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Marriott recently ran its first ever points sale but, while this was a big change from the Marriott Rewards of old (and probably something it has taken on from Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program which it merged into Marriott Rewards to create Marriott Bonvoy), there was one big issue with the sale – it only allowed Marriott Bonvoy members to buy up to 50,000 points.
Considering top-tier Marriott properties now cost 85,000 points per night (and will soon cost as much as 100,000 points per night) a purchase limit of 50,000 points seems more than a little miserly….and that’s because it is!
There is, however, something Marriott Bonvoy members can do about this and, with a view to making sure they don’t miss out the next time Marriott runs a points sale, they should be doing something right now (more on that later).
Pooling Marriott Bonvoy Points
While it’s not possible to create a household account from multiple Marriott Bonvoy accounts it is possible to transfer points between accounts without incurring a fee….but there are a few things you need to know first.
The full terms of the Marriott Bonvoy program can be found by following this link but the main section you need to know about is section 2.8 – Transfering Points From One Account To Another.
Here are the important terms:
- A Member can transfer up to a maximum of 100,000 Points per calendar to another Membership Account as long as both Accounts are in good standing and have each been open for at least thirty (30) days with qualifying activity, ninety (90) days without qualifying activity.
- A new Member may receive a Points Transfer thirty (30) days after enrollment if the Account reflects activity including a Qualifying Stay or other qualifying activity as described in Section 1.6.d. After ninety (90) days from enrollment, a new Member is eligible to receive a Points Transfer regardless of their account activity.
- A Member can receive up to a maximum of 500,000 Points per calendar year from other Membership Accounts as long as the Accounts are in good standing and have each been open for at least thirty (30) days with qualifying activity, ninety (90) days without qualifying activity.
Note: Before the formation of Marriott Bonvoy it was possible to transfer more than 100,000 points between two accounts in a calendar year as long as the points were for an immediate redemption….but this rule disappeared around the same time that SPG was folded into Marriott Rewards.
Any transfer of points has to be initiated by the person whose points are being transferred and that person has to contact customer support to get the transfer enacted.
In the US the phone number you’ll need is +1-800-627-7468 (or you can call the number at the back of your Marriott Bonvoy Elite card). The phone numbers for Marriott support in other locations can be found by following this link.
Transfers are often instantaneous but I’ve also had them take around 48 hours – your mileage may vary as they say.
Preparing For The Future
Marriott’s points transfer rules may not be as generous as they once were but they can still be put to good use….and now is the time to put things in place for the future if you’re not already in a position to maximize the transfers Marriott allows you to make.
The key here is to have 6 accounts that you control so, without any delay, you should make sure all the people in your household (and your very close friends) who can legally have a Marriott Bonvoy account actually have an account.
The sooner you get these accounts live the sooner the clock starts running on the 90 days you have to wait before an account with no activity can buy and transfer points.
The next time Marriott Bonvoy runs a points sale in which the math dictates that the points are worth buying, each account can buy the maximum 50,000 points and five of the accounts can then transfer those points over to the one remaining account.
You now have at least 300,000 points sitting in one single Marriot Bonvoy account and that’s enough points with which to book a very nice trip.
You can transfer up to 500,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into one account in a single calendar year but you need to have enough open accounts in place to make the most of that 500,000 point transfer allowance…..and that’s also the key to maximizing any good future Marriott Bonvoy points sales.