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Now through November 14, transfer Marriott points to American Airlines and receive 20% bonus AAdvantage miles. Both the “airline rewards” and “travel package” (a.k.a. “Hotel + Air Packages”) qualify for this 20% bonus.
Note that the 20% bonus will be applied by American Airlines once it receives the miles from Marriott. The terms and conditions note that “Bonus miles will be posted by American Airlines to the qualifying AAdvantage member’s account within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Marriott Rewards.” There’s no limit to the number of transfers or points you can transfer.
The terms and conditions also note that miles won’t qualify toward elite status qualification. American Airlines also won’t count these miles toward Million Miler status.
Is It Worth It?
Transferring hotel rewards to airline miles are usually a poor use of points. The “Airline and Travel Rewards” program is one of these poor uses. This option is typically only useful to clear points out of a Marriott account that you’re not going to use.
However, Marriott’s “Hotel + Air Packages” can offer excellent value. If you have at least 200,000 Marriott points (or 66,667 Starpoints), you can transfer Marriott points to one of dozens of airlines and get both airline miles and a seven-night hotel stay.
At the 270,000-point level (90,000 Starpoints), you’ll generally get 120,000 AAdvantage miles plus seven nights at a Category 1-5 Marriott hotel. After this limited-time 20% bonus is applied, you’ll end up with 144,000 AAdvantage miles. That’s effectively a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoint to 1.6 AAdvantage miles — with a seven-night hotel stay to boot!
Starpoints typically transfer to American Airlines at 1:1. Even after the 5,000-mile bonus for transferring 20,000 Starpoints, you’d only get a maximum 1:1.25 transfer ratio. By transferring Starpoints to Marriott and then transferring Marriott points to AAdvantage through the Hotel + Air Package, you’re getting a much better return, plus free nights.
Since the choices can be a bit overwhelming, let’s do a quick comparison of transfer options. Here’s what you can get from various levels of Marriott points. We included an approximate value of the options based on TPG’s latest valuation of American Airlines miles at 1.5 cents and a flat $100 value per free hotel night.
|200,000||=>||60,000||+||7||1 to 5||$1,600||0.80|
|220,000||=>||84,000||+||7||1 to 5||$1,960||0.89|
|250,000||=>||120,000||+||7||1 to 5||$2,500||1.00|
|270,000||=>||144,000||+||7||1 to 5||$2,860||1.06|
For those traveling with a companion and mostly domestically, it’s likely going to be a better deal to transfer the 270,000 Marriott points to Southwest using the Hotel + Air Package. For 270,000 Marriott points (or 90,000 Starpoints), you can get a Southwest Companion Pass, 120,000 Southwest points and seven nights at a Marriott Category 1-5 hotel. The Companion Pass is good through the end of the year after you earn it, so you might want to wait until January to take advantage of this offer to get the Companion Pass for two years.
This transfer bonus can be an excellent option if you have enough Marriott or SPG points, can get great value out of your AAdvantage miles (i.e., by flying international business/first class) and wouldn’t get better value by generating the Southwest Companion Pass with your Marriott points.
If you’re planning on transferring 90,000+ Starpoints to AAdvantage anyway, you’ll get more miles and a free seven-night hotel stay by transferring points to Marriott and then using the Hotel + Air package.
Are you planning to transfer Marriott points to AAdvantage during this promo?