Home Deals 50% bonus on Chase transfers to Marriott (this has its uses)

50% bonus on Chase transfers to Marriott (this has its uses)

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Chase has brought back a promotion that we last saw it offer in July and August in which it’s offering a 50% bonus on all points transfers between Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. For anyone with no immediate plans for any Bonvoy points they generate, this is a promotion to sit out. For anyone looking to use their Bonvoy points before the March 2022 devaluation, this promotion can have its uses (as I’ll show).

Chase Ultimate Rewards offers transfers to just three hotel loyalty programs and one of these is Marriott Bonvoy. Right now, Chase is offering a 50% bonus on all Ultimate Rewards Points transferred over to Marriott by 24 December 2021, but this is a “deal” that almost everyone should be approaching with care.

The math

I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5 cents each (based on the value that I know I can get out of them with very little effort) and, as valuations go, this is probably one of the more conservative valuations you’ll see.

When it comes to Marriott Bonvoy points I struggle to value them at anything higher than 0.6 cents each so with this transfer bonus seeing Ultimate Rewards Points converting to Marriott Bonvoy points at a ratio of 1 to 1.5, I’m essentially being asked to convert points worth 1.5 cents each into points worth 0.9 cents.

On the face of things, that looks like a terrible deal (and for many people it will be) but there are times when a transfer from Chase to Marriott can make sense so it’s important not to dismiss this transfer bonus without further consideration.

Allow me to explain.

On a random night in May, the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara will charge a guest $963 (including taxes and fees) or 60,000 points + 63.70 in resort fees and taxes.

Buy using points instead of cash to make this booking, a Marriott Bonvoy member could get approximately 1.5 cents of value out of every Bonvoy point used, and that’s pretty good when you consider that they’re not really worth more than 0.6 cents each, and when you consider that Marriott will often sell points at approximately 0.83 cents each.

With the 50% transfer bonus that’s now on offer, 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points can be generated from 40,000 Ultimate Rewards Points which, based on my valuation of 1.5 cents/point, are worth $600. In this example, a transfer of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Marriott would see you effectively pay $664 (including resort fee) for a night that would otherwise have cost $963.

Things can look even better on stays of 5 nights thanks to the fact that Marriott Bonvoy members get the 5th night free on award bookings.

A 5-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara in July can cost $1,175/night ($5,875) or 270,000 points + $319 in resort fees and taxes.

270,000 Bonvoy points can be generated from 180,000 Ultimate Rewards Points which, based on my valuation of 1.5 cents/point, are worth $2,700.

When you add in the unforgivable resort fees and taxes that get added on to the award booking, someone transferring Chase Points over to Marriott to reserve this 5-night stay would effectively be handing over $3,019 in points and cash in exchange for a booking that would otherwise have cost $5,875.

That’s a saving of $2,856.

Yes, this is an extreme example so there will be plenty of other examples where transferring Chase points over to Marriott makes no sense whatsoever. But I mentioned that towards the beginning of this post.

What I’m trying to show with this Ritz-Carlton example is that what may appear to be a terrible deal at first glance, may not really be terrible in all circumstances. If you’re booking high-end properties that cost a lot of money, a transfer of Chase points may be a very good way to save a significant amount of money.

Don’t forget

In March 2022 Marriott Bonvoy will be moving to dynamic award pricing which will see the cost of award nights linked to the cash cost of a room for the same nights. This will almost certainly see a lot of the better redemption options disappear so, right now, nobody should be going out of their way to generate Bonvoy points that they don’t plan to use before that devaluation kicks in.

Note: You just have to make your booking before the devaluation, the stay can take place at any time within the booking window.

Bottom Line

A lot of the time the math will dictate that transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Marriott Bonvoy is a poor value proposition regardless of what transfer bonus gets offered because UR Points are so much more valuable than Bonvoy points. As shown above, however, there will be times when a transfer makes sense and when it can save you a substantial sum of money.

If you’re topping up an account or booking a standard room at a property where prices are high (especially if you’re booking a 5-night stay) then a transfer from Chase may save you quite a bit of cash, but make sure you do the math before you enact any transfers as there’s no going back.

Featured image: Ritz-Carlton St Thomas

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card is Chase’s incredibly popular entry-level travel rewards card which has recently been refreshed and made better than ever.

It currently comes with a welcome offer of 60,000 points after a successful applicant spends $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership and it charges an annual fee of $95 in return for a list of good earning rates and benefits.

Our Favorite Benefits:

  • 5 points/dollar on most travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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  • Redeem points at 1.25 cents each when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual $50 credit for hotels booked through Chase 
  • Primary auto rental cover

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