(EXPIRED) 50% transfer bonus to Marriott from Ultimate Rewards

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We frequently see transfer bonuses from Amex Membership Rewards and occasionally from Citi ThankYou points and Capital One rewards, but we rarely ever see a transfer bonus from the other major transferrable currency, Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, Chase is currently offering a 50% transfer bonus to Marriott Rewards. This is a bad deal in the majority of circumstances, but if you just need to top off an account for a valuable redemption perhaps it could make sense.

a white rectangle with textThe Deal

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy are offering a 50% transfer bonus when you move points from Ultimate Rewards to Marriott by 8/31/21

Key Terms

  • Valid for transfers from 7/1/21 to 8/31/21
  • Bonus shows up on the Marriott side after transfer (you won’t see it on the transfer page)

Quick Thoughts

In most circumstances, you’re just not going to get enough value out of Marriott points to make it worthwhile to transfer from Chase even with a 50% bonus.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times where this might work out to be a deal, but it isn’t terribly common. In fact, just last night I made a last-minute reservation for the 4th of July where Marriott points provided excellent value (for the record, I used a 35K free night cert).

Transferring 20K Chase points to Marriott to book that room would save you a few points over paying via Chase Ultimate Rewards.

a screenshot of a web page

Even the cheaper-looking studio above actually works out to be more than 22,000 Ultimate Rewards points if paid through the Chase portal with a Sapphire Reserve card.

a white background with black textSo you would save some points if you transferred to Marriott and took advantage of this promotion in that specific circumstance.

However, it is rare to get quite that much value out of Marriott points (though the same hotel was available tonight for 30K or $485 with tax, so it isn’t impossible in periods of high demand). The additional issue here is that Marriott often sells points for less than 1c per point, which means it would cost you less to redeem Chase points via the grocery store and buy points during a sale if you don’t need points imminently for a redemption like this.

For example, Marriott frequently puts points on sale for 0.875c per point. If you used Chase Pay Yourself Back to redeem your Chase points at the grocery store, you could effectively buy 1.71 Marriott points per Chase point redeemed. For example, if you redeem 20K Chase points for $300 in groceries (assuming you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve) and use that $300 to buy Marriott points at 0.875c each, you would have more than 34,000 Marriott points (as opposed to 30K via this transfer bonus). In other words, I wouldn’t transfer speculatively with this bonus since you can do better by speculating on points when they are offered on sale if you’re into speculating on Marriott points. For clarity, I am not recommending that any speculate on Marriott points. I’d neither transfer nor buy without a plan in mind, my point here is just this transfer bonus isn’t the best way to acquire Marriott points.

However, if you’re just a couple thousand points short for a redemption and need the points right away, this beats paying full price and certainly might beat paying a cash rate. This bonus has its uses even if it isn’t ideal.

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what if one does not have a chase sapphire reserve?