Definitive Guide: Combining Hotel Loyalty Program Points

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Hotel loyalty program points are one of the best ways to save money while traveling, especially if you are interested in the aspirational side of miles and points travel. While it can be difficult to earn a large number of points solo, it becomes much easier if you have a partner also earning points, especially when you understand that many hotel loyalty program points can be combined between members.

Let’s take a look at why you would want to combine hotel loyalty program points and the loyalty programs that support this feature.

Best Uses for Combining Hotel Loyalty Program Points

If you earn miles and points with a player two and you travel together, there are a number of reasons why it would make sense to proactively combine hotel points.

Making Your Next Hotel Stay Redemption

Simply put, the best reason to combine hotel loyalty program points is to make your next hotel stay redemption. If you and your partner have both been accruing hotel loyalty program points in your own separate accounts, it would be much easier to combine balances and make a redemption on one account. This also makes it easier to book longer stays without needing to check out and check back in.

Additionally, don’t forget that we can often take advantage of other loyalty program benefits. For example, Marriott offers a “Stay for 5, Pay for 4” benefit, which means that members can make a five-night points redemption and only pay for four nights. Taking advantage of this feature would also be an excellent case when it comes to the value of combining points in order to improve the length of your next vacation at a nominal cost.

Benefiting from Another Member’s Elite Status

With many couples who earn miles and points, it is more than likely that one member will hold status with a hotel loyalty program while the other will not. For example, I hold Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status and Hilton Honors Diamond status while my partner does not.

Thus when we stay at a Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors branded hotel, we tend to book under my account to ensure we get to enjoy the benefits of status including things such as suite upgrades and complimentary breakfast. After all, if one person has already worked towards earning status, both might as well benefit from it.

St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort two bedroom ocean villa view from king bed

This is another situation in which combining hotel loyalty program points would make sense. Instead of splitting our reservations throughout the year based on who has points, we transfer the maximum amount of points annually to my account and I make the majority of the bookings. While there are still some that will need to be booked under my partner’s account, this ensures we are maximizing the level of hotel elite status that we earned.

Using Up a Remaining Points Balance

The last best use for combining hotel points is to ensure that a nominal sum of points is not sitting idle in an account. The worst use for any points is having them sitting there without any redemption strategy as they can easily be forgotten about or even worse, expire.

For example, if you made a redemption on your partner’s account that left them with 10,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and they do not have a plan to earn any more points for now, it would make sense to transfer them to the Marriott Bonvoy account in which you do plan on making your next booking with.

Hotel Loyalty Programs That Allow Combining Points

There are quite a few hotel loyalty programs, including the biggest programs in the world, that allow members to combine their points, albeit with various conditions and limits. We’ve summarized these programs in the table below and will go more in-depth in each respective section regarding any limitations that come into place when combining points.

Hotel Loyalty ProgramMaximum Points That Can Be TransferredMaximum Points That Can Be Received
Marriott Bonvoy100,000 Per Year500,000 Per Year
Hilton Honors500,000 Per Year2,000,000 Per Year
World of HyattNo LimitNo Limit
Best Western Rewards150,000 Per MonthNo Limit
IHG Rewards ClubNo LimitNo Limit
Radisson RewardsNo LimitNo Limit

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy is the most popular hotel loyalty program with Canadians and it would be very likely for a couple to both hold an American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card or American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card to earn points and accrue Marriott Bonvoy free night awards.

However, this can result in having two Marriott Bonvoy accounts with a sizable points balance and as we know, two people earning miles and points are much stronger when combined compared to a solo earner. Thankfully, Marriott Bonvoy allows combining points between individuals which can make your next redemption that much closer.

Members can transfer up to a maximum of 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per calendar year to other accounts. On the flip side, members can receive up to a maximum of 500,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, per calendar year, from other member accounts. Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred in increments of 1,000 points.

marriott bonvoy points sharing transaction

As a result of the calendar year limit, ensure you are transferring the maximum amount if you have an excess of points. This would be a great task to put on your year-end miles and points to-do list to ensure that annual transfer allowance space isn’t wasted.

Before you make a transfer, both Marriott Bonvoy accounts must be in good standing and have each been open for at least 30 days with qualifying activity or 90 days without qualifying activity.

A Marriott Bonvoy points transfer request can be submitted online here. Simply fill out the below form on the account of the member who you wish to transfer points from.

marriott bonvoy combine points online tool

Once the form has been submitted successfully, points are typically transferred within 24 hours.

Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors allows members to transfer points between themselves and has the most generous terms out of the big three hotel loyalty programs.

This is fantastic because if you’ve gotten started with US credit cards as a Canadian, there is no doubt that you have started to accrue a sizable amount of Hilton Honors points and free night certificates through various credit cards, including the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass credit card (US) and the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire credit card (US). Therefore, taking advantage of combining points is absolutely the way to go.

Hilton Honors members can transfer up to 500,000 Hilton Honors points per calendar year to other accounts. Members can receive up to 2,000,000 points per calendar year from other member accounts. Hilton Honors points must be transferred in increments of 1,000 points. There is a limit of six transfers to other member accounts per calendar year.

A Hilton Honors points transfer request can be submitted online here. Simply fill out the below form on the account of the member who you wish to transfer points from.

hilton honors combine points online tool

Hilton Honors point transfers are normally near instant, but at most will take up to 24 hours.

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt members can transfer points between members with the least restrictions of any loyalty program on this list. For those individuals who have the ability to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards and transfer them to World of Hyatt, taking advantage of the ability to combine points is a great opportunity to amass a large number of World of Hyatt points for your household.

World of Hyatt does not have any limitations on the amount of points that can be transferred or received by a member in a calendar year. The only restriction is that members can only receive or transfer points once per month.

A World of Hyatt points transfer request can be initiated by filling out the PDF form located here. Once completed, it can be emailed to [email protected].

world of hyatt points combining request form

World of Hyatt point transfers can take a few weeks to process but may take as long as a month as it is a more manual process than Marriott and Hilton transfers.

Best Western Rewards

Best Western Rewards offers members the ability to combine points provided that both members live at the same physical address. Combining points cannot be completed online and instead, requires a phone call to their customer service team at 1-800-237-8483.

Members can transfer up to 50,000 Best Western Rewards points per transaction and are able to submit three transactions per month. There is no minimum transfer requirement.

IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club members can transfer points to another member however it costs $5 USD for every 1,000 points that are transferred, making this a cost-prohibitive option.

There is no limit on how many points can be transferred or received per calendar year. IHG Rewards Club members must transfer points in increments of 1,000.

An IHG Rewards Club points transfer request can be submitted online here.

Radisson Rewards

Radisson Rewards offers members the ability to combine points, however, the restrictions vary based on whether the member holds elite status with the program.

Radisson Rewards members who hold Premium elite status or above within the chain can share and combine with any other Radisson Rewards loyalty program member.

On the other hand, Radisson Rewards members who do not have status can only combine points with another member who lives at the same address. Both members must have had Radisson Rewards accounts for at least one year and be located at the same address for at least 30 days.

There is no minimum transfer amount or specified increments when transferring points. A points transfer can be initiated over the phone by calling 1-888-288-8889.

Conclusion

Understanding the ins and outs of hotel loyalty programs, including if and how you can transfer points between members, will improve your ability to earn points and make your dream redemptions. If you are earning miles and points with other people, think about the big picture when redeeming and consider implementing this strategy to double your points earning capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, Best Western Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, and Radisson Rewards all allow members to combine hotel loyalty program points with various restrictions and rules.

Most programs allow you to combine points for free, but there may be a fee attached. Ensure you familiarize yourself with the program before transferring to understand if there are any fees and if so, how they are charged.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

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