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One of the best features of the new Marriott program is the ability to transfer points between members and also to various airlines. The process to transferring points is not the same though and there are some key considerations that you need to be aware of when trying to transfer your hard-earned Marriott points.
In this article, I’ll show you how to transfer Marriott points from one Marriott member to another, and I’ll also show you how to transfer your Marriott points to different airline partners.
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How to transfer points to another Marriott account
Marriott will allow you to transfer points between any two members so you’re not limited to just your spouse or partners as you might have imagined. There are still some limitations, though and I’ll discuss those below.
Initiating the transfer
Transferring points between Marriott members is pretty simply, although you cannot currently transfer your points online. Instead, you’ll need to call Marriott Member Support at this phone number: (801) 468-4000 to initiate the transfer. The Account holder requesting the transfer must provide the Membership Number of the Points recipient at the time of the Point transfer request.
The transfer between members is usually instant and once the authorization for transfer is received and processed, the transferor relinquishes all rights to the transferred Points, and they become the recipient’s Points.
Limitations on transfers
The Marriott terms and conditions state that:
Members can transfer up to a maximum of 100,000 Points per calendar year between any two accounts in good standing that have each been open for at least sixty (60) days, whether sending or receiving Points.
So there are two major things to note here.
The first is that you are only allowed to transfer a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year between any two accounts. That means that you can still transfer points to other people — you’re just limited to 100K between two specific people.
For example, let’s say you had friends Joe and Sally and you have 200,000 points. You could transfer 100,000 points to Joe and 100,000 points to Sally. However, you could not transfer more than 100,000 to either of them individually.
There used to be an exception that allowed you to transfer more than 100,000 Marriott points if you were going to use your points for a specific redemption. Unfortunately, I confirmed with Marriott reps that this exception no longer exists.
The second thing you need to note is that if you trying to transfer points out of your Marriott account and into another Marriott account, both accounts need to have been opened for at least 60 days.
Limitations on receiving points
If you are a new member and are looking forward to receiving points there are more limitations that you need to be aware of.
First, you will normally have to wait 90 days from enrollment in order to be eligible to receive a Points Transfer regardless of account activity. However, a new Member may receive a Points Transfer 30 days after enrollment if the Account reflects activity including a Qualifying Stay or other qualifying activity.
How to transfer points to an airline
It’s a little easier to transfer points to an airline because you can do this online.
First, visit the Marriott redeem page and click on “Transfer Points to Miles.”
Next, click on “Transfer Points” where you will be prompted to enter in your log-in information.
You’ll be taken to a screen where you can choose the airline to transfer points to. Simply input the frequent flyer number and how many points you wish to transfer and then hit continue where you will be asked to verify the process.
Note that the frequent flyer account name must match the name on the Marriott account. I confirmed this with a Marriott rep and it also is stated in the terms and conditions, albeit vaguely:
Members requesting to redeem their Points and convert to Miles must be a member of the relevant airline frequent flyer program or airline-affiliated loyalty program in order to complete the redemption
I have not tested to see if anybody was able to get around this yet.
One very important thing to note is that you will not be able to transfer these points back to your account from the frequent flyer program that you are transferring your points to. All transfers are final so make sure that you know what you are doing.
How long will it take to transfer the points to miles?
The Marriott terms and conditions state:
Once Points have been redeemed for Miles with a participating airline frequent flyer program or other airline-affiliated loyalty program, Miles will automatically be transferred to the Member’s frequent flyer or airline-affiliated loyalty program account. Please allow approximately six (6) weeks for Miles to be posted to your account.
Six weeks is a long time but in reality your points might be transferred in a week’s time (that’s how long it took my points to transfer on multiple occasions).
Interestingly, there is an express service that you can inquire about when transferring your points to an airline. The price of the service depends on how quickly you need the transfer to process and could also be affected by the type of elite status that you have with Marriott.
You might be paying somewhere between $15 to $25 depending on all of those factors and it’s not clear exactly how quickly that Marriott will process your transfer.
Note if you use the old SPG format, you might be able to decrease your transfer times (it’s not clear how long this will be an option).
What airlines can you transfer your points to?
There are many different airlines that you can transfer your points to. You’ll notice that the ratio is usually 3:1 though there are a couple of variations (United has a 10% bonus for example). Also note that for every 60,000 points that you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 miles.
So if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points at a 3:1 ratio, you’ll receive 25,000 miles for that program.
|FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMS||POINTS : MILES|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||3:1|
|Air China Phoenix Miles||3:1|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||3:1|
|Air New Zealand Airpoints™||200:1|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®||3:1|
|ANA Mileage Club||3:1|
|Asiana Airlines Asiana Club||3:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||3:1|
|China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles||3:1|
|China Southern Airlines||3:1|
|Copa Airlines ConnectMiles||3:1|
|Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns®||3:1|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®||3:1|
|Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank||3:1|
|Jet Airways JetPrivilege®||3:1|
|Korean Air SKYPASS||3:1|
|LATAM Airlines LATAMPASS||3:1|
|Lufthansa Miles & More||3:1|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||3:1|
|Qatar Privilege Club||3:1|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer®||3:1|
|South African Airways Voyager||3:1|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®||3:1|
|TAP Air Portugal||3:1|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||3:1|
|Virgin Atlantic® Flying Club||3:1|
|Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer||3:1|
Transferring between Marriott and SPG accounts
Before the merger was finalized between SPG and Marriott, you could transfer your points between the programs quite easily at a ratio of 3 Marriott points to 1 SPG point. I’m not sure if you can still do that (you probably can) because now the website is set up for you to merge your accounts into a single rewards account.
This will in effect transfer your points between the two programs but you’ll only be left with a single loyalty account. Note that combining your accounts is different from merely “linking” your accounts, as combining will leave you with only one account.
- If you want to combine your accounts and keep your Marriott log-in profile you can do that here.
- If you want to combine your accounts and keep your SPG log-in profile you can do that here.
Marriott points are great because they allow you flexibility by being able to transfer them out to different airline partners. It’s also nice to be able to transfer them to other members although there are some restrictions to contend with.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.