Should You Transfer Marriott Rewards To American AAdvantage?

Marriott Rewards is offering a 20% bonus on points transfers to American AAdvantage between October 1 and October 31, 2014.

Marriott-Rewards-American-AAdvantage

You can earn the bonus multiple times during the promotion period, and the bonus miles should be posted to eligible AAdvantage accounts within seven business days of the initial conversation activity being posted by Marriott Rewards.

There are two ways to convert Marriott Rewards points into AAdvantage miles:

Mileage Transfers

The most straightforward way to convert Marriott Rewards points into AAdvantage miles is using their standard mileage conversion program:

Marriott-Rewards-1

As you can see, the transfer ratio is 2.8:1 at best. With a 20% bonus, you’d be earning 60,000 AAdvantage miles for 140,000 Marriott Rewards points.

For what it’s worth, I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each, while I value American AAdvantage miles at ~1.8 cents each. So by my valuation it’s almost a “fair trade.”

That being said, it’s not a rate at which I’d speculatively transfer points.

Hotel + Air Packages

One of the absolute best uses of Marriott Rewards points is for their Hotel + Air packages:

Marriott-Hotel-Air-Packages

Through Hotel + Air packages you receive a set number of free nights plus a set number of miles as part of the package. These packages are in my opinion the best use of Marriott Rewards points to begin with, so the value only gets better when you add in a 20% bonus.

To put this into perspective, seven nights at a Category 1-5 property plus 120,000 miles will run you 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (which I value at ~$2,160).

Renaissance Tuscany
The Renaissance Tuscany is a Category 5, and a great value through Hotel + Air

You’d earn a total of 144,000 AAdvantage miles through the promotion (which I value at ~$2,600 — more than the value of the Marriott points required for the package, in my opinion), plus seven free nights at Category 1-5 properties. That’s a heck of a deal.

Bottom Line

There’s quite some value to be had here.

Hotel + Air packages are the best use of Marriott Rewards points to begin with. Add in the 20% transfer bonus, and you have a really compelling reason to redeem for one of these awards, in my opinion. Of course that requires having a lot of Marriott points, which I don’t have (fortunately).

Comments

  1. Hi

    Thanks for the heads up might be a good way to convert my orphan United miles to american by passing through Marriott

    Robert

  2. Hi Lucky,
    If I use the Hoitel + Air packages, do I have to stay the 7 nights in Oct 2014? I plan to spend 7 nights in Dec at Cancun, Mexico. If I commit the reward stay in October and I ask the hotel to execute the deal early in Oct, am I eligible for the 20% bonus AA miles?
    Thanks,
    Andy

  3. Keep in mind that Marriott offers a ‘fifth night free’ with a redemption of 5 nights, a category 8 hotel for example is ‘only’ 40,000 points a night for 5 consecutive reward nights, so be sure to figure that into you calculations on point value

    Also, the customer service person on the phone tonight (I am considering such an award in the near future) told me there is an award redemption chart like the one mentioned on this article but for only 5 nights of stay that transfers airline points as well

    it’s supposed to be for Marriott Vacation Club owners, but it seemed they would allow someone one calling up (my status is plat, so not sure if that makes a difference) to redeem for five nights instead of 7 . . . and both the 5 or 7 night stays have to be at same property, all consecutive nights.

    Hope this is helpful for someone

  4. Do you really have to book them all at once? I thought they just issued you e-certificates.

    Nice tip on the 5 nights, thats all I really need but was going to do this anyways and try and burn the extra 2 nights somewhere else.

  5. Erndog…just got off the phone with the Rewards people and they said the 5 night redemption chart is for Vacation Club members only. No dice for me. Thanks for the info though.

  6. Just got off the phone with them. According to the rep, they drop a 7 night (or 5 night) e-cert into your account so they do have to be used all at the same property, you can use fewer nights but you forfeit the leftover. They said they would give me the 5 night vacation club option since I am Platinum with them (this seems to line up with a previous poster that it is based on status). Did 300,000 points for a 4-night category 8 booking I was making anyways + 120k->144k AA points. So basically I redeemed the same 160k points I was redeeming anyways and managed to transfer 140k points to 144k AA miles which I’m thrilled with since I’ve been sitting on a stash of ~500k Marriott points without much to do with them. (Honestly I have no idea how it got that high, but basically there are a couple locations I frequent often where Marriott is/was (no longer the case with Brooklyn) the only reasonable option I had for work travel either due to location or cost, and then addon 70k credit card bonus, some credit card spend, and various points based megabonus promotions). I wish my SPG or Hyatt balances were that good since they have more properties that I am really interested in staying at on vacation.

    They said the e-cert takes 15 mins to post and then you can book online, or they can connect you with reservations. I figured I would just wait for it to post.

  7. How can I maintain my Platinum Elite status with Marriott Hotel for next year if I don’t have sufficient stays this year. Thanks

  8. @ Clifton Campbell — You can earn extra elite qualifying nights with their co-branded credit card by putting spend on it, but I’m afraid aside from that there’s not a good way.

  9. I like to use my Marriott Rewards Card to generate a lot of points and move them over to AAdvantage. As a MR Platinum, I get 20 points per dollar at JW Marriott (for example). So for a $1500 spend, I get 10,000 AAdvantage miles.

  10. Hi Lucky,

    I have both Ritz and Marriott Credit Card. It is saying on chase website Receive a 10% Annual Points Premium on Ritz-Carlton Rewards points earned through card purchases made during the year. Do you know if it applies to travel package? I get 25k pts when I redeem 250K travel package? Thanks.

  11. @ Mariusz — Look at Package 1: “Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Virgin Atlantic”

  12. @ Steve Merchant — Citi ThankYou isn’t a transfer partner with Marriott Rewards, so that’s not possible.

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