Tuesday - Nov 21, 2017

Can You Combine Miles From Different Accounts?


Do you have a situation where you have a few miles in your account and a few more miles in your spouse account, and would like to combine them to redeem for an award?

It is possible to transfer miles, but costs you money. Frequent flyer programs charge you to transfer miles between different accounts.  However, frequent flyer programs like British Airways Executive Club, Etihad Guest lets you pool miles  among your family members sharing the same address.

 

British Airways operates A380 & B787

British Airways Executive Club lets you pool Avios through a Household account

 

You can always redeem miles for an award ticket from the other account. For example: If you would like to book a one way award ticket from New York to Chennai on Etihad Business Class for you and your spouse, using AAdvantage miles. This would requires 67,500 AAdvantage miles/person and a total of 135,000 AAdvantage miles, but if you only have 80,000 miles and your spouse has 70,000 miles. You could book 1 ticket from your account using 67,500 miles and you could book the other ticket using another 67,5000 miles from your spouse account.

 

What if you have 80,000 miles and your spouse has 60,000 miles?

In this case, you have enough miles (135,000) when combined, but you do not have enough miles needed for a ticket in your Spouse’s account. In this scenario, it will cost you some money. you would have to top up your spouse’s account by purchasing additional miles or transfer from your account to your spouse account.

 

 

Transfer Starpoints at 1:1 to AAdvantage

Transfer Starpoints at 1:1 to AAdvantage

 

You can avoid this fee, If your spouse has points with a flexible rewards program (Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest) that allows transfer to the frequent flyer program of your interest. In this case, If your spouse has Starpoints from Starwood Preferred Guest program, you can transfer Starpoints to AAdvantage program at 1:1. you can earn Starpoints through American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.

 

What if you have miles with different frequent flyer programs?

You cannot transfer/combine miles from one frequent flyer program to another program. You may be able to use miles across multiple programs only if they are in an alliance or partners.

In the same example: New York to Chennai on Etihad Airways Business Class for 2 passengers. You could  book an award ticket on Etihad Airways if you have miles with any of its partners. For example, as explained in this post – you could book Etihad Airways awards using miles with any of AAdvantage , Etihad Guest, ANA Mileage Club.

As long as there is availability, you could book one ticket from AAdvantage and book the other ticket from Etihad Guest or ANA Mileage Club.

 

Etihad has one of the best fleet

You can book Etihad award tickets using AAdvantage miles or Etihad Guest Miles

 

Another example: You can book an award ticket on Cathay Pacific Airways using AAdvantage miles and British Airways Avios as Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and British Airways are part of one world alliance.

 

Conclusion:

You will be charged a fee to combine miles from different accounts, Some frequent flyer programs like British Airways Executive Club, Etihad Guest will let you pool miles across your family members in the same house hold.  It may make sense to transfer only if you are short of few miles for a particular award.

If you have miles in different frequent flyer programs (American Airlines, United Airlines etc…). You can not combine them, however you may be able to redeem for the same award if they are in an alliance or has a partnership.

 

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analysis and any calculations shown are authors alone. Information in this post is not reviewed, approved and endorsed by any airlines, frequent flyer programs or financial institutions

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