A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question about the conversion ratio between Marriott Bonvoy points and United Airlines MileagePlus miles and how it appears to be out of whack.
You can access Marriott’s page for the United partnership here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Here’s the question:
Have a question. Do not understand why United miles to Marriott points is 1:1 (for Marriott Titanium/Ambassador), while the other way around (points to miles) is 3:1 (2:1 if 60K with bonus). Why is there such a huge difference ?
e.g. 60.000 United Miles =(1:1)= 60.000 Marriott Points =(3:1)= 20.000 United Miles + 10.000 United Miles Bonus = 30.000 United Miles (2:1).
Would appreciate your opinion, because to me it does not make any sense at all, and would like to understand the reasoning behind it. Or… Am I missing something.
Historically, you could only convert hotel points to airline miles and nothing the other way around.
Marriott initially had the two-way conversion only with United due to their RewardsPlus partnership, but it has now enabled also for Cathay Pacific (read more here), Singapore Airlines (read more here), and Korean Air (read more here).
Accor has similar conversion opportunities with quite a few of their airline partners, and it doesn’t make sense to convert miles to hotel points at offered conversion ratios.
This is because airlines are not really into these conversions, as their frequent flier (or you could frequent spend) programs are often true money-makers (look at Delta, United, and American). They want to keep the miles within their own ecosystem or offer very little financial value to partners with conversion opportunities.
These airline miles to hotel points conversions only make sense if:
1. You have more miles than you can EVER use and prefer getting some value of them
2. You have use for hotel awards
3. You need a small number of additional points for hotel awards
If you have more miles than you can ever use, it probably would be the time to look at why and make adjustments.
These airline miles to hotel points conversions rarely make any sense.
However, I have converted millions of hotel points to airline miles in the past (remember those Marriott Travel Packages) that earned me, back then, a Million Miler status with AA (when all miles credited into the program counted).
Nowadays, you should only use this functionality in “emergencies.”