Marriott points can be transferred to many airlines for award flights, including Cathay Pacific and Emirates.

Marriott points can be transferred to many airlines for award flights, including Cathay Pacific and Emirates.

Get the Most from Marriott Bonvoy Points: Transfer to Airlines for Greater Flexibility

Marriott Bonvoy

As any avid traveler knows, flexibility is key when it comes to award travel. But did you know that you can maximize your options by tapping into Marriott Bonvoy’s extensive network of airline partners? With nearly 40 airlines on board, including United, Alaska, and American, Marriott Bonvoy offers more transfer options than both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards combined. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Marriott airline transfers, revealing how they work and highlighting some of the best options for your next adventure.

The Power of Transferable Points

When it comes to earning travel rewards, it’s important to have flexibility. Rather than limiting yourself to a single airline, it’s advisable to build your strategy around credit cards that earn transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards. However, many people overlook the fact that Marriott Bonvoy offers the most transfer options among loyalty programs.

While Marriott Bonvoy points can be redeemed for free stays at over 7,000 hotels worldwide, they can also be transferred to 38 different airlines. This vast array of transfer options expands your travel possibilities exponentially, granting you greater flexibility when it’s time to redeem your rewards.

How Marriott Airline Transfers Work

To transfer Marriott points to airlines, it’s important to understand the ratio and process involved. Unlike most transferable points programs that convert at a 1:1 ratio, Marriott Bonvoy transfers typically operate at a 3:1 ratio. This means that for every 3,000 Marriott points transferred, you’ll receive 1,000 airline miles, except for one exception: Air New Zealand, which has a ratio of 200 Marriott points to 1 Air New Zealand Airpoint.

You can transfer anywhere from 3,000 to 240,000 Marriott points per day. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 airline miles (excluding American Airlines, Avianca, Delta, and Korean Air). This bonus makes transferring in increments of 60,000 Marriott points particularly lucrative.

For example, if you transfer 180,000 Marriott points to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, you’ll end up with 75,000 miles. This breakdown includes the 180,000 points at a 3:1 ratio (60,000 miles) and three sets of 5,000 bonus miles for transferring 60,000 Marriott points. This example showcases the value of transferring Marriott points, as it aligns with the number of miles needed to book a Cathay Pacific first-class ticket from the US to Asia.

Additionally, transferring 60,000 Marriott points to United MileagePlus will earn you an extra 5,000 bonus miles, giving you a 2:1 ratio. This partnership between Marriott and United offers reciprocal elite status for select members, along with other benefits.

Best Credit Cards for Earning Marriott Points

To make the most of Marriott Bonvoy’s airline transfer options, it’s worth considering credit cards that earn Marriott points. Here are some top options:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Offers 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first six months, as well as additional bonus points after staying six eligible paid nights at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Provides 150,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 in purchases within the first six months, as well as bonus points for eligible paid hotel nights.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card: Offers three bonus Free Night Awards worth up to 50,000 points each after making $6,000 in purchases within the first six months.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card: Features 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first six months, plus additional bonus points for eligible hotel stays.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card: Provides 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first six months, along with bonus points for eligible hotel nights.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card: Offers 85,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first three months.

By earning points with these credit cards, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking the full potential of Marriott Bonvoy’s transferable points.

With nearly 40 airline partners to choose from, deciding where to transfer your Marriott points can be a daunting task. To help you make the most informed decisions, here are some key considerations:

Good Marriott Transfer Partners

  • Alaska Airlines: As one of the most valuable transfer options, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is ideal for its competitive award charts and non-alliance partnerships. For instance, transferring 75,000 Alaska Airlines miles can earn you a first-class award ticket with Cathay Pacific from the US to Asia.
  • American Airlines: Although American Airlines’ AAdvantage program has experienced devaluations in recent years, flexible travelers can still find excellent award sales. These include discounted first-class awards to Hong Kong and various opportunities to book partner awards with the Oneworld alliance.

Average Marriott Transfer Partners

While there are several airlines with decent value on the list of Marriott transfer partners, certain factors like high award rates, limited availability, excessive taxes, or complicated booking processes can hinder their appeal. However, always keep in mind that pooling points from other transferable rewards programs might offer alternative options. Airlines falling in this category include:

  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue: The program offers deals, especially with monthly promotions, but hefty taxes and fees apply for many flights.

Forgettable Marriott Transfer Partners

Some programs on the list of Marriott transfer partners simply don’t offer competitive award charts or useful alliance networks. It’s best to avoid transferring your Marriott points to these airlines. Examples include Aegean, Copa, Saudia, and Emirates (which used to be a reasonable partner but has undergone significant devaluations).

Unleash the Value of Marriott Bonvoy Points

While Marriott Bonvoy is renowned for its expansive hotel network, many travelers fail to realize the true value it holds for airline transfers. Transferring your Marriott points to the right airline can unlock incredible experiences, such as luxurious first-class flights with Cathay Pacific and Emirates. So, don’t limit yourself to a single airline loyalty program. Instead, embrace the flexibility and boundless possibilities offered by Marriott Bonvoy’s extensive airline partnerships. Start exploring the world, one transfer at a time!

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