Marriott Bonvoy is making the value proposition of some airline mileage transfers worse.

Marriott ends 5,000-mile transfer bonus for some partners

Marriott Bonvoy is the only hotel loyalty program that allows you to convert hotel points into airline miles without losing value.

You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to over 30 airline miles at a 3:1 ratio. Bonvoy points can be transferred in a number of ways.

You would normally earn 20,000 airline miles with the 3:1 ratio. When you transfer 60,000 points, Marriott will give you a bonus of 5,000 miles, which will give you a transfer ratio of 2.4:1.

It has worked that way in the past. This will be changing according to the report byKatie. The bonus of 5,000 airline miles will no longer be offered by Marriott Bonvoy.

  • American AAdvantage
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Delta SkyMiles

The ratio will be 3:1 when you transfer Bonvoy points to other people. It takes away some value. This set a bad precedent. This is the first real devaluation we have seen to Marriott Bonvoy airline mileage transfers in a long time, and this has historically given the value of Bonvoy points a bit of stability.

Bonvoy points transfers to AAdvantage will be less lucrative

Why would Marriott Bonvoy devalue these transfers?

I am always interested in the motivation for loyalty program changes. Marriott Bonvoy devalues the transfer ratios for just three partners. There are a few possible explanations.

  • These programs raised the cost they wanted to charge Marriott Bonvoy for mileage transfers, and as a result that’s being passed on to consumers
  • These are the airline partners that Marriott Bonvoy members transfer the most points to, and Marriott wanted to reduce its costs associated with these transfers
  • These transfer partners strong-armed Marriott into discouraging members to make these transfers, because they felt this was cannibalizing their other revenue streams somehow; also keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have a special partnership, so I wonder how that plays into this

The answer is probably a combination of the first and second points. I wouldn't be surprised if these are the partners that cost Marriott the most. I think Marriott is discouraging these transfers.

Bonvoy points transfers to SkyMiles will be less lucrative

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy doesn't value points transfers to airlines. The bonus of 5000 airline miles for transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points will no longer be offered.

Marriott points can be converted into airline miles, which creates a floor value for the program.

Do you agree with Marriott Bonvoy devaluing mileage transfers?