American Airlines put a new 20% bonus into place today for transfers from Marriott to American Airlines. Here is how this works and how you can get more great value from the Marriott and SPG merger.
Transfer SPG/Marriott Points to AA with a 20% Bonus
- To qualify for this AAdvantage® bonus mile offer, member must initiate the AAdvantage® mileage conversions with the Marriott Rewards® program between 12:00 am Central Time, October 15, 2016 and 11:59 pm Central Time, November 14, 2016 (the “Promotion Period”), and be in good standing in the AAdvantage®program.
- Members can convert multiple times during the Promotion Period.
- To earn the 20% conversion bonus, member must convert points from the Marriott Rewards® program. This offer is non-transferable and non-reversible.
- Bonus miles will be posted by American Airlines to the qualifying AAdvantage® member’s account within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Marriott Rewards®.
- Bonus miles earned in this promotion do not count toward elite status qualification.
Finding the Value
Link: Marriott Travel Packages
Now, first of all, this is only for Marriott points to American Airline miles. It is not SPG to AA directly (like this bonus from earlier this year) but you can transfer your SPG points to Marriott at a ratio of 1:3 (read about this process of merging and transferring here).
By itself, the transfer from Marriott to SPG is not great but the real value can come with turning your Marriott points into AA miles through Marriott’s Flights and Hotel packages. Just like how you can get the Southwest Companion Pass for 90,000 SPG points, you could also turn 90,000 SPG points into 7 nights at a Category 1 – 5 Marriott hotel and get 144,000 AA miles.
That transfer, without the hotel nights, is pretty good already. If you were to transfer 90,000 SPG points to AA, you would get 110,000 AA miles through the regular transfer rate. But, no one would transfer 90,000 as it is in blocks of 20,000 that the 5,000 mile bonus gets added. So, let’s say you transfer a total of 100,000 SPG points to AA directly. You would end up with 125,000 AA miles – and that would require you transferring 10,000 more SPG points than you need to here!
The best part is that you don’t need to have 90,000 SPG points. You can have some Marriott points in various accounts and merge them and transfer over what you need from SPG at a rate of 1:3 so there are a lot of ways to get to the 270,000 Marriott points required to take advantage of 7 nights in a Marriott and 144,000 AA miles.
Southwest Companion Pass or AA Miles?
This could be a hard choice but would depend on how much domestic travel you do. Even at the low end of the 7,500 AA awards, you would get a maximum of 19 trips (one way). With Southwest, you would have the Companion Pass and 110,000 points which would get you around $1,700 in Southwest travel – in addition to your companion’s free flights with you.
The best part is that it does not have to be an either/or situation. You can use your SPG and Marriott points for a variety of great travel plans but this just adds one more great way to get value from the Marriott/SPG merger.