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Reader Steve passes along a great deal for people with lots of Marriott points.

Until October 31, 2014, you can get a 20% bonus when you transfer Marriott points to American Airlines miles.

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This includes Marriott-points-to-miles transfers and transfers of Marriott points to hotel and air packages.

  • What are hotel and air packages?
  • Why are hotel and air packages often a better deal than just transferring to miles?
  • What airline transfer partner of Marriott points is always 10-20% better than other options?

Marriott points can be transferred to airline miles of most major airlines.

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Marriott and United launched a partnership last year. In recognition of that, you get a 20% discount on the number of Marriott points needed to transfer to the same number of United miles.

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A better deal than just transferring to airline miles is making a transfer to a hotel and air package. You get a certain number of miles plus a certain number of nights in different tiers of hotels.

The more points you can transfer the better because after the base package of 7 nights plus 50,000 miles, every points transfers to one additional miles. Airlines miles are way more valuable than Marriott points, so on the margin, this is a fantastic deal.

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In recognition of the United partnership, you get 10% more United miles than other types of miles for the same number of Marriott points when getting a hotel and air package.

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With the 20% bonus on American Airlines miles this month on Marriott transfers, you still get more United miles than American Airlines on direct points-to-miles transfers. But you get more American Airlines miles as part of the better-value hotel and air packages.

I don’t have any Marriott points at the moment, but I often run across people with hundreds of thousands. If they planned to do redeem the points for a hotel and air package, now is the perfect time to redeem and select American Airlines miles.

Just have a plan to use those American Airlines miles in the next 3-6 months before when I anticipate we’ll see a devaluation from a combined American Airlines/US Airways award chart.