We’re currently working on a hotel points 101 blog, similar to the nuts and bolts post we did on airline frequent flyer programs last month. But before that, we thought we’d share a little simple trick that we recently used for a room reservation for an upcoming trip to Hong Kong.
We really like Starwood hotels, and we REALLY love their loyalty program. You may already know that hotels, similar to airline alliances, allow you to earn and redeem points at multiple properties, with one currency. For example, earning Hilton HHonors points doesn’t just limit you to Hilton properties; you can also use those points for redemption at anything from a Waldorf Astoria to a DoubleTree! So it also goes with Starwood. Starwood Preferred Guest points can be used at Four Points, Sheraton, aloft, W Hotels, Le Meridien, The Luxury Collection, element, Westin, and St. Regis hotels and resorts.
Starwood is also generous in other ways, as you can transfer your points to airline miles at a 1:1 ratio with 28 airline frequent flyer programs, and with four other airline programs at different ratios. But here is where it gets really good: Once you earn 20,000 points and decide to transfer that, Starwood pitches in a bonus 5,000 points. So 20,000 points isn’t just 20,000 AAdvantage miles, it’s now 25,000!
But all this is pretty well known by folks who have a Starwood Preferred Guest account. What isn’t always well known is this: you can transfer your points, at no charge, to people registered at the same address as you. Usually if you try and transfer hotel points or airline miles from one account to another, you pay a pretty hefty fee. Not with Starwood. Simply make sure each account is registered at the same address for at least 30 days, and then initiate the process through the steps we’ve outlined below. Once you transfer the points, note that it takes up to five business days to complete.
So why is this beneficial? Let’s say you and your partner both travel separately. Or you and a parent or you and whoever the heck would be willing to share points with you both travel. You each gain points on your individual trips and when it comes vacation time, neither of you have enough for a room redemption. What to do? This is what happened to Laura and I as we began booking rooms for Hong Kong this December. I only had 945 points, but I am a Starwood Gold Member, so with my elite status, I can get us perks like late checkout at 4pm, potential upgrades, and more. Laura had the remaining points we needed for a 16,000 point redemption. So we transferred Laura’s points to my account so that we could utilize my elite status on the room reservation.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a similar position, we’ve taken screenshots below to show you step by step how to go about making a transfer, from the membership page.
How to transfer Starwood Preferred Guests Points to Someone at the Same Address as You
First things first, go to www.starwood.com
Once at the SPG membership homepage, scroll down and on the right, click “redeem/transfer points”
Now, scroll to the bottom of this page until you find “transfer to another member” and click on that.
Finally, you’re in the homestretch! Enter the SPG Member # you want to transfer to and the number of points you want to transfer. Remember, it can take up to five business days to transfer.
And you’re all set! Again, if you have two people under one roof traveling, SPG becomes a great option for the transfer flexibility, something you won’t find in many other places! If you found this blog helpful, don’t forget to join us on Twitter and Facebook, or just sign up on the right hand side of this screen to receive email or RSS updates!