Can you combine hotel night certificates with your spouse or family?

May 12, 2020

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Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

While traveling with a spouse, friend or family member creates its own set of challenges (like needing to find multiple award seats on the same flight), it also has a unique advantage, as it means multiple people can be applying for travel rewards credit cards to earn points toward a free vacation. TPG reader Travis wants to know if he can combine his hotel night certificates with his spouse for an upcoming trip …

I was wondering if it’s possible to stack hotel night certificates by having you and your spouse both hold the same credit card, like the IHG or World of Hyatt credit card

TPG READER TRAVIS

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While Travis asks specifically about the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and World of Hyatt Credit Card, the answer to this question is the same even if you’re staying at another hotel chain like Marriott or Hilton. The short answer is that none of the major hotel chains let you combine your nights under the same account, but you as an individual are free to stack them for use on back-to-back nights, assuming there’s enough award space.

Related: Ultimate guide to points pooling and sharing

For many couples and families, this may be good enough to achieve their travel goals, but there are a few important considerations to be aware of. First, if one spouse has a higher level of elite status than the other, those elite benefits won’t transfer over when the other spouse redeems their award certificate. This means you may only get free breakfast and lounge access for one night of your stay, not both.

Depending on the hotel, you may even be asked to move to a different room during your stay. Now this problem is much easier to fix, as (excluding elite upgrades at the time of check-in), two identical award-night certificates should book into the same room type at the hotel. If you’re doing this, you should call the property in advance to explain the situation so they don’t make you move rooms during your stay.

Hotel certificates can represent an incredible value proposition, and I happily pay ~$100 a year in annual fees on three different Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, because I can consistently redeem the up to 35,000-point award-night certificates I receive on them for $250 or more in value. Many credit cards offer redundant perks where it wouldn’t make sense for a family to have more than one, but hotel credit cards that offer free-night certificates are a notable exception.

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

Bottom line

While there’s no mechanism to directly combine your award certificates with your spouses, you’re free to redeem them on back-to-back nights to effectively combine them into a two-night trip. If you do this, just make sure to reach out to the hotel in advance to let them know so they don’t force you to switch rooms during your stay.

Thanks for the question, Travis, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo by Ethan Steinberg/ he Points Guy.

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