New Membership Rewards To Marriott Transfer Rate
After months of speculation we finally know what the new Membership Rewards to Marriott transfer rate will be, and it’s slightly better than expected! As of August 4, 2018, Membership Rewards will transfer to the new Marriott program at a rate of 1,000:1,200. This is slightly better than the 1:1 both Kyle and are were predicting, though still a slight devaluation from the current ratio.
Currently the Membership Rewards to Marriott transfer rate is effectively 1:1.5, since 2 Membership Reward points equals 1 SPG, which can be converted to 3 Marriott Rewards. This transfer rate will be available until July 27th, at which point transfers will be unavailable while Amex does work on their backend, with new transfers available August 10th, 2018 under the new rates.
Also be aware that there is scheduled maintenance to all Membership Reward transactions between 7pm (Eastern) on July 25th until 9am on the 26th, so if you want to take advantage of the current ratio, I would initiate any transfer before the program goes down for maintenance, as it’s yet to be known if SPG transfers will be available on the 26th before being shut down for the two week transition period.
New Membership Rewards To Marriott Transfer Rate – My Thoughts
While devaluations are never good, I’m actually alright with this new transfer ratio. I fully expected to see a 1:1 transfer ratio, as it just seems a lot cleaner. Even at the lower rate there will still be some great opportunities for redemptions, and there’s still a great opportunity to earn Marriott points using the Cobalt Card from American Express.
The Cobalt Card is a product that didn’t initially get a lot of love from me. I thought the new monthly fee and the spread out welcome bonus was a way to limit churning, though I can’t argue the earn rates on this card – they’re really good!
The Cobalt card earns 5 points per dollar on dining and groceries, which is industry leading in Canada. The big caveat though – these Membership Rewards are different than other Amex cards, and can’t be transferred to British Airways Avios or Aeroplan. However, they can be transferred to hotels, which is where this card really shines.
5 Membership Reward points from the Cobalt Card equals 6 Marriott Rewards under the new transfer rate. Earning 6 Marriott Rewards per dollar on food and dining is INCREDIBLE, with the new SPG Amex cards earning only 2 points per dollar. Anyone who doesn’t have a Cobalt Card now should consider signing up to earn up to 2,500 Membership Reward points per month (15,000 Marriott Rewards) as a welcome bonus, in addition to 6X Marriott Reward points for every dollar on food and dining.
To earn the 2,500 points per month, you need to spend $500 on the card. Let’s say you spend that on food and dining exclusively. This would bring your total monthly points earning to 5,000 (2,500 bonus, 2,500 for everyday spending on food). Those 5,000 points could be transferred to Marriott at a rate of 1,000:1,200, equalling 6,000 Marriott Rewards. Doing this for the year would be very little effort, a total cost of $120 (this card is $10/month, not waived the first year) and would net enough points for a couple of nights in a category 5 Marriott hotel, which could easily retail for more than $1,000!
New Membership Rewards To Marriott Transfer Rate Bottom Line
For anyone looking at redeeming SPG/Marriott points in the near future, definitely transfer as many Membership Reward points to SPG by July 26th at midnight to take advantage of the current (slightly better) transfer ratio.
For those who don’t – I might suggest transferring some points speculatively, but personally don’t think this new transfer rate is so devalued that transferring them at a later date is the worst thing. After all, I value flexibility, and while Marriott provides a lot of it, Membership Rewards are slightly easier to work with when planning travel, as you still have the option to transfer to other programs at a good rate, such as Aeroplan and British Airways Avios.
I’m mostly relieved that points will still be transferrable from the Cobalt Card, which effectively earns 6 Marriott points/dollar on groceries and dining, with the ability to earn 6,000 Marriott Reward points per month with very little effort!
What do you think of the new Membership Rewards to Marriott transfer rate? How many points do you plan on transferring before the change?