[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners if available here — Citi ThankYou Premier Card, Citi Prestige Card, Chase Freedom and Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Most rewards credit card users are happy to accumulate points, only to just spend them every now and then. Others have realized that how they spend their credit card rewards points is just as important as how they earned them. And one of the ways to get the most from these programs is to transfer points between different accounts held by individuals, family members and even co-workers.
Why Transfer Credit Card Rewards Points?
There are several good reasons to move points between accounts.
1. To make a big award redemption.
If a cardholder has enough points for a big award, but they are split between two accounts, combining them is the perfect solution. Likewise, spouses and family members can pool points in some programs.
2. To take advantage of more valuable rewards options.
Some banks offer several different credit cards that issue points in the same loyalty program. But with some of their cards, the points go further than others. By moving points from one account to the other, cardholders can get the most value from their points.
3. To rescue stranded points.
If a cardholder has just a few points left in one account that they plan on closing, they can offer the points to another account holder. It might not be much, but it is better than forfeiting the points when the account is closed.
How to Transfer Credit Card Rewards Points
Citi ThankYou Points: Citi’s website informs members that they can combine points from multiple accounts “as long as all the accounts are owned by the same person.” To maximize the value of their points, holders of the ThankYou Premier and Citi Prestige cards receive 33% more value towards airfare than those who only hold any other Citi card.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: Points can be transferred online between linked accounts of the same cardholder. In addition, cardholders can transfer points to family members, and in the case of Ink for Business cards, even co-workers. Points from a Sapphire Preferred, Palladium, or Ink card can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points, while Freedom and standard Sapphire cardholders do not have this option.
But be careful, Chase has started cracking down on those who would transfer points to third parties who are not spouses, family members or, in the case of Ink cards, co-workers.
American Express Membership Rewards. Points are pooled between multiple personal accounts, and cardholders are afforded the benefits of the most feature-filled card held. In addition, when a corporate card holder also has a personal account, the points for business purchases can be utilized for personal rewards.
Starwood Preferred Guest points. The Starwood hotels group (which includes Westin, Sheraton, and other brands) allows family members in the same household to transfer points between themselves. These points are commonly earned from the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express and are valuable as they can be transferred to more than 30 different frequent flier programs.