One of the nice features of the Starwood Preferred Guest program is that they let member registered at the same address pool Starpoints.
There are several potential benefits to taking advantage of this, including:
- If you don’t have enough points for a hotel booking or mileage transfer, it allows you to pool your points in a single account so that you do have enough
- If you have elite status but someone else doesn’t, they can transfer their points to you so you can get elite benefits when you go to redeem those points
In the past there haven’t been many restrictions associated with these household points transfers. As long as your account was registered at the same address for at least 30 days, you could fill out the form and transfer any number of points between accounts.
However, it looks like there have been some minor changes. First of all, you can now only transfer Starpoints between accounts in 1,000 point increments. That’s ultimately not a big deal, but it is also annoying that in many cases you’ll be left with a few “orphaned” points when making a transfer.
Perhaps the bigger issue, which I haven’t dealt with firsthand, is that you can’t transfer Starpoints as a way of exceeding the 30,000 Starpoint annual points purchase limit. For example, at the moment Starwood is offering up to a 35% discount on the purchase of Starpoints, which is their best offer ever.
You’re limited to purchasing 30,000 Starpoints per account per calendar year, though an easy way to circumvent that limit has been that you can buy points for multiple accounts and then make a household transfer. According to Starwood Lurker (the official representative) on FlyerTalk, that’s not possible anymore:
I learned last week that a single account can have only 30K Starpoints added to it via purchases, including those from internal transfers.
So, while it can probably be requested to move 30K in purchases from one household account to the other that has also gotten 30K in purchases, I’m not sure the request will ever be fulfilled.
He claims that this doesn’t represent a change in policy, though I suspect this may be a case of “your mileage may vary,” as I’ve certainly seen purchased points be transferred to other accounts in the past, even in excess of the 30,000 Starpoint purchase limit.
The one thing that’s for certain is that Starpoints can only be transferred between accounts in increments of 1,000 points. What I can’t verify firsthand is that purchased Starpoints can’t be transferred to other accounts in excess of the 30,000 Starpoint per account limit. However, given that I’ve been encouraging people to purchase Starpoints with a 35% discount under certain circumstances, I think it’s only fair that I mention the potential restriction on transferring purchased points between accounts.
(Tip of the hat to LoyaltyLobby)