HomeHotel LoyaltyMarriott BonvoyReminder: RewardsPlus is currently running a special promo for United & Marriott...

Reminder: RewardsPlus is currently running a special promo for United & Marriott top-tier elites

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As we covered the Marriott/United partnership yesterday, now seems like a good time to for a reminder that top-tier Marriott Bonvoy and with United MileagePlus elites are being offered a limited-time promotion which allows them to earn upgrades in the other’s  loyalty program.

Premier 1K members can earn Bonvoy upgrade awards

Marriott Bonvoy upgrade certificates are called ‘Nightly Upgrade Awards’ (formerly, Suite Night Awards), and each certificate can be used to request a one-night upgrade at select Marriott properties and brands (for 2024, more brands are now participating).

Right now, the RewardsPlus partnership is offering MileagePlus Premier 1K members the following deal:

Spend $3,000 with Marriott Bonvoy between now and 31 March 2024 and earn 3 Nightly Upgrade Awards.

1K members who have already linked their MileagePlus and Bonvoy accounts are automatically enrolled in this promotion while those who have yet to do so, will need to register here.

Link to Marriott’s Nightly Upgrade Awards page.

Bonvoy Ambassador elites can earn MileagePlus upgrades

Back in 2019, United replaced Regional and Global upgrades with a system called ‘PlusPoints’ and it’s these points that Bonvoy Ambassador members can currently earn.

Full details of the PlusPoints benefit can be found here, but all you really need to know for now is that the RewardsPlus partnership is offering this promotion …

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite members with linked accounts can earn 40 PlusPoints to request upgrades on United flights. Eligible members with linked accounts simply need to complete at least US$4,000* in flights operated by United or United Express® between January 1 and March 31, 2024, to enjoy this exclusive benefit.

*Including base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges.

… and that this is what the cost of PlusPoints redemptions looks like:

  • 10 PlusPoints – Upgrade from United Premium Plus to United Business on short-haul flights.
  • 20 PlusPoints – Upgrade from:
    • United Economy to United First or United Business on short-haul flights or
    • United Economy to United Premium Plus on short-haul flights or
    • United Economy to United Premium Plus on long-haul flights.
  • 30 PlusPoints – Upgrade from United Premium Plus to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.
  • 40 PlusPoints – Upgrade from United Economy to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.
  • 80 PlusPoints – Upgrade from Discounted economy to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.

When making a booking through the United website (or app) you can choose to filter your flight search results to show only flights with confirmable upgrade space or flights with confirmable space and flights on which you can waitlist a request and apply PlusPoints as appropriate.

Note: Not all fare classes can be upgraded using PlusPoints so you may have to pay for a higher fare if you want to apply for an upgrade.

Bonvoy Ambassador elites who have already linked their Bonvoy and MileagePlus accounts are automatically enrolled in this promotion, while those who have yet to do so, will need to register here.

Quick thoughts

Getting complimentary upgrades is always nice so, overall, this is a nice promotion for top-tier elites that should cost them nothing extra.

1K and Ambassador elites should, however, be aware of the limitations of the upgrade instruments on offer – Bonvoy upgrades can be hard to clear, and United’s upgrades are often unusable on cheaper fares – and should keep in mind that the best way to approach this promotion is to think of it as a bonus, and not as something offering targets that they should make an extra effort to reach.

If you’re going to hit your $3k/$4k spending target organically, the upgrade instruments will be a nice bonus, and if you need to bring forward a bit of spending that you would have made anyway to keep to within the promotion timelines, that’s ok too.

What nobody should be doing is looking upon this promotion as a reason to throw extra cash in Marriott’s and United’s direction because, frankly, the pay-off probably won’t be worth it.

These upgrade instruments come with strings attached and these strings can often get in the way.

Bottom line

The RewardsPlus partnership between Marriott and United Airlines is currently offering Bonvoy and MileagePlus top-tier elites the opportunity to earn PlusPoints and Nightly Suite Upgrade awards (respectively) by hitting spending target that need to be met by 31 March 2024.

For anyone who can hit these targets without deviating from their travel budget, these upgrades can be a nice bonus. Everyone else should take a close look at what these upgrade instruments offer and how they work before committing to giving Marriott and United more of their money.

For Your Consideration

a black credit card with a white line and a chip

Currently, if you successful apply for the card_name (Amex's high-end premium Marriott credit card), you can bonus_miles_full.

(Annual fee annual_fees - rates & fees).

Select Benefit Highlights (terms apply & enrollment may be required):

  • Annual free night award worth up to 85,000 points
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
  • 25 elite night credits every year (limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy® member account).
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Up to $25/month in dining statement credits

Click for more details on the card_name

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please visit rates & fees

Regarding Comments

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