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All award travelers should earn transferable points, as they give you great flexibility in your redemptions. They also shield you from any potential devaluations, since the ability to transfer to other programs means you’re not locked into one currency. Chase Ultimate Rewards are some of the best transferable points out there, and TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen explains how you can transfer them to Marriott for hotel redemptions.
In order to even think about redeeming these points for maximum value, you first need to know the actual process for transferring them to partners. Today I’ll continue our series that looks closely at the process for transferring points to each Ultimate Rewards partner. Our first subjects were Hyatt Gold Passport, United MileagePlus and Southwest Rapid Rewards, and now I’ll take a look at another one of the program’s hotel partners: Marriott Rewards.
Before you even think about transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, you’ll need to complete a few basic steps. For starters, you need to set up online access for your Ultimate Rewards-accruing credit card (like the Ink Plus Business Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred). To do this, simply go to www.chase.com and look for the “Not enrolled? Sign-up now” link at the right-hand side:
Then simply enter in the required information to complete your online enrollment.
If you already have an online credit card account with Chase, you can add a new card to it by clicking Manage Accounts in the Customer Center and then selecting Add Accounts at the top.
The other important thing to do is to sign up for Marriott Rewards (though if you’ve read my points and miles mistakes post, hopefully you’ve already done this!). To do this, just visit the page to join the program and enter your information.
Once these two things are complete, you’re ready to start transferring!
Transferring to Marriott
The actual process for transferring Ultimate Rewards points to all partners starts the exact same way:
1. Log in to your Chase account and click on the Go to Ultimate Rewards link at the top right.
(1a. If you have more than one card account, choose your desired one from the next page.)
2. Hover over the Use Points drop-down menu and select Transfer to Travel Partners.
3. Scroll down the list of airline partners and click Transfer Points next to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards.
4. Enter the required information and click Add Member ID to add a new account.
5. Enter the number of points you want to transfer (must be in increments of 1,000) and click Continue.
6. Review your details on the next page and then click Confirm & Submit.
The next screen should confirm that the transfer was successful.
We recently tested how long Ultimate Rewards transfers take for each of the program’s 11 partners, and unfortunately Marriott is one of two partners that may take up to 2 days to show up.
|Singapore Airlines||Same Day|
There are a few important things to keep in mind with these transfers:
- The transfers are nonrefundable, so be certain you want to make the transfer before you click Submit.
- You can only transfer to yourself or an authorized user.
- You can combine points from your different cards or transfer points between your account and that of your spouse/domestic partner. For complete details, check out my post on combining Ultimate Rewards points.
Booking with Marriott
Now that you’ve made the transfer, it’s time to actually book with Marriott. The chain has over 4,200 hotels in 80 countries and territories, so the geographic coverage is much broader than that of Hyatt. However, Marriott Rewards points don’t rank as highly in TPG’s monthly valuations, pegged at just 0.7 cents in his most recent version. Remember that the program did just announce some positive changes to its program earlier in the month, including the ability to book Cash + Points awards (in early 2016) and share points with friends and family.
Here’s a step-by-step process of how to actually book these awards with Marriott:
1. Start by visiting Marriott’s homepage and log in to your account at the top right-hand corner:
2. Type in your desired city or point of interest in the Find a Hotel box, modify the dates and details, check the box for use points and then click FIND.
The results page will show all available properties with both the number of points required for the award and revenue rates:
There are several nice features that allow you to streamline the results at the top, including different views, different sorting methods and the ability to change the results based on a landmark:
You also have the option to change the search criteria at the right-hand side, including the ability to search across flexible dates:
3. One you have chosen a property, click View Rates to see what’s available for your desired date and click Select to choose the award option you want:
If you checked the “My dates are flexible” box, you’ll get a calendar that shows you when standard award rooms are available:
The exact type of award rooms depend on the property, and you’ll notice that there may be options to use points plus a cash copay per night for an upgraded room.
4. Review the details of your reservation and click Book Now:
The following page will display your confirmation:
In the past, you would need to print out your award certificates and present them at check-in, but Marriott now sends them electronically to the individual property.
Marriott has some terrific award redemptions on both the high end and the low end of the spectrum, and the program regularly offers promotions that can be quite lucrative (like the Fall 2015 MegaBonus offer). You can also utilize the program’s Flight + Hotel Awards to book a seven-night stay at any property plus get a nice haul of airline miles. It can even help with earning a Southwest Companion Pass! Remember too that you can book awards even if you are short on points. Just make sure that you earn enough points at least a week before your stay.
In addition, you may want to consider opening the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which is currently offering 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first three months. This bonus is worth $350 based on TPG’s valuations, and the card also comes with added benefits like 5x points on Marriott purchases, 15 elite night credits (which gives you automatic Silver status) and no foreign transaction fees. You can also earn bonus points on United purchases next month through the Double Stay, Double Go promotion.
Ultimate Rewards points regularly appear near the top of TPG’s monthly valuations (and for good reason). With a number of valuable transfer partners, you can get a ton of value and flexibility by collecting these points and then putting them toward a variety of different redemptions. I’ve never had a reason to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, but given the right redemption, it could make a lot of sense.
For additional information about Ultimate Rewards and redeeming Marriott points, check out the following posts:
- The Award Traveler’s Guide to Marriott Rewards
- One Year of Earning and Burning with the Marriott Rewards Visa
- 8 Great Marriott Hotels for Caribbean Getaways
- Maximizing Marriott Rewards for Family Travel
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards with Chase Freedom, Sapphire and Ink Plus
What are your experiences transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott?