Can I Transfer Points From Chase to Marriott to United for a 10% Bonus?

May 23, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

While the list of airlines to which you can transfer your flexible points changes over time, many airlines partner with more than just one program. This was especially true when Capital One added the ability to transfer its miles to airlines. The top three options — Avianca LifeMiles, Aeroplan and Etihad Guest — were already partners with Amex Membership Rewards. TPG reader John wants to know if he can stack multiple transfer partnerships to get a better ratio on his transfer to United …

If I convert my Chase points 1:1 to Marriott, then convert those points to United with a 10% bonus, I get more points than if I transferred my Chase points directly to United, right?


While John has honed in on a great way to maximize his transfers from Marriott to United, he’s missing an important mathematical piece of the puzzle. Marriott has (by far) the most transfer options of any of the major transferable points currencies, with a whopping 43 airlines on the current list. However, for nearly every program, Marriott points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, so for every 3 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll generally get 1 airline mile (plus a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer). This matches the legacy SPG program, which offered 1:1 transfers but then converted to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio.

In other words the following conversion (generally) holds true:

3 Marriott Bonvoy points (1 legacy Starpoint) = 1 airline mile

Of course, there are a few exceptions. Marriott points transfer to Air New Zealand at a 200:1 ratio because the program uses an oddly valued currency, while Aeromexico’s ratio is 3:1.6 to reflect the fact that it uses kilometers rather than miles. And like John pointed out, there’s a 10% bonus when transferring to United as part of the RewardsPlus partnership.

However, this 10% bonus doesn’t happen on a 1:1 transfer; it happens on a 3:1 transfer. Even with the bonus, John will be sacrificing some significant value.

For example, let’s say that he transferred 100,000 points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United. Because that’s a 1:1 transfer, he’d end up with 100,000 United MileagePlus miles, plain and simple. However, if he transferred to Marriott first, here’s what it would look like:

  • 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points →  100,000 Marriott points
  • 100,000 Marriott points →  33,333 United miles (standard 3:1 ratio) + 3,333 (10% bonus) + 5,000 miles (for transferring at least 60,000 points) = 41,666 miles

So despite the 10% bonus and 5,000-mile bonus that Marriott offers, John would be losing almost 60% of his miles by transferring through Marriott instead of transferring directly from Chase to United.

Bottom Line

While Marriott has dozens of unique airline transfer options, the 3:1 ratio usually makes this option less appealing than redeeming your points for hotel stays. I generally only transfer Marriott points to airlines if I’m trying to rack up hard-to-earn miles with carriers like Alaska or Korean.

Generally speaking, you should avoid double transfers under just about any circumstance. And for any transfer you’re planning to make, be sure to crunch the numbers to make sure that you’ll be getting enough value for it to make sense.

Thanks for the question, John, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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.