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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)

  • Jay H says:

    Hilton bonus points for the 1:3 promotion membership reward have started to hit my account with the first bonus from the first transfer I made showing now.

  • Mark says:

    I’m not sure if this is true or not because I can’t get a breakdown.
    However on the IHG double x4 promotion I was in my second stay, I needed to buy a points package for my accelerate promotion and bought a 3k points package. However this appears to have posted as 2x with the IHG promotion giving me 6k points.

  • Sam says:

    Does it make any difference if its a Platinum Business account?

    • SL says:

      Had online chat with agent. She stated all the business cards including the basic card but EXCLUDING the platinum business card were targeted …which seems very unusual. Two separate agents said same thing.

      • Young L says:

        This does not make sense at all. The basic business card does not even earn MR points.

        • SL says:

          Indeed. They even mentioned the Necter and SPG cards are “eligible” even though they aren’t earning MR!

  • MT says:

    I called American Express Centurion this morning to ask if this is a targetted offer as I haven’t had an email. They had heard of the offer but did not know for sure so said they would confirm and get back to me. I have just had a call from them saying its been confirmed the offer is not targeted and any UK Personal or Small Business Membership reward account qualifies. She was happy to put notes on my Centurion account to confirm this.

    So it seems the offer is not targeted, she had been informed they had not sent emails out to everyone as they didn’t wish to bombard people with emails as other offers had gone out this week or about to go out.

    • Dave says:

      I’m tempted but the maths is making my head hurt!
      I’ve got 160,000 bonvoy points but I’m sort of saving them for hotels as my earning rate is pretty low now Amex have stopped sign up bonuses on the SPG card if you’ve got another Amex card.

      So I COULD transfer 60000 out to my BA account and get 33750 miles. Then convert 26667 MR points (i’ve got 112k that I’ll prob send to BA at some point) to Bonvoy to get 60000 with the bonus and i’m then 7000 miles up.

      Or am I totally confused and adding it all up wrong!? I’m not exactly Avios rich so anything that can be done to bump them up is handy….

  • Tony says:

    I’ve just transferred 80,000 MR to Marriott. I did get a targeted (?) email so will let you know when the additional points drop.

  • Eli gold says:

    You say don’t bother wasting your time calling American express…
    I had a BAPP card, before downgrading it to the free BA AMEX I wanted to recommend my wife the BAPP and cash in the 9000 referral points. The issue being that my wife already had the free card.
    On a chat with AMEX it was confirmed to me that I will be eligible to the referral points.

    This information turned out to be wrong! After waiting 90 days I called up to ask about why I hadn’t received the 9k points and was told I don’t deserve them. The lady on the phone started babbling on about waiting 24 months… When I explained to her that that is for the bonus reward and has nothing to do with referral… I GOT MISTEREOUSLY CUT OFF not like AMEX cs I’m used to.

    I called back to complain to manager, she looked into it AND TRACED BACK CALLS AND CHATS that I referred to, found that I was misinformed and gave me the 9000 referral points.

    Lessons learned:
    No referral points for upgrading a card someone already has.
    AMEX CS representatives can also make mistakes or cut you off
    Managers DO seem to have the ability to listen back to conversations
    Make sure you stand your ground if you know you’re right

  • andy says:

    This could work for me as I was thinking of taking advantage of the 35% avios bonus but was a bit worried about losing my hotel points.
    I think I am running at 120k ish points give or take a few k. And I’ve got say 80k worth of MR points in my Membership Rewards account through my Plat card.

    Am thinking I might transfer out the 120,000k to avios to take advantage of the 35% bonus and then refill using my MR points with the extra conversion bonus so making a handful of avios (I guess 10k+)
    With regards to the 5000 points bonus when transferring over 60k am I better off doing two seperate 60k transactions rather than a one off 120,000?
    So I get two 5k bonuses if you will or is that not how it works

    • Rob says:

      Pretty sure it is 5k per 60k but it is made clear on the transfer page.

      • Andy says:

        Thanks Rob! Have had it confirmed in two separate online chat messages (a tortuous one on the app but a very quick on the website) that it’s available for everyone so think i’ll go and do it.
        Having said that I’d still advise others to get written proof just in case!

        • andy says:

          Just did two lots of 60,000 bonvoy to avios and a transfer of 53200 MR points to hopefully top them back up if the bonus works.
          Fingers crossed no problems!

  • SteveD says:

    Additional data point:

    Have just been told by AMEX Chat that I am only eligible for the Bonvoy bonus if I received the email (which I didn’t). Email sent automatically if card is eligible. I have PRG.

    This obviously contradicts what others have been told via the same route…