The major hotel loyalty programs all have different policies when it comes to combining points across accounts.
Hilton Honors is by far the best in this regard, as the program lets you transfer points instantly to any other member online, and you can transfer up to 500,000 points and receive up to two million points per account per calendar year. Personally I quite like World of Hyatt’s policy as well, letting you combine points so that you have enough for a redemption (with no official limit).
Marriott Bonvoy is the world’s largest loyalty program, so how does the program’s policy on combining points compare? Not very favorably, but it can still prove to be quite useful. I just went through the process of combining some points yesterday, and in this post wanted to go over how that works:
How many Marriott Bonvoy points can you combine?
Marriott Bonvoy lets you combine points between accounts at no cost, with the following restrictions:
- You can transfer up to 100,000 points per calendar year
- You can receive up to 500,000 points per calendar year
- You can only combine points in 1,000 point increments
Who can you combine Marriott Bonvoy points with?
There’s no need to be related to the person you’re sharing points with, or even to share the same address. Rather you can transfer your points to any member.
The only limitation is how long accounts have to be active:
- With qualifying activity, you can combine points with someone after they’ve had an account for 30 days
- Without qualifying activity, you can combine points with someone after they’ve had an account for 90 days
Qualifying activity includes any earning or redeeming of points, with the exception of gifting or transferring points, receiving points as a gift or transfer, or earning points through social media programs.
Along those lines, it’s also worth pointing out that combining points with a member won’t count toward extending the expiration of your points, if that’s something you’re going for (Bonvoy points typically expire after 24 months of inactivity).
How do you combine Marriott Bonvoy points?
The process of combining Marriott Bonvoy points requires picking up the phone, though fortunately it’s just a quick phone call (assuming you’re not on hold for an extended period of time). Here’s how the process works:
- Contact member support at 801.468.4000
- To get through to an agent, say “transfer points,” and then enter your Bonvoy number
- The person looking to transfer points should make the call; they’ll be asked to verify some information (we were asked to provide the phone number and email address on the account)
- You’ll also need the account number and name of the person you’re transferring points to, though don’t need any other info about their account
- Points should transfer instantly once the process is initiated
Why would you want to combine Marriott Bonvoy points?
Now that we’ve established that you can transfer points, perhaps the bigger question is why you would want to. There are some circumstances where combining points between Marriott Bonvoy accounts could make a lot of sense:
- If you want to book a free night award but don’t have enough points in a single account to book
- If you want to book an award for a friend or family member, then this is the easiest way to book a stay in their name
- If you plan to travel with a friend or spouse and they have elite status, so that you can transfer points to them and then you’d receive the perks associated with status for your stay
Ford transfers 100,000 Bonvoy points to me every year. Why? Because he has a sizable Bonvoy points balance, I have the higher status with Marriott, and we usually travel together. There’s more value in having Bonvoy points in my account rather than his, so that we can take advantage of elite perks when redeeming points.
While Marriott Bonvoy isn’t the most generous when it comes to letting members combine points between accounts, this is still a functionality worth being aware of. There are plenty of circumstances where it could make sense to combine points, whether you’re looking to maximize elite benefits or book travel for others.
The major catch is the restriction on how old the accounts have to be, and also the limit on how many points you can transfer.
Have you ever transferred Marriott Bonvoy points? What was your experience like?