Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why transferring hotel points to a friend is good (but transferring airline miles is bad)

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Is it possible to transfer hotel loyalty points to a friend or partner?  Can you transfer the points for free?  In most cases, the answer is ‘Yes’.

Airline schemes are not like this.  Most frequent flyer schemes allow you to pay to transfer miles to a friend but it is usually a terrible deal.

The price is often only modestly cheaper than buying miles outright but no new miles are being created. You are paying a high fee simply for the loyalty programme to move them from one account to another!

Here is British Airways pricing for Avios transfers.  Transferring 13,000 Avios points from yourself to a friend will cost a crazy £100 unless you are a Gold member.  This is especially crazy given that:

a) you can issue a reward ticket for someone else from your account, and

b) you could create a Household Account for free and pool your miles that way

In general, you should think long and hard before paying to transfer airline miles to someone else.

With the hotel loyalty schemes, it is a totally different game.

Hotel

How can you transfer hotel loyalty points to someone else?

Most of the hotel schemes make it very easy to transfer points around – and you often don’t need to pay.  Here are some examples:

Accor Live Limitless

Accor points cannot be transferred.

Best Western Rewards

The FAQ on the UK website says:

“Yes. Points can be transferred between accounts that share the same physical address. To arrange a point transfer, please contact our Rewards Team at [email protected]

Hilton Honors

Hilton used to make a nominal charge ($12.50 per 5,000 points) to make transfers.  This has now changed – points pooling, as they call it, is now FREE.  You can send up to 500,000 points, albeit across no more than six transactions, and receive up to 2 million points per calendar year.

It works well.  Every time that my wife has a Hilton stay I sweep the points across to my account.  You can find out more on this page of the Hilton Honors website.

IHG Rewards Club

You can transfer points to anyone else for a flat fee of $5 per 1,000.  I did this once to top up my Mum’s account when she was 1,000 points short of a redemption – in this scenario it was $5 well spent (buying 1,000 would have been $13.50).  The link to arrange transfers is here.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy allows you to transfer your points to anyone.  Full details are here.

There is a cap of 100,000 points per year.  There is no fee for the transfer but you need to call Marriott to get it done.  It cannot be done online.

Radisson Rewards

Radisson Rewards used to be very generous – you could make any transfer, to anyone, for free. Whilst that is no longer the case, it is still pretty good.

If you do NOT have elite status (remember that Amex Platinum comes with free Radisson Rewards Gold status) you can transfer points to anyone who has shared your address for at least 30 days, as long as both accounts are at least a year old.  Details are on the website here (see 3d).

If you have status, you can still transfer points to anyone for free.

World of Hyatt

Hyatt points can be transferred to any other member for FREE by filling in this PDF form. You can only make a transfer once every 30 days. In theory you are meant to redeem them as soon as the transfer is complete but my understanding is that this is not enforced.

There is one unpublished rule, which I came a cropper with a couple of years ago.  Both the giving and receiving accounts must have had a qualifying Hyatt stay during the previous 12 months.  This is what it means when the PDF form says that both accounts must be ‘active’.

PS.  It is worth knowing that Club Eurostar also lets you transfer points to anyone for free within annual limits.  We wrote this article on how to transfer Club Eurostar points to another person.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (21)

  • Nick says:

    Is it possible to transfer Club Eurostar points?

  • Nick says:

    Sorry – shouldn’t have jumped in before reading the whole article!

  • Max says:

    What happens to Hilton points if they’re close to expiry and you transfer them, will the expiry date be reset?