Posted by Ric Garrido

Marriott makes a stealthy splash with the reacquisition of American Airlines as a partner, yet a 12% price increase from 125,000 points to 140,000 points in the Marriott Rewards points to miles exchange rates table in May 2013 affecting all 37 Marriott Rewards airline partners goes unannounced and unnoticed.

The June 17, 2013 announcement American Airlines returns as an airline partner of Marriott Rewards for earning and redeeming points was welcome news to loyalty travelers. Marriott Rewards members have access once again to mileage earning opportunities with one of the big three airlines in the USA. That is a good thing and I should have written about this two weeks ago.

What surprised me most about the announcement, which I just got around to really looking over and writing about today, is the points-to-miles exchange rate change I noticed in the AA announcement.

Additionally, joint members can convert Marriott Rewards points to AAdvantage miles at the following transfer rate:

• 10,000 points =  2,000 miles

• 20,000 points =  5,000 miles

• 30,000 points =  10,000 miles

• 70,000 points =  25,000 miles

• 140,000 points =  50,000 miles

For more information and to learn more about earning opportunities, please visit aa.com/marriott and/or MarriottRewards.com.

I placed in bold text the points-to-miles exchange rate that is the truly significant announcement to me.

When did Marriott increase its points-to-miles transfer rate from 125,000 points for 50,000 miles to 140,000 points = 50,000 miles?

The only mention at all of the change I found was by a person with 15 posts on FlyerTalk, markr1, dated from May 23, 2013.

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Marriott increases by 12% the best points-to-miles exchange rate among all the hotel loyalty programs without much notice or commentary.

Tier 1 – 140,000 Marriott Rewards Points = 50,000 frequent flyer miles

These are the Tier 1 airline partners of Marriott Rewards affected by the 140,000 miles = 50,000 miles exchange rate devaluation:

  1. Aeromexico,
  2. Aeroplan (Air Canada),
  3. Alaska,
  4. American Airlines,
  5. British Airways,
  6. Delta Air Lines,
  7. Frontier Airlines,
  8. GOL/Varig,
  9. Hawaiian Airlines,
  10. Iberia Airlines,
  11. Southwest Airlines 50,000 points
  12. United Airlines,
  13. US Airways,
  14. Virgin Atlantic

Tier 2 – 140,000 Marriott Rewards Points = 35,000 frequent flyer miles

And here are the Tier 2 airline partners of Marriott Rewards that always had lower exchange rates, yet these airlines are also affected by the devaluation with the price increase from 125,000 points to 140,000 points = 35,000 miles in May 2013:

  1. Aeroflot,
  2. airberlin,
  3. Air China,
  4. Air France/KLM,
  5. Alitalia,
  6. ANA,
  7. Asiana Airlines,
  8. Avianca-TACA,
  9. Cathay Pacific,
  10. China Eastern,
  11. China Southern,
  12. Emirates,
  13. Japan Airlines,
  14. Jet Airways,
  15. LAN,
  16. Lufthansa Miles & More,
  17. Qantas,
  18. Qatar Airways,
  19. Saudia Airlines,
  20. Singapore Airlines,
  21. TAP Air Portugal

JetBlue Airlines and Virgin America

  • 140,000 Marriott Rewards points = 25,000 True Blue points
  • 140,000 Marriott Rewards points = 25,000 Elevate points

 

Marriott Rewards Points-to-Miles Exchange Rates is best of all hotel programs.

The reason this points-to-miles exchange rate change is significant is due to Marriott Rewards having a variable exchange rate for hotel points to airline frequent flyer miles. Variable exchange rate means as higher quantities of Marriott Rewards points are redeemed for miles, the exchange rate improves. The 125,000 points for 50,000 miles level was the best standard points-to-miles exchange rate among all hotel loyalty programs. 40,000 Starpoints for 50,000 miles is the closest for members earning large quantities of points through travel and credit card spend. Club Carlson is also a contender.

A 12% increase in points needed for the same miles is a significant devaluation for Marriott Rewards members who redeem points to earn airline miles.

Good news is Marriott Hotel + Air Travel Package rates have not changed and still offer the best points-to-miles exchange rate of any hotel loyalty program for Tier 1 airline partners of Marriott Rewards.

Marriott Rewards Points-to-Miles Exchange Rates for Aeromexico, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Alaska, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic.

  • 10,000 points =  2,000 miles (5 points = 1 mile)
  • 20,000 points =  5,000 miles  (4 points = 1 mile)
  • 30,000 points =  10,000 miles (3 points = 1 mile)
  • 70,000 points =  25,000 miles (2.8 points = 1 mile)
  • 140,000 points =  50,000 miles (2.8 points = 1 mile)
  • Previously, 125,000 points = 50,000 miles gave a better exchange rate at 2.5 points = 1 mile).
  • Note: Marriott Rewards Air+Hotel Travel Package offers 120,000 miles for 120,000 points above the regular 7-night hotel reward rate. 1 Marriott Rewards point = 1 frequent flyer mile.

Marriott Rewards points-to-miles exchange rate is lower with Tier 2 airlines including Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal.

  • 10,000 points =  1,500 miles (6.67 points = 1 mile)
  • 20,000 points =  3,500 miles  (5.71 points = 1 mile)
  • 30,000 points =  7,000 miles (4.29 points = 1 mile)
  • 70,000 points =  17,500 miles (4.0 points = 1 mile)
  • 140,000 points =  35,000 miles (4.0 points = 1 mile)
  • Previously, 125,000 points = 35,000 miles gave a better exchange rate at 3.57 points = 1 mile).
  • Note: Marriott Rewards Air+Hotel Travel Package offers 85,000 miles for 120,000 points above the regular 7-night hotel reward rate.  1.41 Marriott Rewards points = 1 mile.

The increased cost for airline miles is major news happening at Marriott Rewards over the past month.

Oh yeah, American Airlines, a tier 1 airline and Saudia Airlines, a tier 2 airline based on their points-to-miles exchange rates are now airline partners with Marriott Rewards.

 

Related Loyalty Traveler post:

Club Carlson devalues points-to-miles exchange rate (July 1, 2013)

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to a daily email newsletter on the upper left side of this page.

7 Responses

  1. Ric:

    Club Carlson devalued overnight. Now 100k>10k instead of 18k.

    No notice.

    Comment by toomanybooks on July 1st, 2013 at 11:38 am
  2. Ric just to say what a great service you provide to your readers. Your assessments and overviews are brilliant.
    Your topics and content are greatly appreciated
    You remain one of the top bloggers in the field with some very good company!
    I can’t think off hand of another blogger who brought the Marriott Rewards increase up
    It was really sneaky of Marriott in every way and it makes me less likely to consider doing business with them. It’s called trust and notifying the membership of important changes good or bad to the program by email or in writing to prepare and plan accordingly

    Comment by D Wonderment on July 1st, 2013 at 11:46 am
  3. Great information and very helpful math

  4. @toomanybooks – Wow. Club Carlson changes are worse than Marriott Rewards. To go from 5.56 point per mile to 10 points per mile is a 44% devaluation compared to the previous rate of 100,000 points = 18,000 miles.

    Hotel loyalty members are getting screwed with these no notice changes.

    Club Carlson devalues points-to-miles exchange rate

  5. I think this is kind of a “who cares” for most people. I need more Marriott points and fewer airline miles as hotel points are easy to use for the high priced nights I need. So I’d prefer to see an air-to-hotel transfer rather than the other direction. Of course, the transfer rate is never good. But why would I transfer 3 Marriott points (which I value a .01-.02) for 1 airline mile, where I am lucky to get .02 per mile?

  6. […] Marriott Rewards quiet points-to-miles devaluation and loud AA partnership […]

  7. @Boraxo – The real value of points to miles transfers comes when needing miles to top off a frequent flyer acccount for an airline award.

    50,000 miles is the difference between economy and business with many airlines.

    50,000 miles is a trip to Europe.

    The cost to buy airline miles is really high. American AAdvantage wants $32.50 per 1,000 miles.

    125,000 Marriott points used to transfer to 50,000 miles.

    Now it takes 140,000 points.

    Buying 15,000 Mariott points is nearly a $200 hit if this was a reward you had planned to use for summer travel.

    There are millions of Marriott Rewards members and I am sure some of them transfer points to miles. A business traveler earninng points on caompany financed trips may need flight awards far more than hotel points when family vacation comes around.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on July 3rd, 2013 at 9:12 am

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