Getting around SPG’s points transfer policy

We have friends who recently needed to spend a night in the Northeast while traveling last minute and needed a quick hotel reservation. Our friends weren’t really in a position to afford a pricey hotel, and we have so many points, that we decided to help them out. I quickly looked around hotels in the area, but most of the hotels that had availability had horrendous rewards values. Most hotels were either many thousands of points for a low rack rate, or their location simply wasn’t convenient. I did find, however, a Sheraton that was going for about $190 per night and just 7,000 SPG points. At 2.7 cents per point return, I immediately turned my attention to it.

The only issue we were running into is that our friends don’t really play this crazy miles and points game, so they did not have an SPG account. Even if they would create one for free, SPG doesn’t allow transferring points to others unless you’ve had the same household address for at least 30 days, so there was no time for that.

Instead, I called SPG and booked the reservation under my name, and when I was done, I told the rep that a friend of mine would be staying with in the room as well, but since we were flying from different part of the country, he would probably show up to the hotel before me, and I wanted him to be able to check in just in case I got delayed. So the rep added one of our friends’ names to the reservation and assured me that he would be able to check in as soon as he arrived. I even received a confirmation email with both our names on the reservation.

So once the day arrived, our friends showed up, provided ID and credit card, and checked in to the room. I, on the other hand, was simply a no-show, and they were able to enjoy the hotel using our points.

So when you’re trying to make travel arrangements and hit a snag, take a step back and think about what you’re trying to accomplish, and you might be able to think of a creative way that might not be so obvious at first, like on this other example of one of our previous stays. And that applies to everything in life as well.

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