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Have a redemption in mind, but your points are split between accounts? We got you.
Currently, Marriott and SPG have programs that are running side by side, but offer different benefits. One of the great things about this merger has been the increased footprint of properties for redemption, and the ability to link Marriott and SPG accounts to access them. Depending on the location you’re looking to visit, it may make more sense to stay at a Marriott property or a Starwood property to extract the most value ( price, club access, upgrade guarantees, etc.) Once accounts are linked together, you can move points back and forth at will. But what happens if you and your partner want to take a trip, have enough points when you add your points together, but they sit in different accounts? This is a problem many people face, but there is an easy workaround. Let’s take a look.
Marriott caps sharing at 50k points per year
That’s not very many points considering Marriott’s top tier is 45k points, and many Ritz are 50k+
However, Starwood has a more generous policy.
As you can see, there is no cap on points you can transfer between accounts as long as you satisfy the following requirements.
- Transfers must be in lumps of 1000 points
- Both SPG members must be active
- Both SPG members must share the same address for min 30 days that isn’t
- PO Box, APO, or SPO
Let’s use an example of how to capitalize on this strategy.
I’m going to use nice round numbers to make this work, and illustrate the method. Let’s say a couple, Catherine and Dave want to go to Beijing for 10 nights, they live together, and have a total of 200k Marriott Rewards split between two accounts.
- Catherine has 60k Marriott Rewards
- Dave has 140k Marriott Rewards
Marriott currently limits transfers at 50k. But, they’d like to have all the points in one account, Dave’s. So they’ll use SPG as a conduit.
Catherine saw Miles stay at the JW Marriott Beijing ( a part of the 125k Around the World trip) and thought it looked like an incredible value, just 25k Marriott Rewards a night. They’d like to take advantage of Marriott’s stay 4, get a 5th night free policy to redeem 100k points for each set of 5 nights. Dave carries an Amex Platinum which gave him SPG Gold, and in turn, Marriott Gold after he linked his accounts. Currently, Marriott Gold status gets you club access and free breakfast. They’d like to move all their points into Dave’s account to utilize his status for 2, 5 night stays, with club access and free breakfast.
Here’s how they would do it.
- Transfer Catherine Marriott Rewards to Catherine SPG
- 60k Marriott Rewards —–> 20k SPG
- Transfer Catherine SPG to Dave’s SPG
- 20k SPG Catherine to 20k SPG Dave
- Transfer Dave SPG to Dave Marriott
- 20k SPG —–> 60k Marriott
After that’s complete, Dave’s account will now have 200k Marriott Rewards. Enough to book the back to back stay they want at the JW Marriott Beijing, and utilize Dave’s Marriott Gold Status, and enjoy this wonderful breakfast buffet.
This is also something that may be worth doing before the separate programs end. If your spouse has lifetime status and you don’t, it’s worth considering a total merge.