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