Finally Time to Start Redeeming Miles and Points Again!

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It’s been a while since I’ve redeemed any airline miles or hotel points, so I’m excited to start doing so again. We still had thousands of dollars in airline credit balances from early 2020, and I just booked a flight and two hotel nights in Vancouver, Canada. This also gave me an opportunity to check out the current value of some of my currency. I have to work around school schedules so it’s hard to fully maximize the value of every point.

The cash price for a junior suite during Spring Break at the Hilton Vancouver Airport for our family of 5 was CAD $343, which is US $$277 per night.

The same room with the same cancellation policy costs 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night, which equates to a value of 0.55 cents per Hilton point. This compares well to my standard valuation of 0.5 cents per Hilton point. This is making me take a second look at the current Hilton Honors American Express offer of up to 130,000 Hilton points with no annual fee.

American Express is currently running a transfer bonus to Hilton Honors points, such that 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 2,600 Hilton Honors points. The promo ends soon, but the transferred points posted instantly for me.

This means that 20,000 Membership Rewards points would equal 52,000 Hilton points. That equates to a value of 1.4 cents per Membership Rewards point, much better than my standard valuation of 1.0 cents per MR point. (I would have gotten about 1.1 cents much without the transfer bonus.) Even better, I already had around 30,000 Hilton points lying around, so I only needed another 8,000 Membership Rewards points to reach the first night award. Later, I made another transfer of 19,000 Membership Rewards for the second night since I had about 1,000 Hilton points left over. This ability to “top off” a variety of accounts is why people love the flexible points so much.

In the end, I’m happy to finally convert some points into cash savings (and then into family memories). I’ve still got more planning to do, more hotel nights to book with my IHG/Hyatt stash, and I have a few award night certificates that I hope I can use up as well.

My point is that sure, I’d rather get $1,000 cash than 100,000 Membership Rewards points, but the fact is that it is a lot easier to get a big pile of points and miles for trying out a new credit card while never carrying a balance. I try to value them conservatively, but they definitely still hold value for me. I hope that you all are able to redeem your points and miles for memories soon as well.

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  1. I love that Hilton gives you a fifth night free if you book the four nights with rewards, which extends the value!

    • That’s a good reminder, I believe Marriott and Hilton both offer a 5th night free benefit. IHG has an even better 4th night free, but that requires their credit card (including the no annual fee one).

  2. I love that you value the miles conservatively. We also work around K-12 student schedules, and your valuation is exactly in line what my experience has been.
    I am happily surprised by how much value you were able to get out of Hilton and Membership rewards points though.
    What is an easy way to know when a Membership Rewards transfer bonus is going on?

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