Since 2013, Marriott Rewards and United MileagePlus have had a partnership, called RewardsPlus. This arrangement extends special benefits to elite members of both programs, and also offers bonus points when converting points between programs.
Through this partnership you get:
- A 20% discount when you convert Marriott Rewards points into United MileagePlus miles
- A 10% mileage bonus when you choose United MileagePlus for your Hotel + Air Package
- United MileagePlus Gold members and above receive Marriott Rewards Gold status
- Marriott Rewards Platinum members receive United MileagePlus Silver status
Marriott offering bonus miles for points conversions
Marriott Rewards and United MileagePlus are offering bonus points when you convert Marriott Rewards points into United MileagePlus miles through March 31, 2016. Through this promotion you can earn 25% more United miles, up to a maximum of 25,000 bonus MileagePlus miles.
Registration is required, and bonus miles should post by April 30, 2016.
This promotion is valid for both points to miles conversions, as well as for Hotel + Air Packages. Before I analyze the promotion, let me say that I value two Marriott Rewards points at roughly one MileagePlus mile.
Marriott points to miles conversions
Ordinarily Marriott Rewards points convert into United MileagePlus miles at the following rate:
As you can see, if you convert 112,000 points into miles you’d receive 50,000 MileagePlus miles, and through this promotion you’d receive a further 25% bonus. That’s a total of 62,500 miles for 112,000 Marriott Rewards points.
That’s a pretty good deal, since you’re getting one United mile per ~1.8 Marriott Rewards points, which is better than my 1:2 valuation.
So I’d say that’s a moderately good deal.
Marriott Hotel + Air Packages
Ordinarily Marriott Rewards points can be redeemed for Hotel + Air Packages at the following rates:
With this promotion you can get a further 25% bonus on points conversions.
Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages are already one of the best uses of Marriott Rewards points, as you get a fixed number of free nights plus a set number of miles. For example, you can redeem 390,000 Marriott Rewards points for seven nights at one of their Category 9 (top) properties, plus 132,000 United MileagePlus miles.
Through this promotion you’d receive a total of 157,000 MileagePlus miles (since the bonus is capped at 25,000 bonus miles). At a 1:2 valuation, that means those 157,000 United miles are worth 314,000 Marriott points. That means you’re basically redeeming 76,000 points for seven free nights at a Category 9 property, which is an exceptional value.
Keep in mind these packages are significantly less expensive for lower end properties. For example, you can redeem for seven nights at a Category 1-5 properties, plus 132,000 miles, for 270,000 points. You’d get a total of 157,000 United miles, which I consider to be worth 314,000 Marriott points, which is more than the package itself costs.
Perhaps the one hindrance to truly maximizing this promotion is that many people don’t want to stay in one hotel for seven nights. Even if you only stay for a few nights, you can come out way ahead by taking advantage of this promotion.
Marriott Rewards Hotel + Air Packages are already one of the best uses of Marriott Rewards points, and United is one of the best partners for that, thanks to their partnership. This bonus makes that even more rewarding. If you value United miles and have a large balance of Marriott points, I’d certainly consider taking advantage of this offer.
(Tip of the hat to Laura)