Have you looked into transferring airline miles to another person before? In many cases, transferring points between loyalty accounts can turn into an expensive proposition. It’s much more affordable to book flights for someone else from the original person’s account.
However, booking a hotel room for a traveler other than yourself isn’t as simple. Fortunately, many hotel programs allow free point transfers, and some even offer the option to pool points among multiple account holders.
Let’s take a look at the transfer rules, their costs and why anyone would want to transfer their hotel points to someone else in the first place.
In This Article
The most obvious reason you might want to combine hotel points with someone else is to book a longer stay.
For example, you have 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, and your spouse has 30,000 points. Together, you can book two nights at a Category 5 hotel, which costs 35,000 Marriott points each. So, you combine the points and book a weekend stay on the same reservation.
A few hotel chains, such as IHG, Hilton and Marriott, offer a free fourth or fifth night on award bookings. IHG offers a fourth night free to co-branded IHG cardholders. Hilton offers a fifth night free to elite members (Gold or higher). Marriott offers a fifth night free to anybody redeeming points.
Please note that these stays must be booked with points and not with free-night certificates.
Naturally, the incentive to transfer points to someone else is to take advantage of one of these free-night promotions.
Let’s use Marriott as an example again. Say you have 100,000 points sitting in your Marriott Bonvoy account, and your spouse, sibling or parent has 50,000 points. In this case, the other person can transfer 40,000 of their points to you, and you redeem 140,000 Marriott points for five nights at a Category 5 hotel—you get a fifth night free by booking five nights, go on a longer vacation together, and everyone is happy.
Keep in mind that not all point transfers are free, and you’ll have to calculate the cost of a transfer to determine whether it’s the right move.
Another reason to transfer your hotel points to someone else is to take advantage of their elite-status benefits, such as upgrades, late check-out or free breakfast.
Let’s say you’re a Gold Hilton Elite member and your spouse is Diamond, thanks to holding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. In this case, you’ll want to book your stay using your spouse’s Hilton Honors account and take advantage of all the good stuff that the Diamond status gets you, including Executive Lounge access, increased bonus points earning rates on top of your base earnings and premium Wi-Fi.
If you’ve got an insignificant number of points left and you don’t have any upcoming stays with a particular program, you might be inclined to transfer them to someone who’d use them. Instead of letting them expire, it’s a great way to earn some major karma points.
You and another Best Western Rewards member can combine points as long you both share a physical address. To start a point transfer, contact a customer service team at 1-800-237-8483.
You can transfer up to 50,000 Best Western Rewards points per phone call and request a maximum of three transfers per month. All transfers of 50,001 or more points require a point transfer form plus a copy of a transferring member’s driver’s license. There’s no minimum transfer requirement, and transfers are free.
Unfortunately, point transfers to other members are not available through the Choice Privileges program.
Of all the hotel loyalty programs, Hilton Honors makes it the easiest to combine points, and it’s free to do so. In fact, the program offers a point pooling option.
You can pool rewards into one account with up to another 10 Hilton Honors members (for a total of 11 people), and they don’t have to be your household members. Any person who has been a Hilton Honors member for at least 30 days and has at least 1,000 points in their account can join a pool.
A member can transfer a minimum of 1,000 Hilton Honors points and a maximum of 500,000 points into a pool each calendar year. A member can receive up to 2 million points in a calendar year.
IHG Rewards Club members can transfer points to another member in increments of 1,000 points. There’s no limit to how many points a person can transfer or receive, up to the nearest thousand of your total balance. You must complete a form online to initiate a point transfer.
Unfortunately, IHG charges $5 for each chunk of 1,000 points that you transfer.
Marriott Bonvoy members can transfer points to any program member as long as both accounts have been opened for at least 30 days with qualifying activity. A new member is able to receive points after 90 days of enrolling in the Bonvoy program regardless of activity.
You must contact Marriott at 801-468-4000 to initiate a transfer. You can transfer at least 1,000 Marriott points but no more than 100,000 points per calendar year. A single member can receive no more than 500,000 points per calendar year. Points must be transferred in increments of 1,000, and transfers are free.
Radisson Rewards members with elite status can share Radisson points (previously known as Club Carlson Gold Points) with any other Radisson Rewards program member.
Radisson members with no status can transfer their points to another member of their household only. Both people must have been Radisson Rewards members for at least one year and have resided at the same address for at least 30 days.
You can transfer as few as 1 point, there are no limits on points transfers, and transfers are free. To combine points, call 1-888-288-8889.
A World of Hyatt member can combine hotel points with any program member (for free) by filling out a Point Combining Request form and sending it to [email protected] Members may transfer or receive points once per 30 days.
The transfer terms state that the points must be used to book a specific award, but no one actually verifies this information. You probably wouldn’t be transferring points unless you had a specific redemption in mind anyway.
World of Hyatt point transfers come especially in handy to book a Guest of Honor stay, which means you can enjoy all the perks of a Globalist member if he or she books a stay for you using points.
Like with Choice points, it’s not possible to transfer Wyndham Rewards to another member.
The ability to transfer points between accounts offers a lot of flexibility, especially for families pooling points for a trip. In a two-player mode, you and your significant other both can apply for a co-branded hotel credit card and combine your welcome points for a longer stay.
Hilton stands out with the ability to pool points across so many accounts, while Hyatt and Marriott provide useful options to transfer between accounts.
Unfortunately, Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards programs don’t allow member-to-member point transfers, and IHG Rewards Club makes you pay for transfers between members.
Considering the popularity of Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott points, you’ll still have some great options to take advantage of one person’s elite status or extend your trip with a 5th-night free booking.
10xTravel is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.