One of the most annoying things about frequent flyer programs is that there is often no easy or free way to transfer miles from one account to another. If you fly often for work but your spouse doesn’t, there are probably times you wish you could move some of your miles to your partners account.
A few airlines offer household or family accounts, which allow you to either co-mingle your miles with other people who live in your household or make it easier to transfer miles between family member accounts. Here’s what you need to know about the programs that offer this valuable perk.
British Airways Executive Club
British Airways touts something they called a Household Account in which you can pool miles with up to six people who live with you. That way when you need to redeem miles, it doesn’t matter if you’re shy a few miles while your son has tons of them. The miles will be proportionally deducted from each individual Executive Club account that feeds into your main Household Account.
Its free to sign up for a Household Account but someone at your residence must be the Head of the Household. This person will receive all communications about the program and will be the only one that can add and remove someone from the Household Account. Everyone in your home will continue to work on his or her own elite tier status. The only things that are co-mingled in the account are miles earned.
Everyone in your Household Account must have the same address listed in his or her individual Executive Club accounts. You can only change your registered address once every six months.
Members of a Household Account cannot redeem Avios for anyone outside of the account unless they first create a Family and Friends List in their British Airways account. Then, and only then, can you redeem your points for people who don’t live at the same address as you.
JetBlue True Blue
JetBlue offers Family Pooling that allows for two adults and up to five children to pool their points for redemption purposes. The Head of Household (who must be 21 or older) sets up the Family Pooling account and manages all of the points in the account. The Head of Household must invite his or her other family members to join the account.
Note that the Head of Household can redeem points from the account without the permission of the other family members. The Head of Household can also remove anyone from the account at any time. If you leave a Family Pooling account, or the Head of Household removes you, your TrueBlue points stay in the Family Pooling account.
Unlike the British Airways program in which all of your earned miles are pooled as a family, JetBlue allows you to determine the percent of your miles that will go into the Family Pooling Account, with 10 percent of each activity being the least amount you can contribute. You can only change your contribution percentage once per year. Also, if you leave one Family Pooling account, you can’t join another for at least one year.
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
While HawaiianMiles doesn’t have a family account, there is an easy way to share miles with others. If you want to transfer miles to someone, you can do so for free if the recipient is the primary cardholder of the Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard. You just need to log into the account you want to transfer miles from and then click “share miles under the manage tab.
ANA Mileage Club
ANA’s Family Account Service (AFA Service) lets individuals with addresses outside of Japan combine miles earned by everyone in their family. Like other programs, someone has to be designated as the Primary Member of the account and is the one who handles award redemptions on behalf of everyone else in the household. An AFA can consist of up to eight people within two degrees of family relationship from the Primary Member. It costs 1,000 miles to add each member of the family to your AFA.
Asiana’s Family Mileage Plan allows the following relations to pool their miles: spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and parent-in-law. Up to five family members, including a family representative, can be registered as a group. You must fill out an application for registration into the program and you must provide documents certifying your family relationships.
Etihad Guest Miles
Before joining Etihad’s Family Membership program, determine who will be the Family Head. Then, everyone in your account up to eight people can pool their miles into one account.
JAL Family Club (JALFC) is a program designed for people living outside of Japan. The Primary Member can invite other family members to join the club. A family member is the primary members spouse, children, parents and spouses parents. A JALFC can have no more than nine people in it, including the Primary Member. There is an initial registration fee of 1,000 miles or $30 for each member that joins your club.
Korean Air SkyPass
The Family Plan from Korean Air allows “members with insufficient miles for award redemption to supplement their miles with the miles of immediate family members. Up to five family members, including the SkyPass member, may redeem awards through the Family Plan. Family members may be the spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, grandparents and grandchildren. You will need to supply documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) to certify your family relationships.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas doesn’t have a household account program but it does allow for Family Transfers of your miles to any family member up to four times in any 12-month period. Transfers have to be for at least 5,000 Qantas points but no more than 100,000 points.
Virgin Australia Velocity
Virgin Australia’s Velocity program offers Family Pooling that allows you to combine both points and status credits of up to six family members into one account. This is cool because you can actually reach a higher tier of status by pooling credits.
You don’t need to have Family Pooling in order to transfer points. Anyone can transfer points from his or her account to the account of an eligible family member, up to four times per year. Each transfer can be as little as 5,000 points or as many as 100,000 points.