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Marriott Adds American As Newest Airline Earning Partner + 500 Mile Summer Promo

by on June 17, 2013 · 15 comments

in American, Marriott

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Following in the footsteps of other cross-promotional partnerships like Delta/Starwood’s Crossover Rewards (sort of), this morning, American Airlines and Marriott announced a partnership where members of American’s AAdvantage program and Marriott Rewards can earn miles on their hotel stays, joining the roster Marriott’s other airline partners.

Marriott AA partnership

Unlike the Delta/SPG Crossover program where elite members of both programs earn both miles and points on both hotel stays and flights, this partnership is limited to members of both programs now being able to earn AAdvantage miles on Marriott stays. There are also no elite perks like with Delta/SPG Crossover Rewards, such as elite check-in or free internet access at hotels or priority check-in and boarding for flights. This is simply about earning American miles on Marriott stays. I asked my contacts at American if this would turn into a Crossover-style relationship, and they had no ready answer but said that they are always evaluating new partnerships, so that could be a possible next step, though I wouldn’t count on it.

AAdvantage members can now earn the following amount of miles at the following brands based on spending:

You’ll earn two AAdvantage miles per $1USD spent on all qualifying transactions at these participating brands:

  • JW Marriott®
  • Autograph Collection® Hotels
  • Renaissance® Hotels
  • Marriott® Hotels
  • Marriott Vacation Club®

You’ll earn two AAdvantage miles per $1USD spent on room rate only at these participating brands:

  • The Ritz-Carlton®
  • EDITION®
  • Gaylord Hotels®

You’ll earn one AAdvantage mile per $1USD spent on room rate only at these participating brands:

  • AC Hotels
  • Courtyard by Marriott®
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott®
  • Residence Inn by Marriott®
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott®
  • Marriott Executive Apartments®

To enroll, you must go to MarriottRewards.com and:

  1. Select Miles/other program as your Earning preference
  2. Select American Airlines as your preferred Airline program
  3. Enter your AAdvantage number

You can also enroll by phone by calling Marriott at 1-800-367-6453.

Those earning ratios are in line with Marriott’s other airline partners, which already include Air Canada, Air France/KLM, Alaska, British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Singapore, Southwest, United, US Airways and Virgin America among many others.

Members can still convert Marriott Rewards points to AAdvantage miles at the following rates ranging from a ratio of 5:1 to 2.8:1. So not so great unless you absolutely need to top up and the 6-8 weeks it can take for a transfer to go through is a killer (though in reality they probably go through faster).

10,000 points =    2,000 miles

20,000 points =    5,000 miles

30,000 points =  10,000 miles

70,000 points =  25,000 miles

140,000 points =  50,000 miles

To celebrate the launch of the new partnership, American is awarding AAdvantage members with 500 AAdvantage bonus miles when they stay participating Marriott properties between July 15 and August 15, 2013. No need to register specially for this promo.

While this doesn’t exactly wow me, I do appreciate the option of being able to earn American miles instead of Marriott points on Marriott stays. In general I collect hotel points while staying at hotels, and generally I think it’s more lucrative to earn hotel points – especially hotels are more generous with promos in their own currency than with their partners.

That said, I do like American miles and value them highly among mileage currencies, so the question is, whether I’d prefer 2 American miles or 10 Marriott points per dollar (since that’s the normal earning ratio)?

If I spent $4,500 at Marriott, I’d earn 45,000 Marriott points or 9,000 American miles. 45,000 Marriott points is a free night at a top-tier Category 9 property like the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysees, where even off-peak nights start at 399 EUR ($530) and they’re starting at 519 EUR ($690) in June on nights where points redemptions are also available – not a bad value.

The same amount of spending would get me either 9,000 AA miles or 45,000 Marriott points.

The same amount of spending would get me either 9,000 AA miles or 45,000 Marriott points.

By contrast, I’d (generously) value 9,000 American miles at about 2 cents apiece, giving me a value of about $180 on that same amount of spend. I’d take the hotel room instead.

However, if earning a few extra American miles makes more sense for your travel strategy than going for Marriott points, then it’s nice to have this option now as well.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Medbon

    As Marriott already had a bunch of airline partners that you could optionally earn miles with for stays (instead of MRPs), this is just the addition of another airline partner… not a new type of partnership, as you initially imply. Correct?

  • Rollie

    it would still be better to earn as hotel points and then later transfer to miles as your 45,000 MRP’s would convert to 18,000 AA miles at 2.5 points = 1 mile transfer. That is twice the earning potential. The only real difference is getting the miles right now vs later at a cost of 50% of your potential miles.

  • Wandering Aramean

    This is absolutely nothing like crossover rewards. Nothing at all. Not even in the same ballpark.

    Also, don’t forget the Marriott Air+Hotel awards. Those are probably a better value if you’re moving large quantities of points.

  • danny

    May I ask a clarifying question?

    With the Delta/SPG partnership, you earn points AND miles at the same time for your flight or your stay, correct?

    But with the Marriott/American partnership, you cannot earn both points and miles during your marriott stay.

    Is that correct?

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- this is nothing groundbreaking, but an option for those who would prefer to accrue AA miles with Marriott stays

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- this Marriott/AA is nothing like Crossover. It is simply the ability to earn AA miles when you stay at Marriott, which you haven’t been able to do. Plus a quasi okay summer promo. Not groundbreaking, but news nonetheless!

  • thepointsguy

    Agreed the Air+Hotel awards make transfers not as terrible of a value

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- plus you’d probably be racking up more Marriott points along the way with promotions

  • Little Tea Blog

    What are the Marriott Air+Hotel awards exactly?

  • Little Tea Blog

    Marriott also has the 1,000 bonus united miles promotion with every stay. That seems like a better deal than this.

  • Fanfoot

    The language is unclear and you didn’t really clarify it. I assume its an extra 500 AA miles per STAY?

  • David

    I’m also interested in getting the modest 500 point bonus. Would enrolling in the program and staying 1 night at a Marriot brand hotel allow me this 500 point bonus + the 2:1 points spent on the room.

    Also is it necessary to use my CitiAA card?

  • Pingback: Should I Charge My Marriott Stay On My Marriott Visa Or Citi AAdvantage Card? | The Points Guy()

  • John

    Do the AA points earned at Marriott count as EQM or are they just bonus points?

  • Damien S. Lehfeldt

    If I convert Marriott Points into AA Advantage miles, do those qualify towards AA Elite Status?

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