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If you fly frequently but rarely stay in hotels (we’re looking at all of you Airbnb enthusiasts and couch crashers), now might be a good time to unload your hotel points and convert them into a more useful travel rewards currency. United is currently running a promotion on points transfers from their hotel partners that could get you from 30%-50% more United miles.
Here’s how to cash in on this limited-time offer.
You must register for this promotion by Nov. 30, 2019, and before you make any point transfers.
After you register, you can transfer your hotel points from the following programs:
Marriott Bonvoy — 3 points: 1.1 miles.
Le Club AccorHotels — 2 points: 1 mile.
Hilton Honors — 10 points: 1 mile.
IHG Rewards Club — 5 points: 1 mile.
Radisson Rewards — 10 points: 1 mile.
World of Hyatt — 2.5 points: 1 mile.
Choice Privileges — 5 points: 1 mile.
Wyndham — 6 points: 1.2 miles.
If you make a transfer before Nov. 30, 2019, you’ll receive a 30% bonus on United MileagePlus miles.
Keep in mind, the maximum number of bonus miles you can earn through this promotion is 25,000 miles. The bonus miles should show up in your account by Jan. 30, 2020.
50% bonus for transfers from Radisson Rewards
Your Radisson Rewards points can go even further with a double promo offer. In addition to United’s promotion, Radisson is offering a 50% bonus on United MileagePlus miles when you convert your points by Nov. 36, 2019. Together, these bonuses will get you to the 10:1 ratio noted above.
The bottom line
We generally don’t recommend transferring points from hotel loyalty programs to airline miles because you usually lose some value in the conversion. For example, NerdWallet values Hilton points at about 0.4 cent each and United Miles at about 2.1 cents. So using the 10:1 ratio we mentioned above, with a transfer to United, you’ll be trading 4 cents of Hilton currency for only 2.1 cents of United currency.
But the current bonuses, particularly the Radisson Rewards deal, make the transfer ratio much more favorable. Take Marriott Bonvoy points, which we value at about 0.8 cent apiece. Typically, you’d trade 2.4 cents worth of Marriott currency for 2.3 cents in United miles — but with the 30% bonus, you’ll earn more than 3 cents worth of United miles — actually giving your miles more value than they had as Marriott Bonvoy points.
What you really have to consider is what you’ll want to redeem your travel rewards points/miles for. If you don’t stay at hotels frequently enough to get an award night, but you fly often, this is a good opportunity to transfer, especially if you want to book an award flight before the United award chart disappears on Nov. 15, 2019.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best hotel credit card for you Snag these hotel loyalty perks, even if you’re disloyal Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies