Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have a longstanding partnership, which offers some reciprocal perks. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at what’s available through this collaboration, since it’s something that many members overlook.
The concept of an airline and hotel group working together makes sense, since those who fly a lot are also likely to stay in hotels a lot. This isn’t the only such tie-up in the industry, as World of Hyatt and American AAdvantage also have a partnership (for that matter, Marriott Bonvoy and Emirates Skywards also have a partnership).
In this post:
Details of the Marriott & United collaboration
The partnership between Marriott and United is known as Rewards Plus, and it offers elite reciprocity and the ability to transfer points between programs at a more favorable rate. The partnership is unlikely to be a game changer for anyone, but it’s better than nothing, and is most definitely worth using if eligible. Let’s look at the perks that are available through this, in no particular order…
Select Marriott elites receive United status
Marriott Bonvoy Titanium and Ambassador members receive United MileagePlus Premier Silver status at no additional cost. This isn’t a one-time thing, as you can take advantage of this on an ongoing basis, as long as you maintain your status.
This is United’s entry level elite status, which offers space available upgrades to first class or Economy Plus, priority boarding, bonus miles, and more. Don’t get too excited about this, but it’s better than nothing, and once in a while you may even score a first class upgrade because of it.
Select United elites receive Marriott status
United MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, 1K, and Global Services members, receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold status at no additional cost. This isn’t a one-time thing, as you can take advantage of this on an ongoing basis, as long as you maintain your status.
This is Marriott’s second lowest of five elite tiers. Marriott Gold status offers perks like 25% bonus points, enhanced room upgrades, priority late check-out, a welcome gift of points, premium Wi-Fi, and more.
Convert Marriott points into United miles
As far as hotel loyalty programs go, one of the unique things about Marriott Bonvoy is how you can convert Bonvoy points into airline miles at a fair ratio. Thanks to the partnership between Marriott and United, you get an even better transfer ratio:
- Marriott Bonvoy points ordinarily convert into most airline miles at a 3:1 ratio
- While you ordinarily receive a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transfered, in this case you receive a bonus of 10,000 miles for every 60,000 points transfered
This means that 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points convert into 30,000 United MileagePlus miles, meaning you can convert miles at a 2:1 ratio, in the right increments. Now, I still wouldn’t recommend taking advantage of this, based on my valuation of points — I value United miles at 1.1 cents each, and Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so by my valuation you’re losing value there.
Convert United miles into Marriott points
There aren’t many airlines that let you efficiently convert miles into hotel points. Thanks to this partnership, Premier members can convert United MileagePlus miles into Marriott Bonvoy points at a 1:1 ratio. Personally this isn’t how I’d choose to redeem my Bonvoy points, but it’s at least not the worst redemption value on earth.
Limited time dual accrual promotion
Unfortunately on an ongoing basis there aren’t any dual accrual opportunities with Marriott & United. However, for a limited time in late 2023, hotel stays credited to Marriott Bonvoy and flights credited to MileagePlus are more rewarding:
- Marriott Bonvoy Titanium and Ambassador members can earn 750 bonus Bonvoy points per United ticket
- United MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, and 1K members, can earn 500 bonus MileagePlus miles per Marriott stay
There’s no indication that this will be a long-term opportunity, but it sure would be nice…
Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have a special partnership, offering reciprocal elite status and improved points transfer rates. While it’s hardly the most exciting partnership out there, it’s one that many people aren’t familiar with, so I figured it’s worth recapping.
Have you take advantage of the Marriott & United partnership?