You can now earn American miles for Marriott stays, but more importantly you can now transfer Marriott points into American Airlines miles.
The transfer rates are not great, but they are not terrible either, and there are now new opportunities to rack up American miles via credit card offers.
Here are the rates:
- 10,000 points = 2,000 miles (1 mile for every 5 points)
- 20,000 points = 5,000 miles (1 mile for every 4 points)
- 30,000 points = 10,000 miles (1 mile for every 3 points)
- 70,000 points = 25,000 miles (1 mile for every 2.8 points)
- 140,000 points = 50,000 miles (1 mile for every 2.8 points)
So as you can see the sweet spot here is transferring in 70,000 point increments.
Is this worth it?
Two cases where it could be…
You don’t care about Marriott points, but really want AAdvantage miles. In this case it’s a no brainer. For example, you can sign up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa and earn 50,000 Marriott points. That will get you closer to 25,000 AAdvantage miles you wouldn’t other wise have available. You could also sign up for the Ritz Carlton Rewards card for 70,000 Marriott points, but note you have to pay an annual fee to get the point, nearly $400, which is a steep price for 25,000 miles.
You think AAdvantage miles are worth more than 2.8 cents, and your Marriott points are only worth about a penny. In this case, transfer every time you get to 70,000 points. This may be true if you’re an AAdvantage elite member and get fees on some award tickets waived, or you are saving up for a big business class award that will be worth much more to you.
So overall, not a huge opportunity, but a nice benefit for those of us who can get really big value out of American miles, and prefer other options for hotels.
For one week only, through June 22nd, the Chase Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card are offering a Limited-time bonus offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s a 10,000 point bump from the usual 50,000 point bonus offer.
The 60,000 point application links are now live.
(what’s the difference? The ‘Plus’ is a traditional credit card. The ‘Bold’ is a charge card, and you must pay the balance in full each month).
Not sure your business is big enough to get a business credit card? Read Business Credit Cards for One for some background.
Here are a few of the options 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can offer you:
- $1,000+ in Southwest airlines travel. These cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred 1:1 into your Southwest RapidRewards account, and 60,000 points is good for over $1,000 worth of Wanna Get Away fares on Southwest.com.
- A roundtrip ticket to Europe / Asia. You can transfer your points to United miles, where 60,000 miles gets you roundtrip to Europe or Asia in Economy class on United or partners Lufthansa, ANA, Swiss, Air Canada, and more. That could be worth $1,200 or more depending on where and when you are traveling.
- $750 in travel rewards. You can also redeem your points directly from Chase’s website. Just search for flights, hotels, and rental cars there, and when you book there your points are worth $750 in travel rewards. Basically every point is worth 1.25 cents in travel when you book via Chase.
- 3+ Hyatt nights. Category 5 hotels like the Hyatt Union Square New York or the Park Hyatt Istanbul go for 18,000 points per night. And these hotels can retail for $300+ per night in cash, so 3 nights is worth nearly $1,000 or more.
What about after the bonus?
The Chase Ink Plus / Bold Business Cards are also favorites for their 5x points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
Some people get extra bang by buying gift cards at office supply stores to places like Macy’s or even generic Visa cards. That way spending beyond just office supply stores can earn the extra bonus. This will incur some fees, but many people find it worthwhile for the rapid earning potential.
One of the most popular bonus mile offers is back after a hiatus for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® credit cards from Chase.
Just spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account, and you’ll receive 50,000 bonus points2 – currently* enough for 2 average roundtrip fares when redeemed for Southwest®’s Wanna Get Away® Fares. Some roundtrip flights are not available for 25,000 points.
Here’s why it’s so popular…
- Over $800 in travel value. 50,000 points is enough for over $800 in Wanna Get Away® Fares. And you don’t have to use all 50,000 points at one time, so this can be used for 1, 2, or more trips.
- Fastest way to Companion Pass status. It takes 110,000 qualifying points in one calendar year to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. A Companion Pass lets you designate one person of your choice to fly with you, anytime for an entire year. That includes flights booked with points, doubling the value of your points if you earn the Companion Pass.
- The 50,000 bonus points from the Rapid Rewards® credit card offer count toward Companion Pass status. And, if you apply for both the Personal and Business versions of the card for the first time, you can earn 100,000 points toward companion status.
- Easy redemption. Southwest bases its points on the dollar value of flights. So, every ‘Wanna Get Away’ fare can be purchased at the rate of 1 point = 1.67 cents in value. Actually, it’s a bit more because some of the taxes you normally pay aren’t part of reward tickets. ‘Wanna Get Away’ fares are pretty readily available if you plan in advance.
Here are the links to the 50,000 point offer. It’s only valid for first time holders of the Personal or Business versions of the card. You can get a bonus for both one Personal and one Business card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Card – $69 annual fee, 3,000 bonus miles each year on anniversary
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Card -$99 annual fee, 6,000 bonus miles each year on anniversary
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Business Card – $69 annual fee, 3,000 bonus miles each year on anniversary
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card – $99 annual fee, 6,000 bonus miles each year on anniversary
We don’t know when this offer will end, but in our experience it’s been a limited time offer, so now is a good time to rack up Southwest Rapid Rewards® points.
While some unpublicized links for a targeted American Airlines 40,000 mile credit card offer have been around for a while now….it’s now official.
The public, available to everyone offer for the Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® is:
- For a limited time, Earn 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
While that’s not as lucrative as the targeted 50,000 mile offer that was reported by readers of FlyerTalk for several months, that deal is dead. So for now, the 40,000 mile offer is the best in the market for American Airlines miles.
Will there be a bigger merger bonus offer? Interestingly, this is labeled as a ‘limited time’ offer by Citi. Prior to this, the full public offer was for 30,000 miles.
Our guess is after this ‘limited time’ period it will go back to 30,000 miles. Then, we think once the merger of the US Airways Dividend Miles and American AAdvantage programs is complete, Citi will get aggressive again with a 40,000 mile or better offer to attract US Airways credit card holders. But that’s not likely to happen until well into next year, a 2014 event.
So if you want to rack up American miles for a vacation later next year or next, best to get the 40,000 offer now.