Good morning everyone. A few days ago, I was in an interesting predicament. I found an awesome United Airlines award, but I did not have enough United Airlines miles to book the award. *gasp* Worse though, I did not have enough Chase Ultimate Reward Points either. *double gasp* I’m not sure if you have been in this situation before, but it is not fun. Here are some of the options I considered:
- Converting SPG points to United Airlines miles at the 2:1 transfer ratio
- Paying to transfer United Airlines miles from my grandparents’ account
- Buying United Airlines miles directly from United Airlines
- Begging United Airlines to “help a friend out”
Before I did anything drastic or embarrassing, I remembered that Marriott and United Airlines have a crossover relationship, whereby you can transfer miles into points or points into miles. Here is the Travel Rewards page on Marriott’s website. Marriott partners with many other airlines, but they have an exclusive relationship with United Airlines where you can get a “20% discount when you convert Marriott Rewards points to United MileagePlus award miles.”
I crunched the numbers and the transfer ratios range from 4:1 down to 2.24:1 (Marriott Points to United Airlines miles). Since I needed around 25,000 United Airlines miles, I selected the 4th option (56,000 Marriott Points = 25,000 United Airlines miles).