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For years, Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have had a special relationship. This partnership offers reciprocal elite status, 1:1 transfers from United miles to Marriott points for United elites, and a permanent 10% transfer bonus on all Marriott point transfers to United.
That is until today.
Instead, Marriott is replacing this 10% bonus with a potentially even better perk: a 10,000-mile bonus on transfers of at least 60,000 Bonvoy points. Now, you'll get a total of 30k United miles for each transfer of 60k Bonvoy points. That effectively boosts the transfer ratio to 2:1 for these transfers.
Note that this transfer bonus doesn't currently show up when you go through the process to transfer points. When you plug in a 60,000-point transfer to United, the system will only show that you'll receive 20,000 miles. So, it's unclear if this 10,000-mile bonus will be added to your transfer immediately upon submission or if the bonus will be deposited separately.
Currently, the Marriott Bonvoy point transfer terms and conditions don't clarify when the 10,000-mile bonus will be added for qualifying transfers.
Transferring Marriott Bonvoy Points to Airline Miles
Airline mile transfers are one of the valuable perks of the Marriott Bonvoy program. Generally speaking, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to nearly 40 airlines at a 3:1 transfer ratio — plus a 5,000-mile bonus for transfers of at least 60,000 Bonvoy points.
There have always been exceptions to this general rule. JetBlue used to be a 6:1 transfer partner — before that transfer partnership ended in 2021. More recently, Marriott has excluded airlines from the 5,000-mile bonus. You'll no longer get a bonus on 60k-point transfers to American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, Avianca LifeMiles, or Korean Skypass.
Transfers to United have always been one of the positive exceptions. Rather than a 3:1 transfer ratio, points used to transfer to United at a 3:1.1 ratio — a 10% bonus over the standard rate. And the 5,000-mile bonus for transferring 60,000 Bonvoy points would also get a 10% bonus. That means 60k-point transfers to United would yield a total of 27,500 United miles.
Pros and Cons of the Changes to Marriott-United Transfers
The changes to Marriott-United point transfers are both positive and negative — depending on how many United miles you want.
The new policy is a lot more rewarding for larger transfers of Marriott Bonvoy points to United MileagePlus miles. For example, with the new 10k-mile bonus for transferring 60k Bonvoy points, you only need 120,000 Bonvoy points for a Polaris business-class flight to Europe.
Transferring 120k Bonvoy points will yield a total of 60,000 United miles. And that's all you need for an advanced-purchase United Polaris award to Europe on United's hidden award chart.
The downside is that you'll need more Bonvoy points to top off your United account. Say you need an additional 5,500 United miles to complete a booking. Before these changes, you could transfer 15,000 Bonvoy points. After the 10% bonus, you'd end up with 5,500 United miles. Now, you'll need to transfer 16,500 Bonvoy points to get the same 5,500-mile top off.
The standing 10% transfer bonus on Bonvoy point transfers to United was a nice perk of the United-Marriott partnership. No matter how many Bonvoy points you transferred, you'd be sure to get a 10% bonus — whether you transferred the minimum of 3,000 points or the daily maximum of 240,000 points.
Now, smaller transfers to United aren't special. You'll get the same 3:1 transfer ratio as you do with transfers to three dozen other airlines. However, transfers of 60,000 Bonvoy points now yield an excellent 2:1 transfer ratio.
What do you think of these changes to Marriott point transfers to United?
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