How to use the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card to earn miles with 44 different airlines

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On Wednesday, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card launched.

This is a rebranding of the old Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card.

As we covered in our master article (click here) on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card, there are two groups of people who should think about getting this card:

people who can benefit from the 15 free elite night credits that come as a card benefit, putting you 15 nights closer to Bonvoy elite status

people who collect miles in obscure (from a UK perspective) frequent flyer schemes

I wanted to look at the second point today.  If you want to learn more about how the 15 free elite night credits works, click the link above for the article we ran last week.

The Marriott Bonvoy Amex lets you earn miles with 44 different frequent flyer schemes.

For many of these schemes, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is the ONLY way of earning their miles via a UK credit card.

Earning airline miles with the Marriott Bonvoy UK American Express credit card

Here is the full list of Marriott Bonvoy airline partners now (you can also see it online here) and the transfer rate:

Aegean Airlines 3:1
Aeroflot Bonus 3:1
AeroMexico ClubPremier 3:1
Air Canada Aeroplan 3:1
Air China Phoenix Miles 3:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue 3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints 200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia 3:1
ANA Mileage Club 3:1
American Airlines AAdvantage 3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 3:1
Avianca LifeMiles 3:1
British Airways Executive Club 3:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 3:1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles 3:1
China Southern Airlines 3:1
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles 3:1
Delta SkyMiles 3:1
Emirates Skywards 3:1
Etihad Guest 3:1
Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns  3:1
Hainan Airlines 3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles  3:1
Iberia Plus 3:1
InterMiles 3:1
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank 3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue 6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS 3:1
LATAM Airlines LATAMPASS 3:1
Lufthansa Miles & More 3:1
Multiplus Fidelidade 3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer 3:1
Qatar Privilege Club 3:1
Saudia Airlines 3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 3:1
South African Airways Voyager 3:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards  3:1 
TAP Air Portugal 3:1
THAI Airways 3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 3:1
United MileagePlus 3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 3:1

As far as I know, for the 34 airlines in bold, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express is the ONLY UK credit card partner.  The others either have their own card or are an American Express Membership Rewards or HSBC Premier transfer partner.

(You could earn miles in some of these airlines via obscure routes, such as the IHG credit cards or moving American Express points to Radisson Rewards and then on to an airline, but the rate would be very poor and not worth it.)

Using the Marriott Bonvoy Amex to prevent miles expiry

We tend not to feature non-UK frequent flyer schemes heavily on Head for Points.  When we do, it is usually airlines which are American Express Membership Rewards partners.  One example is the incredible 29,000 mile one-way Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer business class flights from the UK to the Middle East which I covered here (when they were even cheaper at 25,000 miles), flying on Lufthansa, SWISS, Turkish or Egyptian.

You may have balances in other programmes however.  If you do, the Marriott Amex is a good way – perhaps the only way in the UK – of topping up your balance so you can empty it out for a redemption.

Many schemes also require regular activity on your account to stop miles expiring.   Moving points across from Marriott Bonvoy, earned with the Marriott Bonvoy Amex card, is an easy way of doing this.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express card

What does the Marriott Bonvoy American Express earn?

I am obliged to remind you at this point that the representative APR on this card is 39.7% variable, including the £75 annual fee, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% variable.

The earning rate is, unfortunately, worse than it was when the card was Starwood-branded.

You earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for every £1 you spend, with TRIPLE points for spending in Marriott hotels.

These transfer to airline miles at 3:1, as the list above shows, so you are getting 0.66 miles per £1 spent.

If you move 60,000 Bonvoy points at once you get a 5,000 miles bonus.  60,000 Marriott points will therefore get you 25,000 airline miles.  This is 0.812 airline miles per £1 spent.

For someone collecting American Airlines miles, Air Canada miles, Qatar Airways miles etc this is a straightforward way of picking them up.

Is there a sign-up bonus?

Yes.  The sign-up bonus is 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.  This converts to 6,666 airline miles.

You must spend £3,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

Of course, you can also use them for Marriott hotels where 20,000 points should get you at least £100 of value.

Can I get the sign-up bonus if I have a British Airways / Amex Gold / The Platinum Card / Nectar American Express?

No.

The bonus is now very restricted.  You only qualify if you have not held ANY personal American Express cards in the previous 24 months.

Amex cards issued by Lloyds Bank or MBNA do not count – only cards issued directly by American Express in the UK.

You CAN still apply for the card, of course.  You will receive all of the other benefits, including the 15 free elite night credits, but not the initial sign-up bonus.

Are there any other card benefits?

Yes, but I don’t rate them highly.

Spend £15,000 in a membership year and you will receive Gold Elite status in Marriott Bonovy.  The benefits of Gold status are not great, however – no free breakfast, no lounge access.

Spend £25,000 in a membership year and you earn a free night at any Marriott / Starwood hotel costing up to 25,000 points per night.  The snag here is that there are not many impressive hotels in that price range – remember that the best hotels now cost 100,000 points per night on peak dates.

Conclusion

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is well worth a look if you have any niche frequent flyer miles which you want to top up or stop expiring.

I also recommend it if the 15 free elite night credits – which is an annual benefit – are useful to you.

My full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Amex credit card is here.  You can apply for the card here

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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Comments

  1. If you have the old spg card, call and ask for extra marriot points per pound spent.
    You’re sure to get some decent offer.
    I’ve had 2 cards upped to 3 per pound for 3 month.

    • I think somebody reported getting 4/£ for a year.

      • Would be interesting to know if that’s accurate. The agent also told me 4 points. After I saw I only get 3, they clarified that it’s an extra point, the agent just didn’t know if was reduced to 2 per pound so she assumed it’ll now be 4 per pound.

        The offers appear on each individual account and the wording is “an extra Bonvoy point” so the words 4 or 3 per pound are the agents interpretation, hence the mixup. But could be I’m wrong.

        • What do you mean by the offer appears on each individual account?

          • Chat probably means the offer for each customer is displayed to the CSA when you call. Easy to imagine different customers get different offers but Cha’s comment on the 4/£ report sounds reasonable to me.

      • Almost certainly it’s 1 additional point per £.
        £

        Marriott/amex have got history with this.

        When SPG points merged with Marriott to fork Bonvoy points SPG were converted 1:3 to bonvoy.

        Anyone with a bonus offer back then of “an additional SPG point per £” wasn’t treated fairly as they simply changed the earning rate to 3 bonvoy + 1 (even though the statement quoted an additional SPG point) whereas it’s was 1+1 SPG before the merger which was in effect 6 bonvoy.

        • The Urbanite says:

          Yes, I was on that promo when the SPG to Bonvoy switch happened. They said that the promo was for 1 extra point per £1 and that it was just unfortunate that the value of a point decreased by 2/3rds. I let that one go.

        • New Card says:

          Am still going through the FOS about this one. Amex promised “Double Points” on the phone (6 instead of 3), and the Amex transaction listing referred to “1 additional Starpoint” (= 3 additional Bonvoy points). But I was only credited with 1 additional Bonvoy point (so 4 instead of 3).

          Anyone else had this argument with Amex and managed to win?

          • I wrote several letters to them, sent in the statements with “one additional starpoint” clearly printed and explained that a starpoint was converted to 3 bonvoy points (they hadn’t called it bonvoy at the time) and amex were resolute that they were not going to award the points that they had promised to.

            I wish I’d have taken it further now just out of principle but I didn’t want to get the card cancelled.

            Now that it’s worth much less I might retrospectively take the case up.

  2. Louise says:

    Need to transfer some points from my husbands Marriot account before they expire, do I need him present for the phone call? Was much easier when we could do it online with SPG!
    Anyone have the best number to hand?

  3. “As far as I know, for the 34 airlines in bold, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express is the ONLY UK credit card partner.”

    Many of those in bold are also IHG partners so miles could be earned with the IHG Mastercard.

    https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/content/us/en/redeem-rewards/miles

    • But as noted in the article, the rate is so poor you would be crazy to do it.

      • Apologies I must have missed the comments in brackets when I first read the article.

        I don’t personally think the rate is too bad though for a Mastercard, particularly the IHG Premium one where you are effectively getting 4 miles (or avios etc) per £10 spend. Plus I can build up towards the £10k spend for the free night voucher.

  4. Now includes Aer Club and Vuelling.

  5. Charles says:

    For the same amount spent, is the Marriott Amex now a worse card as compared to spending on the Platinum Amex and transferring Membership Rewards into Bonvoy points? How about compares to the Creation Marriott MasterCard?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you are after Marriott Bonvoy points then no (below is earning of Bonvoy points at 3:2 MR)

      The card earns 2/£1 and plat or gold earns 1.5/£1 (though there are bonus offers on the gold like 1.5/£1 for spend abroad and 0.66/£1 if you hit £15k on the gold though that assumes you wouldn’t hit £15k anyway)

      If you’re spending at a Marriot hotel then the Bonvoy card wins hands down at 6/£1

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Should have said 1 Bonvoy/£1 for the £15k spend bonus as 10k MR convert to 15k Bonvoy.

    • Bonvoy is better than Plat for that, but they are not really comparable. Instead, compare Amex Rewards (no fee, 1.5 Bonvoy per £1) vs Marriott (£75, 2 Bonvoy per £1).

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The numbers only really change in this cards favour if you are a heavy Marriott UK spender or if on business a heavy Marriott worldwide spender.

  6. Yorkieflyer says:

    Mrs Yorkieflyer and I both have the SPG card taken out in Jan and Feb and are now earning only 2 points per £ with no notification. Very poor in my view

    • Lady London says:

      You don’t have to put up with that. Call up and ask them innocently why. When they say, tell them is detrimental to you and you are not happy. Plus you did not receive notice. (30 days personally to you and not just posting it on website somewhere not even as a prominent banner as you can’t be guaranteed to see it). Insist on your notice and existing rate of points for minimum 30 day notice they’re required to give you and didn’t. Unless they come up with something considerably better, ideally based in 4 per £.

      Onus is on them to prove you received they can’t just claim to have sent.

      You read HfP so don’t just sit there and take it.

      • yorkieflyer says:

        indeed and I quite agree. sometimes better to pause and reflect rather than act in anger tho? A pop up on my amex spg account account says “We no longer offer the SPG® Credit Card, as it has been rebranded to Marriott Bonvoy™. We will write to you in June about migrating you to this new product. You will continue to enjoy your existing benefits including 3 points/£ on all eligible spend, 6 points/£ on spend at Marriott properties.”
        Perhaps a phone call in a day or so will make the tortoises life easier than that of the hare?

    • Matthew says:

      Same here. My wife took out new SPG card 3 weeks ago and the earning rate cut form 26th without any notice. Was still saying 3pts per £ when applied. Not impressed.

  7. The Urbanite says:

    Amex CS are refusing to pay the old 3 points per £1 rate for transactions made on the 25th February 2020, even though the new rate only took effect from the 26th February 2020.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you spent a significant amount I would escalate otherwise is it worth the effort?

    • Not only 25th. I have transactions on 23&24th posting at a new rate.

    • Lady London says:

      Did they even give notice? They may also be trying to cheat not giving 30 days notice.

      I’d tell them I was going to the Ombudsman on that and would actually do it if they don’t cough up. Plus I’d ask them what else they can do for me after that attempt to do the wrong thing was resolved.

      • Lady London says:

        Try another agent, if right is not done ask to speak to a supervisor and ask them if this is something you should be referring to the ombudsman as their refusal puzzles you. (Translation : why are you being so stupid when I’ve got you bang to rights and it will cost you up to £600 if I refer it to O.)

      • The Urbanite says:

        Notice was given but they are saying that they award points based on the date the merchant took the funds and not the date the transaction was made.

        That’s not always what they do though. I remember making a £6k purchase at The Range. On the same day I called Amex to close the account and they offered 1 bonus point per £1 on spend so I accepted and kept it open. The bonus points were not awarded on that The Range transaction but were on transactions made later that day.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          points posted on the 26th will be for transactions posted on the 23/24/25 as there is usually a 2-3 day delay.

          I will be phoning when i get a chance but my convo will be easier as its Marriott spend I’m owed 6x on rather the 5x they have awarded.

        • Lady London says:

          That’s cr*p if
          (1) they didn;t make it clear in the t’s and c’s
          and particularly if
          (2) previous transactions have credited based on the purchase date as you expected. financial systems’ processing time is not your responsibility.

          They’re wriggling because it’s a large amount. Don’t let them get away with it. Further perusal of previous transactions on your account will probably provide ample evidence of (2) above being the case.

          Did you definitely receive the notice? it’s not enough for them to say they’ve sent it.

          • The Urbanite says:

            Thanks Lady London – I did get the letter. I am taking the view this is a technical issue on their side – and that there was no ambiguity on the date the rate should have changed.

            Will wait and see what they say next.

        • ankomonkey says:

          £6k at The Range? Your fingers must have been tired after all that scraping off of grey/silver code coverer material after that purchase 😉

          • The Urbanite says:

            A nice thick £1 coin and one smooth scratching off of the layer kept things clean and tidy!

  8. M Lyon says:

    Off topic a little, has anyone received the 50% bonus Marriott points for converting AMEX points to Marriott points in 2019? I didn’t get the targeted email but took a punt and converted anyway, but i have not yet seen any additional points in my account (to be honest I don’t think i will either, but i needed the points for a stay so, thought i would chance my arm anyway)

    • No-one who wasn’t targeted got them automatically, some who complained to Marriott persuaded Marriott to give them as an ex-gratia offer (which is weirdly generous in my view).

    • Grant says:

      I got them. I didn’t need to complain as such but I did have to contact Marriott CS who raised a query with back office and then the points arrived on both mine and my wife’s accounts – start to finish it was about 4 weeks from first call to CS. At no point was I told by Marriott that I wasn’t entitled to the bonus or that this was a one off show of goodwill, etc.

      • Freddy says:

        I suspect Marriott can only see that points were transferred from amex MR during a certain period. I doubt they’d have a list of qualifying accounts

      • Harry T says:

        I emailed Marriott and they gave me the bonus points within 48 hours. I was not targeted by email but was told by AMEX chat that I was eligible.

        • M Lyon says:

          Thanks all

          Will give it a go, It seems rather nice of Marriott to do this

  9. mark2 says:

    You can still use Bonvoy points to book flights and car hire directly here https://www.airandcar.marriott.com/apps/shopping/#/search/air
    It used to be called SPG Flights and you can pay completely in points including all charges.
    You need to look at the options for each trip

  10. Ref those who applied for the SPG card prior to it being turned into the marriott card (ie last few weeks). I’ve got a welcome email dated Feb 28th stating 3 points per £, yet (as expected) it’s returning 2 points per £.

    I think I’m going to leave it for now as I don’t want to trigger the notice, perhaps it will go a few months before they do the tidying up on the new card accounts in which case I’ll put a retrospective claim in.

  11. Vladimir Bogdanov says:

    An interesting fact about last days applications.

    My partner applied for the old version of Amex SPG card two days before the cutover to the new Bonvoy card. Amex didn’t approve her application immediately – held it for two days just to approve and issue the new card on day 1 of its availability. The new card came with lower sign-up bonus and higher spending threshold, of course. She called and tried to haggle, but Amex didn’t move an inch – so she ended up cancelling the card claiming “14 days cooling period”.

    The question is though if she’d be considered as having had a personal Amex card now. The agent couldn’t answer the question and we haven’t seen any further communications from Amex on that matter yet.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I wouldn’t have cancelled and escalated to the back office as the terms are what you signed up when you applied not what they are when you were accepted.

    • I applied on 23rd, got held pending approval.

      Approved 27th followed up with email on 28th stating:


      Earn points
      Earn for each £1 you spend on eligible purchases: 6 points at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ hotels and 3 points for all other purchases”

      That’s not ambiguous, until they give me a change of terms the agreement is 3 points per £.

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