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After months of drought, it looks like Amex is starting to open the floodgates on transfers from Membership Rewards to other loyalty programs. Not only is there now a 40% bonus on transfers to Hilton Honors but Amex is now also offering targeted cardholders a 40% bonus on transfers to Marriott Bonvoy.
American Express Membership Rewards offers transfers to just three hotel loyalty programs and one of these is Marriott Bonvoy. Right now AMEX is offering a 40% bonus on all Membership Rewards points transferred over to Marriott by 31 October 2020 but this is a “deal” that almost everyone should be ignoring.
Before I even consider the math behind this transfer offer, a key thing to note is that Amex has been known to offer bonuses of up to 50% on transfers to Marriott Bonvoy in the past so this is not the best deal we’re ever likely to see – keep this in mind when deciding whether now is the best time for you to action a transfer.
I value Membership Rewards points at 1.5 cents each and, as valuations go, this is probably one of the more conservative valuations you’ll see (you’ll find them vastly over-valued at 2.0 cents each on one particular credit card site but I wouldn’t take any valuation that site offers too seriously).
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 AMEX Membership Rewards points converting to Marriott Bonvoy points at a ratio of 1 to 1.4, we’re essentially being asked to convert points worth 1.5 cents each into points worth 0.84 cents. It shouldn’t really take any more explaining from me for readers to see that this isn’t the best use of Membership Rewards points around. Even the current Hilton transfer bonus is a considerably better deal.
If you have more Membership Rewards points than you’ll ever be able to use (and are short some Bonvoy points for your next award booking) then it’s probably no big deal if you transfer over some points while this offer is on (you have two months to decide if it’s worth your while) but, under most scenarios I can envisage, this isn’t a good proposition at all.
Yes, there will probably be individual cases where even when you’re only getting 0.84 cents of value out of each Membership Reward point the deal is worth considering (when the cash cost of a Marriott booking is hugely inflated and when an award booking is available instead) but for most people, this is a transfer offer to ignore.