Don’t Do It: Convert Marriott Points Into American Miles With A 30% Bonus

Through October 31, 2017, you can receive up to a 30% bonus when you convert Starwood Preferred Guest points into American AAdvantage miles. As much as the value of AAdvantage miles has decreased significantly, this is a deal that could very much be worthwhile with a specific redemption in mind.

Since Marriott has taken over Starwood, Marriott Rewards points can be converted into Starpoints at a 1:3 ratio, so this has opened up opportunities for members of both programs.

Today there was an email in my inbox indicating that you can now receive a 30% bonus when you convert Marriott Rewards points into American AAdvantage miles. Given the incredible value of Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages, I was initially very excited. This promotion is valid for points transfers between October 21 and December 5, 2017, and no registration is required. The bonus miles will automatically post to eligible accounts within seven days of the initial activity.

This could be an exceptional use of either Starpoints or Marriott Rewards points. But then I went through the terms & conditions, and noticed this at the very bottom:

Travel Packages: Points converted to AAdvantage miles as part of a Marriott Rewards/AAdvantage travel package do not qualify for this promotion

This is very sneaky on American’s part. The only time it ever makes sense to convert Marriott Rewards points into airline miles is through a Hotel + Air Package, and those are specifically excluded. Yet they don’t mention that, except in the very last line of the terms & conditions.

The promotion page shows the following conversion rates:

As you can see, the best you’ll do through this promotion is receiving 65,000 American AAdvantage miles in exchange for 140,000 Marriott Rewards points. That means you’re getting one mile for every 2.15 Marriott Rewards points.

As a point of comparison, with Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages, you’d receive the following number of miles and hotel nights for a package:

Hotel + Air Package 17 Nights + 50,000 Miles7 Nights + 70,000 Miles7 Nights + 100,000 Miles7 Nights + 120,000 Miles
Category 1-5200,000220,000250,000270,000
Category 6230,000250,000280,000300,000
Category 7260,000280,000310,000330,000
Category 8290,000310,000340,000360,000
Category 9320,000340,000370,000390,000
Ritz Tier 1-3350,000370,000400,000420,000
Ritz Tier 4-5470,000490,000520,000540,000

For the most basic package you’d redeem 270,000 Marriott Rewards points and would receive 120,000 AAdvantage miles plus seven free nights. So that’s a ratio of one mile for every 2.25 Marriott Rewards points (which is comparable), plus you get seven free nights.

So please, don’t take advantage of this promotion from Marriott Rewards and American AAdvantage.

Comments

  1. Wow that is SNEAKY!

    Last year’s promotion the Marriott Travel Package counted. Though upon careful thought I passed the AA promotion instead opted for the Aeroplan promotion a few months later when it was 10/25/35 tiered bonuses. Then Aeroplan had a flat 35% promotion in July.

    It is much better to use Aeroplan to fly some YQ-Free Star A partners between America and EU because availability is so much better than Oneworld even before AB bit the dust. Plus Aeroplan routing does not have the ridiculous restriction AA miles have.

    AA miles have become the worst miles to use even worse than DL since 2 years ago. For all the bad raps DL got in the past, now you actually can find some DL saver awards. Every now and then even able to find BELOW norm pricing such as a 6500 miles one way from FLL to upstate New York when everyone else wants 12.5K.

  2. Yes this is sneaky. To be honest, I find value in AA miles, you just need to have some level of flexibility. Over the last few/upcoming summers we have found great travel to Europe with AA for our family of four.

    August 2016 – direct, RT, PHL to CDG

    August 2017 – direct, PHL to Rome, then Venice to PHL

    August 2018 – PHL to KRK (layover in LHR), then direct PRG to PHL ( new route starting in May 2018). Booked a few weeks ago.

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