Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest information.
Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus have a close partnership known as RewardsPlus that allows members of both loyalty programs to convert rewards, enroll in complimentary elite status and earn extra miles on select hotel stays.
Today, we’ll take you through what you need to know about RewardsPlus to maximize Marriott stays and United flights.
How United elites can get Marriott status
This status tier provides a 25% point bonus and complimentary enhanced internet. Gold Elite members may also receive an enhanced room upgrade (excluding suites) and a welcome gift of points upon check-in at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties.
You can’t register for Marriott Bonvoy status if you’re a United Premier member with a MileagePlus status match or challenge. You also won’t be eligible if you already have Marriott Gold Elite (or higher) status.
If you can’t snag Marriott Gold Elite status through the RewardsPlus program, remember its also a cardmember benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment in the benefit is required).
Alternatively, you can upgrade to Marriott Platinum status by holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card.
How Marriott elites can get United status
This status tier provides a 40% mileage bonus, a complimentary checked bag up to 70 pounds, preferred seating and complimentary Economy Plus seats at check-in for you and a companion. You’re also eligible for complimentary upgrades to first class, though as a Silver traveler, you’d typically fall very low on the upgrade list.
Members who hold Marriott status from a status match or challenge can’t register. Likewise, you won’t be eligible for the status match if you already have United Premier Silver (or higher) status.
Transfer rewards between the programs
Beyond reciprocal elite status, the RewardsPlus partnership unlocks the ability to transfer Marriott points to United miles and United miles to Marriott points. But we generally don’t recommend doing so. Here’s a closer look.
Transferring Marriott points to United miles
You can transfer between 3,000 and 240,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United miles daily here.
For every 3 Marriott points you transfer, you’ll get 1 MileagePlus mile. Additionally, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer. So, if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points (worth $504) to MileagePlus, you’d get 30,000 United miles (valued at $330).
Note that this is a slight improvement over Marriott’s other airline transfers, which only include a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 points.
Transferring United miles to Marriott Bonvoy points
MileagePlus Premier members can transfer up to 100,000 United miles to Marriott Bonvoy points at a 1:1 ratio every calendar year here.
We don’t suggest doing this unless you have a specific high-value Marriott redemption in mind. After all, United miles are 31% more valuable than Marriott Bonvoy points, per our valuations.
Earning extra miles on Marriott stays
Finally, if you book an eligible rate at a Marriott property through Marriott.com at the destination of your United flight, consider starting your reservation search on united.com/MarriottBonus to earn 500 bonus miles.
When you go here, you’ll see your upcoming flights associated with your MileagePlus account (both revenue and award tickets).
The 500 bonus miles are in addition to standard Marriott Bonvoy earnings.
You can earn 500 bonus miles per completed stay, though this offer isn’t available at the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, Design Hotels and Bulgari brands. Additionally, you can’t earn the 500 bonus miles at other select properties:
Bonus miles offer is not applicable for stays at the following properties: Atlantis, Autograph Collection, Bulgari Hotel, London, Joshua G.E. Medical Corp. Conference Center, Jesse Jones Rotary Conference Center, Marriott Ranch, Protea Hotel Amani Beach, Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins, The Ritz-Carlton London, U.S. Postal Service Conference Center, Four Points by Sheraton Havana, The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Autograph Collection.
If you’re redeeming Marriott points or staying on a rate different than the standard Marriott member rate (i.e., government rates, group/contracted rates, exclusive elite offers, exclusive member offers and hotel deals), you may not earn the 500 bonus miles.
Despite its lackluster transfer ratios, the RewardsPlus partnership is a great way to receive an extra elite status and double dip on Marriott stays. But while Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite has some nice perks, it would be great if higher tiers of the MileagePlus program matched to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum tiers.
Still, with just a few clicks, you could unlock a new elite status level and earn bonus United miles.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Ethan Steinberg.