The other day I received a very curious email from American Airlines. The subject of the email introduced an “exclusive offer” to convert Marriott Rewards points to AAdvantage miles. Even better, you’d earn a 30% bonus for doing so. Upon receiving the email I instantly became excited about the opportunity.
I’ve had a large stash of Marriott Rewards points for some time now and haven’t had much opportunity to use them. I’m constantly looking for ways to rack up AAdvantage miles. AAdvantage miles aren’t quite as valuable as they once were, but they’re still very useful in specific situations. I’ve used quite a few AAdvantage miles this year and figured this would be a great chance to top of my AAdvantage account. Sadly, the offer isn’t quite what it seems.
Convert Marriott Rewards Points To AAdvantage Miles With A 30% Bonus
When I first saw the offer in my inbox I imagined I could transfer 1 Marriott Rewards point and earn 1 AAdvantage mile. In addition to that transfer, I incorrectly thought I’d get a 30% bonus for each transfer. In total, I imagined I’d transfer 100,000 Marriott Rewards points for 130,000 AAdvantage miles. Before I dug into the details it seemed like a great offer.
Once I opened the email however I realized what a terrible offer it really is. The offer is to transfer 5 Marriott Rewards points for 1 AAdvantage mile! That’s a terrible 5:1 ratio. You do get a 30% bonus on all transfers, so the ratio is actually closer to 4:1, but by no means does that represent a good value.
The promotion is tiered however, which means you get a better value when you transfer more points. If you maximize this promotion you’ll transfer 140,000 Marriott Rewards points in exchange for 65,000 AAdvantage miles. That’s a ratio of 2.15:1, which is close to what I’d consider a good deal. I value Marriott Rewards points at $0.7/point and AAdvantage miles at $0.15. Therefore I’d only take this offer if I could convert 2 Marriott Rewards points to AAdvantage miles.
Why I Won’t Transfer Marriott Rewards Points To American AAdvantage
Although a 2.15:1 transfer ratio is close to my ideal transfer ratio of 2:1, I definitely wouldn’t do it. The reason is that 140,000 Marriott Rewards points is a lot of points. Considering a night at a Ritz Carlton property is around 40,000 Marriott points, that’s nearly 4 nights at a five-star hotel that I’m giving up by maximizing the offer. For that I’m basically earning enough AAdvantage miles to fly one-way to Europe in business class. Personally, I’d rather take the nights than a lie-flat bed for a 7 hour flight, but that’s my personal situation right now.
If I had 500,000 Marriott Rewards points right now I’d consider taking this offer. Why not? But I don’t have that many Marriott Rewards points and I’m not earning them as quickly as I used to. I’m currently trying to hoard a few thousand Marriott points for another trip. I also am about to earn a lot of AAdvantage miles from my Qatar Airways Mileage Run which makes this offer less appealing.
It’s always nice to find a little extra flexibility in hotel loyalty points. Often once you lock points into a certain loyalty program you often feel trapped. This promotion makes it easy to move Marriott Points over to the American AAdvantage program. By maximizing this promotion Marriott points transfer to the AAdvantage program at a 2.15:1 ratio. That’s not a terrible deal and if I was desperate for AAdvantage miles I’d definitely consider transferring points. However, for me, I don’t need AAdvantage miles and I want to keep my Marriott Rewards points. For that reason, I won’t transfer any points.
I would consider transferring a small number of Marriott points to the AAdvantage program, but as you transfer fewer points you receive less value. That’s the second reason I won’t transfer any points during this promotional period.