20% Bonus When Converting Hotel Points To MileagePlus

United MileagePlus is offering up to a 25% bonus when you convert hotel points into MileagePlus miles by November 30, 2014 and they post to your MileagePlus account by December 5, 2014.

United-Hotel-Conversion-Bonus

Through this promotion you earn 20% bonus miles on all transfers worth 5,000 or more miles, up to a total of 25,000 bonus miles (meaning you can earn the bonus on at most 125,000 miles). Registration is required by December 5, 2014. The bonus miles will post to eligible MileagePlus accounts by January 31, 2015.

MileagePlus has eight eligible hotel partners, including:

  • Choice Privileges
  • Club Carlson
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle
  • Wyndham Rewards

United-Hotel-Conversion-Bonus-1

Noticeably absent is Starwood Preferred Guest. MileagePlus partners with Starwood Preferred Guest, though at an especially bad transfer ratio. While you can convert Starpoints into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio for a vast majority of partners, for United MileagePlus the transfer ratio is 2:1. My guess is that this is due to United’s close relationship with Chase, while Starwood has a close relationship with American Express.

MileagePlus-Starwood

It is interesting that Starwood is specifically excluded, even though the transfer ratio is bad to begin with.

Of the eight transfer partners, seven represent a bad value.

The one transfer partner that could potentially make sense with this promotion is Marriott Rewards. Last July, Marriott and United announced RewardsPlus, which I suppose was their response to the Crossover Rewards being offered by Delta and Starwood.

The best use of Marriott points is for Hotel + Air Packages, whereby you can redeem points for a set number of free nights plus a set number of miles.

When you select United MileagePlus as the partner for the miles, the transfer ratio is even 10% better, given their partnership:

United-Hotel-Conversion-Bonus-2

In other words, if you spend 250,000 Marriott Rewards points on a seven night Category 1-5 package, you’d get seven nights at a Category 1-5 property plus 110,000 miles (usually you’d just get 100,000 miles, but there’s the 10% bonus).

Then on top of that you’d get a 20% mileage bonus, for a total of 132,000 MileagePlus miles. That’s not bad at all!

For comparison, Aeroplan is offering up to a 25% bonus on partner conversions including Marriott Rewards, so through that 100,000 mile travel package you’d earn a total of 125,000 miles.

So I wouldn’t go out of my way to redeem Marriott Rewards points to take advantage of this, but if you were going to book a Hotel + Air Package, this is about as good as it gets.

Comments

  1. Hi Ben,

    I wonder if you can assess the value of transferring club Carlson points to mileage plus. I have a lot of CC points that I earned via spend 5points per $ and wonder if this is a great way to liquidate those points instead of redeeming them. Thank you.

  2. for marriott travel + hotel packages, do the marriott hotel nights need to booked at the same hotel? is it a voucher thats added on your account or do you need to make an actual reservation? if voucher, does it expire?

  3. Yes it does all have be consecutive nights at the same property, I recently inquired about that myself. Basically you get a voucher deposited into your acct, with which you can use when booking the stay.

  4. @Kris

    why on Earth would you want to do that? 10:1 is a horrible transfer ratio, even with 20% bonus it’s terrible value especially if you have CC credit card.

  5. @ Kris — At a 10:1 ratio I definitely wouldn’t do it. I value Club Carlson points at 0.4 cents each without even using the second free night redemption that comes with the Club Carlson Visa, and I don’t value United miles at even two cents each.

  6. I don’t understand what the hotel ratio’s are for each hotel to United, since they are not posted. Are you saying 10:1 or 10 Club Carlson points to each United Mileage point? If so, what is the ratio for Hilton? None of the ratio’s are listed for the approved hotels, so I can’t figure out what may be worth it and what isn’t. Sorry for this apparantly dumb, question but would like some guidance. Thanks Ben.

  7. @ Old Flyer — Club Carlson and Hilton are 10:1, Wyndham, Choice, and IHG are 5:1, and Hyatt is 2.5:1. Hope that helps!

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