Starwood Clamps Down on Point Transfers

by on December 7, 2010 · 6 comments

in Starwood

A great aspect of the Starwood Preferred Guest program is that you can transfer points between members of the same household. All you need is two accounts that have the same address and the points transfer instantly- for free. Well, industrious mileage hounds have taken advantage of this perk, because you now may need to provide proof of residence in order to do these transfers going forward.

I can’t necessarily blame Starwood for trying to reduce the amount of “illegal” transfers because they do take up phone agent time. However, I’d love to see more loyalty programs loosen up on transfers- we’ve worked hard to earn our points- they should let us pool them with our friends and family!

However, I understand how lucrative selling and transferring points are for the loyalty programs, so I doubt they will loosen up on the rules anytime soon. But a shameless points hound can dream!

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  • Michael

    As posted on the FT thread, I’d agree with the comment that this is a loyalty program, and trading points beyond more than a spouse just isn’t rewarding loyalty.

    The only reason that transfers within a household even make sense is that several people share a hotel room, usually related. BA offers household accounts which are great and reward loyalty within a family, but I don’t even really understand the reasoning for that.

    Whatever – I think Starwood should keep players to the rules. It’s one of the best program out there, and when people take advantage, they jeopardize that.

  • The Points Guy

    I can respect their decision. I just wonder what the “proof of residency” threshold will be.

  • SVB

    I can confirm SPG is checking the addresses. I called yesterday to transfer SPG points from my account to my fiance’s account (same household). Since she had changed her address in the last 30 days, the SPG rep said the transfer might not take and we might have to show proof of residence.

    The proof of residence won’t be an issue for us but I’m wondering what the process will be like. The only reason we were caught in this situation is my fiance forgot to change her address on her SPG account when we moved – meaning it now looks like she just changed 3 weeks ago and we want to do a transfer.

    I’ll post an update when the process finishes. I’m hoping it is somewhat swift as we have our eyes on Le Meridien in Barcelona for the first 5 days of our honeymoon (thanks for the review, btw).

  • SVB

    Just a quick update – SPG made the transfer for us without additional verification. This was in spite of the fact that my fiance changed her address within the last 30 days (even though we moved 6 months ago). The only problem was the SPG transfer went the wrong way! A quick call to get that reversed and sent the other way (and again no problem with the household transfer) and we are looking good.

    Thanks for the heads up on this. SVB

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