I previously wrote about the benefits of transferring hotel points to another person’s account. Since I mainly manage my boyfriend’s award accounts, I like to keep all our points together when possible. We stayed at a Marriott in October for a wedding. I was under the impression that you couldn’t earn points on stays booked through group bookings like wedding blocks. I’m not really sure why I thought this but my boyfriend had the desk add his Marriott number (instead of mine) so we could get free wi-fi (it still baffles me that this is considered a “perk” of some hotel rewards programs…).
Anyway, we’re planning on staying at a Marriott in Venice (Boscolo Venezia or J.W. Marriott, someone help me decide!) next summer so I needed to transfer the points to my account. Usually it costs $10 to transfer Marriott points. Since the merger with Starwood, it’s now possible to do this for free with this workaround. You can transfer Marriott points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio. Then you can transfer the points to another Starwood Preferred Guest member if they are part of the same household. The last step is having that person transfer the points to their Marriott account. A little confusing, but it’s free. I learned two things when trying to do this:
- Starwood accounts must be open for 30 days before you can transfer between accounts.
- The last name of the person you are transferring points to can only have roman characters.
Number 1 was a little annoying but not a huge deal. I’d opened a Starwood account for my boyfriend specifically to transfer the points so I had to wait a month before making the transfer. Number 2 isn’t a problem for most people, but I have an apostrophe in my last name and I left the apostrophe in when I created my account. Because of this pesky punctuation mark that’s been causing issues my whole life, I can’t transfer points between our accounts online. I get an error message about the last name not matching that of the account holder. I was able to do the transfer over the phone, but I’m still amazed by how many IT problems I encounter with various companies (looking at you, Citi). But even if it requires a phone call, it’s still worth it to transfer Marriott points between accounts for free!
Have you encountered any IT problems related to points or miles?