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Marriott Changes Bonus Miles Transfers To United MileagePlus

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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One of the best features of the Marriott Bonvoy program has been the ability to transfer Bonvoy points to nearly every major airline worldwide. This was a huge feature of the Starwood Preferred Guest program, which Marriott later incorporated into the Bonvoy program when it was created in 2018.

It allowed travelers to accumulate enough Marriott points to then transfer to airline partners at a 3:1 ratio to earn enough miles to fly on an award ticket. But now, Marriott has quietly changed the bonuses offered for transfers to United Airlines.

Let’s go over these changes.

The Old Transfer Ratio To United

You can transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to nearly 40 airline partners, though at a less valuable 3:1 transfer rate. Still, tapping into your stash of Bonvoy points can be a great way to top off your award ticket.

Before this change, you could receive a 10% bonus when transferring your Bonvoy points to United MileagePlus. For most airlines, Marriott already offers up a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer — but on top of that — you could receive an additional 10% bonus in the miles you received in the United MileagePlus program.

The New Ratio To United

You’ll no longer receive that 10% bonus, but, now for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus United miles. In total, this means you can receive:

  • 20,000 base miles from the Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer
  • (New) An extra 10,000 miles for every 60,000 points you transfer

With the new change, 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points equates to 30,000 United MileagePlus miles.

United Economy Seats
For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred, you’ll get an extra 10,000 United miles. Image Credit: United

Pros and Cons of These Changes

Previously, you would receive a 10% bonus on all miles you transferred, even if you didn’t meet the 60,000-point benchmark. This was particularly convenient for folks transferring in smaller amounts, perhaps to top up an award.

Now, in order to get any real benefit from the bonus, you’ll almost need to transfer in increments of 60,000.

Bottom Line: Of course, there is a major positive. If you can transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll end up with more bonus miles in the end. This incentivizes larger point transfers, as you’ll come out ahead the more you transfer.

Final Thoughts

These new changes will benefit people who transfer large sums of Marriott points to United, but will likely hurt the average consumer who only conducted smaller transfers. Still, more bonus points are better, so it’s nice for there to be some upside for transferring over more points.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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