As one who has accumulated quite a number of airline (especially Delta) travel points through the years, I just learned that Delta has just decided upon the death of the traveler, or points recipient, NOT to transfer accumulated travel points to one's spouse! THIS IS A BRAND NEW POLICY and affects frequent travelers like myself, at age 70, and would prompt me to either use these soon, or transfer them to a relative, donate them to charity, while I still can.
I don't know what Marriott's policy is, but I've tried to contact them without any answer yet. Does anyone know if Marriott will transfer accumulated Award Points to the surviving spouse, or relative, automatically, or upon some form of designation?
I think the points can be transferred to a spouse upon death, probably w/ some documentation. As californian says, check with Marriott customer service.
The other thing is, if the spouse with the points wants the spouse or anyone else to have the points upon their death there is a 'possible work-around', and that's the provide the other person with the MR #, name, password, and then when they want to redeem points for award stays they just book from the deceased's account w/ the surviving person's name on the award reservation. Note that I'm not saying to do this, but it is a potential work-around.
Also doesn't help the OP re: Delta suddenly changing its transfer property.
Most hotels ask to see photo id for the person whose name the reservation is in, and that's true whether it's a paid stay or an award stay. If I make an award reservation for someone else from my account, they're hardly going to ask the person standing in front of them to show them my i.d. for crikey's sake. That makes no sense.
There are many instances of people booking award stays for friends & relatives. I know someone who is doing that right now because a relative is seriously ill, the relative's parents need to visit on a regular basis but can't afford to continue paying hotel bills, so the Marriott elite is booking award stays for the parents in the parents' names but points pulled from the elite's account because the Marriott elite has a surplus of points. Others do the same for birthdays, graduation, weddings, anniversaries, etc.
I think if someone is a spouse or registered domestic partner, then the points can be transferred/they can inherit per the T&C. But if the Marriott elite wants to make the points available for relatives such as a sister or best friend or fiance(e) after they're gone, then providing said person w/ the name, MR#, and password & showing them how to make an award reservation in the other person's name & pulling from the deceased's account is one possible way to do it.
Note I'm not advocating doing it; that's up to each person (including the elite!) to decide for him/herself & requires knowing in advance that one's time is limited/they can provide the info. It's just a possible work-around if one is not a spouse or domestic partner.
You were the one that mentioned most hotels will ask to see a photo id if using points or discounts.
My point is that pretty much all the Marriott brands ask to see photo id of the person checking in/name is on the reservation, whether it's on a paid stay or an award stay & whether using discount (such as AAA) or not.
If an award reservation is made by an elite for someone else - ie, in the other person's name, the hotel is going to ask to see the id of the person whose name is on the reservation when they check in, not the id of the sponsor of the award.
Since we're on a thread that's dealing with a deceased person & their points, let me make the example specific to that. Marriott Rewards member who has points (doesn't even have to be elite, just has points in account) knows s/he is dying & doesn't want his/her points to go to waste. So s/he provides his/her name, Marriott Rewards #, and password to beloved relative, close friend, fiancee (fill in the blank). Said MR person dies. Marriott is not notified of the death. Said beloved relative, close friend, fiancee wants to book an award stay using deceased's points. Goes onto Marriott website, logs in/pretends to be the deceased & books the award stay for the relative/friend (ie, in their own name, not the deceased's). Points are pulled from the deceased's account to cover the award stay; reservation is in the name of the person who will be actually using the award/staying at the property. Relative/friend arrives to the property for the award stay & is asked for photo i.d. & credit card for incidentals like any other stay.
Again, Marriott's T&Cs cover the spouse/domestic partner & my guess is in that case a death certificate needs to be provided to Marriott & then the transfer happens. My 'possible workaround' is when the person is not a spouse/domestic partner & Marriott is not notified of the death.
I am not advocating people necessarily doing this, just saying it's a possible work-around if the Marriott Rewards member has a bunch of points & doesn't want them to go to waste post-death. And that's assuming they're even thinking of stuff like this. If they're in the dying stage, they might be more concerned w/ getting wills, bank accounts, houses, etc, sorted.
As erc says, once posted on this site, Marriott might just close that avenue.
In some other threads, MIs post ways to get better prices and it seems like these ways around get closed off. We try to share to help each other but Marriott is looking over our shoulder and things seem to happen. We are free to post what we want but everyone, including Marriott, see them.
1. If Marriott doesn't know a Marriott Rewards member has died & the MR member gave a (relative, fiancee, friend, etc) their MR # & password before their death to be able to book award reservations post-death, then it's hard to see how Marriott 'will close that avenue' since for all they know the Marriott Rewards member is still alive.
2. I seriously doubt this is a large scale happening - ie, thousands of MR members dying & passing along the info before death to try the possible work-around. And in the case of a spouse/domestic partner, Marriott already has it covered in the T&Cs.
3. Insiders might edit my comments/instructions re: the possible work-around; shrug, so be it. I've just said it's a possible work-around & haven't advocated that anyone do it. If it gets edited here, I could always post on FT if the topic comes up again (although it might have already been posted on FT).
BTW - since the OP mentioned the Delta recent change, it only took a few posts on FT for someone to come up w/ a work-around...
From the Delta forum: "Best way around this is ensure your spouse or significant other or family member or the executor of estate has your Skymiles information and the ability to login to your account. I doubt Delta knows when you die unless you die on one of their planes so if you wish for your miles to be used to fly others to your funeral when you pass away, then this can be done very easily by allowing someone else to login to your account and make the reservations from your account or transfer miles to other accounts. Where there's a will (no pun intended), there's a way."
The surviving spouse of a close business associate of mine tried to utilize her departed husband's Marriott "Life Time Platinum Status" account, using his password, and was denied some how. It seems like she told me that Marriott did allow her to use up his award points, but I could be mistaken.
Once I die, I will be way too busy to transfer my fantabulous MR points to anyone other than erc or Big Ol AL.the renaissance man.
Assuming you die while using SkyPesos, or on Delta metal when you croak, you might be able to posthumously transfer your SkyPesos to someone, but..................you will not be able to do it online, so you will have to call the SkyPeso chicas and go through that ordeal.
At $25 for first bags (non SkyPeso peeps), maybe by they can afford putting Caller ID in place, and see that you are calling from 1 of 2 places, and assist you as a priority. ?
Now............if it was US Scareways, judging from todays headlines, you could just go up to the creepy uncle sitting in any of the jump seats, and fly for free......No Dividend Miles needed !
Just a thought