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The information related to Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

One of the chief concerns expressed by SPG members leading up to the Marriott/SPG merger was the potential loss of SPG’s airline transfer bonus. SPG airline partners included 30+ frequent flyer programs, most of which transferred at a 1:1 ratio. The deal was even sweeter if you transferred 20,000+ Starpoints, with SPG throwing in a bonus 5,000 airline miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred. The bonus was one of the most valuable aspects of the SPG program. Next to elite status benefits, the loss of the airline transfer bonus was at the top of SPG member concerns.

So, it was music to the ears of points and miles fans when Marriott announced the airline transfer bonus was here to stay for the combined Starwood, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton loyalty programs. Following the same 3:1 transfer ratio used when combining accounts, points transfer from Marriott to airlines at 3:1, and you'll receive a 15,000 point bonus (equal to 5,000 miles at 3:1) for every 60,000 Marriott Rewards points transferred, giving you 25,000 miles in the frequent flyer program of your choice.

In addition to maintaining the same value of points transfers to airline partners, Marriott has added more airlines to the list of transfer partners, which now includes over 40 frequent flyer programs.

Virgin Atlantic 747
Receive 25% bonus miles when transferring 60K Marriott Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic.

The Fastest Way to Earn Marriott Rewards Points

While there's plenty of ways to earn Marriott Rewards points, for most points enthusiasts the fastest way to earn points is via the co-brand Marriott and SPG credit cards. Marriott's co-brand card lineup has undergone a major revamp in the last 12 months, with new cards added to the Marriott stable and a major shakeup of earning rates and benefits on existing cards. The lineup of cards earning Marriott Rewards points now includes:

CREDIT CARDWELCOME OFFERKEY BENEFITSANNUAL FEE
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit CardEarn 2 Free Night Awards (each valued up to 35,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card! • 6x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 2x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any property up to 35,000 points
• Automatic Silver Elite status
• Path to Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 on the card in an account year
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year (starting 2019)
$95
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit CardEarn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months• 6x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 4x at restaurants, gas stations, shipping, internet, cable and phone service purchases
• 2x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any property up to 35,000 points
• Automatic Silver Elite status
• Path to Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 on the card in an account year
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year (starting 2019)
$99
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressEarn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.• 6x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 2x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any property up to 35,000 points
• Automatic Silver Elite status
• Path to Gold Elite status when you spend $30,000 on the card in an account year (rising to $35K from January 1, 2019)
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year (starting 2019)
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. - Rates & Fees
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American ExpressEarn 75,000 Bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.• 6x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 4x at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
• 2x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any property up to 35,000 points
• Automatic Silver Elite status
• Path to Gold Elite status when you spend $30,000 on the card in an account year (rising to $35K from January 1, 2019)
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year (starting 2019)
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 - Rates & Fees
Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury CardEarn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.• 6x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 3x at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
• 2x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any property up to 50,000 points
• Automatic Gold Elite status
• Path to Platinum Elite status when you spend $75,000 on the card in an account year
• $300 annual Marriott/SPG hotel credit
• Priority Pass Select membership
• Global Entry/TSA Pre credit every four years
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year (starting 2019)
$450
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit CardNo longer accepting applications• 6x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 3x at restaurants, rental car agencies, on flights booked direct with the airline
• 2x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any property up to 50,000 points
• Automatic Gold Elite status
• Path to Platinum Elite status when you spend $75,000 on the card in an account year
• $300 annual incidentals travel credit
• Save $100 on multi-passenger domestic airfare purchases
• Priority Pass Select membership
• 3 annual club level upgrades on paid stays up to 7 nights
• Global Entry/TSA Pre credit every 4 years
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year (starting 2019)
$450
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit CardNo longer accepting applications• 5x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 2x restaurants, car rental agencies, and airfare purchased directly from the airline
• 1x on all other purchases
• Anniversary free night certificate valid at any Cat 1-5 property up to 25,000 points
• 15 elite night credits per calendar year
• 1 Elite Night Credit per $3,000 spent in purchases
$85
Marriott Rewards® Consumer Credit CardNo longer accepting applications• 3x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 1x on all other purchases
• Free night certificate valid at any Cat 1-4 property after you spend $25,000 on purchases each year
• 10 elite night credits per calendar year
• 1 Elite Night Credit per $3,000 spent in purchases
$45
Marriott Rewards® Business Credit CardNo longer accepting applications• 3x on Marriott and SPG spend
• 1x on all other purchases
• 10 elite night credits per calendar year
• 1 Elite Night Credit per $3,000 spent in purchases
$45

5,000 Bonus Miles When You Transfer 60,000 Rewards Points to Airline Partners

When transferring Rewards points to airlines in multiples of 60,000, you receive 5,000 bonus airline miles from Marriott, credited to the airline partner to which you are transferring points. For instance, if we transfer 60k Rewards points to ANA Mileage Club, Marriott credits an extra 5k bonus miles to my ANA account at the time of transfer, for a total of 25,000 miles. This applies to 41 of the 44 transfer partners, we've outlined the exceptions below.

There are a few tricks, rules and tips that need to be followed to ensure transfers are trouble-free and you receive maximum value for your Rewards points.

  • While SPG capped transfers at 79,999 points per day (meaning you could only transfer 60K points per day and receive the 25% bonus), Marriott allows you to transfer a maximum of 240,000 points per day, so you can receive up to 20,000 bonus miles each day via airline partner transfers. Transfer 240,000 Rewards points, and you’ll receive 100,000 airline miles.
  • The names must match on your Marriott Rewards and frequent flyer account.
  • Minimum transfer requirement is 3,000 Rewards points
  • Transfer times for Marriott points vary, but, from experience and current data points, are faster than the SPG transfers of the past which could take up to two weeks to clear.

Marriott Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

The addition of new carriers to the airline transfer program places Marriott well ahead of other transferable points when it comes to the number of transfer partners, offering a total of 44 frequent flyer programs. Of the 44 partners, 41 get the 3:1 transfer ratio, while Air New Zealand is a staggering 200:1, and JetBlue receives a 6:1 transfer ratio. Check out the full list of transfer partners below.

FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMTRANSFER RATIO (REWARDS:MILES)
Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus3:1
Aeroflot Bonus Program3:1
Aeromexico Club Premier3:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada3:1
Air China PhoenixMiles3:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia3:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club3:1
American Airlines AAdvantage3:1
Asia Miles/Cathay Pacific3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club3:1
Avianca LifeMiles3:1
British Airways Executive Club3:1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles3:1
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club3:1
COPA ConnectMiles3:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles3:1
Emirates Skywards3:1
Etihad Airways3:1
Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns3:1
Gol Smiles2:1
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
3:1
Iberia Plus3:1
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank3:1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS3:1
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass3:1
Lufthansa Miles and More3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer3:1
Qatar Airways Privilege Club3:1
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer3:1
South African Airways Voyager3:1
Southwest Rapid Rewards3:1
TAP Air Portugal Victoria3:1
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles3:1
United MileagePlus3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity3:1

There are a few exceptions to the standard transfer rates:

  • United MileagePlus members receive a 10% bonus on transferred points via Marriott RewardsPlus, so 60,000 points will transfer to 27,500 United miles.
  • Points transfer to Air New Zealand at 200:1 with 25 Airpoints added as a bonus when you transfer 60K, so 60,000 points will transfer to 325 Airpoints (redeemable for $1 per point)
  • Points transfer to JetBlue at 6:1 with 2,500 points added when you transfer 60K, so 60,000 points will transfer to 12,500 TrueBlue points

The Best Marriott Airline Transfer Partners

The five transfer partners at the top of our list are Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, Alaska MileagePlan, American AAdvantage, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and British Airways Executive Club. Here's why:

British Airways Executive Club

On top of the excellent value flying transatlantic on oneworld® partner Iberia, British Airways still retains a distance-based program meaning short haul flights with Avios are a great way of redeeming Marriott points. Short-haul flights within North America price out at 7,500 Avios one-way, and non-stop economy flights from the West Coast to Hawaii will set you back only 12,500 points each way flying American or Alaska. Short hops between cities in popular destinations in Europe, Japan, and Australia cost just 4,500 points in coach, presenting top value when compared to the cash price of tickets.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

With Alaska Airlines not a member of any major alliances, it leaves them in the unique position of being able to pick and choose the airlines with whom they partner. Combined with low fees and the ability to add a stop-over when booking most one-way flights, something that typically requires a round-trip on most other airlines if it is allowed at all, Alaska offers some of the best redemption options of any frequent flyer program in the world.

The best options for Alaska are often aspirational redemptions such as first-class long-haul Cathay Pacific awards to Asia (with a stop-over in both directions possible on most itineraries) and Qantas first-class to Australia and New Zealand for 140k miles roundtrip. Award space can be elusive on Qantas but once secured, you are flying one of the best first-class products to one of the best destinations in the world.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Unlike the other programs on this list, the most significant setback for Japan Airlines is that there is no easy way to accumulate miles other than transferring them from Marriott. Depending on the destination, however, JAL offers fantastic value as a distance-based program and allows multiple stopovers on awards.

While they raised the number of miles required for some business and first-class redemptions towards the end of last year, the rates are still competitive. The value in JAL is the ability to build itineraries with multiple stopovers and an open jaw in one award. You will pay hefty taxes and fees on some oneworld® partners, but LATAM, Qatar, and AA all have small fees for select flights. You can see all the taxes and fees on JAL's website, alongside the JAL award chart for partners. Additionally, outside of partners within Oneworld, JAL provides access to awards with Emirates at reasonable redemption rates.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Despite recent changes to the AAdvantage program, which had a massive impact on the cost of first-class awards (and to a lesser degree, business-class), AAdvantage is still the best transfer partner of the big three legacy carriers for Marriott points. Most changes to American's award chart were negative; however, award costs were reduced for business-class flights to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean (dropped 2,500 miles) and economy tickets to the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent (dropped 5,000 miles).

While the award costs rose on many first-class redemptions in the latest changes to AAdvantage, most of the changes to business-class just bought American into line with the other legacy carriers.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin partners with all four major transferrable rewards currencies, making it easy to accumulate enough miles for an award even if you have stray balances across different programs. Virgin cops a bad rap from a lot of folks due to exorbitant carrier-imposed surcharges, but the program also provides some outstanding sweet spots that provide killer value.

Try 17,500 miles one-way Transatlantic in Virgin’s Premium Economy seats. You’ll wear roughly $200 in fees, but the cost in miles is so low that the $200 still provides good value. Or, one of our all-time favorites, 120K miles in first or 95K miles in business to fly round-trip ANA from the East Coast to Japan.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Special mention at this point goes to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer which offers some of the most sought-after and aspirational redemptions in the award travel space. In fact, it could be argued they provide a better cent-per-point value in some instances than the options above, but when all factors come into play, the five programs listed offer the best mix of standout redemptions, value, flexibility, and award availability.

Final Thoughts

Marriott's transfer partners are a stellar addition to the combined program, and one of the best legacy features to carry over from SPG. With the majority of airlines converting at 3:1, the additional 5,000 bonus miles received for every 60,000 points transferred, and the sheer number of transfer partners, Marriott Rewards has put itself on the radar as one of the big players in transferrable rewards.

Receive 25% Bonus Miles When Converting Marriott Rewards To Airline Transfer Partners
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