What’s Going On With Marriott To Lufthansa Transfers?

Filed Under: Awards, Lufthansa

Update: a Marriott representative has provided us with the following statement:

“We have had to suspend Lufthansa Miles & More as a Marriott Bonvoy points to miles transfer partner at the request of Lufthansa Miles & More in connection with German regulations. This suspension is not specific to the Marriott Bonvoy program and other Lufthansa Miles & More hotel partners have taken the same action. Points to miles transfers from member accounts were made through May 20, 2019 and any transfers occurring after that date will be returned to the member’s account. We will share a timeline soon for when we expect the points to be returned. We are working to ensure all pages on our digital and mobile sites reflect this change in the status of Lufthansa Miles & More. We apologize for the inconvenience to members and look forward to providing updates about Lufthansa Miles & More once we have them.”

Well, this doesn’t look good.

For the past week or so we’ve been hearing about issues with Marriott Bonvoy points getting “stuck” when members have initiated transfers to Lufthansa Miles&More. This isn’t entirely unusual, as post-merger many Marriott processes take longer than expected. But there are a significant number of transfers to Lufthansa that should have gone through by now, even factoring in the normal delays.

We don’t have any PointsPros clients with pending transfers, but the team at Juicy Miles has several, and the conversations they’ve had with Marriott agents this morning have been concerning (or rather, more concerning than the average conversation with Marriott agents lately).

Thus far, seven different agents have reported that the partnership with Lufthansa was discontinued as of May 20th. We just called ourselves, and after two agents who hadn’t even heard of the airline, chatted with an agent who confirmed:

“Yes, there is an ongoing issue with Lufthansa.”

When asked what would happen to transfers in progress, she expanded:

“It might post in three days, it might post in six weeks, and it might not post at all. If a transfer is in progress and it has been more than seven days, members should call back to have the points reinstated.”

Now, obviously the recent track record with Bonvoy suggests that any information given by a Marriott phone agent be tempered with a significant degree of skepticism. This woman seemed fairly knowledgeable and competent, however, to the point of acknowledging that getting points reinstated may take multiple phone calls. She also checked with her help desk before answering the question, which y’all know I always appreciate.

So for now, I would assume that Marriott points can’t be transferred to Lufthansa, though can’t confirm if this is a temporary system issue, or an indication of the partnership being terminated. The Marriott website still lists Lufthansa Miles&More as a transfer partner, and there hasn’t been any communication with members regarding a program change.

Of course, none of that necessarily means anything, unfortunately.

If you have a pending transfer to Miles&More, that was initiated prior to 5/20, I would probably hold tight in hopes that it does eventually go through. It sounds like transfers initiated after that date may or may not process, though I’m not sure I’d take action on them yet either. But know that it’s not just your transfer that is stuck, if it’s any consolation. And I probably wouldn’t start any new transfers to Lufthansa at the moment either, as it doesn’t make sense to voluntarily put your Bonvoy points into limbo.

Mark this as developing; we’ve asked Marriott leadership for a statement and will update once we know more.

Asking for data points: who all has pending transfers to Miles&More, and when were they initiated/accepted by Bonvoy?

  1. Miles & More s being sued in Germany to “cash out” miles at 3 EUR cents per mile, the plaintiff claiming that M&M miles should be considered e-cash.

    Therefore, M&M is doing everything to stop transfers from other programs where points can be bought for cash and then transferred to M&M. Recently, they stopped transfers from Coop Superpoints (where you could pretty much outright buy miles at CHF 0.02/mile) and Coop trophy (where you could outright buy miles at CHF 0.0175/mile) in Switzerland. Now you can only transfer Superpoints you have accumulated the traditional way (i.e. by shopping).

    Very likely, that’s the reason behind this “ongoing issue”.

  2. Hah, Germans trying to ruin miles & points for the whole world.

    Once it becomes cash, the IRS (and each country’s equivalent) can easily justify it as income.

    Loyalty Programs will be under the Patriot Act, Money Laundering Act, Currency control, etc. Makes it easier than ever for Big brother to now see where, when, and how we go around. Also let’s Big Brother seize without notice or fair trial.

    This is the 3rd Reich attacking the 21st century free world.

  3. 750,000 points transferred between 5/21-5/23 Marriott to M&M. Nothing posted so far ☹️ #Bonvoyed? So far seems like #Lufthansaed

  4. Coop, a large Swiss supermarket chain, also stopped the transfer from their loyal points into miles. Swiss media now reported the reason behind this. Lufthansa stopped all transfer options from programs, where miles/points can be bought (and then transfered to LH).
    Reason: someone in Germany tries to payout his miles and LH has to show the court that miles are not e-money:

  5. Really only a matter of time until points are considered “e-money”. The day they tax points is the day this shit ramps up in difficulty.

  6. Transferred points on 5/22; still in cyberspace..removed from Bonvoy; not credited to MM. Have a supervisor on both ends investigating. Sitting tight for now until they decide if they will credit to MM or bounce back (curious why they haven’t already given the 5/24 date I was given)

  7. As long as the lawsuit is pending it will not be possible to transfer points to MM.

    There is a relative new law in Germany concerning electronic money. The Court has to decide whether miles are electronic money because at some partners it’s possible to buy points.

  8. I initiated a transfer on 29 May, and Marriott had returned the points to my account by 6 June with no action on my part. I’m a bit peeved because I had budgeted around having those miles in my M&M account for a trip at the end of the year, but I guess I have time to work out a plan B.

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