Why and How to Transfer Hotel Points Between Accounts
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There are several reasons to transfer hotel points from your account to a partner or family member’s account.
Why You Would Transfer Points
In general, you can use your points to book hotel rooms for friends or family (without having to transfer them) by adding them as the 2nd guest on the reservation. That way they can check-in even if you’re not at the hotel.
1. Pool Points for an Award
As I mentioned in transferring Starwood points, the most obvious reason to transfer points would be to pool points for an award.
Let’s say you won tickets to Disneyland, but they expire in January. Because you want Big Travel with Small Money, you want to stay at the Radisson Newport Beach. That’s because it’s close to Disneyland, offers free parking, and you can get the last night free when you redeem points from the US Bank Club Carlson Premier credit card.A room costs 38,000 points per night, but you’d get 1 night free (if you book 2 or more nights) so you’d only pay 38,000 points for 2 nights. You only have 30,000 points, but your wife has 8,000 points and she doesn’t have the Club Carlson credit card. She transfers 8,000 points to your account so you have enough for 2 free nights.
2. Airline Bonus
Link: Transfer to Miles
You can capitalize on bonuses for transferring hotel points to airline miles, such as Starwood’s 25% bonus.Starwood hotels is the only hotel program which lets you transfer hotel points to many airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
And Starwood gives you 5,000 points for every 20,000 points you transfer to airline miles. So you are earning 1.25 airline miles per 1 Starwood point transferred (if you transfer in increments of 20,000 Starwood hotel points).
So 20,000 Starwood points becomes 25,000 American Airlines miles.
3. Enjoy Elite Status Benefits
If 1 of you has elite status but is short on points, the other can transfer points to the one with elite status and enjoy all the benefits that come with elite status!
Elite benefits can include:
- Free breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Late check-out
There Are Differences Between the Programs
But not all loyalty programs are created equal. Some charge fees for account transfers, while others don’t allow transfers.
Sometimes it can be worth paying a fee to transfer points. Let’s say you want to spend 3 nights in New York over Memorial Weekend. You could use 80,000 Hilton points a night.
Or you could pay ~$449 a night.
But you only have 140,000 Hilton points, but you need 240,000 points. Your partner could transfer 100,000 points to you at a cost of $25 per 10,000 points. So it would cost $250 ($25 per 10,000 Hilton points x 10) for the point transfer.
Given that the room rate is ~$449 a night, paying $250 could be worth it. If you have a lot of Hilton points but are short on cash, this would be a good option.
To help you in your quest for Big Travel with Small Money, I’ve listed the terms and conditions for each of the major hotel programs below.
|Hotel Loyalty Program||Points Transfer Policy|
|Best Western Rewards||Transfers allowed between members of the same household. No cost to transfer.|
|Choice Privileges||Transfers not allowed.|
|Hilton HHonors||Transfer to anyone. Must transfer in increments of 10,000 points. Cost of $25 per 10,000 points. You can transfer a maximum of 200,000 points per year.|
|Hyatt Gold Passport||Transfer to anyone free of charge. Points Combining Request form required along with an award redemption.|
|Marriott Rewards||Transfer only to spouse or domestic partner. No cost to transfer. Can only transfer amount needed for award reservation. Must call to transfer.|
|Priority Club||Transfer to anyone. $5 fee per 1,000 points transferred. Transferred processed through Points.com.|
|Radisson (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 a year. No cost to transfer.|
|Starwood Preferred Guest||Transfer to members of same household. No cost to transfer.|
|Wyndham Rewards||Transfers not allowed.|
Programs That Allow Free Transfers
1. Best Western Rewards
Link: Best Western Rewards
You can transfer points between members that share the same address. There is no charge to transfer points.
To transfer points you must contact Best Western Customer Service at 800-237-8483.
2. Hyatt Gold Passport
Link: Hyatt Gold Passport
Hyatt allows you to combine points with any Hyatt member free of charge.
But there are some conditions:
- You can only transfer the required number of points needed to redeem an award
- You can only transfer points once every 30 days
Meaning you can’t transfer points just to transfer them; the transfer has to be for a specific award that has been placed on hold.
You must complete a Point Combining Request Form and email, fax, or mail to Hyatt. One of my readers, a Hyatt Diamond member, was able to call Hyatt to transfer points. So that might be an option if you have Diamond status.
After the points have successfully transferred, it’s important to call 800-304-9288 to confirm the combined award.
3. Marriott Rewards:
Link: Marriott Rewards
Marriott lets you transfer points to a spouse or domestic partner for redeeming award stays if he or she is a Marriott Rewards member. You can only transfer the specific number of points required for booking a room with award points rounded to the nearest 1,000 points. Transfers are free.
Let’s say you and your partner are spending a week in Hawaii in a timeshare owned by a friend, but it’s not available the 1st night you arrive so you need a hotel for a night.
You decide on the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa because it’s near the timeshare for $248 a night (plus taxes) or 30,000 points. You have 28,000 points in your account and your partner has 24,000.
Your partner could transfer 2,000 points to you so that you have 30,000 points in your account for the award night or you could transfer 6,000 points to your partner. Since there’s no cost to transfer points with Marriott, it doesn’t matter who transfers points to the other, unless 1 of you has elite status.
If 1 of you has elite status, then it makes sense for the person without elite status to transfer points to the person with elite status. That’s because you want to get the perks of elite status like a better room or free internet etc.
To transfer points, you must call Marriott Rewards Customer Support at 801-468-4000 and request an “Authorization to Transfer Points Form.”
Although the terms and conditions say you can only transfer points to a spouse or domestic partner, this thread on Flyertalk indicates some folks have been successful transferring points to people who aren’t their spouse or domestic partner.
It also seems to hint that if you cancel the award booking, the points will remain in the account of the transferee. I don’t have any personal experience trying this so your miles may vary (YMMV).
4. Radisson (Club Carlson)
Link: Radisson Club Carlson
Radisson’s transfer policies have changed since my October 2012 post.
If you are a Club Carlson Elite member, you can transfer points to any Club Carlson member. You can get Gold elite status from the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card or Silver elite status from the Club Carlson Visa Rewards Signature card.
Non-elite members can only transfer points:
- To someone in their household
- If both have been members for at least one year
- If addresses of both members have not been changed within 30 days of transfer request
You might have to show proof you live together and Club Carlson could deny the transfer request.
It’s free to transfer points.
Simply call Club Carlson at 888-288-8889.
5. Starwood Preferred Guest
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest
In my post Why & How to Transfer Starwood Points, I talked about how Starwood allows members to transfer points between members who share the same address.
There is no fee, but the transfer can take up to 3 days.
Programs That Charge for Transfers
1. Hilton HHonors
Link: Hilton HHonors
You can transfer points to Hilton HHonors member.
Points must be transferred in increments of 10,000 points and there is no limit to the number of points that can be transferred. There is a fee of $25 per 10,000 points transferred.
So if you transfer 50,000 points you will pay $125. ($25 per 10,000 Hilton points x 5). If you transferred 200,000 points you would pay $500.
The most you’d pay in transfer fees for a year would be $500 because after you transfer 200,000 points in a calendar year, additional transfers that year are free.
2. IHG Rewards
Link: IHG Rewards
I’m interpreting it to mean any Priority Club member because you only need the person’s name and Priority Club number to transfer points online via Points.com. You can also call the IHG® Rewards Club Service Center and complete an “Authorization to Transfer Points” form.
You will pay a fee of $5 per 1,000 points transferred.
Programs That Do Not Allow Transfers
1. Choice Privileges:
Link: Choice Privileges
Choice Privileges does not allow you to transfer or combine points.
2. Wyndham Rewards
Link: Wyndham Rewards
Wyndham Rewards does not allow points transfers.
According to this FlyerTalk thread you can exchange your points for airline miles, even from another person’s frequent flier account. But this FlyerTalk thread states that you can’t exchange points for miles from someone else’s account to yours. So your experience may vary.
Transferring hotel points is great when you want to combine points to book a room with award points, get an airline bonus, or share elite status benefits like free breakfast and internet.
Each hotel loyalty program has different rules about transferring points. Some programs such as Hyatt, allow for free transfers.
Other programs such as Hilton charge for transfers. And some programs like Choice don’t allow transfers.
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