Club Carlson has had the most generous rules for transferring points between member accounts — no restrictions. That changes June 1.
In contrast to Club Carlson’s past generosity (but still quite generous), Starwood lets members at the same residential mailing address move Starpoints between accounts. That’s useful if you want to put miles into a family member’s airline miles account (you transfer from your Starwood account to theirs, and from their Starwood account to their airline account, since the names on the Starwood account the points are coming from and the mileage account points are going to must match). Starwood has cracked down in recent times, trying to ensure that members aren’t just changing addresses to facilitate transfers.
Club Carlson took no such precautions. There were no restrictions whatsoever on points transfers. You could move your Club Carlson points to anyone else’s account without restriction. A phone call took care of the transfer, instantly.
This benefit was likely abused on several levels. First, it facilitates all sorts of points trades and even sales. Second, it allowed members to abuse promotions — when Club Carlson was giving out 50,000 bonus points on a single one night stay, they would limit the bonus to one per member. But people would sign up for multiple accounts, pocket the bonus multiple times, and then just combine points.
So starting June 1 non-elite members will have to have had their accounts open for a year to transfer points, will only be able to transfer points to accounts at the same address, and will have had to had their address in place for at least 30 days.
Now, I’m going off of what a telephone rep for Club Carlson told me. So it’s possible that some of the detail on changes in place beginning tomorrow are off, but it appears that restrictions of some kind (along these lines) will begin tomorrow. And it also appears that Club Carlson’s elite members either won’t see changes at all or won’t see changes quite as restrictive.
None of this seems unreasonable to me. Fee-free transfers is still a generous benefit. The ability to combine points from friends with orphan accounts is great, but now they’ll have to use your address for this to be possible (or get a status match). And no more just opening accounts (sans status match) to take advantage of big promotions, should they ever bring back their giant “free night anywhere for a single stay” promotion.
If you do want to make transfers from non-status accounts, do it today.