Marriott is offering a 30% bonus transfer to American Airlines. At first glance, this appears to be a very lucrative offer given that Marriott Hotel + Air Packages offer exceptional value and these promotions usually stack with the packages, but this promotion appears to specifically exclude these packages from these bonus transfers (“Travel Packages: Points converted to AAdvantage miles as part of a Marriott Rewards/AAdvantage travel package do not qualify for this promotion.”)
Marriott or SPG points?
Marriott points can currently be transferred to SPG at a 3:1 ratio. And since SPG is a 1:1 transfer partner of American, you’ve got to measure up how converting Marriott->SPG->American compares to utilizing this 30% promotion. Via Reddit, a breakdown of how this transfer comes out is shown below:
“Normal transfer rate of Marriott to AA is below, with the 30% bonus from this promotion in parentheses. Following the “vs” is what transferring the equivalent number of SPG points gets you:
- 10,000 Marriott = 2,000 AA (2,600 AA) vs 3,333 SPG = 3,333 AA
- 20,000 Marriott = 5,000 AA (6,500 AA) vs 6,667 SPG = 6,667 AA
- 30,000 Marriott = 10,000 AA (13,000 AA) vs 10,000 SPG = 10,000 AA
- 70,000 Marriott = 25,000 AA (32,500 AA) vs 23,333 SPG = 28,333 AA
- 140,000 Marriott = 50,000 AA (65,000 AA) vs 46,667 SPG = 56,667 AA”
This shows that you need to transfer at least 30,000 Marriott points in order to make the 30% bonus transfer more lucrative than a direct SPG to American transfer, so keep that in mind.
Update: The up to 30% SPG American promo bonus was extended and so transferring points to SPG will be even more worthwhile.
Marriott Hotel + Air Packages
But even with transferring 140,000 Marriott points, you only end up with 65,000 AAdvantage miles. Or since there’s no cap on this promotion, if you transferred 280,000 Marriott points you’d end up with 130,000 AAdvantage miles.
Consider that if you opted to forgo this promo and go with the Marriott Hotel + Air Package, 270,000 Marriott points would net you 120,000 AAdvantage miles plus 7 free nights at a category 1 through 5 hotel.
So with the 30% promotion you convert 2.15 Marriott points to one AAdvantage mile but with the Hotel + Air Package you convert 2.25 Marriott points to one AAdvantage mile but also get 7 free nights at a category 1-5 Marriott property.
So if you have under 30,000 Marriott points you want to transfer those to SPG first and then to American. If you have between 30,000 points and 270,000 Marriott points, you might want to consider the promotion. But if you have 270,000 Marriott points or near that amount, you probably want to consider utilizing a Hotel + Air Package to take advantage of getting 7 free nights but that determination will be up to you.
Keep in mind that to “qualify for this AAdvantage® bonus mile offer, member must initiate the AAdvantage® mileage conversions with the Marriott Rewards® program between 12:00 a.m. CST, October 21, 2017 and 11:59 p.m. CST, December 5, 2017.“
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.