Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Use your Marriott Bonvoy top tier status on United Airlines flights (and vice versa) via RewardsPlus

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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.

RewardsPlus Marriott and United partnership

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.

Marriott Bonvoy United Airlines RewardsPlus

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.

Conclusion

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.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (July 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. Until 31st August 2021, the bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

40,000 points sign-up bonus and Gold Elite status Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

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 and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (20)

  • Anthony Edwards says:

    High speed wife!

  • C77 says:

    Bonvoy Gold Elite gives you free high speed wife

    Now that’s what I call a benefit!

  • Stuart Evans says:

    Rob – that’s a handy tip! We had used one of the great Swiss deals in January to go to Dubai in First. I had credited the trip to Mileage Plus for lack of better alternatives. I was wondering what I might do with the miles. As a Titanium member, being able to transfer 1:1 into Marriott Bonvoy is an interesting new option. Even if I don’t use them for hotel stays, I can also transfer to Avios, especially if I do it in 60,000 Bonvoy lumps, and wait for the occasional 30/35% bonuses

    • BJ says:

      Stuart, would you mind sharing how many MP miles you earned for those flights? Thanks.

  • JdeW says:

    The free high speed wife in Bonvoy Elite sounds fascinating!!!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Does that mean when the hi speed wife runs out, you can get a new one? If so, I’m in! 😅

  • Jane Terry says:

    Thanks for covering United – the best thing about star alliance is that you can find cheap flights to the Algarve in peak times ( school holiday for eg) when BA is charging stupid money/no avios availability and I don’t want to waste a BA space release. Even though you have to change in Lisbon from Faro, taking a family of 5 back after Easter is costing taxes plus my SA points. So flying out on BA Avios, back SA works for me!

    • tony says:

      Yep, *A award space is a revelation when put against OneWorld. Note for the cheap *A business class flights, they book into P. It’s a low earning class but especially if you’re travelling with family, you can then credit to SK Eurobonus and pool the miles.

  • N says:

    Has the SPG card disappeared for anyone else from the referral page?

  • Jason says:

    Further to comments earlier last week…Marriott are honouring the 50% deal just email them direct !

    • JPa says:

      Is that the 50% bonus american express transfer offer?

      • Rob says:

        ‘Honouring’ is a dubious turn of phrase. It was targeted to a small group who were emailed about it. You would never have known about it if we hadn’t covered it. Whilst Marriott has given you the points, ‘honouring’ it is not quite the right word.

        • Grant says:

          Is Marriott’s official poisiton that it was a targeted offer? Seems awfully generous of them to be giving away a lot of points to those who weren’t entitled to them.

          • Rob says:

            It WAS a targeted offer!

            They’ve got the money from Amex and it seems are prepared to take the hit for goodwill reasons.

          • Grant says:

            It was a genuine question. I don’t know how anyone can be sure unless Marriott confirmed it themselves.

            If it was, and they decided to take the hit because Amex had been giving out duff advice then good on them.

  • Mises Garson says:

    Marriott pints offer…

    This is not a good deal. I looked at 2 different dates for Tel Aviv
    on March and June.
    It was much cheaper to pay cash than buying
    points.
    Regards
    Moses

    • Rob says:

      In most cases it is, yes. However, in some cases – for peak hotels at peak dates – buying points can be a lot cheaper. I am doing this next week in Berlin when every room in town (and every surrounding town) is booked out for the ITB travel show.

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