BAD DEAL: Amex Offering 30% Transfer Bonus To Marriott Through End Of Year

American Express is offering a 30% bonus on transfers of Membership Rewards points to Marriott through December 31. You have to log into Membership Rewards to see the bonus offer.

In general this is a bad deal. Marriott points are worth 7/10ths of a cent apiece, maybe a little less since I valued them two years ago. A 30% bonus means you’re getting 9/10ths of a cent worth of points for each American Express point.

You wouldn’t put spend on a Marriott credit card earning 1 Marriott point per dollar. And you wouldn’t put spend on a Marriott card at 1.3 points per dollar, either. Indeed, Marriott’s co-brand cards generally earn 2 points per dollar for unbonused spend and still that’s not my preference.

Even if you needed to top off your Marriott account I’d avoid doing this. You can buy Marriott points without a bonus for just a little more than just (regular price 1.25 cents apiece).

The general point here is that outside of Chase transfers to Hyatt, conversions of transferrable points into hotel points is simply a bad deal and a 30% transfer bonus doesn’t reverse that calculus. American Express points are just too valuable to transfer to Marriott given the weak transfer ratio.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Mr Leff, what is the best deal for me to transfer 150,000 of AmericanExpress
    Points. I am canceling my American Express Platinum card while keeping my American Express Hilton as well as my American Express Delta Reserve to build up by Delta MQM’s. Thank you sir.

  2. @henry I can probably help too. If you don’t want to transfer now, you could always get an American Express with no annual fee that participates in membership rewards. You won’t lose the points and can cancel the platinum.

  3. I just yesterday transferred 80k Amex to Marriott 1 to 1. Do I have any hope they will give me the 30% if I call?

  4. Read this morning that Air France is offering 30% additional on American Express transfers.

    Is this a good deal?

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