Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why transferring hotel points to a friend is good (but transferring airline miles is usually 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.

British Airways is the one exception where airline mile transfers ARE a good deal

Totally under the radar, British Airways totally revamped – and massively improved – its Avios transfer facility this year.

Here is British Airways page for Avios transfers You can now transfer 27,000 Avios per calendar year to another person for a FLAT FEE of just £15.

A Gold member can transfer 27,000 per year to another person for free.

Full details of how to share Avios are in this article. Even though transfers are now just £15, remember that:

  • you can issue a reward ticket for someone else from your account, and
  • you could create a Household Account for free and pool your miles that way

Apart from British Airways, none of the airlines we cover on HfP has a free or low-cost way of transferring large quantities of miles from one person to another.

How can you transfer hotel loyalty points to someone else?

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

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”

Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors allows FREE transfers via a service it calls points pooling.  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, partly to keep things tidy and partly because I have higher Hilton status than her and it makes sense that redemptions are booked via my account.  You can find out more on this page of the Hilton Honors website.

IHG One Rewards

You can transfer IHG One Rewards 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, for free.  Full details are here.

There is a cap of 100,000 points per year.  A recent improvement is that transfers can now be done online.

Radisson Rewards

The split of Radisson Rewards into Radisson Rewards Americas and Radission Rewards (ie rest of the world) has led to a change in the ‘sharing’ rules.

The new rule is that an account can make or receive up to five transfers per month, with a maximum inbound flow of 100,000 points per month.

You must have been a member of Radisson Rewards for 30 days in order to send or receive points. There is no longer any requirement to have elite status to make transfers. Details are on the website here (see 5d).

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 this is not enforced.

On my recent experience, transfers take 3-4 days to get done so this isn’t something to leave until the last minute.

I have had problems in the past with the service centre insisting that 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’.

Other people have not had this issue, but be aware that it is a risk. I would not recommend doing this to get around the low annual limit on buying Hyatt points unless both accounts have had a stay in the last year, just in case.

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.

best hotel loyalty promotions

Hotel offers update – June 2024:

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

Want to buy hotel points?

  • Hilton Honors is offering a 100% bonus when you buy points by 23rd July 2024. Click here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 25% to 50% mystery bonus when you buy points by 24th July 2024. Click here.
  • World of Hyatt is offering a 20% bonus when you buy points by 1st July 2024. Click here.

Comments (9)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Why eating out in London is good (but eating out in Bologna is usually bad).

    Generally we found the food in Bologna to be underwhelming but there was one exception – ITALIAN RESTAURANTS. The range of Italian food, particularly regional specialities is amazing.

    My point: saying transferring airline miles is bad is a bit misleading if the only exception happens to be the main airline most of the readers collect points with 😁

    • david says:

      Sorry, maybe its my lack of sleep but I didnt get none of that.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Key HfP demographic is a BAEC member collection Avios. So a headline saying airline transfers are usually bad and then saying within the article that the one exception is the airline most people here collect with seems a bit odd.

        I live in Bologna currently and many people there say I’ve heard the food there is great. It’s true… except if you don’t take into account Italian restaurants (foreign food is a lot less popular in Italy than the UK)

  • Alex G says:

    Being able to pool Hilton Points with player two effectively means you can buy 640,000 points each year. Paying with points is usually cheaper than paying with cash in the US, especially if staying 5 nights.

  • Roger Wilco says:

    While HHA is usually a good option, there is a case when it is worth doing the transfer – e.g when you want to use the Avios to upgrade a QR flight. You need to move the Avios from BA to QR, but you can only do that between your own (linked) accounts, so first you must transfer from the other BA accounts to your own and then move them to your QR account

  • SydneySwan says:

    Qantas and Virgin in Australia allow free transfer of points between members. If only Krisflyer did!

    • QFFlyer says:

      Between family members, QF cap it at 600k per year, VA require it to be a designated points pool (max 2x adults), but it’s still good. VA also pool status credits. SQ can transfer to VA, but it’s 1.55:1 (in both directions). I’d prefer they stopped the hard 36 month expiry tbh!

  • louie says:

    Does anyone have any experience of how long IHG points take to be transferred? They say up to 72 hours and I’m keen to get on and book!

  • louie says:

    They finally arrived a little over 72 hours (maybe 80?). Fortunately the booking I was planning reduced by 6,000 points yesterday (before the points arrived), which is just as well because if I booked today, when the price has gone up by 7,000 points, I’d still be a few hundred short.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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