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Marriott is ending its 5,000-mile transfer bonus for a 4th airline program

Nov. 07, 2022
4 min read
Korean Air Boeing 777 Boston
Marriott is ending its 5,000-mile transfer bonus for a 4th airline program
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Editor’s note: We’ve updated this article because Marriott is also discontinuing the transfer bonus for Korean Air.


The Marriott Bonvoy program has many airline transfer partners. These transfer partners include some programs for which Marriott is likely your only option if you want to transfer rewards into the program to book an award.

Until recently, you'd get a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer from Marriott to airline partners. So, transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to most partners would get you 25,000 miles.

But in October, some Marriott Bonvoy members received emails stating, “Change is in the air. Beginning October 31, 2022, the 5,000 bonus points-to-miles incentive with American Airlines will end.” At the time, a Marriott spokesperson told TPG that the 5,000-mile bonus per 60,000 points transferred was also ending for Avianca LifeMiles and Delta SkyMiles.

We'd hoped that would be it. But on Monday, Frequent Miler reported that the 5,000-mile bonus per 60,000 points transferred is ending for Korean Air on Dec. 1. We reached out to Marriott, which confirmed this information but said it isn't currently planning to end the bonus for any other airlines.

Related: Here’s what you should know before transferring Marriott points to airline miles

Analysis of this change

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

It's frustrating that Marriott isn't communicating this change on its website. Marriott's transfer page includes a note stating, "The offer of 5,000 bonus miles does not apply to American Airlines AAdvantage, Avianca LifeMiles and Delta SkyMiles." But there's no mention of the bonus ending for transfers to Korean Air. Instead, Marriott is notifying members via email who have previously transferred points to Korean.

A Marriott spokesperson said it doesn't plan to discontinue the bonus for any other airlines. But given that Marriott is announcing the bonus's removal for each airline separately, I expect we may continue to see more airlines added to the list of partners that won’t get a 5,000-mile bonus per 60,000 Marriott points transferred as the months go by.

Since Marriott Bonvoy has dropped its award pricing bounds for stays in 2023 and beyond, some loyalists may find more value in transferring Marriott points to airlines. As such, it’s a bummer to see another airline added to the list of partners that won't benefit from the 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.

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For those transferring Marriott points to Korean, this is a clear devaluation of Marriott Bonvoy points. The Korean Air SkyPass program doesn't provide the value that it used to, but it's still one of the best ways to book Korean Air flights on points. No other points programs transfer to Korean either, making this change particularly painful for frequent Korean Air travelers.

Related: How I’m spending over 5 million Marriott Bonvoy points

Bottom line

It’s never good to see a loyalty program remove benefits its members enjoy. Unfortunately, I suspect more programs will lose this bonus over the coming months and years.

On the bright side, you can transfer points from other programs to American, Avianca and Delta:

If you’re planning to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Korean Air, I recommend doing so before Dec. 1. If you get an email from Marriott about the bonus ending for other airlines in the future, consider forwarding it to tips@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023