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30% Transfer Bonus from Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy

Three months after the last bonus ended, we’re now seeing another 30% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy.

Between September 1 and September 30, 2021, you’ll receive an extra 30% bonus when you transfer your MR points to Marriott Bonvoy, resulting in an effective transfer ratio of 1 Amex MR point = 1.56 Marriott Bonvoy points!

This is an exciting opportunity to make excellent use of your MR points to book hotels, and there are also a variety of new opportunities to access a wider range of frequent flyer programs thanks to Marriott Bonvoy’s 40+ airline partners. Let’s delve into all the details.

30% Transfer Bonus to Marriott Bonvoy

The standard transfer ratio from Canadian-issued American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy is 1:1.2: for every 1,000 MR points transferred, you’d receive 1,200 Marriott Bonvoy points.

With a temporary 30% bonus throughout the month of September, this transfer ratio has been bumped up to an effective 1:1.56 ratio: 1,000 MR points will earn you 1,560 Marriott Bonvoy points.

The transfer ratio is hard-coded into the American Express online dashboard for the month of September:

Transfers to Marriott Bonvoy typically take two business days to complete. The name and address should match between your Amex MR and Marriott Bonvoy accounts, although keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy members can send up to 100,000 points per calendar year to another member, and can receive up to 500,000 points per calendar year cumulatively from other members.

Effectively, this represents the best transfer ratio we’ve ever seen between Amex MR and the Marriott loyalty program – even taking into account the pre-merger days when Amex MR points could be transferred to SPG Starpoints at a 2:1 ratio. 

Since the equivalency was set at 1 SPG Starpoint = 3 Marriott Bonvoy points when the two programs merged, the old transfer ratio was effectively a 2:3 ratio in today’s Marriott Bonvoy terms – and the current 30% bonus is even better than that. 

Is It a Good Deal to Transfer Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy?

Converting Amex MR points into Marriott Bonvoy points represents one of the many potential valuable uses, although even with the 30% transfer bonus in play, it may not necessarily be the best use of MR points.

That’s because MR points can be transferred to airline frequent flyer programs as well (notably Aeroplan or British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio), which typically provide better value when redeemed for flights in premium cabins, compared to the average hotel redemption via Marriott Bonvoy.

If you’ve already got enough points to cover your flights, though, then transferring to Marriott Bonvoy would certainly be a compelling next-best use case.

American Express Cobalt Card
Welcome Bonus
50,000 MR points
Annual Fee
$156
First-Year Value
$944

In terms of the best credit card to use for maximizing this promotion, the Amex Cobalt Card is most well-known for its ability to earn 5 MR points per dollar spent on food and drinks, including dining, groceries, and food delivery.

With the 30% transfer bonus in place, you can effectively earn 7.8 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent on all purchases in the food and drinks category; since I’d value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point (CAD), that’s equivalent to a spectacular 7.02% return on your spending, or easily more than that if you redeem your Bonvoy points wisely at a high value.

If you don’t currently hold the Cobalt Card, then you can apply now and benefit from the 5x earning rate in conjunction with the month-long 30% transfer bonus; however, you wouldn’t receive the full signup bonus in time, because the Cobalt Card delivers its bonuses on a monthly basis.

Business Platinum Card from American Express
Welcome Bonus
100,000 MR points
Annual Fee
$499
First-Year Value
$1,976

On the other hand, a high-impact card like the American Express Business Platinum Card might be a better choice to apply for if you’d like to give your Marriott Bonvoy points balance a significant boost.

As a welcome bonus, the Business Platinum Card gives you 100,000 MR points upon spending $10,000 in the first three months.

If you can complete the minimum spending before September ends, then you’d have at least 112,500 MR points (taking into account the points you earn from meeting the minimum spend) – which would convert into 175,500 Marriott Bonvoy points under the 30% transfer bonus!

That’s an outstanding chunk of Bonvoy points for a single credit card, outstripping even the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card and American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card themselves!

Again, though, you’ll want to carefully consider the value proposition between the hotel side (with Marriott Bonvoy) and the airline side (with Aeroplan and Avios).

You can extract much higher value from your points by booking premium flights than hotels, but you probably need to book both when you embark on a trip.

It therefore really boils down to individual preferences as to whether to allocate some points for hotels in addition to flights or to save everything for the air travel side. 

Don’t Forget: Transferring Marriott Bonvoy to Airline Partners

The good news? Even if you’re intent on redeeming your MR points for high-value flights, a Bonvoy transfer with the 30% bonus in play could still be the optimal strategy.

That’s because you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to their 40+ airline partners at the optimal ratio of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles.

With the elevated 1:1.56 transfer ratio from Amex MR, this opens up many more doors in terms of using your Canadian-issued Amex MR points to access a far greater range of frequent flyer programs than usual.

Remember that the optimal transfer ratio takes effect in chunks of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. This gives us the following ratio for the month of September:

38,470 Amex MR points = 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles

Almost every frequent flyer program worth its salt is a partner of Marriott’s – and can therefore be accessed at an effective ratio of 38,470 MR points = 25,000 miles, as seen above.

As before, MR points will be the most compelling transfer candidate if you have any to spare, but even if you’re sitting on regular MR points, this very favourable effective transfer ratio is still worth considering if you have your eye on any of the award chart sweet spots out there that might usually be harder to access.

Want to fly ANA First Class round-trip for 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles, for example? That’ll only be 192,350 Amex MR points, which is a good chunk lower than the 220,000 points you’d need through Aeroplan.

Want to book an ANA round-the-world award for 125,000 ANA Mileage Club miles in business class, with eight stopovers and four open-jaws? Same price.

Also: 30% Transfer Bonus to Hilton Honors

It’s also worth noting that there’s also a parallel 30% transfer bonus from Amex MR points to Hilton Honors for the month of September. The standard transfer ratio is 1:1, so under the 30% bonus, you’ll get an effective transfer ratio of 1:1.3.

However, it’s almost never a good idea to transfer your MR points to Hilton Honors, because they lose a lot of value along the process.

We’d value Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents per point (CAD), so if you were to transfer 1,000 MR points and earn 1,300 Hilton Honors points, they’d be worth about $7.80. But those 1,000 MR points would’ve been worth at least $10 in the first place, so you’re actually losing value by initiating this transfer. 

Instead, a far better way to rack up Hilton points would be to sign up for the US-issued Amex Hilton credit cards and collect their welcome bonuses, while saving your hard-earned Amex MR points for more valuable uses – such as the current 30% transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy.

Conclusion

American Express has launched another 30% transfer bonus from Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy, which will entice some of us to convert our MR points over to the world’s largest hotel loyalty program.

Others may decide to keep their MR points for the purposes of flight redemptions – for them, the 30% transfer bonus on the hotel side would be merely a nice backup option this month.

If you fall in the latter camp, keep in mind that not only will there be excellent value in redeeming for free hotel nights, but Marriott Bonvoy’s 40+ airline transfer partners also greatly expand the possibilities for redeeming MR points towards amazing flight experiences as well.

30 Comments
  1. DM

    Ricky – Check out the US AMEX MR transfers section today. A whopping 12 transfer bonuses, 20% bonus on transfers to Aeroplan and 40% for Avios! SIMPLY Unbelievable.

    1. Brent

      So is this a good use of my US MR points or will there be better based on past offers?

    2. Annie

      I was thinking of migrating my US AMEX MR to Canada for the exchange rate, but that bonus transfer sounds good 😉

  2. Paulk YYZ

    Well, it is now past the end of June and still no deposit of the 30% bonus to the Bonvoy account. Has anyone received the bonus (other than the standard 1MR:1.2BV usual ratio)?

    1. yyc

      same here. it could be posted in the next billing statement, we shall see..

      1. iv

        My billing period just passed on the 20th (July) and the 30% bonus did not post.

        1. John Bucher

          It says in the t&c’s that it can be 8 weeks after the June 30 deadline.
          Usually Amex does everything quicker
          Maybe not in this case

          1. Annie

            I just got the bonus in today, almost a month after the June 30 deadline!

            1. John Bucher

              Mine also

              1. yyc

                Thanks John, just saw the bonus in my account!

  3. Renee

    I was also concerned about this and called Amex Customer Service on June 29 as I did not receive any targeted email. She confirmed the bonus is offered but it takes 3-6 weeks for the bonus points to be added to your account.

  4. Richard

    I just spoke to an AMEX CSR and she indicated that if you did not get the email then you will not be eligible for the bonus. My wife got her Cobalt card just after the promotion started. She did not get the email, and according to the CSR she is not eligible for the bonus. So the strategy of applying for a card after the bonus is announced in order to transfer all or part of the sign-up bonus will not work.

  5. SAM J

    I did a transfer early June without the promo link and it only came through at 1.2x. Amex said they sent instructions and MB told them it would take up to 8 weeks for the bonus to hit your account since it’s a manual process. I did another transfer today with the promo.

    1. Paulk YYZ

      I was told the same thing by AMEX, that the 1.2 ratio would post immediately and the 30% bonus would be much slower, probably after the end of June. So I went ahead and transferred the bulk of my MR selects to Bonvoy.

      Like the slowpokes at Aeroplan E-store, where points get posted in 3 months and if you are lucky, done correctly, this is another item to note and track to ensure everything is done right.

  6. M

    The landing page on my account showed the bonus. The point calculator only showed the standard amount. I ransferred 100k and only received 120k.
    Amex says to call Marriott.
    I pushed back a bit and the CSR opened an “inquiry” for the missing 30 percent.

  7. BobR

    I now see the offer for both my wife and I under the tabs: Product Information and #11 T&C

  8. Rasmussen Bob

    Hi,
    Is this a targeted offer? Neither my wife, nor I, see any information about the bonus in our accounts, including T&C.

  9. Landon

    I just applied for the AMEX Business Edge. Assuming I get it in a week and make the min 5k spend right away anyone know when I can expect the bonus to come through? I am hoping by June 30 so I can avail of the MArriott transfer promotion?

  10. Landon

    Just applied and got approved for the AMEX Business Express Card. Assuming I make the minimum purchase this month any idea of when the bonus gets posted. Will it be in time to get the 30% Marriott Transfer Bonus? thanks

    1. Josh YVR

      Minimum spend bonus with Amex usually posts within a few business days of the transaction that crosses the threshold. Totally possible to apply now and have the points in time to take advantage of the conversion bonus!

  11. Paulk YYZ

    I transferred 80,000 points to Bonvoy. Received 96,000 in the Bonvoy account. Asked AMEX about it and they pointed out that the bonus would be received separately. Here are the terms and conditions:

    From 12:00:01am ET on June 1, 2021 until 11:59:59pm ET on June 30, 2021, when you transfer Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy you will receive 30% more Marriott Bonvoy points on the total number of Membership Rewards points transferred. For example, if you transfer 1,000 Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy, you will be credited a total of 1,560 Marriott Bonvoy points. Please allow up to eight (8) weeks after June 30, 2021 for the bonus points to be credited to your account.

  12. DaveG

    I did not receive the offer on my Cobalt card either. Nor does the transfer calculator mention anything about the bonus. I think I’ll try to transfer the min (1000pts I believe) and see if I get the extra Bonvoy pots.

  13. tom

    I dont see any mention of this promo in my account.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Look in the Terms and Conditions under the transfer page, it should be showing up there for everyone.

      1. Tom

        your right. thanks

  14. Brent

    What about American Amex MR points to Marriott? Thanks

    1. Ricky YVR

      Nothing at the moment, but in the past we’ve seen 40% transfer bonuses from US MR points to Marriott Bonvoy. However, even that may not be such a good deal for most US MR collectors, as they’re generally seen as more valuable for unique airline redemptions (like Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, ANA Mileage Club, etc.)

  15. Annie

    I got an email from AmEx about this offer, so the best would be to follow the link in your email if you got one. If some way some how your Bonvoy didn’t get the extra points, you can “point” that to AmEx customer services.
    I transferred 100k in last year 25% bonus, wish I knew it would be 30% :'(

  16. Paulk YYZ

    Its interesting, Amex is not really promoting this offer. As Nick mentioned, if you want to transfer points, the transfer calculator gives the standard 1:1.2 ratio. You have to burrow down into the product information to get the beefed up offer. Good thing Ricky is providing info on the promotion!

    I just transferred a bunch of MR Selects from my Cobalt account and will check my Bonvoy to see what comes through in a couple of days.

    I figure AMEX is good for the extra Bonvoy points!
    I figure AMEX is good for the better ratio, so I transferred a

  17. Nick

    The transfer calculator does not include 30% bonus. Is it safe to transfer?

Ricky Zhang

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