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.
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?