United MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards teamed up a few years ago to launch RewardsPlus. This lets members match their airline and hotel elite status, as well as receive bonus miles when then transfer between programs.
MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, and 1K members can receive an instant match to Marriott Rewards Gold status. This includes 25% bonus points, 4 PM late check-out, complimentary breakfast at some hotels, and free WiFi.
In addition, MileagePlus Global Services members can be matched to Marriott Platinum status, which normally requires 75 nights or more. If you have Marriott Platinum status but nothing with United, you can be matched to United Premier Silver.
Points and miles can also be moved between programs at a 20% discounted rate. For example, transfer just 112,000 Marriott Rewards points (instead of the usual 140,000 points) to get 50,000 United miles. You can also transfer United miles to Marriott at a 1-to-1 rate.
The fact you can move United miles to Marriott points at all is impressive; most hotel-to-airline transfers are one-way only. But you can already see from these lopsided options that United miles are much more valuable. Going into United, you get 1 mile for every 2.24 Marriott points. Coming out, it’s just 1 for 1.
This feature has been more attractive to me as a way to match elite status. If you’re already a loyal United or Marriott customer, make sure you check to see if you’re eligible. You never know when it might come in handy, even if you rarely travel with the other program.