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TPG reader Mei sent me a message on Facebook to ask about transferring points between programs:

“Is there any way to convert American Airlines miles to Marriott Rewards points at a reasonable rate?”

One common challenge for award travelers is figuring out how to redeem points from one loyalty program for travel with another. Airline alliances and other partnerships offer opportunities to book flights with a variety of carriers, and you can commonly use hotel points to book flights by transferring to frequent flyer programs. However, there are relatively few options when it comes to booking hotel rooms with airline miles.

Unfortunately for Mei, there is no straightforward strategy for transferring AAdvantage miles to Marriott. Diners Club used to let members convert certain airline miles back into Diners Club Rewards points (which could then be transferred to hotel partners), but that option disappeared years ago. The rewards exchange lets you move points and miles between different programs (at a generally terrible rate), but Marriott isn’t one of the site’s hotel partners. There might be some mileage brokers out there who would be willing to swap, but I don’t recommend going that route.

Some airlines do offer transfers to hotel programs. For example, the RewardsPlus partnership allows United elites to transfer miles to Marriott Rewards at 1:1, and you can swap miles from Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic for Hilton HHonors points at 2:3. The problem in all these cases is that airline miles tend to be worth more than hotel points, so you’re not getting good value when you exchange them.

On the flip side, converting hotel points to airline miles can be a lucrative option. The most prominent example is Starwood Preferred Guest, which has over 30 airline partners and offers good transfer rates. Beyond that, Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages are a solid deal for anyone looking to book a longer hotel stay, and you can transfer Hyatt (and other) points to Southwest Rapid Rewards to help you earn the Companion Pass.

You’ll get the best value by redeeming your your airline miles for flights rather than hotels or other awards.

Keep in mind that you can now transfer Starpoints to Marriott Rewards at an excellent 1:3 ratio. That means you can also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott at 1:1, since Amex transfers to SPG at 3:1. Chase Ultimate Rewards also transfer to Marriott at 1:1, so you have plenty of ways to boost your Marriott Rewards account.

The greater lesson here is that it’s important to diversify your travel rewards. Try to accrue points and miles from a few different programs so you have more redemption options, or focus on earning transferable points that you can redeem easily with both airlines and hotels.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Featured image courtesy of the JW Marriott parq Vancouver.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.