Time to transfer AX UK MR points to Marriott?

Old Sep 15, 19, 6:36 am
  #1  
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Time to transfer AX UK MR points to Marriott?

Afternoon all. I'm shovelling a ton of MR points over to Marriott Bonvoy (and from then, onwards to United MileagePlus, as I want to make a redemption booking).

Anyone have experience/evidence of how long they will take to post on my Marriott account? It's the first time I've made such a transfer to Marriott; I have had the reassuring email saying that my Marriott membership was now registered as a transfer partner with Amex, and the requests (I made two, realising I hadn't sent enough first time) are showing on my Amex online account.

TIA for your experiences

OB
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Old Sep 15, 19, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by OxfordBlue View Post
Afternoon all. I'm shovelling a ton of MR points over to Marriott Bonvoy (and from then, onwards to United MileagePlus, as I want to make a redemption booking).

Anyone have experience/evidence of how long they will take to post on my Marriott account? It's the first time I've made such a transfer to Marriott; I have had the reassuring email saying that my Marriott membership was now registered as a transfer partner with Amex, and the requests (I made two, realising I hadn't sent enough first time) are showing on my Amex online account.

TIA for your experiences

OB
You do realize this is generally speaking a pretty bad deal, right? Marriott points transfer to United at a horrible 1/3 ratio, meaning the whole transit will give you a 1/2 ratio from MR to United points unless you use a transient promotion, and even then it will only help a little. Unless you manage to get a spectacular United redemption this is likely to give you less than 1 cent per point in value.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:37 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
You do realize.....
...that OxfordBlue is in the UK, where the transfer ratio from Membership Rewards to Marriott is more favorable than in the USA? It's 2:3 rather than 1:1.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
...that OxfordBlue is in the UK, where the transfer ratio from Membership Rewards to Marriott is more favorable than in the USA? It's 2:3 rather than 1:1.
Yes, I already accounted for that. That makes the transfer ratio 2 MR points for every 1 United point, which is still awful (thatís why I wrote it is a 1/2 ratio). Since United points are typically worth far less than 2 cents/point except in exceptional cases, the value is going to typically be under 1 cent/point, and at best around 1.25 cents/point. I suppose if you have a 2.5 cents/point redemption lined up with United points you could make an argument for this but itís a very difficult redemption to hit.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 2:25 am
  #5  
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Thanks all - I do indeed know I'm getting a bad rate for the points, it breaks down like this: 40000 MR = 60000 Bonvoy = 20000 UA + a 5000 bonus which Bonvoy offer when you transfer at least 20000 to UA.

So the effective transfer rate is 1.6MR = 1 UA. I know that's not great. It's about how I'm using them that has motivated me to do this - the whole family are heading to Ireland (specifically SNN) next year for a wedding and my choices from LON are FR (ugh) from LGW or STN - with not great times for the flights - or EI from LHR. FR bookings have been open for a while and they want a LOT of money (+/- £550 for a family of five) for a round-trip to SNN. EI are even more expensive (don't know how they make any more on that route) - the trip, on a basic fare once I add bag fees, would be close to £800.

I have a ton of BA Avios, but they charge excessive fees for SH redemptions on non-BA metal - the TFC for a round-trip to SNN are £92 per adult, £79 for the kids - so stumping up £434 for a "free" set of flights sticks in my craw. Most of that £92 is the fuel surcharge.

I rarely travel to the US, the miles my wife and I have in our UA accounts have lain there for years with no opportunity to use them, and you can redeem UA miles on EI. Like many people, we're miles rich but relatively cash poor.

By booking the trip through UA, who don't apply any fuel surcharge, the TFC will come down to around £220, which seems a bit more like it - and the redemption tickets include one checked bag per person (going to a wedding, remember....)

So my take on this is that I am getting +/- £800 worth of travel for £220, which gives me a value on my 80000 UA miles of £580 - so £0.0725/mile - still not fantastic, I agree, but it works for me when I don't want to stump up a lot of money. Extending that calculation back to the AX MR points, I am getting 25000 miles - worth £181 to me - for 40000 MR points, giving me £0.045/point - so about the same as if I'd cashed them in for statement credit. Not great, I know. But again - works for me and it's a good use of the points we've had lying around for years on UA.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:11 am
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Originally Posted by OxfordBlue View Post
Thanks all - I do indeed know I'm getting a bad rate for the points, it breaks down like this: 40000 MR = 60000 Bonvoy = 20000 UA + a 5000 bonus which Bonvoy offer when you transfer at least 20000 to UA.

So the effective transfer rate is 1.6MR = 1 UA. I know that's not great. It's about how I'm using them that has motivated me to do this - the whole family are heading to Ireland (specifically SNN) next year for a wedding and my choices from LON are FR (ugh) from LGW or STN - with not great times for the flights - or EI from LHR. FR bookings have been open for a while and they want a LOT of money (+/- £550 for a family of five) for a round-trip to SNN. EI are even more expensive (don't know how they make any more on that route) - the trip, on a basic fare once I add bag fees, would be close to £800.

I have a ton of BA Avios, but they charge excessive fees for SH redemptions on non-BA metal - the TFC for a round-trip to SNN are £92 per adult, £79 for the kids - so stumping up £434 for a "free" set of flights sticks in my craw. Most of that £92 is the fuel surcharge.

I rarely travel to the US, the miles my wife and I have in our UA accounts have lain there for years with no opportunity to use them, and you can redeem UA miles on EI. Like many people, we're miles rich but relatively cash poor.

By booking the trip through UA, who don't apply any fuel surcharge, the TFC will come down to around £220, which seems a bit more like it - and the redemption tickets include one checked bag per person (going to a wedding, remember....)

So my take on this is that I am getting +/- £800 worth of travel for £220, which gives me a value on my 80000 UA miles of £580 - so £0.0725/mile - still not fantastic, I agree, but it works for me when I don't want to stump up a lot of money. Extending that calculation back to the AX MR points, I am getting 25000 miles - worth £181 to me - for 40000 MR points, giving me £0.045/point - so about the same as if I'd cashed them in for statement credit. Not great, I know. But again - works for me and it's a good use of the points we've had lying around for years on UA.
Makes sense, then! Good luck. Iím glad thereís some logical way to make that MR-> Bonvoy -> United points path have some use... !
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Old Sep 16, 19, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
Makes sense, then! Good luck. Iím glad thereís some logical way to make that MR-> Bonvoy -> United points path have some use... !
Cheers synzero - it's a tortuous path, I do wish UK MR programme had a direct route to UA, would be faster and probably less "lossy" - I searched and searched all partners but couldn't find a better way that would let me redeem on EI.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by synzero View Post
You do realize this is generally speaking a pretty bad deal, right? Marriott points transfer to United at a horrible 1/3 ratio
Actually, if you transfer in bunches of 60k Marriott, the ratio is 60k Marriott for 27.5k UA. In addition to the 5k bonus UA for transferring 60k Marriott, there's also a 10% bonus specific to UA.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 2:51 pm
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Correct me if I'm wrong here but I think UA is one of the transfer partners for AmEx USA (and it's a 1:1 transfer)? Couldn't OP just transfer his MR points to an AmEx US MR account (if he has one) then transfer on to MilagePlus? In any event, IIRC AmEx UK transfers 1:1 to either SQ and SK both of which would then allow you to redeem towards a *A flight (including UA).

As a side note, you should definitely try to get a Canadian AmEx account. If you can pull it off, AmEx can transfer your UK points at the current exchange rate of 1 UK MR= 1.60 CA AmEX points. Those points could the be transferred to Aeroplan which allows you can redeem on any number of *A airlines. Aeroplan also gives you free stopovers on award redemptions meaning you could do something like LHR > FCO > ATH > LHR for the same number of points as a LHR > ATH roundtrip.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Sep 16, 19, 2:59 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong here but I think UA is one of the transfer partners for AmEx USA
Sorry, but UA is not a Membership Rewards USA transfer partner. This USA list is here:

https://rewards.americanexpress.com/...nding/?tier=MR
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Old Sep 16, 19, 3:44 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong here but I think UA is one of the transfer partners for AmEx USA (and it's a 1:1 transfer)? Couldn't OP just transfer his MR points to an AmEx US MR account (if he has one) then transfer on to MilagePlus? In any event, IIRC AmEx UK transfers 1:1 to either SQ and SK both of which would then allow you to redeem towards a *A flight (including UA).

As a side note, you should definitely try to get a Canadian AmEx account. If you can pull it off, AmEx can transfer your UK points at the current exchange rate of 1 UK MR= 1.60 CA AmEX points. Those points could the be transferred to Aeroplan which allows you can redeem on any number of *A airlines. Aeroplan also gives you free stopovers on award redemptions meaning you could do something like LHR > FCO > ATH > LHR for the same number of points as a LHR > ATH roundtrip.

Safe Travels,

James
James, I have no way of getting US or Canadian cards - never lived there, no citizenships or residency, or credit footprint. It pains me, because the offers on credit cards are so much better..

In any case, I need to get mileage specifically on UA, as Iím redeeming on EI - and none of the programs I can transfer UK MR points to are partnered with EI for redemption. Hence the convoluted route.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by OxfordBlue View Post
....redeeming on EI -
I imagine you looked at moving your Avios from BA to EI (or IB) rather than redeeming Avios through BA?
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I imagine you looked at moving your Avios from BA to EI (or IB) rather than redeeming Avios through BA?
That could certainly be a possibility for OP. In addition, Cathay Pacific and FinnAir are also OW transfer partners. Another possibility is transferring to KLM's program since they are partners of EI.

N.B. if someone can explain how award redemptions work on EI metal, I suspect many on this forum would be interested. I know if you belong to an IAG reward program like BA or IB you can transfer your Avios over to another program like EI. In any event, I agree with the OP, this whole thing is convoluted!

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Sep 17, 19, 1:09 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I imagine you looked at moving your Avios from BA to EI (or IB) rather than redeeming Avios through BA?
Of course :-). I can do that and itís straightforward. The issue is the TFC (see above) where I get hammered on short routes due to the evil YQ ďcarrier imposed chargeĒ (=fuel surcharge).

The difference between Avios and UA for the TFC per-pax on my journey (LHR-SNN return) is GBP 59.75 - and thereís five of us. I know Iím slightly cutting off nose to spite face by devaluing my MR points, but itís the principle and the fact I donít want to hand over £300 for a ďfreeĒ short haul flight in Y.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:09 am
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I can now answer my own question. I got an alert in the Amex app today (nice touch, Amex!) saying the transfer was complete. Within a couple of hours, the points had posted onto Marriott Bonvoy: so the answer is that points seem to post on the second working day after the transfer request from Amex (I made one request on Friday, and one over the weekend).

The points are now on their way to UA. I hope I get the 5000 bonus that is promised - when I did the transfer on the Marriott site, it said the 66000 points I was sending would be good for 24200 [it seems they're doing 3:1 and then applying a 10% bonus for RewardsPlus, even though I don't qualify...] - as long as I get the 27000 I need credited to UA.

I've seen elsewhere that this transfer will take 2 days to post, so I'll update when done.
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