American Express Canada has officially launched a 25% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy. The transfer bonus event runs from October 1–November 30, 2023, which leaves plenty of time to take advantage of the promotion.
If you have reason to transfer Amex MR points to Marriott Bonvoy, this is a good opportunity to squeeze some more value out of your points to book hotels, or to transfer points to airline programs.
25% Transfer Bonus to Marriott Bonvoy
The standard transfer ratio from Canadian-issued American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy is 1:1.2: for every 1,000 MR points transferred, you’d receive 1,200 Marriott Bonvoy points.
On the American Express website, this is the ratio displayed when you go to initiate a transfer.
However, under the Product Information tab, it clearly displays that the transfer bonus is in effect, even though some typos make it a bit difficult to parse at first glance.
With a 25% bonus, this transfer ratio has been bumped up to an effective 1:1.5 ratio: 1,000 MR points will earn you 1,500 Marriott Bonvoy points.
After you’ve made a transfer, the extra 25% bonus points typically come in a separate chunk from the standard transfer amount.
Transfers to Marriott Bonvoy are officially slated to take two business days to complete; however, in practise it happens instantly.
The name and address should match between your Amex MR and Marriott Bonvoy accounts — although keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy members can send up to 100,000 points per calendar year to another member, and can receive up to 500,000 points per calendar year cumulatively from other members.
Is It a Good Deal to Transfer Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy?
Converting Amex MR points into Marriott Bonvoy points represents one of the many potential valuable uses, although even with the 25% transfer bonus in play, it may not necessarily be the best use of MR points.
That’s because MR points can be transferred to airline frequent flyer programs as well (notably Aeroplan or British Airways Executive Club at a 1:1 ratio), which typically provide better value when redeemed for flights in premium cabins, compared to the average hotel redemption via Marriott Bonvoy.
If you’ve already got enough points to cover your flights, though, then transferring to Marriott Bonvoy would certainly be a compelling next-best use case, especially if you need to top up your account for an aspirational redemption.
30,000 MR points
In terms of the best credit card to use for maximizing this promotion, the Amex Cobalt Card is most well-known for its ability to earn 5 MR points per dollar spent on food and drinks, including dining, groceries, and food delivery.
With the 25% transfer bonus in place, you can effectively earn 7.5 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent on all purchases in the food and drinks category.
Again, though, you’ll want to carefully consider the value proposition between the hotel side (with Marriott Bonvoy) and the airline side (with Aeroplan and Avios).
You can extract much higher value from your points by booking premium flights than hotels, but you probably need to book both when you embark on a trip.
It therefore really boils down to individual preferences as to whether to allocate some points for hotels in addition to flights or to save everything for the air travel side.
Don’t Forget: Transferring Marriott Bonvoy to Airline Partners
Even if you’re intent on redeeming your Amex MR points for high-value flights, a Marriott Bonvoy transfer with the 25% bonus in play could still be an optimal strategy.
That’s because you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to most of the 40+ airline partners at the optimal ratio of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles.
With the elevated 1:1.5 transfer ratio from Amex MR, this opens up many more doors in terms of using your Canadian-issued Amex MR points to access a far greater range of frequent flyer programs than usual.
Remember that the optimal transfer ratio takes effect in chunks of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. This gives us the following ratio during the upcoming period
40,000 Amex MR points = 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles
Almost every frequent flyer program worth its salt is a partner of Marriott – and can therefore be accessed at an effective ratio of 40,000 MR points = 25,000 miles, as seen above.
As before, MR points will be the most compelling transfer candidate if you have any to spare, but even if you’re sitting on regular MR points, this very favourable effective transfer ratio is still worth considering if you have your eye on any of the award chart sweet spots out there that might usually be harder to access.
American Express has launched another 25% transfer bonus from Amex MR to Marriott Bonvoy, which will entice some of us to convert our MR points over to the world’s largest hotel loyalty program.
Others may decide to keep their MR points for flight redemptions — for them, the 25% transfer bonus on the hotel side would be merely a nice backup option during this month-long period.
If you fall in the latter camp, keep in mind that not only will there be excellent value in redeeming for free hotel nights, but Marriott Bonvoy’s 40+ airline transfer partners also greatly expand the possibilities for redeeming MR points towards amazing flight experiences as well.
This promotion runs until November 30, 2023, so be sure to make your transfer before then if you stand to benefit.
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