If you have elite status with either Marriott or United, a partnership between their loyalty programs can give you reciprocal elite status in the other program, plus bonus miles when you transfer Marriott points to United miles. Here’s what you need to know to maximize the RewardsPlus partnership.
Marriott elites become United elites and vice versa
If you have Titanium Elite or Ambassador Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, you can claim Premier Silver status in United’s MileagePlus loyalty program. If you have Premier Gold status with United, you can claim Gold Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy.
Marriott Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members who enroll in RewardsPlus get a nice array of perks with United as Premier Silver elite members, including:
Complimentary access to preferred seating at booking and economy plus seats at check-in for you and a companion.
Complimentary day-of-departure upgrades.
One free checked bag on United economy flights or three free checked bags when flying in a premium cabin.
Group 2 priority boarding.
7x award miles when flying on United.
25% bonus United miles when flying on Star Alliance partners.
Expanded award availability.
Other perks like a discount for Clear, Hertz Five Star elite status and reduced fees.
United elite members with at least Premier Gold status who enroll in RewardsPlus get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. That’s Marriott’s second tier of elite status, typically requiring 25 qualifying nights. Marriott Gold Elite status comes with perks including:
25% bonus points on stays.
Room upgrades, based on availability.
2 p.m. late checkout, based on availability.
Bonus points at check-in.
Enhanced internet access.
How Marriott elites enroll to get United Silver status
Marriott Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members can request their complimentary United Silver elite status by starting on Marriott's RewardsPlus portal. Click the “Join RewardsPlus” link to begin the process.
You’ll be prompted to log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account. Then enter your United MileagePlus account number to link your accounts.
The confirmation page says it will take seven to 10 days for your elite benefits to be effective. However, you may see your status updated as quickly as the next day.
» Learn more: The 5 best ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points
How United elites enroll to get Marriott status
United Premier Gold, Platinum and 1K elite members can get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status by starting on United's MileagePlus portal.
Enter your MileagePlus number, password and email address, accept the terms and conditions, and click “Register for status.” Follow the instructions to link your accounts.
Get bonus United miles when you transfer Marriott points
All Marriott Bonvoy members can transfer points to more than 40 different airlines including United, usually at a 3:1 ratio. However, RewardsPlus members transferring Marriott points to United miles get a 10% bonus. That boosts the transfer ratio to 3:1.1.
That may not sound like a lot, but this bonus can add up. Say you need 11,000 United miles to book an award. You’ll save 3,000 Marriott points because you need to transfer only 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points instead of 33,000 points.
It gets even better when you combine this bonus with Marriott’s standard transfer bonus for all Bonvoy members. For every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, Marriott adds on another 5,000 bonus miles. For transfers to most airlines, that means you’ll get 25,000 miles for transferring 60,000 points.
RewardsPlus members who transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points to United get 27,500 miles with the 10% bonus. After factoring in the two bonuses, you will get nearly a 2:1 transfer ratio.
How to transfer Marriott points to United miles
Start on Marriott’s Transfer Points to Miles webpage, then click “Transfer Points.”
In the window that pops up, select the frequent flyer program you want to transfer to and enter your membership number. Enter the number of Marriott points you wish to transfer.
The transfer tool will calculate the number of airline miles you’ll receive at the standard transfer ratio. This calculation won’t reflect the 5,000-mile bonus for transferring at least 60,000 points or your 10% RewardsPlus bonus. So, you’ll need to mentally factor in both when transferring Marriott points to United miles.
Top off your Marriott Bonvoy account with United miles
What if you need some Marriott Bonvoy points? The good news is that United MileagePlus Premier members can transfer miles to Marriott Bonvoy. The bad news? The transfer rate is only 1:1.
United miles are generally more valuable than Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s why it can be a good deal to transfer Marriott points to United at a 3:1.1 transfer ratio. However, transferring points from United to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio is harder to justify.
So convert your United miles to Marriott points only when you’re within striking distance of a Marriott hotel stay. You’re limited to transferring 100,000 United miles to Marriott points each calendar year. There’s a minimum transfer of 500 miles.
How to transfer United miles to Marriott points
To transfer United miles to Marriott Bonvoy points, start on this United website.
Enter your MileagePlus number and password, then agree to the terms and conditions. Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your Marriott Bonvoy account number. Then enter the number of miles that you want to transfer.
The bottom line
Reciprocal elite status and earning bonus points on transfers are nice perks of the RewardsPlus partnership. If you’re eligible, go ahead and enroll. It’s free. Then you can enjoy status in both programs instead of just one. And keep the point-transfer options in mind for the next time you need to top off your United MileagePlus or Marriott Bonvoy account.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
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Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card