American Express Membership Rewards is currently offering a transfer bonus for their U.S. based members on mileage transfers to Marriott Bonvoy.
American Express offers these bonus conversions on a revolving basis throughout the year and in various countries (different transfer conditions apply to each countries Membership Rewards program so check your personal offers online).
This current 30% Marriott Bonvoy transfer bonus is targeted to U.S. based Membership Rewards members and can be found in the online account under the Membership Rewards section.
The promotion ends on the 31th of October 2019.
A 30% bonus means that you will receive 1300 Marriott Bonvoy points per 1000 Membership Rewards points transferred so 1.3 points per US$ spent. Even with the bonus that is a very bad ratio considering the overall value of MR points, one of the most flexible points currencies out there.
Keep in mind that with the plain Amex Bonvoy card you already earn 2 points per US$ spent and 6 points per US$ spent at Marriott properties. This shows that the offer isn’t very good at all.
The only way how this transfer from a plain Membership Rewards account could be worthwhile is by topping up an existing Marriott balance and then redeeming for a travel package to improve the redemption value.
This also has a side benefit, namely that you can transfer to airlines which are currently not partnering with Membership Rewards such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa Miles&More or United Mileage Plus.
My Marriott account currently has ~ 170,000 points which would be worth 8 nights at a Cat 4 property (including 5th night free on one redemption).
I’d need an additional 160,000 points to order a basic Rewards Plus Travel Package for United Airlines which will give me 110,000 miles plus 7 nights at a Marriott property Cat 1-4.
160k would require me to transfer 123,000 Amex points over under this promotion in order to find the best ratio.
However this doesn’t work for everyone and this is a very far fetched example how one could make it work if you need to transfer points to United which is normally not an option with Amex. The loss would be relatively small but at least you have the currency you want in the end.
I personally wouldn’t transfer Membership Rewards to Marriott as the ratio is really horrible. Unless under very narrow circumstances I don’t believe there is much purpose and value to be found.
If you’re after Marriott points I suggest to apply for the Amex or Chase Bonvoy card outright and stay away from transferring both Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to the program.
The following are the Terms & Conditions for the Amex Transfer Promotion to Marriott Bonvoy:
You must be enrolled in Marriott Bonvoy™ in order to participate in this offer, visit https://www.marriott.com/loyalty.mi to enroll. American Express is not responsible for availability, accommodations or any other rewards in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Once you have transferred Membership Rewards points, they become subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Marriott Bonvoy program and cannot be transferred back to your Membership Rewards program account. See Marriott Bonvoy Terms and Conditions for details. This offer is non-transferable and may not be combined with other offers. American Express in its sole discretion reserves the right to alter and or terminate these offers at any time. To be eligible to receive these offers, all Card accounts linked to an enrollee’s Membership Rewards program account must not be canceled, past due or have a return payment at the time of point redemption.
Minimum transfer is 1,000 Membership Rewards points. Redeem for this exclusive offer from 12:00 am MT on 09/04/19 to 11:59 pm MT on 10/31/19, to receive 30% additional Marriott Bonvoy bonus points. Please allow up to eight weeks for the additional Marriott Bonvoy bonus points to be awarded. Marriott Bonvoy bonus points do not count towards elite tier qualification.