One of the things that I love about Amex Membership Rewards is that the program offers transfer bonuses fairly often. The program has just launched its latest transfer bonus — while I wouldn’t say it’s particularly compelling, it’s at least worth being aware of.
Marriott Bonvoy transfer bonus from Amex
Through Tuesday, May 31, 2022, the US Amex Membership Rewards program is offering a 25% bonus on points transfers to Marriott Bonvoy.
The transfer ratio is usually 1:1, so through this promotion you can transfer points at a 1,000:1,250 ratio. This bonus is hardcoded into the transfer ratio, so you can take advantage of the bonus as often as you’d like. Transfers from Amex to Marriott are generally instant.
While a bonus is better than not having a bonus, I’d note that in the post couple of years we’ve seen 30-40% bonuses, so this isn’t quite as good. And this doesn’t account for Bonvoy redemptions having recently been devalued.
It’s not surprising to see several transfer bonuses from Amex to Marriott, given that in 2020 Marriott raised hundreds of millions of dollars by selling points to Amex and Chase.
Should you transfer Amex points to Marriott with a 25% bonus?
While a 25% 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.
By my valuation, you’re getting right around ~0.9 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.
Other ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
The good news is that there are other ways to earn Bonvoy points, besides using transferable points currencies. The following credit cards can all help you earn Bonvoy points:
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card (review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (review)
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review)
Marriott often also sells Bonvoy points at a discount, which could be a good opportunity as well.
In general, I think transfer bonuses are the way to maximize the value you can get from transferable points. However, that’s usually 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. Even with a 25% 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?