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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
Most airline and hotel programs charge steep fees for transferring points and miles to other people, while some have unique family account features. Starwood is one of the most flexible, because it allows members to transfer points to other SPG members who have the same address in their profile for free and there is no limit to the number of points you can transfer. Transfers are usually instant, but can take up to 5 business days to process and they can be initiated online at spg.com -> Quick Links -> My Account -> Redeem/Transfer Points -> Transfer to another member.
Starwood requires that both accounts must have been active and listed at the same address on each for at least 30 days. No verification is asked for on the transfer form, though Starwood does reserve the right to request proof of residence. Note: if SPG smells a fraud, they might take away your points and bar you from the program so I do not recommend abusing this feature.
Starwood Vacation Owners can transfer points among each other even if they are not at the same address, so if you’re a timeshare owner with Starwood, that adds another level of flexibility to the program for transfers and redemptions.
The great thing is, if you do want to take advantage of these transfers, they’re free, and there is no limit to the number of points you can transfer, so if you’re looking to combine your redemption power among a couple accounts within a household, this could be a great way to pool the points necessary for awards you want.
Let’s say a couple living at the same address each got the SPG personal and business American Express cards at the current 30,000-point bonus on each. Each person would have 60,000 Starpoints once they met the minimum spending requirements. That’s enough for 7 nights at a Category 4 property, 6 nights at a Category 5 property, 3 nights at a Category 6 property, or 2 nights at a Category 7 property.
But together, if the couple combined all their points into a single SPG account, they’d have 120,000 points total (Note: you cannot combine the elite qualifying nights/stays that come with the card, so each person would have 4 stays/10 nights towards elite status). That would mean 5 nights at a Category 7 property like the St. Regis Florence where rooms start at around 400 euros ($500) a night. Not bad – that’s half a honeymoon paid for right there! There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.