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Marriott points have been on my mind lately. I got a Marriott business card a few months ago (2 unexpected credit cards came in the mail today!), and now that Marriott has come out with its best-ever credit card offer (my affiliate link), I’m thinking of signing up Carolyn and I both for Marriott cards. This is especially true given that Chase is reportedly expanding its 5/24 rule to co-branded cards (including the Marriott card) in a few months.
How to transfer Marriott points
If you’re wondering how to transfer points, it’s not quite as straightforward as it is with some other programs such as Chase that allow you to immediately transfer points in whatever increments you wish. You can transfer points up to 50,000 points in a calendar year (50,000 is the limit that you can give OR receive in one year – thanks to Mason / Chris in the comments for reminding me about this recent change in how you can transfer Marriott points). If you want to transfer more than that, you can only combine Marriott points if you’re looking to book an award. That sounds like it could be a pretty big restriction, but in practice, it’s not too bad
Let’s look at what it takes to transfer Marriott Rewards points. Let’s say you have 30,000 Marriott Rewards points in your account, and your spouse has 50,000 Marriott points in her account, and you want to book an award at a top-tier Marriott hotel that costs 80,000 points for one night. To book the room, you can call up the Marriott support center and transfer Marriott points to cover the award. You can transfer enough points up to the amount of the room (in this case, 80,000 points). You could even transfer the full 80,000 points EVEN IF YOU ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH MARRIOTT REWARDS POINTS IN YOUR ACCOUNT ALREADY!
You can only transfer Marriott points in 1,000 point increments, but there is no limit to doing so (up to the amount of the award you’re trying to book)
Remember too that Marriott recently changed their program so you can now book a stay on points without having all the points upfront. So you can book the hotel online and select “Order e-certificate”
While I would caution to not abuse this, it appears to be true that if you cancel the award after you transfer Marriott Reward points, the Marriott Reward points DO stay in the account that you transferred to
Can I transfer my Marriott Rewards points to someone else?
Yes, you can transfer Marriott points to someone else… provided that person is a spouse or domestic partner. Unfortunately you’ll not be able to transfer Marriott points to someone who isn’t your spouse or domestic partner. So before you purchase Marriott points to make an award stay, check if your spouse or domestic partner has any Marriott Rewards points that he/she can combine with your account.
If you want to combine Marriott points with someone who is not a spouse or domestic partner, you are out of luck. One thing you might be able to do is transfer or combine points from Chase, American Express or another more flexible points currency.
Why you might want to combine Marriott points
Since you can only combine Marriott points if you’re booking an award, and if you cancel that booking your Marriott points transfer, you might wonder when it might make sense (unless you’re looking at booking one of those 80,000 point / night Ritz Carltons!)
One of the best options out there are Marriott Hotel + Air Packages. Packages start around 200,000 Marriott points, but you can trade them in for a 5-7 night stay at a Marriott hotel AND airline miles at a variety of programs. Here’s the chart for 7 night stays and United Airlines miles
200,000 Marriott points is quite a bit of course, even if you signed up for the Marriott credit card. But if you and your spouse BOTH ended up getting Marriott credit cards while at its best-ever credit card offer (my affiliate link) and THEN transfer Marriott points, you could end up with enough Marriott Reward points to get one of these packages. The 1:1 hotel point -> airline mile transfer ratio is one of the best ones out there. This is one of the best ways to use Marriott points out there!