Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points to American Airlines to Get a 20% Bonus?

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Until October 31, 2014, you can get a 20% bonus when you transfer Marriott points to American Airlines.

Normally, the transfer ratio between Marriott points and American Airlines miles is between 2.8 : 1 and 5 : 1, depending on how many points you transfer.

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines To Get A 20 Bonus

Get 20% More Miles When You Transfer Marriott Points to American Airlines Before October 31, 2014

But with this promotion, you could get a transfer ratio as high as 2.3 Marriott points to 1 American Airlines mile.

Is this a good deal?  Let’s find out!

How Does It Work?

Link:   Marriott 20% American Airlines Transfer Promotion

Link:   Marriott Airline and Travel Rewards

I wouldn’t normally recommend transferring Marriott points to American Airlines because the transfer ratios aren’t very good.  But the more points you transfer, the better the ratio.

And you can only transfer points in specific increments.  Here’s their regular transfer chart:

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines To Get A 20 Bonus

The Regular Transfer Ratios Between Marriott Points and American Airlines Miles Aren’t Great

With the 20% transfer bonus, the transfer ratios are as follows:

  • 10,000 Marriott points = 2,400 American Airlines miles
  • 20,000 Marriott points = 6,000 American Airlines miles
  • 30,000 Marriott points = 12,000 American Airlines miles
  • 70,000 Marriott points = 30,000 American Airlines miles
  • 140,000 Marriott points = 60,000 American Airlines miles

Is it better to use your points for Marriott stays, or transfer them to American Airlines?  Here are examples of what you can get in both cases.

Let’s Compare

Suppose you have 140,000 Marriott points in your account (the maximum you can transfer to American Airlines).  Will you get more value from using them for hotel nights, or transferring them to American Airlines with the 20% bonus?

1.   Use Points for Marriott Stays

Link:   Marriott Award Chart

140,000 Marriott points is enough for 4 nights in a Category 7 Marriott hotel (35,000 points per night).  And when you book 4 nights, you get the 5th night free!

For example, the Category 7 Casa Magna Marriott Cancun Resort costs $279 per night in April.

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines To Get A 20 Bonus

You Could Get 4 Nights Plus a 5th Free Night at the Casa Magna Marriott Cancun Resort With 140,000 Marriott Points

The total cost for 5 nights is ~$1,660.

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines To Get A 20 Bonus

You’d Pay Over $1,600 for 5 Nights at This Category 7 Marriott

2.   Transfer Points to American Airlines

If you took your 140,000 Marriott points and transferred them to American Airlines during the 20% bonus promotion, you’d get 60,000 American Airlines miles.

That’s enough miles for:

  • Two round-trip, coach class tickets within North America (with 10,000 miles left over)
  • A round-trip, Business Class ticket to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, or Northern South America
  • A 1-way Business Class ticket to Europe, Japan, or Korea (with 10,000 miles left over)

I checked the price of a 1-way Business Class ticket from New York to London, UK, in March.  It costs almost $8,000!

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines To Get A 20 Bonus

You Could Get More Value by Transferring Marriott Points to American Airlines

So what’s the better use of Marriott points?  It really depends on how you like to travel!  If you’re considering dollar value only, you could get more from transferring them to American Airlines.

But a better deal for folks with a lot of Marriott points is their Hotel + Air Packages.

Sweeten the Deal With Hotel + Air Packages

Link:   Marriott Hotel + Air Packages

If you have a LOT of points that you won’t be using for hotel stays, Marriott Hotel + Air Packages could be a good deal for you.

I’ve written that with these packages, you can get a 7-night Marriott stay PLUS you get airline points at an equivalent transfer ratio of 1:1.  But you need at least 200,000 Marriott points in your account.

With the 20% transfer bonus to American Airlines, the deal is even better.

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines To Get A 20 Bonus

Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points To American Airlines to Get A 20% Bonus

For example, if you have 200,000 Marriott points, you could use them for 7 nights in a Category 1 to 5 Marriott, plus get 60,000 American Airlines miles (50,000 normally + 20% bonus)

A Category 5 Marriott costs 25,000 points per night.  So a 7-night stay would cost 150,000 points (25,000 points x 6 nights, and the 7th night is free).

So you’re paying 200,000 Marriott points for 150,000 points worth of hotel nights, AND 60,000 American Airlines miles.  That’s a very good deal!

Bottom Line

You’ll get a 20% bonus when you transfer Marriott points to American Airlines until October 31, 2014.

This could be worth it for folks who have a lot of Marriott points.  And if you have over 200,000 points in your account, you can get an even better deal using Marriott Hotel + Air packages.

That said, the most important thing is to use points for travel that means something to you!  So I wouldn’t transfer points to American Airlines unless you have a specific plan for them.

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6 responses to “Is It Worth Transferring Marriott Points to American Airlines to Get a 20% Bonus?

  1. Good write up, and while the hotel + air packages are a great deal, it’s hard to find a place sometimes to stay for 7 nights. Wish the 5 night packages were still available to Platinum Marriott members but I don’t believe it is (just called 2 days ago and was told no).

  2. A good post, but do you have any suggestions about how someone would go about getting 140K marriott points?

  3. @katie you could sign up for both the business and personal marriott card. I know there is a 70K offer around for the personal card. Also you could buy up 50k points a year from marriott.

  4. how would you book the 4 nights 5th free Marriott on points? online or on phone? do you book for 4 nights or 5 nights to get the fifth night free?

    the package deal is not technically an airline transfer. Your saying you would get 60,000 instead of 50,000 on the 200,000 points package is theory? how would you get the 60,000? Is it applied automatically, or would you have to call and say “hey, can I get the 20% airline transfer on the 50,000? Has anyone does this successfully? I’m inclined to think they are two separate deals practically speaking?

  5. My husband and I are considering this very scenario as we have almost 900,000 Marriott points and plans for a year-long, Round-the-World trip with our family starting in 2016. Our thought was to capitalize on the 20% bonus and our large number of Marriott points to convert into miles we could use to book flights for our trip.

    Are there any readers who have experience with booking RTW travel with USAir/One World? Is using their points to do a specific RTW ticket a good use of miles, in your opinion? If you’ve done a RTW trip on USAir/OneWorld, what was your experience? I know these are general questions and every trip is different, but I’d love to get some input from RTW travelers as we decided whether or not to transfer our Marriott points to USAir…

  6. The 5 night package option is still available to Marriott Vacation Club owners.