Back in the olden days, it was relatively common for airlines to allow you to transfer your miles into hotel programmes. American Airlines was particularly keen.
Then, slowly but surely, a pyramid developed:
- car hire firms would allow transfers to hotels or airlines
- hotels would allow transfers to airlines
- airlines wouldn’t allow transfers to anyone
This is now unravelling. The leader has been Accor Live Limitless (Novotel, Ibis, Mercure, Fairmont etc) which has developed partnerships with huge numbers of airlines to convert their miles into hotel points.
Accor doesn’t work with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic but you CAN convert Avios to Accor points by moving them to Qatar Privilege Club and transferring from there.
(It’s a bad deal, of course, but you can do it.)
Other options include Virgin Atlantic (transfer to IHG and Hilton) and Finnair (transfer to various schemes including IHG). Again, none represent great value compared to redeeming your miles for a flight, but that is hardly surprising – buying hotel points costs the airline real money.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is now starting hotel transfers
In a surprising development, you can now transfer Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles into Marriott Bonvoy hotel points.
You have been able to transfer the other way for years at the standard ‘Marriott to airlines’ transfer rate of 3:1.
The transfer rate from KrisFlyer to Marriott Bonvoy is 2:1.
You need to transfer a minimum of 3,000 KrisFlyer miles to Marriott, getting you 1,500 Marriott Bonvoy points. The maximum number of Singapore Airlines miles you can transfer is 180,000 per calendar year.
The small print says that transfers could take up to EIGHT weeks to complete. This isn’t an option if you are desperate to book a hotel but you could take advantage of Marriott’s ‘Points Advance’ feature to book now and earn the points later.
This is, clearly, awful
Let’s assume that a KrisFlyer mile is worth 1p for the sake of argument. You are trading 2p of Singapore Airlines miles for 0.5p of Marriott Bonvoy points.
So why are we even mentioning this?
There are two reasons why this may be of some use.
First, KrisFlyer has a hard expiry policy. Irrespective of what you do, your miles will expire after three years. Clearly something is better than nothing and if you have a handful heading towards expiry then this is an option.
Secondly, if you have a Star Alliance flight coming up and no interest in collecting Star Alliance miles, this is an option. As long as the flight would earn 3,000 Singapore Airlines miles, you could credit it to KrisFlyer and send the miles to Marriott Bonvoy. Again, it’s better than nothing.
Is there any arbitrage?
There is no arbitrage here as far as I can tell versus any other scheme. The loss of value is so huge that there is no merit in, for example, moving American Express Membership Rewards points to KrisFlyer instead of moving them directly to Marriott Bonvoy.
In my case, I have 1,100 orphaned KrisFlyer miles. There is no value in topping that up with Amex points to get to 3,000 because I could send the same number of Amex points directly to Bonvoy and get more. My KrisFlyer miles will keep sitting there until they expire or I can pick up another 1,900 to allow a transfer to Marriott.
You can find out more about the new Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer / Marriott Bonvoy partnership on this page of the Singapore Airlines website.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2023)
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 comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)