Through November 30, 2018, United MileagePlus is offering a 30% bonus when you convert hotel points into airline miles. The bonus applies for transfers made between October 9 and November 30, 2018, and you can earn up to 25,000 bonus MileagePlus miles through this promotion.
Registration is required prior to making a transfer, and you can earn bonus miles for any combination of MileagePlus hotel partner transfers, so it’s not just that a single transfer qualifies. Bonus miles through this promotion should post by January 30, 2019.
This is a promotion United offered last year around almost exactly the same time.
So, is this worthwhile? Let me start by saying that converting Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, Le Club Accor, Shangri-La Golden Circle, World of Hyatt, and Wyndham Rewards points into airline miles almost never represents a good value. So if you’re looking to maximize your points, don’t do this.
That leaves you with exactly one option — Marriott Rewards. Ordinarily 60,000 Marriott Rewards points convert into 25,000 airline miles. The usual transfer bonus is actually 3:1, but you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer.
With United it gets even better than that, though, thanks to a special partnership between Marriott and United. With this you get a 10% bonus when you convert Marriott points into airline miles, meaning that you get 27,500 United miles per 60,000 Marriott points.
That’s before you factor in this promotion. Once you factor in this promotion you’d receive a total of 35,750 United miles per 60,000 Marriott points. So you’re potentially looking at earning ~0.6 United miles per Marriott point, which is actually pretty decent.
I value Marriott points at 0.7-0.9 cents each. Using that valuation, you’d be converting Marriott points into United miles at the cost of 1.18 to 1.51 cents each, which isn’t half bad.
I still wouldn’t proactively transfer points, though. United miles are fairly easy to earn thanks to their partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards, which allows you to earn United miles with lots of credit cards.
Meanwhile it’s a lot harder to efficiently earn Marriott points.
Does anyone plan on taking advantage of United’s 30% bonus on hotel points transfers?
(Tip of the hat to Daniel)