Transfer Marriott Points To United With Up To A 25% Bonus

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.

Marriott-RewardsPlus

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).

marriott-united-bonus

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:

RewarsdPlus-Conversion

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:

RewardsPlus-Conversion

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.

Bottom line

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.

Comments

  1. For us canadian peoples, i think moving some points from SPG and grabimg some UA point is a good idea if we want to book Air canada flights without much taxes. Any comments ? If we book an Aeroplan ticket with AC on AC metal, there is big tax compare to UA.

  2. Why is a 20% bonus transferring to AA a “great deal” but a 25% bonus on top of the usual 10% bonus transferring to United “still, I’m sure some will find value”? I can’t believe, after all the crap that AA have pulled, that you are still heavily biased in their favor.

  3. @ Farnorthtrader — Fair enough, but there are a few things to consider. First of all, the 25% bonus isn’t actually as good as it sounds. If you’re booking a Hotel + Air Package you’re really capped at a ~15% bonus, since you can only earn 20,000 bonus United miles.

    Furthermore, part of the context here is how easy points are to accrue. The only transferrable points currency that can be converted into American miles are Starpoints, while you can also convert Ultimate Rewards points into United miles.

    But you’re right, overall I wouldn’t necessarily take advantage of either of these offers, as there are other valuable airline partners to consider.

  4. United Meage plus is still far more Valuable than Advantage miles in most cases due to Award Availibility. AA pretty much has stopped allowing us to use low miles on their own metal (UA encourages it ) So that’s nice when needed especially since you can fly them F over the Pacific then SQ to Southeast Asia (yes this is still possible with the changes ). AA miles have 2 great redemptions in my opinion. CX J and QR/EY J. Considering I do my best to avoid the entire Middle East that leave me with CX and maybe JL(an airline I don’t really enjoy ). So keep in mind how EASY UA miles are to redeem. Even if you can customize your routings as much

  5. I think there is an error here:

    United isn’t one of them, and their transfer ratio is instead two United miles per Starpoint.

    Isn’t it .5 United Miles per Starpoint?

  6. Why aren’t people dying to transfer starpoints to United miles? I usually fly Southwest and United myself. Am I missing something? Is there a better airline or alliance?

  7. @Ryan

    Every single SQ segment is priced by UA system as a separate award in the current environment. Just so you know your add-on SQ flight would be priced as an additional intra-Asia redemption.

    UA has much more availability to Europe and Asia due to the fact Star A has many more useful partners than OneWorld.

    The sweet spot of South Pacific – Asia is indeed sweet – you can compare the pricing with AA chart and the availability is like Day and Night between the 2 programs. Yes, even CX flies to 6 Australian cities, you be really hard-pressed to find your preferred date / city while you can find TG SYD-BKK everyday, with less miles. Avios for intra-Australia redemption and voila, you have a much better itinerary than trying for QF and CX.

  8. So which airline partners would you consider better than UA or AA as a transfer option if one were to utilize the Marriott Hotel + Air package?

  9. I did not see anywherre on the united site where one registers for this promotion. Do you have a promotion code ?

  10. Looks like I missed out on the sign-on promo date, although oddly enough I tried clicking on the registration page today, entered my United account number and it said “Success” after clicking submit.

    Does anyone know if there’s a limit to number of Marriott to United transfers a year?

    I am looking to redeem 60k worth of United points from Marriott as I have a specific use for redemption (SYD-BKK) for 2 pax – the promo would have been perfect with 112k Marriott points getting me just over 60k United.

    But now I would need to do 2 lots presumably of 112k to 50k and then 24k to 10k?

    cheers

  11. Just spoke to a 1K M+ supervisor. She stated that about 50% of the customers, that were supposed to receive the 20,000 miles bonus, did not.
    She asked that I call again beginning of February (outside the terms and conditions time frame) if I do not see the credit before that date.

  12. BTW, I had received the 132,000 M+ miles for the RewardsPlus Travel Package 4, just not the bonus, after the transfer of the Marriott points.

  13. I transferred Marriott Rewards points to United. I have yet to receive the 25% bonus. I read via VFTW that they should be credited by January 31, 2017. Was I supposed to be Elite in one of the two programs?

  14. Correction – ‘ United isn’t one of them, and their transfer ratio is instead two United miles per Starpoint.’

    It should be – ‘ United isn’t one of them, and their transfer ratio is instead two Starpoints miles per United Mile.’

  15. If I redeem 56,000 Marriott points to received 25,000 United MileagePlus miles, would I automatically earn United Premier Silver Status (assuming I have already met the 4 Segment and $3000 requirement)?

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