Sure, the title is a little bit clickbaity but the message is real. If you have AMEX Membership Reward or Membership Reward Select Points and want to maximize your Marriott points, you need to transfer them to SPG right now because a devaluation is a comin’.
The Current Transfer Ratio
Right now, in order to get Marriott points from your Membership Rewards, you need to transfer them through the SPG program. You can transfer 2 Membership Rewards to 1 SPG point. From there, assuming you’ve linked your SPG and Marriott account, you can transfer 1 SPG to 3 Marriott points, so basically:
2 MR –> 1 SPG –> 3 Marriott
Let’s work in 1,000 point increments so you can see the results between the old ratio and the new ratio:
1,000 MR –> 500 SPG –> 1,500 Marriott
The New Transfer Ratio
American Express has just released the new transfer ratio to Marriott as the SPG program will cease to exist in August. Spoiler … it’s not great but not horrible.
Let’s use that 1,000 point example again to see the result:
1,000 MR –> 1,200 Marriott
This means that there will be a 300 point Marriott reduction on a 1,000 point MR transfer, which is a 20% depreciation of Membership Reward points.
What Should I Do?
I think it’s fairly obvious but if you have some AMEX Membership Rewards available, you need to transfer them IMMEDIATELY. I don’t know if you caught the fine print but there is a very important date to keep in mind.
According to the AMEX posted information, as of August 4th, the transfer program to SPG will end, however, AMEX is “conveniently” doing maintenance on their system to facilitate these types of transfers from July 27 – August 9th, so effectively, your last day to take advantage of the better transfer ratio is July 26th.
It couldn’t last forever but I’ve been very pleased with the arbitrage opportunity that has been in place for the last couple of years since Marriott’s acquisition of SPG. While the news sucks, at least we have 5 days to make those last minute transfers. In our experience here at PointsNerd, AMEX MR transfers to SPG take 1 day but that could change due to the expected onslaught of people making requests.
If you don’t know what you want to do with those Marriott points, check out our post about the point requirements for hotel stays but your best value is to redeem for the Marriott Travel Packages ASAP.
Act now. Don’t hesitate and miss this opportunity.