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Million Mile Secrets reader, Shane, commented:
I received sign-up bonuses from the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express and Citi Hilton Visa card. My wife and I are trying to save up more points for a free trip. If she gets an AMEX or Citi Hilton card under her name, can she use my Hilton loyalty number so the sign-up bonuses go into my account?
Excellent question, Shane!
Generally, you can NOT receive a credit card sign-up bonus if the name on the credit card application is different from the loyalty account.
As an alternative, Shane’s wife can apply and earn Hilton points from credit card sign-up bonuses in her own loyalty account. Then, transfer the points to Shane’s account. But there are some rules to know!
I’ll explain the rules and fees associated with transferring hotel points!
Transfer Hotel Points With These Chains
Banks and hotel loyalty programs want to make sure folks are playing by the rules to earn credit card sign-up bonuses.
So it’s not worth the risk of raising a red flag on your account by submitting a new card application using someone else’s loyalty number. This could limit your future award travel. And you don’t want that to happen!
Instead, you can earn a sign-up bonus and then transfer the points to a spouse or household member. But the rules and fees vary by hotel chain.
Here are the key terms for points transfers at each of the major hotel chains:
|Hotel Loyalty Program||Points Transfers Allowed||Cost||Other Conditions|
|Best Western Rewards||Transfer points to household members||Free||To transfer points, contact Best Western Customer Service|
|Choice Privileges||Transfers not allowed||N/A||N/A|
|Club Carlson||• Elite members can transfer to anyone|
• Non-elites can transfer only to members of same household. Both members must have been Club Carlson members at least 1 year
|Free||To transfer points, contact Club Carlson Customer Service|
|Hilton HHonors||Transfer points to anyone||$25 per 10,000 points||• Transfer a maximum of 200,000 points per year
• Transfer Hilton points online
• Starting April 2017, combine up to 500,000 Hilton points with friends and family for free
|Hyatt Gold Passport||Transfer points to anyone||Free||Complete the Point Combining Request Form|
|IHG||Transfer points to anyone||$5 per 1,000 points||Transfer IHG points online|
|Marriott Rewards||Transfer points to anyone||$10 transfer fee waived for Gold and Platinum elite status members||• Transfer limit of 50,000 points per year, unless points are being transferred for a specific redemption
• To transfer points, contact Marriott Customer Service
|Starwood Preferred Guest||Transfer points household members||Free|| • Transfer in 1,000-point increments
• Transfer Starwood points online
|Wyndham Rewards||Transfers not allowed||N/A||N/A|
Alternatives to Transferring Hotel Points
If you don’t want to transfer hotel points to a partner or household member, there are a couple of workarounds.
You can use your points to book award stays for others. Again, each hotel chain has their own process and rules. So I’d recommend checking the policies before booking to make sure things go smoothly.
Or if you’re traveling as a couple, you can book award nights using points from 2 loyalty accounts.
As an example, on a 4-night hotel stay, you can use points from your account to book the 1st and 2nd nights. Then, use points from your partner’s account to book the 3rd and 4th nights. Of course if you book this way, you couldn’t get the 5th night free on your award stay.
You can NOT enter someone else’s hotel loyalty information on a credit card application. The names on the application and loyalty account must match.
Instead, you can earn the sign-up bonus in your own account. Then, transfer the points to someone else according to the hotel chain’s policy.
For example, you can transfer points from Hilton, Hyatt, and IHG to anyone. You’ll pay a small fee to transfer points with Hilton and IHG. But it might be worth it to make an award booking possible.
You can also consider using points from your account to book an award stays for others.