Starwood points to Hilton

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by tulane09, Mar 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Can you transfer Starwood points to Hawaiian Airlines, and then transfer from Hawaiian to Hilton? I'm planning a trip to Bora Bora fall 2014 and Hilton's devaluations hurt. Just trying to make up some extra ground.

    I figure for an 8 night trip I'll need about 500,000 points (5th night free, plus 2 weekend certs from Citi Hilton card). Then based on what I've read I can upgrade to over the water bungalow anywhere from $90 to $200/night.

    If anyone has any alternate strategies please let me know as well.
     
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  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It should be straightforward to do provided that the SPG, Hawaiian and HHonors accounts are under your name.
     
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  3. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well despite whats been posted here I know for sure that a few years ago HA had specifically been restricting the transfer of points which had originally been moved into the account from another credit card program .. so if its allowed currently ( prior to that it previously been a popular channel where one could move CO miles into Amtrak and then on to HA) this is a fairly recent change.

    Note this does not affect bonus ponts/earned from the HA Visas.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The CO->Amtrak->HA thing was cut by Amtrak, not HA.

    No idea what the current HA policy is, but I know Amtrak got very aggressive in locking down outbound transfers after some heavy churning.
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have a SPG account and did check to see whether transfer of starpoints to HA miles is allowed. Check... Heck, SPG even throws in a 5K discount for every 20K starpoints transferred!
    Ok. Now you have HA miles. Are miles from the SPG transfer tagged? I rather doubt it. They just become redeemable miles. Can you transfer them to HHonors points? Yes. In fact, it turns out HA is only one of seven airlines whose miles Hilton allows conversion to HH points (5,000 HA points for 10,000 HH points or a 1:2 ratio).

    Overall, not a bad deal...

    Addendum: If I read this correctly, 79,999 Starpoints will get you nearly 200,000 HH points because SPG will add 20K points to your 79,999 points, so it is a great deal
     
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  6. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well that might very well be the case for Amtrak But unlike others here who seem to be experts at guessing what they think the mechanics/policy is or might be.:rolleyes:
    1) I actually have a HA account.
    2) I have transferred HA miles to HH multiple times
    3) I was infomed in writing (e-mail ) by HA the time I attempted to do so with regard to their then new "rinsing" of miles policy.

    So I suppose that about all I can say without having to guess.:)
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    We are here to learn, so maybe the OP should just try the transfer that s/he inquired about and report what happens. An interpretation of published policies suggests that the transfer is not forbidden. But there is no need to guess when a simple and readily doable test would reveal what is or is not allowed. In the absence of an actual experience, the most authoritative source of info is each program's T&C.
     
  8. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    If you are staying at the Bora Bora Nui, the food prices there are outrageous including breakfast. I would advise taking the boat over in the mornings and getting food where the locals do. You will save a fortune.
     
  9. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    I just booked this trip this morning before the big Hilton points devaluation occurs on March 28th. I transferred 20,000 Hawaiian Air miles about 10 days ago into my Hilton account. It is not a click of the mouse like some transfers. You have to call customer service, then someone from marketing calls you back. Then they tell you it will take 2-4 weeks for the transfer to occur. Mine happened in a week to 10 days.

    My Hawaiian Air miles came from the B of H credit card. I am reasonably sure that transfer miles are not subject to transfer, but like someone in this thread said, try it and post the results here.

    My trip only cost 315,000 Hilton points for a 4 night AXON7 award in Moorea and a 4 night VIP award in Bora Bora. (One from the wife's account and one from mine). I called the Diamond line to check availability in the fall of 2014 for the AXON award since that can't be booked online. I could see great availability online for the VIP award in that time period. If you don't know how to check into 2015 availability, Lucky recently did a post on that subject.

    BTW, the confirmation email had specific details on how much it would cost to upgrade for each kind of room including the OTW bungalow.

    I hope this helps.

    http://www.thepointsdoctor.com/2013...ign=Feed:+ThePointsDoctor+(The+Points+Doctor)
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is no way to do this by mouse clicks. One has to call the CS of the program from which the miles are to be transferred (although AMEX MR points can be transferred to HHonors by mouse clicks). From HHonors website:
     
  11. travelpye

    travelpye Silver Member

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    SPG transfers 1 to 1 to VS as well and then VS transfers 1 to 2 to HH.
    If OP is concerned about possibilty of issues with transfer out of HA that could be another option.
     
  12. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Um, my experience is that VS->HH is not instantaneous either (takes up to a couple of weeks). Any conversion plan that isn't near-instant risks getting a large quantity of SPG converted into a devalued currency or in an orphaned account. I wouldn't risk it, given that Starpoints in their original form are pretty valuable.

    My alternative strategy might be finding other Bora Bora stay options outside of the big chains, if you can't pony up enough Hilton points, and apparently SPG isn't an option either...
     
  13. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    ..Or ask if any members with HHonors points needs SPG bookings..
     
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  14. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I think it depends on how you value spg points vs hhonors points.

    I don't think it's a *great* deal, especially at the HH 3/28 rates. (even ignoring the "nearly" part).

    I think many people value SPG points at least 2 cents each, and many people value HHonors points at less then 1/2 cent, maybe less now with the devaluation.

    I know you said "nearly", but by my math, you would get 3 x 5k SPG airline mile bonuses, so you would get 94,999 HA miles, which, if transferable to HH at 1:2 would yield 189,998 HH points.

    So if we use a conservative 2 cents valuation for SPG points, 80k SPG points are work $1600.

    If we use a relatively generous .5 cent valuation for HHonors points, 190k HH points are worth $950.

    Anyway, these valuations are always relative to what the currency is worth to you.

    -David
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No, does not. What makes it great is that SPG throws in 5K Starpoints for every 20K transferred. If one transfers one's own 79,999 Starpoints, SPG would add 20K Starpoints that would not have existed without the transfer. Thus, whereas a straight transfer of 79,999 Starpoints through HA miles would have resulted in 159,999 HH points, it would result in 199,999 HH points instead. That is a great transfer regardless of the purported "devaluation" of HH points.
     
  16. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    you caught me in mid-edit, I think I explained my logic pretty well in the re-edits.

    Also, you would only get 3 x 5k airline mile bonuses, not 4 x 5k. But that's only a minor part of it. But you are right, without that bonus, it's an even worse deal that it already is (depending on your personal valuation of SPG points vs HHonors points.)

    What's your valuation of SPG points and HHonors points?

    -David
     
  17. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    BTW, you didn't explain why you used 79,999 in your example. That's the per 24-hour limit on SPG points to miles transfers for airlines like HA. But you could transfer 60k one day then 20k a couple of days later and get the full 4 x 5k airline miles bonus, right?

    That changes the HHonors points back to 200k, and their valuation at .5 cents each to $1,000.

    Still not a great deal though, as I value the currencies.

    -David

    [ post-edit to fix a typo ]
     
  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    After re-reading the SPG rules, I agree that one would get 3x5K rather than 4x5K bonus Starpoints. So, one gets 189,998 instead of 159,999 HH points with the transfer. This is still a good to great deal depending on
    1. the accuracy of people's valuation of SPG Starpoints vs. HHonors points
    2. whether or not you believe that the recent re-categorization of Hilton properties is a "devaluation" rather than simply a "correction" for inflation.
     
  19. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I think you can just do 60k -> 75k one day and then 20k -> 25k in a different 24-hour period. So doing it that way, you would get the full 200k HHonors points out of it.

    But what value do you place on HHonors points and SPG points?

    The way I value them, you lose at least $600 in value with the transfer.
    200k HH @ .5 cents = $1,000
    80k SPG @ 2 cents = $1,600

    Lucky (One Mile At a Time) valued them last week at 2.2 cents per SPG point and .4 cents per HHonors point.

    You don't necessarily have to agree with my valuation or Lucky's valuation, but you must have some value in mind to determine if the transfer is really a great deal or not such a great deal.

    And the only property I've ever redeemed HHonors points at goes from 50k points per night to 80k - 90k points per night (Conrad Tokyo), yes, it's a big devaluation. I think most people called it a blood bath. (tons of properties moving up in category, 3 new higher categories, etc, etc.) I think that topic has been covered in depth in the other forums and by the bloggers. I haven't seen anybody not call it a huge devaluation.

    But that's not really the issue is it? The issue is how we value those currencies when compared to each other. That's the only way we can determine if it's a great deal or not so great.

    -David
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It is why I quoted "value". It means different things to different people. For me each HH point is worth about 10 cents because it is how much I spend to achieve the HH Diamond status. But because most of my stays are not on my dime, the monetary value of the points is not as important to me as it would be for someone who pays with their own dime. Also, the transfer would be a great deal for me because I have no status in SPG, whereas I am a HH Diamond. So, if I came upon lots of SPG Starpoints (e.g. through CCs or a gift), they would be worth more to me as HHonors points.

    Lastly, I will repeat my recent "controversial" thesis about the so-called HH points "devaluation" after 03/28: If one does the math with hard numbers, the latest so-called HHonors points "devaluation" is pure fiction because all the new categorization -- like every re-categorization -- does is to bring the monetary value of HHonors points in line with changes in room rates since the last great devaluation of 2010 and in the number of base points required to make elite (e.g. 20% more to make Diamond). Between the higher room rates since 2010 and the higher point requirement to make elite, a Hilton frequent guest now earns 20-30% more HHonors points a year for their spend on stays, which is about the same as the size of the so-called devaluation. This simply means that although reward stays at some properties will require more points, guests are now earning a lot more points (and I am not even counting points from "new ways" like churning) so that the so-called devaluation is really like an adjustment for inflation of points...a recalibration. The plus side (because there is always one) is that one actually comes out ahead at many of the properties that retained their old categories!
     
  21. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    1 HH point is worth 10 cents? I think most people put a value on them by trying to estimate the value they will get when they use them.

    As usual, you and I will just have to continue to agree to disagree, as with your theory about HHonors inflation vs devaluation.

    Thanks though for putting a value out there.

    I understand you are saying that to you (and you only) HHonors points are worth more than SPG points.

    Thanks,
    -David
     
  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Yes, 10 cents/HH point is what it took until this year for me to achieve Diamond, and that is my only monetary consideration. I have been consistent in my view that "value" means different things to different folks. Price or cost is not necessarily equal to value. Therefore, it is not surprising that we disagree since monetary "value" is what seems to be important to you. I have put it all out there to support my view that the transfer of points from SPG to HHonors would be great value for me, especially since I do not think that the purported devaluation of HH points will have an effect on members awash in points from credit cards, higher room rates and higher point requirement to achieve elite status...

    P.S.
    Really, to me SPG points are worthless because without elite status, my stays at SPG properties would be nothing like they have been at Hilton properties, where I have top elite status. The only way SPG points would mean anything to me is if I could redeem for premium rooms, including suites, and how much would that cost me? Any way you look at it, any attempt to compare or place a monetary "value" on loyalty points is a futile exercise...because of the subjective meaning of "value".
     
  23. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    If by "important to you" you mean the valuation methods that most people in this community use when putting a value on points and miles, sure. I have no idea how else you would determine if the transfer is a great or not so great deal. (Other than a personal evaluation that SPG points are worth nothing to me and HHonors points are worth much more than that to me. And just to be clear, there's nothing wrong with that as long as we clarify that when we say that a specific transfer is a "great deal")

    If somebody charges $40,000 in reimbursable expenses on a HHonors Surpass Amex, they get HHonors Diamond status for free. Would you say that those points are worth 0 cents each? Ok, maybe not 0 cents each because the Surpass card has an annual fee, but even if they just spent it all on non-bonus categories, they would earn at least 3 HH points per dollar spent on the Surpass card, so that would yield a minimum of 120k HHonors points plus Diamond status and those points effectively cost this person nothing except the small annual fee. So what are those points worth?

    At the end of the day, IMO, they are worth the value you get out of them when you use them. And if there's an extra cost to accumulate them, such as credit card fees, etc, you would have to add that to the cost of accumulating them, since it effects the final value you get out of them.

    -David
     
  24. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    BTW, just to be perfectly clear, there's nothing wrong with your valuation method for you. It's all highly personal.

    -David
     
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  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Your very premise is based on a well-known fallacious argument called "ad populi" or appeal to "most people". "Most people" do not decide for me how I should spend my travel funds, nor which loyalty program is more valuable to me because it suits my travel pattern, so why should their view of "value" determine mine, especially since value in this context is inherently subjective?

    Ad populum or populi arguments, or appeal to authority like "all the top bloggers agree" (another frequent fallacy), simply cannot be used to support your view because of the subjectivity of the matter at hand: "value".
     

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