One of the things I love about American Express Membership Rewards is that the program has offered transfer bonuses quite a lot in the past. We haven’t seen too many of these in the past year, but it’s otherwise a staple of the program.
Amex just launched a new referral bonus to Marriott Bonvoy, which complements the referral bonus available to Hilton Honors through June 15, 2021.
Transfer Amex points to Marriott with 40% bonus
Until June 15, 2021, the US Amex Membership Rewards are offering a 40% bonus on point transfers to Marriott Bonvoy.
The transfer ratio is typically 1: 1, so this action will transfer points at a ratio of 1,000: 1,400. This bonus is hard-coded in the transfer ratio so you can use the bonus as many times as you want.
In terms of comparison with other bonuses, we saw two bonuses in 2020, one of which was 30% and the other was 40%. So that’s as good as these transfer bonuses seem to get.
Marriott raised hundreds of millions of dollars by selling points to Amex and Chase. I guess that’s why we’ve been seeing so many transfer bonuses lately.
Should you transfer Amex points to Marriott with a 40% bonus?
While a 40% bonus sounds exciting, not all point currencies are created equal. Personally, I value Marriott Bonvoy points at ~ 0.7 cents each, give or take. There are certainly ways to get an oversized value from the points, but that is my rating.
According to my assessment, even with this transfer bonus you will receive a value of approx. 1.0 cents per Membership Rewards point. That’s not even two-thirds of my membership rewards point rating, which is 1.7 cents per point.
Other people are likely to have very different Marriott score ratings than I did, and if so, this bonus might be worth it. This is especially true when you consider that there is no longer a good way to earn Marriott points through daily credit card spending.
Other ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
The good news is that besides using transferable point currencies, there are other ways to earn Bonvoy points. You can collect Bonvoy points with the following credit cards:
Marriott also often sells Bonvoy Points at a discount, which could also be a good opportunity. For example, the program offers a 50% bonus on points purchased until March 22, 2021. This is an opportunity to buy points for ~ 0.83 cents each.
In general, I think transfer bonuses are the way to maximize the value you can get with transferable points. However, this usually only applies to currencies for which the transfer of points in a 1: 1 ratio can make sense.
With Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, I find that if you make a transfer under normal circumstances, you lose more than half the value of your points. Even with a 40% bonus, I wouldn’t consider this a big deal at all.
Of course, some people may have certain situations where this might be useful and in which case it might be worth at least topping up an account.
Anyone planning to use this Amex transfer bonus for Marriott Bonvoy?