still uses an award chart instead of dynamic pricing. But if you have Hyatt points that are set to expire or you need a few extra miles for an airline redemption, it could make sense to transfer.

Related: The ultimate guide to redeeming your World of Hyatt points

Should you transfer Accor points to airline partners?


Accor Live Limitless may not be the most well-known hotel loyalty program, but its points are among the most valuable at 2 cents each. It also has a surprisingly strong airline transfer system.

Accor offers 31 airline transfer partners. Most transfer at a 2:1 ratio, but a few transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Here are some of the most popular airline transfer partner programs.

Airline partner Transfer ratio (Accor points:airline miles)
Aegean Airlines-Olympic Air Miles+Bonus 2,000:1,000
Aeromexico Rewards 4,000:2,000
Air Canada Aeroplan 4,000:2,000
Air China PhoenixMiles 4,000:3,200
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 2,000:2,000
Avianca LifeMiles 4,000:2,000
British Airways Executive Club 4,000:2,000
Cathay Pacific Cathay 4,000:2,000
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 4,000:2,000
Emirates Skywards 4,000:2,000
Etihad Airways Guest 4,000:2,000
Finnair Plus 2,000:2,000
Iberia Plus 3,000:3,000
LATAM Pass 4,000:2,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer 2,000:2,000
Qatar Airways Privilege Club 2,000:1,000
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 2,000:1,000
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go 4,000:2,000
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 4,000:2,000
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 4,000:2,000
United Airlines MileagePlus 2,000:1,000
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 4,000:4,000

You could transfer 60,000 Accor points (worth $1,200) into 30,000 United miles (worth $405). But if you transferred to Flying Blue instead, you’d get 60,000 miles (worth $720). You’d lose some value, but you could end up booking a Flying Blue Promo Reward flight from the U.S. to Europe for just 15,000 miles.

As with World of Hyatt, Accor Live Limitless points are worth more when used on Accor hotel stays. But if you’re short on miles to book your next award flight and your airline of choice has a favorable transfer ratio, it may be worth turning your Accor points into miles.

Related: Accor’s ‘Dis-loyalty’ program can save you money at lifestyle hotels

Best credit cards for earning hotel points


No matter how you decide to redeem your hotel points, a great way to earn more of them is through cobranded credit cards. Here are several options that not only earn extra points on hotel stays but also offer sizable welcome bonuses.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Earn three free night awards (valued at up to 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. Earn up to 17 total points per dollar on Marriott hotel purchases, plus get automatic Silver Elite status.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 bonus points plus a free night reward after you spend $3,000 on purchases within your first six months of card membership. Earn 12 points per dollar on purchases made with Hilton and enjoy complimentary Gold status.
  • IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card: Earn 140,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within your first three months of account opening. Earn up to 26 total points per dollar on IHG purchases, a free night each card anniversary and Platinum Elite status.
  • Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard® (see rates and fees): Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. Earn 10 points per dollar on Choice purchases, 30,000 bonus points every account anniversary and automatic Platinum Elite status.
  • World of Hyatt Credit Card: Earn up to 60,000 bonus points: 30,000 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening, plus up to 30,000 more by earning 2 points per dollar spent in the first six months on purchases that normally earn 1 point per dollar (on up to $15,000 spent). Earn up to 9 total points per dollar on Hyatt purchases, a Category 1-4 free night award for each account anniversary and complimentary Discoverist status.

Related: 3 reasons you need a credit card with your favorite hotel brand

Bottom line

In general, transferring hotel points to airlines isn’t the best use of your points. You can get better value from your points by using them for hotel stays. However, there are some cases where it might make sense to transfer.

If you’ve accumulated a few points in a hotel loyalty account that you never plan to use, and your points are about to expire, transferring them to airline partners can prevent them from going to waste. In this situation, you could also donate your points to charity.

Or, if you’re short on miles for an award ticket and you have a stash of hotel points lying around, you may want to transfer them to top off your airline account.

Although transferring hotel points to airlines doesn’t provide the best value, it’s a nice option to have.

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