Yesterday I wrote about how Marriott is offering a bonus when you convert your points into American miles. Well, it looks like Marriott is also offering a bonus when transferring points to their closest airline partner, United, and the promotion is very similar to the one they offered this March.
Marriott & United RewardsPlus
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 is 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 November 30, 2016. Through this promotion you can earn 25% more United miles, up to a maximum of 20,000 bonus MileagePlus miles (which is rather limiting).
Registration is required, and bonus miles should post no later than January 31, 2017.
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 one United mile at slightly less than two Marriott points.
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.
I’d say that’s a fair deal, since you’re getting one United mile per ~1.8 Marriott Rewards points. So I wouldn’t proactively transfer points at that ratio, but if you’re in more of a need of United miles than Marriott points, it could be a decent deal.
Marriott Hotel + Air Packages
Ordinarily Marriott Rewards points can be redeemed for Hotel + Air Packages in conjunction with United MileagePlus at the following rates:
With this promotion you can get a further 25% bonus on points conversions, though you’re capped at 20,000 bonus miles.
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 270,000 Marriott Rewards points for seven nights at a Category 1-5 property, plus 132,000 United MileagePlus miles. Through this promotion you’d receive a total of 152,000 MileagePlus miles (since the bonus is capped at 20,000 bonus miles).
On the surface that’s a great deal, since you’re getting a similar ratio of Marriott Rewards points to United miles as if you just convert miles directly, not factoring in the seven free nights you’re getting.
There are two major considerations to keep in mind:
- The seven nights have to be redeemed for a consecutive stay at one property, and I realize many people don’t want to vacation in one place for a week; that being said, you can still get value out of this by only using a few of the nights and throwing away the rest
- United MileagePlus miles aren’t the most valuable miles out there, and were just devalued even further for many redemptions as of this past week; it might be worth forgoing some bonus miles and instead transferring to another Marriott airline partner with more valuable miles.
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.
Converting Starpoints into United miles
As of a few weeks ago it’s possible to convert Starpoints into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio. Keep in mind that while Starwood allows 1:1 mileage transfers to many partner airlines, United isn’t one of them, and their transfer ratio is instead two Starpoints per United mile.
As a result, this promotion is by far the best transfer ratio you’ve been able to get between Starwood and United in years. For example, you can convert ~37,333 Starpoints into 62,500 United miles.
I’m not sure why anyone would be dying to convert Starpoints into United miles, but I figured it’s at least worth mentioning this opportunity.
Marriott Rewards Hotel + Air Packages are already one of the best uses of Marriott Rewards points, and using United as the partner airline offers the best ratio under normal circumstances. This promotion makes that ratio even better. If you value United miles and have a large balance of Marriott points, I’d certainly consider taking advantage of this offer.
However, do keep in mind that you’re capped at 20,000 bonus miles through this promotion, that the hotel packages are for seven nights at one property, and that United miles aren’t the most valuable out there.
Still, I’m sure some will find value through this promotion.