Travelers take note: under the new agreement between Marriott Rewards and United Mileage Plus, members of both programs will get more from their reward points and miles. More flexibility, increased value, and an easier way to achieve elite status in both Marriott and United’s loyalty programs are just some of the benefits.
Points into miles, miles into points
The deal will allow easier transferring of benefits between the Marriott Rewards and United Mileage Plus programs at a point per mile exchange rate.
When the joint venture kicks off August 1, members will be able to convert United frequent flyer miles into Marriott reward points for the first time. When transferring Marriott reward points to the United MileagePlus program, members will get a 20% bonus on those miles. Going the other way, they will get a 10% bonus on select Marriott Rewards travel packages when transferring Mileage Plus miles to Marriott.
Easier to achieve elite status
Both customer loyalty programs have special status levels for frequent travelers. In order to achieve elite status, which carries extra perks for air travelers and hotel guests, customers must meet certain minimum spending levels or other requirements such as number of nights stayed or trips taken.
Under Rewards Plus, Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite members will automatically get United Mileage Plus Premier Silver status. United Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum and Premier Gold members will be automatically bumped up to Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status. These elite statuses will be in effect until January 31, 2014.
Marriott Gold Elite status gives guests at select Marriott properties a variety of perks including lounge access, free breakfast, room upgrades when available, complimentary internet access, a 25% point bonus, and late check-out.
United Mileage Plus Premier Silver offers VIP treatment for travelers which includes access to Economy Plus seating when available, flight upgrades based on availability, dedicated ticket counter check-in lines, priority baggage handling and boarding, a free checked bag on each flight, and a 25% bonus on United award flight mileage.
More information on the partnership between United and Marriott is at marriottrewards.com/rewardsplus or united.com/rewardsplus.