An update on 6/06/2019: Just got an email from Marriott admitting that transfer failed on their end. They credited 3,000 points back to my Marriott account.
This is a heads up on the situation I’ve encountered recently. So, in a few days I’m planning to book award tickets via Asia Miles program. I’ll do a post on it once all is (hopefully) said and done, but that’s not what this write-up is about.
I knew that I would be short on miles once my sign-up bonus from Synchrony Cathay Pacific co-branded credit card finally posted. Not willing to take a chance, I decided to transfer flexible points ahead of time. I had 3,000 points in Citi Thank You program and needed to cancel my Citi Premier card anyway. So Asia Miles (Citi partner) was the logical choice to dump my tiny stash of points. The transfer took two days. So far so good.
I have Membership Rewards points (also a partner) and read reports that transfer to Asia Miles takes about 2 days. However, there is a footnote that it can take as long as 8 weeks. Huh? I figured I should test it out first and transfer just 1,000 MR points. To my complete shock and delight, miles posted instantly. I tried transferring another few thousand MR points several days later figuring it was a fluke, and the same thing happened again. Nice.
I also have a small stash of Marriott points, so decided to test it out as well in the name of blog research. Plus, I would like to preserve my MR points if at all possible. So, I went ahead and transferred 3,000 Marriott points on April 9th, which I thought would give me ample amount of time in case of any potential issues. I checked and double checked my Asia Miles number and figured I would probably see my 1,000 miles deposited 5 days later (an estimate based on several blog reports).
Four weeks later, no sign of points. I called Marriott and they said there is nothing they can do until 6 weeks had passed. OK, I waived two more weeks and called again. Marriott rep said the transfer went through just fine on their end, and advised me to call Asia Miles.
I’ve reached out to the latter via Twitter, and got this response:
So, basically, they are blaming each other at this point. I reluctantly called Marriott again, and the agent said she would open a ticket so they could investigate it further. I asked how long it would take and she said 72 hours, maybe longer. Keep in mind, I’m getting ready to book my award tickets. If that 1,000 miles hits my account after the fact, it will be completely useless.
I’ve mentioned it to the rep and she understood my predicament, but there was nothing she could do. She was extremely polite, and I certainly don’t hold this whole thing against her.
Who is at fault?
It’s impossible to say with 100% certainty, but my money is on Marriott. After all, both of my transfers from MR program and Citi went through just fine. And I was very careful with inputting my Asia Miles number. The name also matches on both of the accounts, so there is no logical reason for any delay.
After Marriott’s takeover of SPG, there have been a number of issues. Bonvoy (new name of a combined program) even spawned its own term “Bonvoyed” among jaded customers, and refers to various issues and screw-ups. Enter website and Twitter handle:
Obviously, every program is bound to have unsatisfied customers now and again. Still, this transition has been plagued by an unusual number of problems. Is it the cause of this whole Asia Miles transfer fiasco? Maybe.
What you should do
I would completely avoid transferring Marriott points to Asia Miles, at least for the time being. I’m pretty much giving up and told Marriott rep the same thing. If by some miracle the miles hit before I get ready to book my award tickets, great! If not, I’m cutting my losses.
Two phone calls (with long hold times) and interacting with Asia Miles on Twitter is enough. I honestly did it mainly for the sake of research. Well, it also irks me a little, I admit. Writing this rant, err… post, certainly helps.
But I’m not going to sweat losing 3,000 Marriott points. Obviously, I would be singing a different tune if I transferred 30,000 Marriott points. I would be absolutely livid. Even then, I’m not sure I would ever see my missing miles or points. With two programs basically pointing finger at each other, it would probably be a dead end.
Would I risk transferring Marriott points to a mileage program again? Possibly. No, I’m not crazy. I may need some AA miles in a month or so, and this would be the most cost effective way to acquire them. But I would transfer 3,000 Marriott points to test it out first, just like I did with Asia Miles.
For most recent reports on transfer times from Marriott I recommend this Flyertalk page It contains data points from fellow hobby enthusiasts, so at least you can have an idea on what to expect. Fewer data points= more uncertainty. In fact, I haven’t found anything on Asia Miles.
It seems that recent transfers to AAdvantage program tend to take 2 days, though YMMV Like me, you may get Bonvoyed.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.