New transfer bonus: Why it might be worth transferring Marriott points to United right now
There's a new United MileagePlus promotion that lets registered members earn a 30% bonus when transferring hotel points to United miles, up to 25,000 bonus miles. MileagePlus members can register here.
Though we don't normally recommend transferring hotel points to MileagePlus, this promotion might be worth your while.
Let's see if it makes sense for you.
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Transferring hotel points to MileagePlus
United has an impressive list of hotel partners: Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Radisson Rewards Americas, World of Hyatt, Choice Privileges and Shangri-La Circle.
When registered members transfer hotel points from any of these programs to MileagePlus, they receive a 30% mileage bonus, up to 25,000 bonus miles, through the end of the month.
To transfer hotel points with the bonus, you must first register and initiate the transfer request from your hotel company's website.
This offer can be stacked with the transfer bonus that Marriott Bonvoy members receive by transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to United miles. Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to United at a 3:1.1 ratio. When you transfer 60,000 points, you receive a 5,000-mile bonus.
In other words, 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points generally convert to 27,000 United miles. However, with the 30% bonus, you'll end up with 35,100 miles from the same 60,000-point transfer.
TPG values 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at $504. And we value 35,100 United miles at $425. So on paper, this transfer doesn't make sense. But there are ways to redeem United miles at 5 cents apiece, far above TPG's valuation of United miles at 1.21 cents apiece.
Assuming you score a high-value MileagePlus redemption — check out our guide on the Excursionist Perk for inspiration — this latest MileagePlus promotion could be a great way to liberate some hotel points toward air travel. Likewise, it also might make sense if you're short on United miles for a particular redemption and need to top up your account.
As always, have an immediate plan in place to redeem United miles before you transfer your Marriott points. Likewise, run the numbers and see if it makes sense to transfer your Marriott points for your redemption of choice. And if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards or Bilt Rewards points available to you, consider transferring those first as both programs transfer at a 1:1 ratio to United MileagePlus.
Related: How to redeem miles with the United MileagePlus program
While it rarely makes sense to transfer hotel points to MileagePlus, this latest promotion can be a way to top off your account to get you closer to your next MileagePlus redemption.
Remember that there's a maximum of 25,000 bonus miles, so be careful transferring hotel points in the six figures to MileagePlus.
You can transfer Marriott points to airline miles here.