How to Transfer American Express Points To United MileagePlus At A Good Rate (And Why You Might Want To!)

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

Until 30th November 2019, United MileagePlus is running a generous 30% bonus when you transfer hotel points across to convert them into United Miles. You need to opt in on this page here to get the bonus.

I don’t have any hotel points…

Not a problem. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend transferring most varieties of hotel points anyway, as the conversion rate is poor even with the 30% bonus.

What I would recommend having a think about though, is transferring Marriott Rewards Points – and you can get those by transferring American Express Membership Rewards Points across to Marriott from your Amex Gold or Platinum.

If you don’t have any Amex Membership Rewards Points at the moment, it’s likely too late to take advantage of the current United bonus offer, but similar offers crop up quite regularly, so you could apply for a Gold or Platinum card now so you’re ready next time.

The numbers

With the new Marriott Rewards programme, the standard transfer ratio to United is 3:1.1. You also get 5,500 bonus Miles when you transfer in blocks of 60,000 Marriott Points to United. In other words, 60,000 Marriott Points normally gets you 27,500 United Miles.

With the 30% bonus, you would get an additional 8,250 Miles, meaning you’d actually end up with 35,750 United Miles for your 60,000 Marriott Points. There is a cap of 25,000 bonus Miles from the 30% promo, so you wouldn’t want to transfer more than 180,000 Marriott Points. It’s also worth noting that the 8,250 bonus miles may not hit your account straight away (mine haven’t yet, after 3 days) – United say, “bonus miles will be credited into the member’s account on or before January 30, 2019.

American Express Membership Rewards Points transfer across to Marriott Rewards at a rate of 1:1.5 – so, to get 60,000 Marriott Points, you’d need to transfer 40,000 Amex Points across.

In short, 40,000 Amex Points can currently get you 35,750 United Miles. That’s effectively getting 0.893 United Miles for every Amex Point, which on the face of it may not seem that tempting given that you can transfer Amex Points directly at a 1:1 rate to programmes like British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, etc. But, United Miles can be extremely useful and are certainly worth more than BA Avios.

Why do I want United Miles?

United MileagePlus offers something called the ‘Excursionist Perk‘, which allows you to create some unbelievably good value redemptions, particularly in Business Class. I’ve written about it at length before, and really would recommend reading all three parts, as it does take a bit of time to get your head around it:

I’ve filled my boots! – anyone else tempted?




    • Joe Deeney says

      As long as you have some activity on your account (earning/redeeming) at least once every 18 months, they don’t expire.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      BA generally have better availability, but they’re happy to offer reward seats because they receive all that surcharge money…

      AFAIK you don’t ever pay surcharges when using United miles, even on airlines such as Lufthansa.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Remember that you can use any Star Alliance partners too, so availability is good as long as you don’t mind potentially connecting somewhere in Europe. As Craig says, no surcharges either, which is a big win compared to BA.

  1. Bernd says

    How soon will I see the Marriott points in my account once I convert my Amex points.
    Today is the 28th, is it still doable?

    • Joe Deeney says

      If your Marriott account is already linked to your amex, it’s possible but definitely not 100%. If its not already linked, I reckon very little chance. Personally, I don’t think I’d risk it either way at this stage.

      • Bernd says

        Thanks for your reply.
        Too bad at didn’t see that any earlier.
        Since am not too familiar with Marriott anyway, I guess I should follow your advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *