Converting your hotel points into airline miles isn’t usually great value. However, there is 1 specific use case here that can make a lot of sense depending on how often you use United miles.
Let’s take a look at the promotion details and then talk about how you might be able to maximize this offer.
Until September 30, 2021, you can convert hotel points into United MileagePlus miles and enjoy 30% bonus miles — up to 25,000 miles.
There are 3 steps to complete the offer:
- Register for the offer with your MileagePlus number
- Go to your hotel account and convert those points into United miles
- United will then credit you with 30% bonus miles, up to 25,000 miles
The hotel programs eligible for this promotion are as follows:
Which Hotel Program Should Your Transfer From?
Unless you have a small number of points dwindling in some of these programs and have no other use for them, you probably don’t want to transfer your hotel points into United miles, as the transfer rates are usually pretty poor.
However, 1 notable exception is the Marriott Bonvoy program. With Marriott Bonvoy, your points transfer out to airlines at a 3:1 rate, and you receive a bonus of 5,000 airline miles each time you transfer at least 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
But when you transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to United, the transfer rate improves to 3:1.1, allowing you to get 27,500 MileagePlus miles, instead of the usual 25,000. Now, when we factor in the 30% bonus promotion, the total number of United miles you will receive jumps to 35,750.
Hot Tip: You can use our Transfer Partner Calculator to quickly determine how many points or miles you’ll end up with after a transfer.
Let’s do a booking example to see how you might make great use of this. Say you have 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points — you could use those points to book a free 5-night award stay at a Category 4 Marriott hotel during peak season for 30,000 points per night (with the fifth night free).
Assuming the hotel costs about $250 a night after taxes and fees, you’d be saving $1,250 for your 5-night stay. That is pretty great, but depending on your travel preferences, you can certainly do better.
Now consider that, with the 30% bonus promotion, you could transfer 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and receive 71,500 United miles. That is enough to book a one-way business class ticket with United from the U.S. to anywhere in Europe — a ticket that can cost $2,000+.
We also value 71,500 United miles as worth about 36% more than 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
So if you’re someone who values flying long-haul flights in business class, transferring out your miles to United could make a lot of sense here.
This promotion certainly isn’t a home run for most award travelers, especially when you consider that is really only a solid option for Marriott Bonvoy transfers alone. But for those United loyalists out there that are looking to beef up your MileagePlus balance for future redemptions, this is the perfect way to do so.