Starwood Adds Restrictions To Household Points Transfers

One of the nice features of the Starwood Preferred Guest program is that they let member registered at the same address pool Starpoints.

Starpoints-Transfer

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.

Buy-Starpoints-3

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.

Bottom line

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)

Comments

  1. Does this mean you can’t have purchased 30K points and move those into a house hold account or simply that you can’t transfer points in excess of 30K points to another’s account (no matter how they were earned)?

  2. Can Starpoints from two unmerged accounts in the same household (under different names) be transferred to a single transfer partner account (i.e. Alaska)? In other words, if intending to book under one transfer partner account, is merging household accounts an unnecessary step?

    Thanks!

  3. @ HugeLuckyFan — Unfortunately the names have to match, so you can’t transfer Starpoints from an account in one person’s name to a mileage account in another person’s name.

  4. @ Daniel — Supposedly it means you can’t transfer the purchased Starpoints, though you can transfer more than 30,000 Starpoints from an account where the points weren’t purchased (what we don’t know is how they track that, exactly).

  5. Putting 1000 point increment limits seems very annoying to me. I can kind of understand why they’d do it for partner transfers but why does it matter for internal transfers?

    The 30000 annual limit household transfer thing is a much bigger deal though. I hope you can get some official clarification on that.

  6. FYI, I ran into this 1,000 point increment limit last week, and ended up calling Platinum line and they were able to over-ride it and transfer 100% of spouse’s points to my account (no increment) YMMV.

  7. Messaged the SPG platinum team as well as the SPG assist team and received the same response.

    I asked : ” Can I purchase 30K points each for my account and also for my dad’s account and then combine the points into one account ? ”

    Reply from both points/teams of assistance : ” Thank you for reaching otr. You could certainly do so if you share the same address and have accounts active for longer than 30 days. You can find more information about this process by following this link spg.to/1sIL4st and looking under the “Transferring Starpoints” section. Hope this helps. ”

    So one can certainly transfer points from one account to the other even if they’ve purchased the max allowed 30K for their account.

  8. @Lucky and Hasan ahmed
    1. Lucky responded to me! Day made…
    2. I’m about to try this too in the coming days. I’ll report back with what I find.

  9. @ Lucky
    Hey Lucky and All Interested- Following up on transfer of SPG points to household members, I think I’ve cleared some of this up.

    My gf and I signed up for SPG Amex and hit our spend in May (25k bonus). In addition, I took advantage of the points sale, and bought 30k points on each account. So, 25k + 30k = 55k in each account (for the sake of argument…does not including all our pre-existing SPG points).

    On the exact day that my girlfriend’s account hit 30 days old, I requested a transfer/merge of her 55k points to my account (we live together). This was last Wednesday.

    As of this morning (1 week later), all points have successfully transferred to my SPG account. I didn’t have to speak with anyone on the phone.

    What this resolves: You can transfer beyond the 30k point limit within households.
    What this does not resolve: Whether the origin of the points matters (earned points vs. purchased points). For instance, if there were a limit of 30k on transferring purchased points, and I bought 31k points on my girlfriend’s account, this does not answer whether I would have run into a block in trying to transfer all of them. Perhaps I should have purchased the extra 1,000 just to try!

    Hope this helps all!

    HugeLuckyFan

  10. What happens when miles are transferred to another users FF account?
    My husband had transferred his spg points into my mileage account, but they aren’t showing up in my aa account.
    He doesn’t have an aa account at all, but the spg points are gone.
    I called the service number….they weren’t really helpful!

  11. @ma’am, this is not possible to transfer points from your husband’s SPG account to your AA account. Your husband needs to call SPG and request the points back.

  12. No. For SPG, you have to pool the points into one SPG account, *your* SPG account. THEN you transfer them to your FF account of your choice airline. You can’t just transfer SPG points from someone else’s account directly to your FF account.

    Hope it’s clear.

    HugeLuckyFan

  13. just for a data point, they just gave him the point back. so we’re just doing the household transfer thingy.

  14. I want to book 2 rooms at Marriott Resort Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman for July 2017. 1 room for my wife and I, 1 room for our son and daughter-in-law. I have enough SPG points that can be transferred to Marriott to pay for both rooms. My son and DIL do not have any credit cards or hotel status.
    Ideally, I’d like to book both rooms with the “nights and flights” package. 315,000 Marriott (105,000 SPG) points for Cat. 9 room which would give me 7 nights plus 120,000 Southwest Airlines points.
    Given that my son and DIL do not have any airlines or hotel credit cards or status, are there any ways for me to transfer my points or book their room and them get the 120,000 SW points and CP for them?
    I can get the SW miles and CP for me.

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