Here are the Loyalty Programs That Let You Gift Points for Free

rewards points and miles

This is it. Christmas is here. It’s mere hours before the big man in the red velvet suit and black boots makes his way down chimneys and lets himself in front doors using a magic key that only works for Santa (recently saw that on Instagram for those without fireplaces and thought it was absolutely genius…I always wondered how Santa got into chimney-less homes). That means those of us remembering right now that there are still a few people left on our list of people who need more stuff are pretty much out of luck. Sorry; do not pass go, do not collect $200. It’s not like we haven’t known that Christmas was going to arrive this week. On the same day that it’s been arriving for years and years and decades and centuries; I mean, we’ve had time.

That doesn’t change the fact that some of us (cough, cough) are still scrambling for that last minute gift. I’ve had a genius idea that we can all just gift some of our points and miles to those we’ve forgotten. Many airlines and hotels allow you to do just that without paying a fee, so I thought I’d bring those to you so that you can skip the long and insane lines at the mall and find your way back into the hearts of those you almost forgot.

Many cards, hotels, and airlines allow customers to gift points and miles, but most only allow it for a fee. However, these are some of the least expensive options on the market, and it might be worth your time to see if you have enough points to transfer to friends and family as a gift.

  • Citi ThankYou Points – there is no cost to transfer these points to friends and family anywhere in the world, but the points do expire after 90 days so you do need to be absolutely certain your gift recipient is going to use them
  • Hyatt Points – allows points to be transferred to friends and family at no cost, but you have to mail in a request to do this so it’s not a great option if you’re looking to get points transferred right away
  • Club Carlson – no cost to transfer to any member in your friends or family network if you are an Elite Member. If you are not an Elite Status member, you can only transfer to other members if they live with you
  • Starwood Preferred Guest – allows you to transfer points at no cost to anyone who has lived at your address for 30 days, which is pretty easy to say is the truth even if you cannot prove it
  • Amex Membership – allows you to transfer points to your spouse or partner free of charge
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards – allows free transfers to spouses and to anyone whose loyalty account is in your name
  • British Airways – allows you to share your miles by adding family members to your ‘group’ so that anyone can use them
  • JetBlue Airlines – allows you to share miles by adding your family to your ‘group’ and pool all points
  • Marriott – allows limited transfers to family members based on relationship for a small fee
  • Best Western – allows limited transfers to family members based on relationship for a small fee

Another option, if you’re not so much worried about the fee as you are getting points to someone else is to purchase points and give them as a gift. You can do this for a small fee, usually per 1,000 points or miles, and sometimes it’s worth it as the fees are lesser than the transfer fees associated with some of your rewards accounts.

Photo by Getty Images


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