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Tricks to Better Travel With Your Marriott and Starwood Points!

Tricks to Better Travel With Your Marriott and Starwood Points!

Million Mile SecretsTricks to Better Travel With Your Marriott and Starwood Points!Million Mile Secrets Team

Now that the Marriott – Starwood merger is complete and you can transfer points between the programs, there are more ways to share your Starwood and Marriott points with friends and relatives!

Because both Marriott and Starwood have different points sharing rules, you can take advantage of the perks of each program!

Sharing Marriott And Starwood Points
Helping Friends & Family Travel Is the Best Part of the Miles & Points Hobby. And Now It’s Easier to Do, Because There Are More Ways to Share Your Starwood and Marriott Points With Others!

I’ll show you a few examples of when being able to share points with friends and family members might come in handy.

Sharing Marriott and Starwood Points

1.   Marriott Points Sharing Rules

Link:   Marriott Rewards Rules

Of the 2 hotel points programs, Marriott has the most generous points sharing rules.  Because folks can transfer their Marriott points to ANY other Marriott Rewards member.

There’s a $10 transaction fee for each transaction (free for Gold and Platinum elite members), and you have to transfer at least 1,000 Marriott points.  But you can transfer up to 50,000 Marriott points into or out of your account each year.

And if you need to transfer more than 50,000 Marriott points, Marriott will allow you to transfer however many Marriott points you need for that particular stay.

To make a transfer you’ll have to call Marriott Rewards Customer Support at 801-468-4000.

And remember, you can now indirectly transfer your AMEX Membership Rewards points to Marriott!

2.   Starwood Points Sharing Rules

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest Rules

The rules for sharing Starwood points are stricter than Marriott’s.

Starwood lets you transfer points between accounts for free, but both parties must share the same household address.  And your last names to NOT have to match, but the addresses have to be the same for the last 30 days.

Plus, you have to transfer Starwood points in increments of 1,000 points.  And each account can only have 30,000 Starwood points added to it from points purchases and transfers each calendar year.

Get the Best of Both Worlds

Because you can convert points back and forth between Starwood and Marriott, you have more ways to transfer your points between both programs to friends and family members.

1.   Transfer Starwood Points to Someone Who Does NOT Live at Your Address

Say you want to transfer 20,000 Starwood points to your friend who does NOT live at your address.  So that they can transfer those Starwood points to a Starwood airline transfer partner, like American Airlines, for a round-trip coach ticket within the US.

Before the Marriott – Starwood merger, this wouldn’t be possible.  But now you can!

Sharing Marriott And Starwood Points
Now You Can Indirectly Transfer Starwood Points to Someone Else Who Has a Different Address!

First, you could transfer 20,000 Starwood points to your Marriott account at a 1:3 ratio and have 60,000 Marriott points (20,000 Starwood points X 3).

Then you could pay $10 to transfer those Marriott points to your friend’s Marriott account (unless you have Gold or Platinum elite status, then it’s free).

Finally, your friend could transfer those Marriott points to their own Starwood account at a 3:1 ratio, and end up with 20,000 Starwood points in their account for just $10 and a few minutes of work. 😉

I’d say that’s a great deal!  Because 20,000 Starwood points are worth 25,000 miles with almost all of Starwood’s airline transfer partners.  For example, they could transfer those 20,000 Starwood points to American Airlines miles.  And 25,000 American Airlines miles is enough for a round-trip coach ticket within the US!

Even if your friend or relative wanted to use the points for SPG Moments or a Starwood stay, the concept is still the same!  Essentially, you can now work around Starwood’s rule that only allows folks to transfer points between accounts that have the same address.

Here’s my detailed post on how to transfer Starwood points to anyone!

2.   (Indirectly!) Use Marriott Points for Flights

With the merger, you can also now indirectly use Marriott points for flights.  

For example, say your mom has 30,000 Marriott points and you have 10,000 Starwood points saved up.  And she wants you to fly home to visit your family. 😉

Having 40,000 hotel points total between your separate accounts won’t get you an airline ticket.  But your mom could transfer her 30,000 Marriott points to your Marriott account for $10.  Then you could convert those 30,000 Marriott points to 10,000 Starwood points (because of the 3:1 transfer ratio).

Sharing Marriott And Starwood Points
Have a Relative that Needs a Few More Points for a Ticket to New York? You Could Transfer Your Marriott Points (Indirectly!) to Their Starwood Account to Use On One of Starwood’s Airline Transfer Partners!

You’d end up with 20,000 Starwood points (10,000 Starwood points X 2)!

And that’s enough for a round-trip coach saver ticket within the US (25,000 miles) on airlines like American Airlines and Delta, when you add in the 5,000 mile bonus you’ll get for transferring 20,000 Starwood points.

Bottom Line

There are now more ways to share your Starwood and Marriott points with friends and relatives, because you can convert points back and forth between both points programs.  And take advantage of the points sharing rules from each program!

It’s now possible to share your Starwood points with someone who doesn’t live at your same address and (indirectly!) use Marriott points to book flights.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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4 comments

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Million Mile Secrets

@Ash - Unfortunately, you can't use Marriott certificates at SPG hotels.

@Susan - No, it really doesn't matter because you can transfer them back and forth depending on what's the best redemption option!

So are you saying, at this time, it's better to keep your Starwood points in Starwood rather than link or merge them with Marriott?

No Ash. Certificate for free nights do not transfer between Hotel groups.

So, can i use my Marriott free night cert (cat 1-5) at a SPG hotel?