Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
United MileagePlus is running a promotion through August 31 that gives you a 25% mileage bonus on hotel points you convert into MileagePlus miles, up to 20,000 miles added as a bonus to your account.
You can turn hotel points from Marriott, Hilton, Carlson, Choice, IHG, Hyatt, Starwood, Wyndham, and Shangri-La hotels into United miles.
Do you want to do this?
The exchange rates are pretty bad for most of the hotel partners, but if you’re just short of the miles you need for an award with United MileagePlus, and have a bunch of hotel points lying around, then yes it’s worth doing, especially if you don’t tend to use your hotel points often.
But if you’re swimming in United miles, you want to be more strategic and there are a couple of situations where you might want to do a transfer even if you have plenty of United miles and aren’t just shy of an award.
Here are the general exchange rates for each program (though most have a minimum number of points required for a conversion, usually about 1,000):
Marriott is a bit more complicated because it has different rates based on how many points you transfer in:
And Marriott is where you can find the most opportunity.
We tend to value Marriott points at about 0.7 cents each, but to be generous let’s call it 1 cent.
And depending on how you use your MileagePlus miles they can be worth 2 cents or more. For example, a $1,200 ticket to Europe for 60,000 miles gets you 2 cents in value. So transferring 112,000 Marriott points worth about $1,120 in hotel stays nets you 62,500 United miles worth about $1,200 in flights.
And if you have trouble finding Marriott properties you like, or don’t get 1 cent in value from your Marriott points this is a great exchange and worth doing proactively.
The 24,000, 56,000 and 112,000 point transfer levels have the most favorable exchange rates and are worth trying, but the lower levels aren’t as favorable.
Can you max this out?
United is letting you earn a maximum of 20,000 miles from the promotion, so with a 25% bonus on hotel points converted to miles you would max it out by converting enough points to get 80,000 miles, which would net you 100,000 total (80,000 + 20,000).
You could transfer a total of 184,000 Marriott points (16,000 + 56,000 + 112,000) to net 100,000 miles, including the maximum 20,000 mile bonus. That boosts the estimated value from $1840 to $2,000, a 9% increase.
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