A LoyaltyLobby left a question on a piece I wrote last week (access here) about Marriott’s pending point devaluation and why you should make any aspirational bookings now.
You can access Marriott’s page for points to miles conversions here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Here’s a concise question from a reader:
Any word on if this changes transfers to airline points at 3:1?
Some programs allow members to earn miles instead of points, but this rarely makes any sense, other than keeping your frequent flier account active or for a specific partner promotion.
Here we look at converting points that you have sitting in your account to miles among Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and IHG Rewards.
You earn 10 points per USD spent at full-service hotels at these three chains, making comparison easy.
Marriott Bonvoy members can convert points to miles at a 3:1 ratio with most partners. There is a bonus of 5,000 miles for conversions of 60,000 points (you end up with 25,000 with most programs). Neither Hilton nor IHG offers anything like this. Instead, they offer the same conversion ratio regardless of the amount (you need to meet minimum requirement).
Let’s look at converting 60,000 points with these programs to miles. You need $6,000 in spending to earn the points, excluding taxes/fees, not counting any possible elite and other bonuses.
Loyalty program participation fees that properties pay on the folio amount are generally 3% to 4% range, regardless of the chain, that is used to cover the award redemption payments to hotels, conversions, and administrative fees.
Hilton converting 60,000 Honors points gets you 6,000 miles
IHG converting 60,000 IHG Rewards points gets you 12,000 miles
Marriott converting 60,000 Bonvoy points gets you 25,000 miles
Once the hotel awards are dynamic, this dramatically reduces the money outflow from the Bonvoy program to hotels for awards.
The best bang for the buck then, for many, would likely be conversions of points to miles with frequent flier programs that don’t have many opportunities to transfer points to and which have non-devalued award charts (some still do exist).
Looking at the conversions between these three similar programs and how out of line Marriott is with its ratio, I find it likely that we will see a development here. I doubt that Marriott would like to see significant cash drainage from its system to airline partners once hotel awards are not worth our time.
Previous Articles About The Looming Bonvoy Devaluation:
So, if you have been contemplating converting some Bonvoy points to frequent flier miles from which you will soon redeem (make sure that award availability exists), it probably would be a good idea to do this before the March hotel award devaluation hits.
Marriott has not always given much, if any, advance notice to adverse changes to its programs, and that could be the case here, too, if they decide to change the conversion ratios.
Can Marriott’s points to miles conversion ratio continue to be double that of IHG and quadruple compared to Hilton? I don’t think so, at least not in the long term.
These loyalty programs certainly aren’t as fun as they used to be.