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Get a 30% bonus when transferring hotel points to United

Oct. 09, 2019
4 min read
Get a 30% bonus when transferring hotel points to United
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Have a Star Alliance redemption in mind and stash of hotel points waiting to be used? Here's your opportunity, as United is offering a 30% bonus when converting points from Marriott, IHG, Choice, AccorHotels, Radisson, Shangri-La, World of Hyatt or Wyndham loyalty programs into United miles. However, the best transfers are with Marriott or Radisson.

When travelers transfer from the Marriott Bonvoy program they have the opportunity to earn an additional 10% mileage bonus and Radisson Rewards (ends Nov. 26, 2019) is offering an additional 50% mileage bonus on transfers.

Before you start transferring, you'll have to register for the promotion. After you enroll, be sure to initiate the transfer before the promotion ends on Nov. 30, 2019. This promo offers members the ability to earn up to 25,000 bonus United miles from the transfer.

When transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (the preferred transfer ratio to earn the standard Marriott transfer bonus), you should end up with 27,500 United miles from the initial transfer and Marriott bonus and an additional 8,250 miles from the promotion United is running — making a grand total of 35,750 miles. You're essentially transforming each Marriott point into 0.6 United miles.

Since you're capped at receiving 25,000 bonus miles, you shouldn't transfer more than 180,000 Marriott points if you're trying to maximize the promotion. United would dole out 24,750 bonus miles on top of the 82,500 from the regular transfer for a total of 107,250 miles.

Be aware that the bonus miles might not immediately appear in your MileagePlus account. The terms of the deal state that "bonus miles will be credited into the member's account on or before Jan. 30, 2020."

You can earn Marriott points with these cards:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card - 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.​ Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first six months of card membership. Terms apply.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made within the first three months of card membership. Terms apply.

And if you prefer to earn United MileagePlus miles directly, you can do so with cards like:

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  • United Explorer Card - Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • United Explorer Business Card - Up to 100,000 bonus miles: Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Earn an additional 50,000 miles after you spend a total of $25,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.

United is also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so you can move points at a 1:1 ratio to United instantly when you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

Related: How to earn miles with the United MileagePlus program

You can fly in United's new Polaris business class to Europe for 60,000 miles or to China/Korea/Japan for 70,000 miles one-way. Remember you can use United miles to fly on Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa and ANA, but United bumps up award rates when flying on most of its partners.

United's Polaris business class on its Boeing 777. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.)

As always, it's probably only a good idea to make a transfer if you have a specific redemption in mind. The benefit of having a cache of Marriott Bonvoy points is their flexibility with the many transfer partners, and you won't be able to get your points back once the transfer is complete.

Additional reporting by Liz Hund.

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.