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Video: The 25% Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy Bonus

This week, American Express has announced a 25% transfer bonus from Canadian MR points to Marriott Bonvoy, the first of its kind in Canada. This promotion will last until September 30, 2020.

At the same time, Amex US MR is offering a 40% bonus when transferring to Marriott Bonvoy until October 31, 2020.

In this video, we’ll break down both of these promotions and talk about whether or not you should be taking this opportunity to convert your hard-earned MR points over to Bonvoy.

In Canada, my recommendation is generally to transfer your MR Select points (from the Cobalt Card or Business Edge Card) over to Marriott Bonvoy, while saving your regular MR points for airline redemptions instead. However, Marriott’s wide range of 40+ airline partners might be worth your consideration as well, especially if you take advantage of a further hotel transfer bonus sometime down the line or use it to access a “niche” program.

The US promotion is less attractive in my view, since US MR points are so much more powerful in the first place. And if you have cards on both sides of the border, then there’s a little arbitrage opportunity to get far more Bonvoy points out of your US MR points!

Without further ado, you can click here to watch the video:

 

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7 Comments
  1. Welshie

    I literally transfered MR points to Marriott 2 weeks ago!! Do you think they would honor these for me?

  2. AnotherAndre

    I thought the promo was for MR points only, not including MRS. If someone has MRS it’s a no-brainer and you should jump in it. As for standard MR I’m not sure. I hold on to them hoping AMEX Canada will eventually add more transfer partners like in the US. Any hints on if AMEX Canada is looking that way ? With the launch of the new Aeroplan I think AMEX Canada has to bring more value to the MR program if not people will just go with the new Aeroplan cards. Any thoughts Ricky ?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, MRS is included and it’s a great deal.

      As for more partners for Amex Canada, it’s a bit complicated and I wouldn’t expect anything in the near- to medium-term future. Yes, Amex could diversify the program away from AC, but my feeling is that their 10-year contract with AC would’ve likely also included clauses preventing them from moving the MR game away from AC too much. I’d be surprised if we saw any major moves anytime soon, especially given Amex’s survivalist rather than expansionist business mindset right now.

  3. yyc

    If memory serves me right, I believe the Canadian AMEX conversion rate pre-SPG merger used to be 1:1.5, so no different to the current promotion. I do want to see another transfer bonus from Aeroplan, although from the last 2-3 promos they specifically excluded Marriott.

    1. Ricky YVR

      That’s correct, although this is the first transfer promotion to the current Marriott Bonvoy program. Hopefully it won’t be the last, and we’ll get a taste of the “good old days” more frequently going forward.

  4. BG

    Hi Ricky:

    think of doing an etihad trip on their apartment. Is it worth the trouble to go from AUH to Al Maha? What’s the easiest way of going if it’s worth while?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes! There are car services you can book to bring you from AUH to Al Maha. I used GetTransfer.com last time.

Ricky Zhang

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