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A few readers have asked how to transfer Starwood hotel points from one account to another.
I actually transferred points from my account to Emily’s account on Tuesday, and my transfer was complete on Friday, so it took 3 days to make the transfer.
Usually there’s no real need to transfer points from 1 account to another, since you can always book a hotel room using points for someone else.
But here are a few situations when it is helpful to transfer points from 1 account to another. Please comment if there are other reasons which I’ve missed.
Why Transfer Starwood Points From One Account to Another?
1. Not enough miles for an award. If Emily has 2,000 Starwood points in her account, and I have 8,000 Starwood points, I can transfer Emily’s points to my account and then book 1 night in a category 4 Starwood hotel for 10,000 points.
2. 25% bonus when transferring to airlines. You get a 25% bonus when you transfer Starwood points in increments of 20,000 to airlines. If Emily and I each apply for the American Express Starwood 30,000 point credit card, we can transfer 20,000 points to an airline and earn the 25% bonus, but we will have 10,000 points left in our accounts.
So I can transfer my 10,000 points to Emily, and then have her transfer them to an airline (say American Airlines) to get the 25% bonus or 5,000 extra airline miles.
3. Transfer Starwood Hotel Points to Someone Else’s Airline Account. You can’t usually transfer Starwood points to someone else’s airline account.
For example, Emily can’t transfer her Starpoints into my American Airlines account. But she can transfer her Starwood points to my account and I can then transfer them to my American Airlines account.
4. Elite Status. If one person sharing the same household address has gold or platinum elite status, you can transfer points into the account of the member with elite status and have the member with elite status book the room to get the elite status benefits.
However, Starwood does extend elite benefits to an elite member even if the member with elite status hasn’t booked the room provided the elite member lets the front desk know that he/she is a Starwood elite member.
But it could just be easier to book the hotel room from the elite member’s account.
How To Transfer Starwood Hotel Points Between Accounts
Starwood lets you transfer points between accounts as long as both the receiver and the giver share the same household address. The last names do NOT have to match, but the addresses do! And the addresses have to be the same for the last 30 days.
There is no minimum or maximum amount of points which you can transfer and the transfers are free.
However, I do NOT recommend changing addresses just to transfer points because you could lose the points in your account if Starwood finds out that you changed addresses just to transfer the points.
Transfer Points By Telephone
You can call Starwood at 888-625-4988 and ask for an internal transfer of points. The rep will verify information and confirm the same address and process the transfer of points.
The rep told me that it would take up to 5 business days to complete my transfer, but it happened in only 3 days.
Alternatively, you can complete the transfer request online.
Bottom Line: Starwood makes it easy to transfer points from one account to another provided you share the same address. But don’t abuse this, or your account may be closed!
I’m traveling today so won’t be able to get to the comments until later!