UPDATE 7/22/2014 – After speaking with Marriott Rewards today I confirmed that points may only be transferred to spouses or domestic partners.
In my opinion, the most valuable point or mile is the one that gets you to your destination when you want to get there. Having a million SPG points won’t do me squat if I want to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong. Also, having 50,000 Marriott points in my account and 50,000 Marriott points in Sara’s account doesn’t do me much good if I want to book a room that costs 70,000 point a night with Marriott … oh, but on the contrary ladies and gentlemen, yes it does.
Marriott points are completely fluid between accounts*. Yes, that asterisk means there are a few caveats … but no longer do you have to have 2,500 lame points sitting in an account wasted. At the end of the month Sara and I are headed to Hong Kong and Thailand. Thailand hotels are booked with SPG (Thank you Stacy for the detailed analysis of Starwood Properties in Thailand) and in Hong Kong we’re staying at the Ritz (Thanks Ben!)
So with 50,001 Marriott Rewards points in my account and 50,001 points in Sara’s, I booked the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong (instead of paying $700++). I made the booking online and indicated that I would get the e-certificate when I had the rest of the points in my account. With the reservation held, I contacted Marriott Rewards support (Monday to Friday daytime hours only; YUCK!) and indicated what I was looking to do.
- My Name and Marriott Rewards # (I was a silver, but have since applied for the platinum challenge.)
- Reservation Confirmation #
I indicated that I wanted to transfer points from my wife’s account to mine to complete the award booking. I provided her name and account number. As our addresses matched there was no further verification needed. (So if you want to transfer points with someone that isn’t at the same address as you, make sure you know the address on their account!)
The agent indicated that she’d put the request form together and could either mail it to my wife to sign and send back or she could fax it to me, and then I fax it back to her. I opted for the fax (thanks for a free eFax account I’ve had for about 15 years I get a dozen or so free fax pages a month delivered to my inbox)
Sara signed the form, and I faxed it back… (using an actual fax!) About an hour later I received a confirmation that the reservation had been fully booked.
So here are some of the nitty gritty details on transferring points between Marriott accounts:
- You can only transfer points to complete an award booking.
- Points must be transferred in 1,000 point increments.
- You can transfer points between accounts EVEN IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH POINTS IN YOUR ACCOUNT FOR THE AWARD BOOKING!
- If Person A has 100,000 points and Person B has 100,000 points and the award is 50,000 points you can transfer a MAX of 50,000 from Person B to Person A.
- If you cancel an award the points stay in the account of the transferred person. (So in the above example Person A would have 150,000 points and Person B 50,000 points.)
- There is no limit to the number of points that can be transferred. (Just in 1,000 point increments!)
- You are not limited to family members or people at the same address.
Don’t abuse this … but don’t let idle points waste in a family members account; get that dream trip booked!
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day TopCashback is donating $50 cash (to be deposited to your TopCashback.com account) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (along with your First Name, Last Initial, and Airport Code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by TODAY at 11:59pm ET to be eligible to win. That gives you two days to win!
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49