New American Express – Marriott Transfer Ratio Coming in August

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).


American Express Membership Rewards points are great. They’ve been one of my favorite currencies for years which is why I’m working with a seven figure balance of them and I hate parting with them.

  • They can be earned quickly, whether 5 points per dollar on airfare booked with airlines using The Platinum Card® from American Express; 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines and 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (offer expired); 3x points in your choice from 5 categories with the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (Offer expired); 2x on your first $50,000 in purchases per year with The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express.

  • They can be transferred to a variety of airlines for great value redemptions. My favorite transfer partners include ANA Mileage Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Etihad Guest, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Aeroplan, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.


Etihad A380 First Class

Membership Rewards aren’t great for hotel points transfers though. They do have three current hotel partners: Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

While you transfer points 1:2 into Hilton, a Hilton point is worth only 4/10ths of a cent in my estimation. You’re usually getting less than a penny a point in redemption value this way.

Similarly, while I value Starpoints at 2.3 cents apiece a 3:1 transfer ratio gives you about 4/5ths of a cent in value. In contrast I value most of the airline mileage transfer options at around 1.5 cents apiece.

In the new Marriott program there will be two card issuers: Chase for personal cards, and American Express for premium personal and small business cards. All legacy cards will continue to be serviced.

And in the new program the transfer ratio of Membership Rewards to Starwood (and ultimately Marriott) will be changing as well.

  • Currently you transfer 3 Amex points to 1 Starwood point, and 1 Starwood point transfer to 3 Marriott points. So the effective transfer rate is 1 Amex to 1 Marriott.

  • That’s exactly what the transfer ratio will be once the new program starts. American Express tells me “In August, when the broader changes to the Marriott loyalty programs are implemented, the new conversion ratio will be 1:1.”


Al Maha Desert Resort

This is neither a devaluation nor an improvement, except to the extent that you view Marriott’s new award charts as a devaluation or an improvement.

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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Does anybody read your blog anymore with these type of garbage posts? Your blog has turned into nothing more than a mix between a travel tabloid and American Airlines hate propaganda.

  2. Actually I believe the transfer rate did improve. Now when you transfer 1,000 Amex MR points, you’ll get 1,000 Marriott points instead of the 999 you used to get after converting SPG to Marriott. Hallelujah! 😉

  3. @rupert

    I read Gary’s blog everyday and you reading proves that he has many ppl still reading. Maybe its useless for you but it might be helpful to someone else and if you can do better then why are you even here??? Wheres Ruperts blog? Can you do better? I doubt you can. When it comes down to it this isnt your blog you dont have the right to complain, just dont follow.

  4. Okay, I admit it, you got me Gary. I thought when the title said a new transfer ratio that there was a new transfer ratio. I am usually solidly in your corner when people complain about click bait or misleading titles, but this one is and outright falsehood

  5. Any idea what the AMEX Canada transfer ratio will be? Currently AMEX to SPG is 2:1, so if the same 3:1 SPG to Marriott ratio shows up, then hopefully it’ll be 1:1.5. Which is great for us Canadians!

  6. Jonathan K Don’t encourage @rupert we don’t need another useless blog. I also agree on Gary’s blogs one of if not the best one online. Less “see me” and more substance. And he doesn’t censor replies like many do when you cal them out on something that is just not true!

  7. For all of the haters what is the current transfer rate of membership rewards to Marriott rewards? There isn’t one is there? So any direct transfer is new.

  8. Dude, come on. Usually I disagree with all the commenters that say your posts are clickbait, but this is 500 words about nothing at all.

  9. I personally am very grateful for everything Gary has contributed over the years with the exceptional information content provided
    And he has never let me down finding the answers even out his busiest day to follow up and give complimentary advice anywhere in the world as just another one his followers
    He has always been respectful of his readers accepting proper criticism if due
    I believe just saying things kindly and civil rather than attacking a solid contributor w
    ould go a long way on this blog or any other out there
    Like perhaps there is a better title/heading to best describe the topic on point

    Why in this era are some so ready to go on the attack on such personal levels so quickly?
    Life is short take a deep breath and appreciate the greatness we have in our lives while we are all here for less than a New York minute and don’t sweat the small stuff!
    Have a good weekend all
    Cheers

  10. The comments are always the best part of this blog. Doesn’t matter what is posted 95% of the comments are people either complaining or saying the don’t normally complain but this time they have to complain cause this time it is different.

    Also I love the American airlines hate propaganda!

  11. Huh? There is nothing new about a transfer ratio that is exactly the same as it is now. I guess someone needs to find something to write about to reach his daily story count goal. LOL.

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