How To Combine Points With The Major Hotel Programs & Maximize Your Redemptions

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Hotel Point Transfer

Hotel Point Transfer Rules

I enjoy redeeming hotel points more than airline miles.  For my situation, hotel points bring more value, flexibility, and unique experiences.  And like any rewards currency, my wife and I look to maximize them while meeting our travel goals.  One way we do so is by combining our hotel points.  Of course, all hotel loyalty programs have differences.  Today, I’ll describe why you should care about hotel point transfer rules and the major chains’ loyalty program policies.

When Transferring Hotel Points Makes Sense

Several viable reasons exist for sharing hotel points.  Here are the major ones:

  • Leveraging Elite Status:  Members traveling together can benefit from a given traveler’s top status.
  • Augmenting A Stay:  By sharing points, members can book a longer stay, a nicer property, or both!
  • Optimizing Program-Specific Redemptions:  Various chains, including Marriott and Hilton, offer an extra night free when redeeming for a certain number of nights.  More points from others can unlock that feature.
  • Points Remnants: Many of us have minor amounts of points not sufficient enough for a free night sitting around in our accounts.  Transfer them to another member for more active use.

Hotel Point Transfer

Hilton Honors

Members of the Hilton Honors program can bump up their balances by transferring or pooling points online.  Transferring is slightly simpler, and I describe how to do both here.  Members can send up to 500k points and receive up to 2 million points per calendar year.  A minimum of 1k point must be moved.  The Hilton Honors program allows a member to make six of each transaction (transferring and pooling) annually.  In my experience, Hilton’s hotel points transfer process is the easiest out of the major chains.

World of Hyatt

Inexplicably, Hyatt’s still in the stone age when it comes to sharing points.  A member must download, fill out, and sign a “point combining request form.”  The receiving member’s info and signature is also necessary.  Hyatt only accepts the completed form via email or snail mail.  A member may only transfer or receive points once every 30 days.  The good news is there’s no limit to the amount of points a member can transfer.

Hotel Point Transfer

Marriott Bonvoy

In order to transfer Bonvoy points, members must call Marriott (800-228-2100 within the States and Canada).  A member can transfer up to 100k points and receive up to 500k points annually.  Points transfers start at 1k.  I transferred points to my wife earlier this year and was pleasantly surprised how quickly the phone call went.

Best Western Rewards

Members at the same physical address can share Best Western points by calling 800-237-8483.  Now, get ready for the maximums and related processes.  Members can transfer a maximum of 50k points per phone call, up to three phone calls monthly.  Transfers over 50k require the member’s driver’s license info.

IHG One Rewards

IHG allows transfers, with one major caveat – they charge $5 for each 1k points transferred.  I wasn’t surprised at all to learn that there are no transfer limits.  IHG will happily take all the money.  This is sad to see with how much better the competition is with transfers. The bright side is at least this wasn’t something taken away from their new loyalty program.

Hotel Point Transfer

Sonesta Travel Pass

Sonesta’s a bit vague with their points transfer policy, but it’s technically possible to share points with immediate family, which they define as parents, children, spouse, and siblings.  Their terms advise members to “contact the Customer Care Desk for assistance.”  According to the Sonesta site, the Customer Care Desk can be contacted at 855-622-2160.

Radisson Rewards Americas

Radisson Rewards Americas members can transfer points by calling 888-288-8889.  Elite members can transfer to anyone, but general members are limited to transferring to someone else within the household.  And remember, Choice Hotels recently bought Radisson Rewards Americas.  Their loyalty programs will eventually merge.  You may want to transfer Radisson points sooner rather than later for the following reason.

These Programs Stink…

…for transferring points to other members.  Wyndham Rewards and Choice Privileges don’t allow hotel point transfers to other individuals.

Conclusion

Sharing hotel points with other members is just one way to meet specific travel goals.  In many instances, transferring bank points to hotel loyalty programs for specific redemptions makes more sense.  Nonetheless, sharing hotel currencies across members can come in handy in certain situations.  My wife and I have transferred Marriott and Hilton currencies, and we’re about to do the same with Radisson.  I’ll let you know how that goes!  In the meantime, let us know when a hotel point transfer has made sense for you.

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA for close to free. He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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5 COMMENTS

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5 COMMENTS

  1. It would never make sense to transfer IHG points when they sell points for roughly the same 0.5 CPP fairly regularly.

    Also, it’s indirectly possible to transfer Wyndham. P1 Wyndham -> P1 Caesar’s -> P2 Caesar’s (in-person only and 10k annual transfer cap iirc) -> P2 Wyndham. It’d take ages to transfer a lot of points here so it kind of works only for a top-up.

  2. Will be interested in how your Radisson transfer goes. We recently moved our points separately to Radisson Rewards (nonUS) program.
    Maybe should transfer back, if that is even easy to do, then combine and re-transfer. Expect to use in Europe as will meet our needs better
    .

  3. Somesta Travel Pass transfers are a snap. You can email travelpass@sonesta.com or call. Calling is fastest & takes same amount of time as Marriott to process. Love our Sonesta cards/anniversary bonuses for some high-end redemptions.

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