The Marriott Devaluation of Airline Transfers has Begun

Despite Marriott Bonvoy’s implementation of “dynamic award pricing”, I have remained relaxed about the value of my Marriott points. This is due to the ability to convert Marriott points into airline miles at an advantageous rate. The standard rate is 3:1 but, as most of you are hopefully aware, you receive an additional 5,000 miles when converting exactly 60,000 points. Therefore 60,000 points –> 25,000 miles with a wide variety of airline partners. You can sometimes obtain even better value by waiting for a conversion bonus, such as this recent United bonus.

However, one of the dangers of relying on mileage conversions is that Marriott Bonvoy can change the rules at any time. And it has…

Starting October 31, 2022, Marriott Bonvoy will stop offering the 5,000 mile bonus for three airline partners:

  • American AAdvantage
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Delta SkyMiles

Is This Important?

I certainly hope that no InsideFlyer readers are in the habit of converting their Marriott points into Delta Skymiles. And I also hope that LifeMiles experts buy cheap miles direct from Avianca instead of converting their valuable Marriott points.

There is certainly a case to be made for converting Marriott points to AAdvantage miles from time to time. However, converted Marriott points do NOT qualify as Loyalty Points – so hopefully you have found ways of acquiring AA miles that also add to your Loyalty Point balance.

That said, the identity of the “devalued” airline partners is less important than the fact that Marriott has started on the slippery slope of changing the conversion ratio.

Perhaps these changes are being driven by a desire to protect Marriott’s preferred partner United Airlines – but then why isn’t Alaska Mileage Plan included in the devaluation?  Or perhaps American and Delta have gotten greedy with their partners and want to charge more for miles. No matter the reason, it’s not hard to imagine a future devaluation that will apply to even more airline partners.

Bottom Line

I am now less confident about the value of my Marriott points, now that I know that Marriott Bonvoy is willing to change the conversion ratio for points –> miles.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section…

Comments

  1. jorge says

    agree. Once Marriott took over Starwood my points have been worth less and less (what do i mean? difficult to book hotel awards, more points needed to book hotel room). I know understand how centralized programs are not great for users. Wish there was some decentralized crypto for points…. any takers?

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