As many know it is possible to use Marriott Rewards points to purchase United miles. For RewardsPlus members it is also possible to transfer miles from United to Marriott.
A couple of warnings before I explain the process
- If you don't need LT points to reach LTG or LTP this year, this strategy won't help you
- Following these steps will cost you more points than you will earn, though it will increase your LT points You better have enough MR points in your account that you are willing to waste a lot to make this happen
- The maximum number of LT points you can "create" is 50k
- Since LT points won't matter after this year, using this process is only good until early December (allowing time to complete the transfers).
As a RewardPlus member (open to Marriott Platinum elites) you can get a 20% discount when buying UA miles and you can transfer United miles at a 1:1 ratio into Marriott Rewards points. Through a combination of these actions, it is possible to generate up to 50k Lifetime points, though at a fairly steep cost.
Warning: This is a desperation move to generate LT points with Marriott. It should only be used as a last resort
Okay. Not deterred yet? Let's continue.
For the sake of illustration, we'll assume your UA MileagePlus balance is zero.
Step 1. From your Marriott account, use MR points to buy UA miles (50k miles will cost 112,000 points, 25k miles will cost 56,000 points). Buying points this way will not decrease your LT points.
Step 2. From your United account, transfer up to 50k points at a 1:1 ratio to your Marriott Rewards account.
Step 3. Notice your lifetime points have increased even while your current MR points have dropped.
If you buy 50k miles and transfer them back, you will end up 62,000 points worse off than when you started, but you will have increased your lifetime points. Those 62k are just gone and the only thing you will have to show for it is a higher LT points balance.
This is not a good use of points. Do not do this unless you have tried everything else.
Buy points, transfer from the Chase Sapphire card, have someone transfer points to you, book a cruise through Marriott...anything. If you're still short points and want to consider doing this, think very hard before confirming the transfer.
This conforms to all the rules set up by Marriott and United. While it may be a "waste of points" for most folks, there could be a couple Insiders who may find this useful to reach LTG or LTP before the end of 2018. Good luck.