Marriott Bonvoy allows members to convert hotel points into airline miles with 40 different loyalty programs. If you’re sitting on a pile of Bonvoy points that you don’t know what to do with, it’s worth considering transferring your points into miles instead.
Depending on your specific travel goals, converting hotel points to airline miles could be a good idea, but only if you have a specific use in mind.
In This Post
- What Is Marriott Bonvoy’s Transfer Points to Miles Feature?
- How to Transfer Marriott Bonvoy Points into Airline Miles
- Should you Transfer Marriott Bonvoy Points to Airline Miles?
What Is Marriott Bonvoy’s Transfer Points to Miles Feature?
Marriott’s partnerships with airlines have been around for a long time. For example, you can earn airline miles instead of hotel points on eligible stays, and you can also also convert miles from select airline loyalty programs into Marriott Bonvoy points.
However, the most intriguing aspect is the ability to convert Marriott Bonvoy points into airline miles.
Amongst hotel loyalty programs, converting hotel points to airline miles isn’t unique to the Marriott Bonvoy program; however, of the major hotel chains with this feature, Marriott has the best transfer ratio.
For the most part, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to almost all airline programs at a 3:1 ratio. The only exception is Air New Zealand’s AirPoints Dollars, which has a transfer ratio of 200:1.
By comparison, Hilton Honors points can be transferred to airline miles, too, albeit at a rather unfavourable ratio of 10:1.
For example, if you transfer 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue, you’ll receive 10,000 Flying Blue miles.
In addition to the standard transfer ratio, you’ll get an additional 5,000 bonus airline miles if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points at a time, to almost all airline partners.
For example, if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Air Canada Aeroplan, you’ll receive 25,000 Aeroplan points – 20,000 points from the standard 3:1 transfer ratio, and 5,000 bonus points for converting 60,000 Bonvoy points into airline miles.
The list of all airline loyalty programs to which you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points is as follows:
- Aegean Miles
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Aeromexico ClubPremier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air China PhoenixMiles
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Air New Zealand AirPoints
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- ANA Mileage Club
- Asiana Airlines Asiana Club
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club
- Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
- Delta SkyMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Frontier Miles
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- Iberia Plus
- Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass
- Multiplus Fidelidade LATAM Pass
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Saudia Alfursan
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Vueling Club
Importantly, there are four airline programs that you won’t get a bonus 5,000 miles if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points. No matter how many points you transfer, you’ll get the regular 3:1 transfer ratio with the following airline programs:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Delta SkyMiles
- Korean Air SKYPASS
Furthermore, if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points to Air New Zealand AirPoints Dollars, you also won’t receive a bonus 5,000 Airpoint Dollars, due to the way the 200:1 transfer ratio is structured. Rather, you’ll get a 25% bonus in Airpoints Dollars – instead of 300 AirPoints Dollars, you’ll get 375 AirPoints Dollars.
Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy has a special partnership with United MileagePlus, the loyalty program for United Airlines. Instead of the standard bonus of 5,000 miles, you’ll receive 10,000 United miles if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points at one time.
With the transfer bonus for converting 60,000 Bonvoy points at a time taken into consideration, you’ll end up with a stronger transfer ratio of 2.4:1 to most airlines, or 2:1 to United MileagePlus.
Therefore, if you plan to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to airline miles, it’s best to do so in increments of 60,000 points. This way, you’ll benefit from the strongest transfer ratio, with the exception of the four loyalty programs that don’t benefit from the bonus, as well as Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars.
Keep in mind that you have to transfer a minimum of 3,000 Bonvoy points to airline miles, and you can only transfer up to 240,000 Bonvoy points per day.
Another stipulation is that the names on both your Marriott Bonvoy account and the airline loyalty program to which you transfer points must match.
If you want to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to someone else’s airline loyalty program account, you’ll have to first transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to their Marriott Bonvoy account.
As per Marriott’s website, points transferred to miles will be posted to your frequent flyer account within seven business days.
It’s worth noting that some transfers may post sooner, but if you need miles for an immediate booking, you shouldn’t rely on the miles to show up right away.
How to Transfer Marriott Bonvoy Points into Airline Miles
Prior to initiating a transfer, make sure you have an account with the airline loyalty program to which you’d like to transfer points. If you need to sign up for one, make sure that the names on both accounts match exactly.
Mid-way down the page, look for a button that says “Transfer Points”.
From there, choose your frequent flyer program from the drop-down menu, and enter your account number in the field.
Lastly, choose how many Bonvoy points you wish to convert, and then click “Continue”.
Upon entering how many Bonvoy points you’d like to convert, the number of miles you’ll receive auto-populates in the “Miles” field. However, if you transfer 60,000 points to an airline program which is eligible for the bonus of 5,000 miles, the calculator will still only show 20,000 miles.
Despite this, you’ll still get the bonus miles after you convert 60,000 points, unless of course you’re transferring to American Airlines AAdvantage, Avianca LifeMiles, Delta SkyMiles, or Korean Air SKYPASS.
Should you Transfer Marriott Bonvoy Points to Airline Miles?
The decision whether or not to convert Marriott Bonvoy points into airline miles ultimately boils down to how much you value Marriott Bonvoy points, as well as your own travel preferences.
We value Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents per point (USD) / 0.8 cents per point (CAD). Using this metric, you’d want to ensure you’re getting a value of at least 2.4 cents per mile to make the transfer worthwhile.
It’s also worth noting that it’s very much possible to get great value from your Bonvoy points by using them for hotel stays.
However, if you don’t tend to use Bonvoy points for hotel stays, then you can consider converting them into airline miles, as long as you have a specific plan for how you’re going to use them.
This is because loyalty programs go through program changes all the time, sometimes without warning, and flight award availability also changes frequently. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to park your miles in a single program, only to lose the opportunity to redeem them for good value if the program changes or if an award seat disappears.
What’s more, once you transfer your Bonvoy points to airline miles, you won’t be able to change your mind and transfer them back at the same ratio. Once they’re moved out of your Bonvoy account, they’re less flexible, since they’re limited to what’s possible through the airline loyalty program.
Therefore, it’s always best to have a specific redemption in mind before transferring your points.
Accessing Sweet Spots in Difficult-to-Reach Programs
One of the advantages of Marriott Bonvoy’s airline transfer program is the sheer number of transfer partners to choose from, which currently sits at 40.
Many of these airline partners are otherwise difficult to access, since they aren’t transfer partners with other transferable points currencies, or they may have less favourable transfer ratios.
This is especially the case in Canada, since the number of airline partner programs with American Express Membership Rewards, RBC Avion, and HSBC Rewards is rather limited compared to their US counterparts.
However, even though US transferable points programs, such as American Express US Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One Miles, have more transfer partners, it’s worth considering moving Bonvoy points into airline miles in some circumstances.
For example, some airline loyalty programs are simply difficult to access.
In Canada, a great example is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, since there are currently no other ways to access the loyalty program in Canada through credit cards. (MBNA Rewards will have Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan as a transfer partner at some point in the future; however, a concrete date has yet to be confirmed).
While the program has seen some devaluations in the recent past, there are still some great sweet spots to take advantage of, such as Japan Airlines business class for 60,000 miles from the West Coast to Japan.
On both sides of the border, American Airlines AAdvantage miles are also relatively difficult to come by. To access some of the program’s sweet spots, such as booking Qatar Airways Qsuites from North America to Asia and Africa, you could consider transferring Marriott Bonvoy points into AAdvantage miles.
An even more niche example might be Korean Air SKYPASS, which is currently the only program through which you can book Korean Air First Class.
Aside from some co-branded credit cards in the United States and crediting paid flights to the program, the only other way to try out this product is by transferring Marriott Bonvoy points into SKYPASS miles.
Therefore, if you have your sights set on an aspirational redemption with a program that’s difficult for you to access, you can consider converting your Bonvoy points into airline miles to unlock a new flying experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Top Up Your Account
Another potential use for converting Bonvoy points into airline miles is to top up your account for a booking.
If you’ve exhausted all of the points available from other transferable points currencies or through credit card spending, then converting Marriott Bonvoy points into airline miles could be helpful to bring your balance to a sufficient level for a redemption.
If you have 40,000 miles in your Flying Club account, you’d need to come across 7,500 miles to make the redemption possible. If you happen to have 22,500 Bonvoy points available, you could transfer them to your Flying Club account at a 3:1 ratio, and then complete the Flying Club booking.
It’s worth noting that there are often opportunities to buy points directly from airline loyalty programs, so you’ll want to compare the two options to see what the best fit is.
Some airline loyalty programs also allow award holds, which let you temporarily secure an award seat while you move points into your account to complete the booking.
Transferring to United MileagePlus
With an effective 2:1 transfer ratio when converting 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into United miles, it’s worth considering boosting the balance in your United MileagePlus account.
For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer, you’ll receive 30,000 United miles.
However, it’s worth noting that with a recent global devaluation, award prices through United MileagePlus are less competitive than booking the same flights through other Star Alliance loyalty programs, such as Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles.
On the other hand, if you don’t otherwise have good use for your Bonvoy points, you could consider converting them into United miles and redeeming them for flights instead.
30,000 United miles is enough for a one-way economy flight between the United States and Europe, or alternatively, you could book a number of short-haul domestic flights for as few as 5,400 miles.
In addition to being used for hotel redemptions, Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to 40 different airline loyalty programs. The standard transfer ratio is 3:1, with an extra 5,000 bonus miles upon transferring 60,000 Bonvoy points for most airlines.
Some possible optimal uses include accessing loyalty programs that are otherwise difficult to come by, topping up your account for a redemption, or leveraging the favourable transfer ratio to United MileagePlus.
Just make sure you have a specific plan for the miles before transferring points out of your Marriott Bonvoy account, since you won’t be able to reverse the transaction once it’s been completed.