30% Bonus On Amex Transfers To Marriott Bonvoy

Filed Under: American Express, Marriott
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One of the things that I love about American Express Membership Rewards is that they offer bonuses on points transfers to their partners fairly often.

We don’t see these to all partners (for example, it’s rare to see transfer bonuses to Delta SkyMiles or Singapore KrisFlyer), though we do see them to some (it’s common to see them to Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, etc.).

Well, American Express has just rolled out their latest Membership Rewards transfer bonus. Is it useful, though?

Transfer Amex Points To Marriott With 30% Bonus

Amex Membership Rewards is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to Marriott Bonvoy through October 31, 2019. The transfer ratio is usually 1:1, so through this promotion you can transfer points at a 1,000:1,300 ratio. This bonus is hard coded into the transfer ratio, so you can take advantage of the bonus as often as you’d like.

While Amex has offered some targeted transfer bonuses in the past (in June my account was targeted for a 50% transfer bonus, for example), this one should be publicly available.

Earn Amex points with the following cards:

Should You Transfer Amex Points To Marriott With 30% Bonus?

While a 30% bonus might sound exciting, not all points currencies are created equal. Personally I value Marriott Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, give or take. There are certainly ways to get outsized value from the points, but that’s my valuation.

So by my valuation you’re getting 0.91 cents of value per Membership Rewards point even with this transfer bonus. That’s just over half of my valuation of Membership Rewards points, which is 1.7 cents per point.

Other people will likely have wildly different valuations of Marriott points than I do, and if that’s the case this bonus could be worth it. That’s especially true when you consider there’s no great way to earn Marriott points through everyday credit card spending anymore.

Transfer Bonus Summary

In general I think transfer bonuses are the way to maximize the value you can get from transferable points. However, that’s generally only true for currencies where even transferring points at a 1:1 ratio could make sense.

In the case of Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, I find that you lose more than half of the value of your points by making a transfer under normal circumstances. So even with a 30% bonus, I wouldn’t consider this to be much of a deal at all.

Of course some people may have specific situations where this could make sense, and in that case it could be worth at least topping off an account.

Does anyone plan on taking advantage of this Amex transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy?

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Comments
  1. What was the transfer rate to the old SPG program?

    If it was 1 to 1 then, the current 1 to 1 in Bonvoy is a 2/3 devaluation

  2. David it was 3 to 1. There is no devaluation. It always was terrible and now it is worst. Marriott points are getting close to Hilton Value. I am glad I was able to cash my Hilton points for amazon gift cards during the blackfriday deal. I wish the same would happen with “Bonvoyed”

  3. Given you can transfer Bonvoy points to United, could you transfer Membership Rewards points to Bonvoy and then transfer to United Mileage Plus?

  4. AMEX is notorious for offering shit transfers and other such nonsense…………..but if you read FCF you will think you are in heaven…………..Chase still rules even without the transfer bonuses………

  5. Why is the “exchange rate” so terrible for Marriott Bonvoy? Don’t they miss out on the opportunity to sell points to banks (e.g., Chase, Amex)? Even with the poor earning structure on Marriott’s own co-branded cards, aren’t they missing out revenue?

    Is there no downside for Marriott?

  6. I don’t claim to be an expert on the miles transfer game and welcome all opinions here. The thing I like about Bonvoy is the extremely wide range of airlines that will accept Bonvoy points into FF miles. Not sure why this devalues the AMEX points when transferred to Bonvoy if booking Business class travel on carriers that AMEX does not offer is my main objective?

    I have done a good job of accumulating 1 million+ points on both Amex and SPG which of course is now Bonvoy. SPG was a sweetheart deal for me, but those were the good old days.

  7. This is definitely where it is a use case thing. This is the way I see it as somebody who used to accumulate a ton of SPG points via credit card in my business at 1-1. am looking at awards which are 4 nights 5th free. This can make a big difference in awards that may be similar in redemption cost to when things were under SPG. I know several properties very well and what the point values under SPG. Using AMEX business gold I am earning some AMEX points 4X in volume. So for me using points generated at 4X toward 4 night/5th free definitely work out for me. In fact once I run the math they work at a lower cost than under the old SPG for using points in this manner. Now to tack on a 30% transfer makes sense for me on several bookings this year. It will also in my case get me to platinum for another year (toward lifetime-for what that is worth)

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