Even though it is a year since Marriott Bonvoy launched, it turns out that we haven’t looked at the interesting Marriott and United Airlines partnership since the SPG merger.
This was always a key part of the old Marriott Rewards programme but you could easily have forgotten about it in all the changes. Anyone who came into Marriott Bonvoy from the Starwood Preferred Guest side may not even know it exists.
The United Airlines and Marriott Bonvoy partnership is called RewardsPlus and you can find all the details here.
For Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite members, it offers:
free United MileagePlus Premier Silver status, valid across Star Alliance
the ability to move United MileagePlus miles into Marriott Bonvoy at 1:1, which is a handy way of dealing with any occasional Star Alliance flights you may have
Here is a summary of how RewardsPlus works.
RewardsPlus benefits for Marriott Bonvoy elite members:
If you are a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite member (which is the situation Head for Points readers are more likely to be in, as I doubt we have many United Airlines elites here) you can receive Premier Silver status with United.
Don’t get too excited about this. In Star Alliance, Silver status usually only gets you lounge access with the airline which issues your card, and United doesn’t even let you do this! You cannot therefore use this card to get, say, lounge access when flying Lufthansa or SWISS.
United Premier Silver does get you upgraded to United’s Economy Plus at check-in. However, this would need you to be on a flight with very few Gold or above members on it, as they would have priority. You also get a free 32kg checked bag and will earn 7 miles per $1 spent when flying United.
Here is the most useful benefit to my eyes. Being Premier Silver allows you to transfer your MileagePlus miles into Marriott Bonvoy at 1:1, up to 50,000 miles per calendar year. This could come in VERY handy if you have the odd Star Alliance flight but do not actively collect with any Star Alliance airline.
RewardsPlus benefits for United Airlines elite members:
RewardsPlus also works the other way.
If you have United MileagePlus Premier Gold status or higher, you can leverage it into Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Bonvoy Gold Elite gives you free high speed wifi, 2pm late check-out and 25% bonus Marriott Bonvoy base points.
As I noted above, the most useful benefit is that United Premier Silver or higher members are able to transfer up to 50,000 United MileagePlus miles per year into Marriott Bonvoy points at a 1:1 ratio.
For UK-based Head for Points readers, the most likely scenario is that you will have Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status and can get United MileagePlus Premier Silver status.
Even if you never fly with United, this will allow you to credit occasional Star Alliance flights to MileagePlus and, instead of being stuck with a few useless miles, transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy at 1:1.
You can find out more, and sign up for RewardsPlus if your Marriott or United status is high enough, on this special website.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points. That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.
If you missed it, here is our recent article on 10 good reasons to get the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)