Is Buying Marriott Bonvoy Points at 30% Off Worth It? To put it in context, over a year ago in July 2018 there was a Buy SPG Starpoints for 35% off. Buying 20,000 Starpoints cost $455 and was enough to earn the 25% transfer bonus of 5000 miles when transferring to airline miles, such that it was like buying airline miles for 1.8 cents per mile. So the current offer isn't as good as that one.
The current offer is:
- Buy 2000 or more Bonvoy ponts at 30% off
- Purchase up to 50,000 points per transaction
- May purchase up to 100,000 points, using two transactions
- Deadline: October 18, 2019
Cost per Airline Mile
Each Marriott Bonvoy point is worth one third of a prior SPG point, so it takes 60,000 Bonvoy points to trigger the 25% transfer bonus to airline miles: 60K Bonvoy points = 25K airline miles, for all the airline partners where the transfer ratio is 3:1 (most of them).
The cost to purchase 60K Bonvoy points, across two transactions, is $525, so with the 5000 bonus for transferring 60K points in one transaction, you'd earn 25,000 miles. That yields a purchase rate of 2.1 cents per mile. That's not cheap and not as good as last year's 35% off SPG Starpoints offer, but it could be worth it if you only redeem for first class and business class award travel at high redemption rates, such as 3 cents or more per mile redeemed.
The Bonvoy offer would be about the same rate as if you take advantage of the current 35% off buying AAdvantage miles offer, although that only works if you're buying at least 100,000 miles, so the Bonvoy offer could be worth it if you don't need to buy so many miles. Plus, don't forget that there's currently a Marriott Bonvoy 25% Transfer Bonus to American AAdvantage, so in that case it would equate to buying AAdvantage miles at 1.68 cents per mile, an excellent value if you redeem AA miles for international partner airlines' premium cabins, such as JAL First Class, Cathay Pacific First Class, and Qatar Qsuites Business Class.
Another good use of the Bonvoy offer is if you need to top up miles in a program in which it's hard to earn additional miles without flying, for example JAL Mileage Bank (which can be a good way to redeem for roundtrip Emirates awards) or Korean Skypass, since it's no longer a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.
Marriott Bonvoy Transfer Partners
All ratios below are 3 Bonvoy points = 1 airline mile. I've purposely omitted Air New Zealand Airpoints, since it has a crazy 200:1 ratio that makes no sense. I've highlighted what I consider the most worthwhile programs in bold font.
Keep in mind that transfers are generally NOT instant and can take a few days.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air China PhoenixMiles
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
American Airlines AAdvantage
ANA Mileage Club
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
Korean Air SKYPASS
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Rapid Rewards
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
Do you plan to buy Marriott Bonvoy Points in order to transfer out to airline partners?
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