Marriott Brings Back Mileage Earning With and Transfers to American AAdvantage, Plus 500 Bonus Miles Per Stay

American Airlines and Marriott Rewards announced a partnership today, restoring a relationship which was severed back in June 2010.

Members will be able to earn AAdvantage miles for Marriott stays (rather than Marriott Rewards points) if they wish, and will be able to convert Marriott points to AAdvantage miles.

The conversions will take place at the ‘higher’ tier that Marriott offers, similar to transfers into Aeromexico, Aeroplan, Alaska, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.

The conversion rate of Marriott Rewards to American miles (and to the mileage currencies of the other airlines listed above) is:

  • 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

Other air transfer partners are less lucrative, e.g. 10,000 points to 1500 miles and 140,000 points to 35,000 miles.

You’ll also be able to redeem Marriott Rewards points for American miles as part of 7 night hotel stay plus miles travel packages.

Another option for Marriott stays and transfers is of course a good thing. I usually credit my hotel stays to hotel points, and only transfer Starwood points to miles or hotel points to miles when there’s a bonus for doing so or a promotion that requires activity with a variety of partners.

But I know that this is a very popular option. And in fact from speaking with the AAdvantage folks this morning about it they were very clear that it’s something that they were hearing across all channels from their members that not partnering with Marriott was a huge gap. I hear from customers in my award booking service all the time as well with Marriott points wanting to transfer to miles (and the travel packages are a reasonable deal). There was a ton of transferring three years ago right before the option shut down. No doubt many will sue this.

They’re promoting the new earn/transfer relationship with a 500 mile per stay bonus when you go into your Marriott Rewards profile and change your earning preference to American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

For stays which begin between July 15 and August 15, each stay earns 500 bonus points. There’s no limit (other than a calendar limit based on the duration of the promotion) and no registration is required. So an infrequent Marriott guest staying at a Marriott during this time could come out ahead.

It’s good to see this partnership back, members clearly value it. It’s good to see a bonus to promote it. For these two big travel providers, an airline and hotel chain, it seemed strange that they couldn’t work things out before so good to see that they now have.


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the news!

    I always use my hotel points on hotels as I have plenty of air miles, but the packages seem intriguing. Looking at the difference between the 50k and 120k miles plus 7 nights options, it seems like they are valuing one MR point to one AA mile in that deal.

    How do you value AA miles vs. MR points in terms of $/mile or $/point?

  2. Awesome! I didn’t want to redeem for the Travel Package last week as I value AA miles the most. Now it makes more sense. Even though the hotel I need to book in Okinawa is now unavailable 🙁 Hope it’ll come back soon. But this is a good news, and came out of nowhere. Just wish it happened last week when the hotel was available for me.

  3. Gary – thanks for posting this. Do you know what the impact of accumulating miles vs. MR Points is on achieving lifetime status? (I recall Marriott Lifetime status requires x amount of nights, as well as accumulating x amount or MR points).

  4. Just applied for a mystery CC offer which is reported by FTers to be a 70k one. No need for Marriott points, but a 25k AA mile card isn’t bad.

  5. @Gary – I think you should add in some detailed analysis as to when it would be beneficial to earn AA miles instead of Marriott points or INSTEAD, earn Marriott points and convert them to AA miles.

    Clearly for 1 night stays during the promotion period (7/15-8/15), it would make sense to earn miles instead of points on all but the very most expensive of room rates. However, this does not appear to be the case for outside the promotion period.

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