Virgin Atlantic devaluation got you down? Don't forget Hawaiian

My RSS reader blew up the other day with news that Virgin Atlantic had announced a change to their partnership with Hilton HHonors. Starting February 6, 2014, the transfer ratio will no longer be 2 HHonors points per 1 Flying Club mile, but instead 3 HHonors points per 2 Flying Club miles.

Now, I didn't exactly care that this ratio was changing, except to write a note to self for the next edition of my ebook, but then I realized that none of the bloggers were making the obvious point: the Hawaiian Airlines transfer ratio hasn't changed.

As I explained earlier, I stay at a lot of Hiltons and find the availability of their Cash and Points awards, which sometimes let me redeem my HHonors 0.4-0.6 cents each, to be quite good. Still, I would never redeem flexible Chase or American Express points, or Starpoints, for Virgin Atlantic miles in order to transfer them at a measly 1 : 2 ratio.

Still, if you are really gunning for HHonors points, this means that the Hawaiian Airlines credit card, with its 35,000 HawaiianMile signup bonus (and $89 annual fee) will still be worth 70,000 HHonors points after February 6, 2014, while the $90 Bank of America Virgin Atlantic WorldElite MasterCard would need to offer 46,667 miles to match that offer (my casual search found that the best current offer is for 20,000 Flying Club miles – leave a comment if you know of a better current offer).

Note: HawaiianMiles transferred into the program from Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest cannot be transferred into HHonors points; those earned with the credit card can be, presumably including miles earned through signup bonuses. For more discussion of this issue see this FlyerTalk thread.