The Guide to Marriott Airline Partners
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Table of Contents
- Marriott airline transfer partners and transfer ratios
- Airline partners exclusive to Marriott
- How to make a Marriott points transfer
- When it makes sense to transfer Marriott points to airlines
- How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
- Does it make sense to earn Marriott points specifically for transferring them to airlines?
- Transferring points between different Marriott accounts
- Marriott airline partners, summed up
Marriott is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, offering travelers plenty of options to redeem Bonvoy points for award nights. However, a lesser known feature of the rewards program is the ability to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Marriott's airline transfer partners.
What's more, Marriott has about 40 airline transfer partners to pick from — and the Marriott transfer conversion ratio is better than the transfer ratios from many other hotels to airlines. That makes Marriott one of the best hotel chains for travelers who want to use hotel stays to earn free flights.
In addition, several of the airlines that are transfer partners of Marriott aren't transfer partners of the four main transferable point programs, offering a unique opportunity to obtain airline miles with specific carriers.
So if you’ve got Marriott points and want to be aware of all your airline transfer options, here’s what you need to know, including how long transfers take and if you can move points around between different Marriott accounts.
Marriott airline transfer partners and transfer ratios
Of Marriott's roughly 40 airline partners, Marriott points can be transferred to 39 airlines at a 3:1 ratio, so 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy points become 1,000 airline miles.
There's just one exception: Air New Zealand AirPoints convert at a transfer ratio of 200:1.
Airline frequent flyer programs
Points : miles ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Air New Zealand Airpoints
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™
American Airlines AAdvantage®
ANA Mileage Club
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
Korean Air SKYPASS
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer®
Southwest Rapid Rewards®
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
3:1 (2:1 if transferring in 60,000-point increments).
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
Marriott also rewards you for transferring in bulk. For every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, you'll receive a 5,000 airline point bonus. Given that, you should almost always strive to transfer in 60,000-point increments. When you do, transferring 60,000 Marriott points will result in 25,000 airline miles for most of the airlines with a 3:1 ratio — transferring 60,000 points to United, however, will get a 10,000-mile bonus, for a total of 30,000 points, which translates to a transfer ratio of 2:1.
Note that American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Avianca and Korean Air no longer qualify for this transfer bonus.
How much are Marriott points worth?
Marriott Bonvoy points are worth 0.7 cent according to NerdWallet’s valuations. Compare those against NerdWallet’s airline program valuations to understand what sort of value you get in the conversion process.
The best Marriott transfer partners
Generally speaking, though, the best Marriott transfer partners are:
Transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to United
As noted above, the United MileagePlus ratio of 3:1 isn't unique, but thanks to the RewardsPlus partnership program between Marriott and United a transfer of 60,000 Marriott points will yield a 10,000-mile bonus, or 30,000 United MileagePlus miles total, which, in effect, makes the transfer ratio 2:1.
That's one of the better Marriott airline transfer partners. But even still, understand that your Bonvoys are usually most valuable when redeemed for Marriott hotel stays. Given Nerdwallet's valuation of a Marriott point at 0.7 cent, that makes 60,000 Marriott points worth more than $400. Compare that with NerdWallet's valuation of a United mile at 1.2 cents, and the equivalent transfer, even with the bonus, is worth less than $400.
Sure, United is one of the better Marriott transfer partners, but if you envision booking a Marriott stay on points, keep your Bonvoys as Bonvoys.
The worst Marriott Bonvoy transfer partners
The weakest ratio (200:1) is with Air New Zealand — a transfer of 200,000 Marriott points will get you 16,000 Air New Zealand Airpoints.
Other Marriott Bonvoy transfer partners to avoid include Southwest Rapid Rewards, Frontier Miles and Qatar Airways Privilege Club. If you’ll truly never use your Marriott points again — and you solely fly one of these airlines — then you might as well make the transfer. But if you’re picking between airlines, skip one of these to maintain as much of your points’ value as possible.
Airline partners exclusive to Marriott
One of the most standout features of the Marriott Bonvoy program is that it has landed airline partners that no other transferable points program has.
Among the airline partners exclusive to Marriott include Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Copa Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Japan Airlines, KoreanAir, LATAM Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, South African Airways, Virgin Australia and Vueling.
You cannot transfer points to these airlines from the usual transferable point programs: AmEx, Chase, Citi ThankYou or Capital One.
Some of these airlines offer sweet spot opportunities, like using 25,000 Copa ConnectMiles to fly across North America on United business class, which is 10,000 miles cheaper than if you were to book that award on United. Or using 62,500 Korean Skypass miles (off-peak) to fly from the U.S. to South Korea in business class.
If you’ve got your eye on an award with one of these airlines, a Marriott point transfer could be a good value.
» Learn more: The best and worst Marriott transfer partners
How to make a Marriott points transfer
Log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account and navigate to the Transfer Points page.
Select the frequent flyer program you want to transfer to from the dropdown, input your frequent flyer number, and enter in the number of points you want to convert.
You must transfer a minimum of 3,000 points at a time, and you can transfer a maximum of 240,000 points per day.
Once a Marriott point transfer is initiated, it may take up to one week for the airline miles to post.
When transferring Marriott points to an airline, the names on both accounts must match. In other words, you cannot transfer Marriott points from your account to an airline frequent flyer account of someone else; the names on both programs must be identical.
When it makes sense to transfer Marriott points to airlines
Even the best Marriott airline transfer partners will cause your points to lose some of their value — at least most of the time.
With that in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to when it makes sense to transfer Marriott points to an airline. The value of your Marriott points and/or airline miles depends not only on the valuation of the points, but also on what type of redemption you want to use it for.
Marriott points are worth 0.7 cent each, making 60,000 Marriott points worth about $420. Here’s an example using American Airlines to illustrate how you lose some value when making a Marriott points tranfer:
If you were to transfer 60,000 Marriott points to American Airlines, you’d end up with 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. AAdvantage miles are worth 1.5 cents each, so your 25,000 AAdvantage miles are worth $300.
You don’t need a Ph.D. in math to know that $420 in value is worth more than $300.
However, the cash cost of that same ticket could be significantly more or less than $300. Let’s say you’re eyeing a round-trip flight on American and it costs $500 in cash or 25,000 American miles. In this case, a transfer from Marriott to American Airlines could make sense, especially if you don’t have a use for 60,000 Marriott points.
Beyond finding a great redemption on airline miles, other situations where you might consider making a Marriott points transfer, even if it’s slightly subpar, include:
You need just a few more miles (usually less than 1,000) to book a flight with miles (in which case transferring the minimum of 3,000 Marriott points, worth about $20, could get you there).
You never intend on staying at a Marriott, or at least using your points before they expire (Marriott Bonvoy points expire if your account doesn't have qualifying activity for 24 consecutive months).
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
There are plenty of ways to earn Marriott points, including staying at Marriott hotels, using Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards and transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
You can also earn Marriott points by spending on one of its co-branded credit cards, which are issued by Chase and American Express. Current cards (and welcome offers) include:
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card (annual fee: $0): Limited Time Offer! Earn up to 100,000 Bonus Points. 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first 6 months from account opening. Plus an additional 50,000 Bonus Points after you stay 6 eligible paid nights at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® through 1/31/24.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (annual fee: $95): Limited Time Offer! Earn up to 125,000 Bonus Points. 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 6 months from account opening. Plus an additional 50,000 Bonus Points after you stay 6 eligible paid nights at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® through 1/31/24.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (annual fee: $650): Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you stay 6 eligible paid nights at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy through 1/31/24. Offer ends 8/9/2023. Terms Apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (annual fee: $125): Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.
In addition, AmEx has been known to offer transfer bonuses to Marriott in the past. For example, in June 2021, AmEx offered a 30% bonus on point transfers to Marriott. Timing a point transfer during a bonus from AmEx to Marriott could be a good opportunity to maximize your Bonvoy points.
» Learn more: Your complete guide to earning Marriott Bonvoy points
Does it make sense to earn Marriott points specifically for transferring them to airlines?
Accumulating Marriott points could be useful strategy to earn points with the airline you’re focusing on in a few instances:
You don’t need Marriott points, but you’ve exhausted all of your mile accumulation options with a specific airline. This can happen if you already hold an airline-specific credit card and cannot apply for another one.
You need airline miles with a carrier that’s not a transfer partner of AmEx, Chase, Citi ThankYou or Capital One. Marriott points transfer to 40 airlines, providing ample opportunities to accrue miles with numerous airlines.
There are no mileage earning options (other than flying) with a specific airline that's a transfer partner of Marriott and you need more miles, but cannot fly to earn them. For example, if you need miles with a foreign carrier and there is no co-branded credit card available for the U.S. market, consider transferring points from Marriott.
The value of the airline award is significantly higher than what you would get if you used those Marriott points for a hotel stay. If you see a sweet spot award ticket and the cash cost of the airline ticket is significant, a transfer could be worthwhile, especially if you don’t have a Marriott stay coming up.
Transferring points between different Marriott accounts
If you need a Marriott point infusion and know someone who is willing to transfer the points to you, you’re in luck because Marriott allows for point transfers between accounts.
You can transfer up to 100,000 Bonvoy points per year to another Marriott account and receive up to 500,000 Bonvoy points per year from other accounts as long as both accounts are in good standing and have been open for 30 days or more (with qualifying activity) or 90 days without qualifying activity.
To complete a transfer, the account holder initiating the transfer must contact Marriott’s member support team at 1-800-627-7468.
Marriott airline partners, summed up
Marriott is a solid loyalty program on its own, offering several options for using Bonvoy points for award stays. However, if you’re looking to use your Marriott points for an award flight instead, you have 40 airline partners to choose from. Transferring points from Marriott to its airline partners could make sense, especially if you can use the miles to book sweet spot award flights.
However, a transfer isn’t always the best option and depends on many factors, including the value of the Marriott points and the specific airline’s miles. If you do decide to transfer Marriott points, keep in mind that you earn 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card