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How to transfer Marriott points between accounts

Feb. 26, 2020
5 min read
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Marriott Bonvoy is by far the world's largest hotel company, and home to some of the most aspirational points properties in the world under the umbrella of its St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton and Luxury Collection brands. Properties like the St. Regis Maldives and Al Maha Resort in Dubai are on the bucket list of just about every award traveler out there, but it takes a lot of points to turn these dreams into a reality.

Standard award nights at these and other Category 8 properties cost 85,000 points per night, with that number climbing up to 100,000 points on dates that are subjected to peak pricing. If you're hoping to stay for more than a night or two, you may need to team up with friends and family members to earn the requisite number of points. Thankfully, Marriott allows point transfers between accounts, and today we're going to take a look at how to do that.

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Why you should transfer Marriott points

There are plenty of reasons to consider transferring points, some of which might be more obvious than others. First of all, if one member of your group has Marriott elite status, you'd want the reservation to be made from that account in order to earn the benefits, including a welcome amenity, free breakfast or room upgrades depending on the traveler's elite tier.

Obviously if you're just short of the points needed for a specific reservation transferring makes sense — though you could also take advantage of Marriott's Points Advance feature to lock in the award space — but transferring might also help you get more value out of your redemption. If you have enough points in your account for a three-night stay and a friend has enough for another night, a transfer from their account could actually translate into five nights because Marriott offers a fifth night free on award stays.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with the Marriott Bonvoy program

If you're working in "two-player mode" — where two spouses, siblings or close friends team up to earn points together — you might find one party has a few leftover points in their Marriott account. If those points are close to expiring or you don't have enough to redeem for a free night, gifting them to a friend or family member beats letting them go to waste.

Transferring Marriott points between accounts

While Marriott allows point transfers between accounts, there are some restrictions to be aware of. Let's start with the good news: You don't need to be related to the person you're transferring with, nor do you need to share an address. You can transfer points to anyone's Marriott account, as long as both accounts have been open and in good standing for 30 days (with qualifying activity) or 90 days (without qualifying activity).

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Each member can transfer up to 100,000 points per calendar year, and receive up to 500,000 points per calendar year. As is the case with most point transfers, you can only move points in 1,000-point increments.

Related: The award traveler's guide to Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott's IT has been one of the most frequent complaints since it closed its acquisition of SPG, so it might be a good thing that you can't transfer points online. In order to initiate a transfer you'll need to call Marriott member support at 801-468-4000. Note that transferring points does not count as a qualifying activity, and therefore won't extend the expiration date on your account.

Earning Marriott points

Now that you know how easy it is to combine Marriott points between accounts, it's time to start earning some points! You can earn points for paid hotel stays at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, with general members earning 10x points per dollar spent and elite members earning up to 17.5x points per dollar. You can also boost your balance quickly by applying for a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, and there are several good offers available:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Earn three free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Related: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is right for you?

Bottom line

Even if you don't plan on transferring points immediately, it's worth tucking this information into your back pocket. Whether it's this year or next, there will come a time when you're just a few thousand points shy of an award you really want, and having a friend or family member transfer to your account might be your saving grace. 100,000 Marriott points a year isn't a ton, but it should be more than enough to allow you to reach for that next award.

Featured image by St. Regis Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island. Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.