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The web is full of posts covering techniques to earn and burn points and miles. Advice exists on which credit card to add to your wallet, identifying airlines and hotels that will maximize the value of rewards points, and mapping out redemption options all over the world. But there's one aspect of rewards travel where it's a little harder to unearth reliable information: how to pool points or miles for free with other people.
In this post, we’ll be highlighting transfer policies for major programs, plus offering simple “how to” instructions on sharing points and miles with your family and friends.
- Why Combine or Pool Your Points and Miles?
- Family Pooling and Transferring Flexible Rewards for Free
- Family Pooling and Transferring Hotel Points for Free
- Family Pooling and Transferring Airline Miles
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France–KLM Flying Blue
- ANA Mileage Club
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- JAL Mileage Bank
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Lufthansa Miles & More
- Norwegian Rewards CashPoints
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Spirit Airlines Free Spirit
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Final Thoughts
Why Combine or Pool Your Points and Miles?
A few reasons spring to mind for why you might want to combine points and miles with others, and doing so for free is obviously a plus:
- To reach a specific redemption. A no-brainer, but trying to reach a particular redemption for an upcoming trip often involves juggling points between accounts.
- Allows you to transfer rewards to an account that has elite status. Redeeming flights and stays through an account that has elite status can add a ton of value to your travel experience.
- Some programs require names to match for transfers to take place. Marriott Bonvoy, for example, requires the account names on both the Marriott account and the receiving frequent flyer account to match for the transfer to go through. If you've had issues because of a long name or name change, transferring to a friend with common spelling could be simpler.
- Pooling makes it easy to utilize small numbers of orphaned points. Having multiple accounts with a small balance is frustrating, as there is often no way of redeeming them. Family pooling enables you to collect rewards into a usable balance and burn them for travel and accommodation.
- When you want to cancel a credit card or account and need to move the points before pulling the trigger. Travel goals change from year to year, and the cards we need to achieve them change with the goals. Transferring points and miles is often the only way to keep them alive in this case, rather than losing your balance when closing an account.
Family Pooling and Transferring Flexible Rewards for Free
American Express Membership Rewards
You cannot combine Amex Membership Rewards or share them to another member's account. However, you can transfer points to a frequent flyer account in someone else's name, as long as that person is an authorized user on your Amex card account and has been for at least 90 days.
“In order to link your accounts, the partner loyalty program account must be in your name or the name of an Additional Card Member on your Card Account. An Additional Card must be issued to the Additional Card Member at least 90 days prior to linking your program account to that Additional Card Member's partner loyalty account.”
Amex has the most restrictive of the points-sharing options for flexible rewards currencies.
Capital One Rewards
You can combine Capital One miles into a single account, and you can share your miles with anyone you want. Capital One doesn't charge a fee to move miles between accounts, and you also can convert your Capital One cash back into miles.
This is the friendliest policy for combining flexible rewards currencies.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
You can transfer Chae Ultimate Rewards points “only to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, or one member of your household.” Chase is strict on this rule, and you risk losing your points if you violate the transfer policy. You can combine points across your own accounts or transfer to another person, plus Chase business accounts allow you to move points to other business owners. This includes points from cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, as well as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Initiate transfers by signing into your account and selecting the card you want to transfer points from.
- Click Combine Points in the menu at the top.
- Select the card you want to move points from (on the left) and to (on the right).
- Choose how many points you want to transfer, review, and submit the request.
If you haven't added a household member previously, you'll need to call before you can choose that card to receive transfers.
Citi ThankYou Rewards
Despite a 100K limit to transfers, Citi ThankYou Rewards have one of the most flexible rules if you want to transfer or combine points between member accounts. There are, however, a couple of things worth noting:
- Shared points are only valid for 90 days from the time they are received, so only transfer with a plan to redeem them before they expire.
- You can only share and receive 100K Citi ThankYou Points per calendar year.
To share Citi ThankYou Points with another member:
- Sign into your account at ThankYou.com.
- Click on More Ways to Redeem in the menu.
- In the drop-down menu, click on Points Sharing.
- On the next page, click on Begin Sharing, then choose the recipient, amount, and confirm the details.
If you're already signed in, you can access the transfer page directly.
Family Pooling and Transferring Hotel Points for Free
Programs that don't permit pooling
Hilton has one of the best points pooling options of any rewards program we’ve seen. You can combine Hilton Honors points with up to 10 other members, sending as many as 500K points and receiving up to 2 million Honors points per year!
Navigate to the points pooling from your Honors account, or you can access the transfer page directly. You'll provide members' names and email addresses, then they'll be invited to your pool for sharing points.
Related: How To Earn Hilton Honors Points
IHG One Rewards
There is no limit to the number of IHG One Rewards points you can transfer to other members, but the cost is high and not an action we recommend. IHG points transfers are processed by Points.com. We've only listed IHG here because of its popularity, but it doesn't all you to pool points freely like its competitors.
“IHG One Rewards points can be transferred to another IHG One Rewards member in 1,000-point increments for a fee of $5 USD per 1,000 points. “
Marriott Bonvoy members can transfer up to 100K Marriott Rewards points per year, in increments of 1,000 points. Members can receive up to 500K points per year.
“2.8.a. In accordance with the conditions for transferring Points as described in Section 1.6.c., a Member can transfer up to a maximum of 100,000 Points per calendar year to another Membership Account as long as both Accounts are in good standing and have each been open for at least thirty (30) days with qualifying activity, ninety (90) days without qualifying activity (see 2.8.b). A Member can receive up to a maximum of 500,000 Points per calendar year from other Membership Accounts as long as the Accounts are in good standing and have each been open for at least thirty (30) days with qualifying activity, ninety (90) days without qualifying activity.”
It used to be that you had to call Marriott customer service on the phone to transfer Marriott points to another member account, but now you can transfer Marriott points online.
It's not possible to pool Radisson Rewards points in a group, but you can transfer your points to others for free. You can make transfers to a maximum of five members per month and can receive points from up to five members per month.
You can receive a maximum of 100,000 points per month from others, and transfers are processed within 24 hours. Your account must be at least 30 days old to participate in transfers.
World of Hyatt
Hyatt allows points transfers between any accounts that are in good standing, but only allows transfers once every 30 days.
“A single member may only participate in a point combining transaction (transferring or receiving of points) once every 30 days.”
The process is straightforward. Access the form on this page and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, call 800-544-9288.
Family Pooling and Transferring Airline Miles
Many frequent flyer programs charge members to move points and miles between accounts. For example, you can transfer American AAdvantage miles to another account, but it costs 1.5¢ per mile. This really wipes out the value of your miles and is generally not recommended, so we’re only listing options where it is viable to pool or transfer miles without the huge costs.
We also should note that there was a great family pooling program with Aeromexico Club Premier in the past, but that went away when the program rebranded to Aeromexico Rewards.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Aeroplan members can create a Family Sharing account with up to eight members. The Family Lead creates the pool and can invite a spouse, partner, children, siblings, in-laws, parents, and grandparents. All points from the family pool members will be added to the shared balance (members don't have the option to control what they share), and family members can redeem from the shared balance at no cost.
If someone in the pool has preferred pricing (for example, from holding elite status or the Aeroplan® Credit Card), other pool members can take advantage of this when booking award flights. The family lead can change redemption permissions for other pool members, which could be useful for children's accounts — allowing them to earn toward the combined balance but not make redemptions.
Air France–KLM Flying Blue
Flying Blue introduced family pooling in early 2022, allowing up to two adults and up to six children to create a pool together. Anyone over age 18 can create an account and be its leader, inviting others to share miles together. Only the pool leader can transfer miles between the members, but this creates a way to work together toward flight redemptions.
ANA Mileage Club
ANA only allows members from outside Japan to combine miles in a family pooling account known as an ANA Mileage Club Family Account, or AFA, which allows between 2–8 members to combine miles into a primary account holders account.
“ANA Mileage Club members (the primary member) who reside outside Japan can register 2-8 family members (including themselves) for this service. The registered family members can be their spouse or same-sex marriage partner, and relatives within 2 degrees of kinship.”
Registering an AFA account costs 1,000 ANA miles, which are deducted from the primary account. The signup process is straightforward: Simply head to the Family Account page on ANA’s website and hit the Register Now button.
British Airways Executive Club
British Airways slashed the cost of sharing Avios in early 2023, but it's possible to avoid the costs altogether by creating a Household Account.
You can pool Avios with up to six other members of your household, and, once established, you can also set up a list of family and friends that lets you redeem Avios from the pool for those outside the pool. Avios are deducted evenly for redemptions across all accounts linked to the Household Account.
Remember that you also can pool your Avios across accounts with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Qatar Airways. This is free and instant.
Emirates allows pooling across up to eight members. The amount of miles shared to the pool can be controlled by the individual, from 0% to 100%. Current miles are not moved, though — only future mileage earnings, based on the contribution percentage. You'll want to set up pooling as soon as you create accounts if you're looking to pool for an upcoming trip.
However, you can't invite just anyone to your My Family account:
“You can invite any members of your immediate family to join. If they’re not already Emirates Skywards members, they’ll need to register before you can add them. Immediate family members include Husband, Wife, Domestic Partner, Son, Step‑Son, Daughter, Step‑Daughter, Mother, Mother‑in‑Law, Step‑Mother, Father, Father‑in‑Law, Step‑Father, Brother, Sister, Granddaughter, Grandson and Domestic Helper.”
You can see all the details of Emirates Skywards My Family on the program page. When you're ready to get started, click on the “Create a My Family account” button.
You can pool Etihad Guest miles with family into a “Family Membership” account. This allows up to eight members to pool points into a central account controlled by the lead member.
“Each family member must have their own Etihad Guest account. Including the Family Head, a total of 9 members can be part of your Family Membership.
“Members who are eligible for the Family Membership include your extended family. So, make sure you get everyone to sign-up for Etihad Guest, then create the Family Membership to start enjoying more rewards, faster, together.”
Even better, you can share your status benefits with other members of the pool, but only your family members can join — not friends. To register for Family Membership, click through to the registration page on Etihad Guest’s website.
Frontier Airlines also allows you to pool miles with friends and family for free. You can add up to eight members to your pool, and you don’t even have to be related.
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
It's possible to pool your HawaiianMiles with others, but it's not free for everyone. If you don't have the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® or Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Business Mastercard®, sharing miles will cost 1¢ per mile + a $25 service fee.
JAL Mileage Bank
The family pooling option for Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, called JAL Family Club, allows up to nine family members to combine miles into a single account. The primary account holder must reside outside Japan, though family members’ countries of residence are not a factor.
Only close family members can join, however:
“Primary member's spouse, children, parents, and spouse's parents. “
There is an initial fee of 1,000 miles to set up the Family Club account, and an additional 1,000 miles for every family member you bring on. JAL charges 1,000 miles every five years as a renewal fee, but there is no annual membership fee.
The primary account holder can signup for a Family Club account via the link at the bottom of the Family Club website.
JetBlue TrueBlue also offers a great points pooling feature, and anyone over 21 years old can create a pool with a minimum of two and maximum of seven people. You don't need to be related to the pool members.
The pool leader invites others, and everyone contributes 100% of their points. The pool leader can decide whether others are able to redeem points or are just contributors. This lets you combine points from spending and bonuses on cards like the JetBlue Card, JetBlue Plus Card, and JetBlue Business Card.
You can set up a pool here.
Korean Air SKYPASS
The Korean SKYPASS Family Plan allows certain family members to form one pool of miles for award redemptions, with a maximum of five members in a group. There are multiple rules to note:
- Eligible family members include spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, sons-in-law, and daughters-in-law.
- Parents, parents-in-law, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents are each limited to two people, while spouse is limited to one person. Other family members can be registered without limit.
- Family mileage can be combined for up to five family members, including the member.
- When pooling the mileage of family members, you can designate the amount of mileage as well as the order of family members to pool. (However, the order of pooling cannot be changed at ticket reissue)
- SKYPASS members can endorse awards to registered family members by redeeming his/her own mileage.
Remember, SKYPASS is a transfer partner of Marriott Rewards. If you want to combine Marriott Rewards points with other family members for travel, Korean’s Family Plan offers a viable alternative as you can pool points from family members from any location, as long as you can provide proof of the relationship.
Lufthansa Miles & More
Lufthansa's Miles & More program enabled family pooling in 2018 for up to two adults and five children. The Miles & More family pooling option only applies to award miles; status miles cannot be pooled. Either adult can redeem miles for award travel from the combined family account.
Unfortunately, this program only exists in certain European countries. The list is available here.
Norwegian Rewards CashPoints
Norwegian Rewards allows you to create a Family Account with up to seven members. This program also sports the loosest definition of “family,” putting it on the record that a family account can include anyone you know (or don't know if you want to push the limits).
“You can freely choose to invite whoever you want. Although Family Account was designed for families to earn CashPoints together, we do not restrict it for other uses, such as inviting your friends or similar.”
With those definitions, you could pool points from any seven accounts into a family account, with the only stipulation being that members of a family account must remain members of the account for a minimum of three months. And at least one member must be over 18 years old.
There are a few rules and regulations to wrap your head around, but overall the Norwegian Rewards Family Pooling feature is more flexible than any of its U.S. counterparts.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas members can transfer points to family members. The minimum transfer is 5,000 points, and you can transfer up to 600,000 points in a 12-month period. Transfers attract a fee if you call a consultant, but the service is free if you use the online form.
Note that transfers don't count as qualifying activity to prevent your Qantas points from expiring.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
You can pool Qatar Privilege Club Avios with up to nine family members, as long as the members are at least two years old. Eligible members include spouses, children, parents, and in-laws.
Avios earned by members of the family pool will be credited to the primary member's account, and those Avios stay with the primary member even if you leave the family pool. Interestingly, your earnings are based on the status tier of the pool leader, so it's advantageous to choose the person with the highest status as the leader.
You can create a pool here.
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit
You can create a points pool if you have Silver or Gold status in Free Spirit or hold a Spirit Airlines co-branded card like the Free Spirit® Travel Mastercard® or Free Spirit® Travel More MasterCard®.
The Pool Pilot (the one creating the pool) can invite up to eight friends or family members to the pool, and points can be redeemed for award tickets for any member of the pool. However, only the Pool Pilot can book the redemptions. If you want to create a pool, head here.
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer is another program to offer flexible family pooling, allowing members to pool Status Credits in addition to points. You can connect up to six family members (two adults and four kids) living at the same address.
You need to register the family pooling account prior to the flights you want to credit to the beneficiary account. A Velocity family account can only contain two adults over the age of 18, and the remaining members must be under 18. Children will leave the pool automatically after turning 18. The Beneficiary will receive the earnings from everyone in the pool.
The ability to combine points and miles into a single account for family members to use is a big benefit of any rewards program, and the best programs are those that let you pool points for free.
Some of the best options include British Airways, Hilton Honors, and World of Hyatt. Restrictions about who you can share with, such as those found with JAL and Korean, reduce the value of their pooling options.
If you have any questions about any of the programs or policies mentioned, please reach out in the comments. Likewise, if we’ve missed any programs that offer convenient (and low-cost) transfers and family pooling opportunities, please get in touch, and we’ll update the post accordingly.
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