Via Reddit, there’s currently a 40% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy points. My initial reaction was basically “Bonvoy’s gonna #Bonvoy, this stinks”, but Robert at Milenomics pointed out a hidden point of value in Marriott program: 2,400 Bonvoy points converts to 1,000 JAL Mileage Bank points. Why is this interesting?
- JAL Business Class awards from North America to Japan are 50,000 miles each way on non-peak days
- You can book seats further out with JAL Mileage Bank then you can with partners
- JAL often gives better award availability to its own mileage program than it gives to partners
- The JAL #Bonvoy backdoor costs approximately 85,000 Membership Rewards and has very low surcharges and increased availability
- The most inexpensive way to get to JAL award tickets are with AA and Alaska, neither of which are AmEx transfer partners; BA is an option but will usually end up costing more in terms of miles and surcharges. Cathay’s Asia Miles are decent for AmEx partners too, but availability is less and booking windows are shorter
But the best reason to do this? You’ll actually extract value out of the Marriott program. Remember, it’s probably not the best choice for your loyalty.
Side note: It’s really silly and hard to type “Bonvoy points”, so, can we just collectively agree to rename them to Bonvoints?