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50% bonus converting American Express Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy

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Some readers have been getting emails from Amex informing them of a new conversion bonus via the Membership Rewards program.  IT APPEARS TO BE TARGETED.

Until 31st December, you get 9 Marriott Bonvoy points for every 4 Membership Rewards points. The usual exchange rate is 3 Bonvoy points = 2 MR points.

Simplified … the usual 1.5 Marriott Bonvoy points per 1 Amex point is increased to 2.25 Marriott Bonvoy points per 1 Amex point.

This is a 50% bonus (if your brain isn’t functioning this afternoon!).

You need to transfer at least 1,000 Membership Rewards points.  Standard points credit within five working days although the rules say that the bonus points can take up to eight weeks.

This is a surprisingly good deal.  I value a Marriott Bonvoy point at 0.5p.  On that basis, via this offer you are getting 1.125p per Amex point as opposed to the usual 0.75p.

The offer runs until 31st December.

American Express membership rewards marriott bonvoy bonus

This offer also works well for airline miles

Marriott Bonvoy has 40 airline partners.  Not only does it have the biggest range of airline partners of any hotel scheme, it also has the most generous conversion rate.

Take a look at the full list on the Marriott Bonvoy site here.

In most programmes, including Avios and Virgin Flying Club, you receive 1 airline mile for every 3 Marriott Bonvoy points you convert.

If you convert in chunks of 60,000 Bonvoy points, you receive an additional 25% bonus – you get 25,000 miles instead of 20,000.

Let’s see what that means:

You convert 26,667 Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy under this offer

You receive 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in your account

You transfer those 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into airline miles

You receive 25,000 airline miles

This means that you receive 0.94 airline miles per Membership Rewards point.

Obviously this is not a good deal for those airlines which are already Membership Rewards partners at a 1:1 rate.  However, if you collect miles in an airline programme which is NOT a UK Membership Rewards partner, this is a great opportunity to convert them and get virtually 1:1 on the transfer.

Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy transfer bonus

And don’t forget the 35% transfer bonus to Avios …..

At the moment, Avios is giving a 35% bonus if you transfer Marriott Bonvoy points.  We wrote about this offer here.

If we go back to the calculations above:

You convert 26,667 Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy under this offer

You receive 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in your account

You transfer those 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into Avios

You receive 25,000 Avios plus a 35% bonus for a total of 33,750 Avios

This means you are getting 1.26 Avios per American Express Membership Rewards points.  This is the equivalent of a 26% transfer bonus into Avios.

Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy transfer bonus

Except ……

Amex is saying that the 50% bonus on the Amex to Marriott transfer could take up to eight weeks to arrive.

This is no good if you want to transfer to Avios, because the 35% Avios bonus offer ends on 2nd December.

This means that you are taking a big gamble that Marriott will actually add your bonus earlier.  This is not a gamble I would be happy taking unless (until?) other readers start to report that the bonus is going on quickly.

Here’s a warning though ….

Whilst some HFP readers seem to have received this offer, many others have not.  This includes Rhys and all of my family.  This offer is not mentioned anywhere on the Membership Rewards websiteHere is the page which shows their hotel partners and the conversion rate.

The small print of the email sent to cardholders today says:

“This offer is non-transferable”

If you make a transfer without receiving the email, you have no grounds for complaint if you do not receive the bonus – it is almost certainly targeted.

Don’t waste your time ringing American Express to ask if it is targeted or not – unless your plan is to record the conversation (you need to ask the permission of the agent first) and use it as leverage later.  The call centre staff usually do not know about these things but will tell you their best guess to get you off the line.  Some readers have already reported being told by the call centre that it is NOT targeted – I don’t believe them …..

PS.  It is worth remembering that you can buy up to 10,000 Membership Rewards points per year at 1.5p per point.  This cannot be done online and requires a telephone call to Amex.  If you were looking to convert Amex points to Bonvoy and then onwards to an obscure airline scheme where it is hard to accumulate miles cheaply, this could be worth a look.  It is also worth a look if you need to transfer enough Amex points to get your Marriott Bonvoy account up to a multiple of 60,000 Bonvoy points in order to get the 5,000 bonus miles.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (98)

  • Harry T says:

    Surely you can just ask a chat agent about it and screenshot their confirmation of your eligibility for the transfer bonus? Saves you attempting some kind of elaborate voice recording.

    • Rob says:

      True, forgot they had got that now.

    • Anna says:

      Quite – they actually advise you to take a screenshot if you ask them for a record of a chat conversation!

      • Harry T says:

        Brilliant! I’m planning to close my MR cards after Christmas to reset my clock for the Platinum bonus, so transferring to Bonvoy at a great rate will let me convert my points to another flexible currency, with more airline mile options. Don’t want to just cash out to Avios in case BA devalue them.

      • Russ says:

        Keep a copy for your records but Amex must keep a copy as well under GDPR.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, I’ve got several screenshots on my phone and screen captures on my laptop.

        • Genghis says:

          Receiving a GDPR request from Amex requires a lorry to deliver the papers.

          • Louie says:

            Do we know what the rules are about Amex recording calls? I asked them to listen to one when I was apparently misadvised by an agent and was told they did not have a recording (or possibly no longer had it).

    • ATan says:

      I believe all calls to Amex are recorded because when I last made a complaint, the executive department responded saying something to the effect of “I have listened to your call recordings…”.

      Also, you could make a GDPR Subject Access Request for these calls to be made available to you. However, Amex will only give you the transacribed version of it and not the actual recording itself

  • Voltron says:

    OT – Just received my Hilton bonus points for the last AMEX to HH promo (1>3 instead of 1>2), exactly 8 weeks after i transferred the amount

  • Harry T says:

    Just spoken to an Amex chat agent and they have confirmed I am eligible for the transfer. They can’t send an email to confirm my eligibility but they are adamant I will get the transfer bonus. I did NOT receive an email inviting me to use this offer.

    • Russ says:

      I spoke to them yesterday on chat at three in the afternoon. They came back with ‘Good Morning’.

      • Harry T says:

        Probably morning where the chat agent is! I’ll probably try and ring them too or get a second chat agent to confirm.

  • Alex W says:

    Annoying. Just emptied my MRs out to Hilton at 1:3. Marriott at 1:2.25 is probably a better deal.

  • ankomonkey says:

    Rob, please remind me of the cost and maximum amount for buying Amex MR points.

    As you say, for the more obscure Bonvoy partners who are not Amex MR UK partners, this may be a worthwhile purchase.

  • BJ says:

    Too much excitement about this one me thinks, and have we learned nothing from the Hilton conversion bonuses? There’s a good chance you’ll all be moaning daily early next year (and I’d likely be joining you if I had MR points balance worth getting excited about). Sooner or later it should all come good though.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Worse places to transfer points to than Bonvoy even at 2:3

    • Harry T says:

      You reckon we won’t get the transfer bonus? Surely with proof that Amex told us we were eligible, we will get them in the end.

      • Rob says:

        If you have it in writing then you should get something. It won’t help anyone else who simply relies on your chat though!

        Even now we don’t know if Hilton was targeted as the 8 weeks is not yet up for most people.

        • Harry T says:

          It’s all very odd that Amex doesn’t publicise this offer if it’s generalised. If it is targeted, why would they tell people it isn’t? All a bit confusing.

          I’m happy I have something in writing to challenge them if they don’t deliver.

      • BJ says:

        If you are targeted (if it is indeed targeted) I expect you will get the bonus sooner or later (but who knows when) with or without having to chase it…as certain as anybody cam be I think 🙂

  • Roy says:

    Interesting. I’d always assumed that the 8 week delay is to allow them to just grant everyone’s points in one big batch after the promo has closed, which is almost certainly easier in terms of IT – as it can be done somewhat manually.

    In this case, if they’re going to (manually) process the bonus points and still honour the 8 week limit for everyone, then unless I’m mistaken, they’d have to process it on New. Year’s Day!

    • Charlieface says:

      I think that is usually the reason, you’d be surprised how many of these things are done with spreadsheets!
      In this case they will probably do a few batches

  • Denis says:

    As confirmed by the Amex agent via chat, all Platinum Amex holders are eligible from Nov 6. No emails or registration needed.

    • Rob says:

      You really should not believe that.

      There has NEVER in the 25 years I’ve had an MR card been a bonus that was restricted to a specific MR card.

      • Grant says:

        Indeed, particularly as the T&Cs state from 1st November.

        Rob – any ‘official’ word yet from your Amex contact?

          • JPa says:

            Interesting I have the email for myself, my wife didn’t get the email. But I have transferred a chuck of MR to her Bonvoy on the 3rd. So looking at the T&C’s (and assuming not targetted), there may be a good change of getting the bonus on hers. Often Amex start the offers a few days before an email goes out (with the usual spend x get x back type appearing on accounts), so this is quite normal for them.

            I also did a good amount from my account for the Hilton offer… Probably would have gone for this instead but I have very little Hilton and lots of Bonvoy so was trying to balance it a little. Still got a good amount that will be heading to Bonvoy now…..

        • GS says:

          Where have you seen 1st Nov – on the chat they copied and pasted the terms and it said the 6th? I transferred Amex to Marriott on the 2nd Nov so if this is in writing I would like to try and retro-claim?

          • Grant says:

            Quoted at the top of the comments on the previous page:

            “Redeem for this exclusive offer from 00:01 on Friday 1 November to 23:59 on Tuesday 31 December 2019”.

            Presumably taken from the email received by some customers / those who were targetted for the offer.