You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone!

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, Citibank and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Don’t forget to follow me on  Facebook or Twitter!

Readers often ask if they can use their airlines miles to book flights for someone else.

Using your miles to book flights for other people is easy and it won’t cost you any extra money!

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

Emily, Connie, Judi & Daraius En Route to London!

Airlines Charge to Transfer Miles

Airlines will usually charge you to transfer miles to someone else’s mileage accounts.

You would pay ~ $200 to transfer 12,500 American Airlines miles to your friend’s account for a 1-way award from Chicago to Detroit on American Airlines.

This is almost never worth it, because of the high transfer fee.  You can usually buy a 1-way ticket (unless it is last minute) from Chicago to Detroit for ~$200.  So you may as well pay cash and save your miles!

Don’t Have to Transfer Miles

But you don’t have to transfer airline miles to book tickets for someone else!

You can book flights for your family, partner, friend, or anyone else using miles from your account – WITHOUT transferring miles and WITHOUT paying a fee!

I used miles from my account and Emily’s account to get tickets for Emily’s mom and her friend Judi so the four of us could visit India!

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

We Used Our Miles to Get Tickets For Emily’s Mom & Judi

Let’s say that you want to use your American Airlines miles to book a trip from Michigan to Hawaii for your grandparents.

American Airlines has a great website to search for domestic US awards, so just go to the American Airlines website and search for awards.  Read this series on using American Airlines miles if you’re searching for international awards.

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

Just Search For Award Flights on the Airline Website

Booking an award seat for someone else is just like booking an award seat for yourself.

The only difference is that you enter the name of the passenger for whom you’re booking an award!

You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone

You Can Enter Someone Else’s Name as the Passenger

Some Airlines Don’t Let You Book Awards for Others

All US airlines will let you book award flights for someone else.

Some airlines, like Korean, state that you can only redeem awards for yourself and family members and require proof of relationship.  But there is a workaround so you can still book flights for others.

You just need to transfer points into each person’s (family members) Korean air miles account before you book their award ticket.  You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Airlines in a 1:1 ratio.  Note that you should transfer points only into your spouse or domestic partner’s account.

International Flights

Some airlines require the passenger to show the same credit card used to book the trip when they check-in for an international flight.

For example, Delta almost didn’t let Emily go on her birthday trip because she didn’t have my credit card!

In my experience, most US airlines don’t require you to show the credit card at check-in if you book an award for someone else.  But it may help to give the passenger a letter acknowledging that you used miles from your frequent flyer account to book the trip and a copy of the credit card (just in case).

Bottom Line

Airlines charge fees to transfer miles to from account to another.

But you can avoid those fees by directly booking award seats for others using the miles from your account!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

50 responses to “You Can Use Your Airline Miles To Book Flights For Anyone!

  1. I thought that Chase had rules on who you were allowed to transfer ultimate rewards points to and whose account you were allowed to transfer to.

  2. Also u can use avios

  3. use a prepaid visa dedicated to award tickets’ fees and taxes?

  4. There are exceptions. I think for example Korean only lets you ticket awards for family members (?)

  5. Thanks for the post. I posted a question about this topic on your contact me portion and there is the answer in a blog post! Thanks for all the posts, but especially this one.

    • @Benji – That’s true. You should transfer Ultimate Rewards points from the personal card only to your spouse or domestic partner. And to your employees or spouse or domestic partner if you have a business card.

      @anon – That could work, but sometimes they want the names to match on the credit card and account holder.

      @Nun – Some international airlines have restrictions, but most US airline do not.

  6. Daraius, please bear with me as I am still learning about this. I am wondering how much is the value of American Airlines mile (a mile is worth how much $$?).How about US Airways and Southwest Airlines’ mile? Among these 3 airlines’ miles, which one has the best value redemption for international and which one is the best one for domestic?
    It would be great too if you could share the link to a chart of how much value a mile of each airline worth.

  7. Why would you check-in at the airline check-in booth? You can check in online on the airline’s website and save time and hassle.

  8. I have some chase points but not enough to book a flight. My mom has a Chase Freedom card and she has some points. Can I combine her freedom chase card point to my Chase Bold ink card? My mom live with me. We have same address. Thanks.

  9. I’m thinking of going to Tahiti with my wife in summer 2015, but I don’t have enough AA miles and I probably won’t have enough for the both of us by then either. However, my parents have tons of AA miles. I know we can use our own miles to book for other people on American Airlines, but how about partner airlines such as Air Tahiti Nui? Booking on American and some partner airlines can be done online, but I have to call in to book on Air Tahiti Nui. Will they let my parents calling to use their miles for me?

  10. @Dave
    Yep I have done that before on CX with AA miles. You don’t even have to have your parents call, if they give you the acct info, you can call yourself.

  11. Anon, thanks. I have my parents’ account info.
    I wonder if this is airline-specific or if it applies to all Oneworld airlines.

  12. Love the blog.

    When booking award tickets for family or friends (eg AA or US), if I use my own credit card (for example the new aa citi with 100k bonus), any chance of them getting the baggage fee waived?

    Also, I noticed that it’s fairly easy to get status on Aegean, any program similar on oneworld’s alliance?

  13. Hello Daraius, love your blog. I just noticed that Korean Airlines is part of the Skyteam alliance. Does mean that if I transfer my CSP Ultimate Rewards to Korean Air, I could use those miles to fly on Delta? That would be great!

    • @David – The value of a mile varies based on your goals, travel style and amount of miles you already have. That said, I’d value most miles between 1.25 cents to 2.0 cents.

      @sun pak – The terms say that you shouldn’t and are meant to discourage folks from selling miles etc.

      @ Dave – You could call on behalf of your parents. Or even have an award booking service book on your behalf. You can book flights on partner airlines with someone else’s American Airlines miles.

      @Mj – They are unlikely to get the free bag, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

      @Liz W – You could transfer them to Korean Air and use to fly on Delta. But Delta award availability isn’t the best, and Korean Air would only be able to book low level Delta awards. So I’d check availability first before transferring the miles and points.

  14. thats pretty amazing. But how did u manage to find a fare for 150,000 miles to India? I assume it was first class?

  15. just have the person get a prepaid debit card and book that.. easy end around the “have to show the credit card“ used to book the ticket.

  16. Pingback: Best of Million Mile Secrets - February 2014 | Million Mile Secrets

  17. Any idea if my wife books me a flight on SW, will it show up under my rapid rewards account so that I can then book a companion pass ticket? I am running low on points and she just got a Ink card. Is it also possible to transfer UR points to my SW account instead of hers or can you transfer to multiple SW accounts?

  18. When entering a different passenger’s name than the one with the aadvantage miles, it says the passenger name doesnt match the aadvantage miles are you getting around that?

  19. Pingback: How To Share Your Points With Anyone | Million Mile Secrets

  20. Pingback: You Do NOT Have to Use Your Own Southwest Points to Book a Companion Pass Flight | Million Mile Secrets

  21. It won’t. I’m trying right now. Maybe it’s because the other passenger doesn’t have an AA number. I don’t know?

  22. Thanks for the great post! I have an AA account and my husbend also has an AA account, can we make a booking for 2 friends from our 2 account at the same time? Do they need to have AA account or it’s not necessary? We have to make booking via phone, because I cannot see QR availabilty on AA website.

  23. Can we transfer miles between us?

  24. if my husband has us air miles can and how he book a flight for me any advice without paying the fee?

  25. AA charged me a fee to use miles from my account for people not travelling with me. $35 each person. This was today using AA EXECPLAT phone line. I could not purchase online because I used AA EXPLAT phone rep to book tickets. Transatlantic seats not available online. Is this fee well know? I never heard of it before today.

    • @Mary – You can each book flights for others from your account. You will pay a fee to transfer miles between you which is usually not worth it.

      @michelle – He can call or book the flight online using his miles, but name you as the passenger traveling.

  26. Using my miles to purchase tickets for someone else, successful in entering passengers info but wanted to know if they would be able to pay the fees with their own credit card? Tried doing so and it’s saying I need to use my card since it’s my account, is there a work around? TIA.

  27. Any issue using aadvantage miles to book a hotel for someone else? Cardholder won’t be staying at hotel so other person will be checking in

  28. Just booked a ticket via my Dad’s account. The problem was when I my entered credit card info to pay the fee. It said that the AA account name and the credit card name had to match. I tried a couple of different cards, none worked until I changed my first name to his. It worked.

    Wondering if a prepaid debit card might work.

  29. Can several people donate points to buy an international round trip ticket for a student?

  30. Hi, I am new to your site, great information & very helpful. Husband and I just got our new Citi AAdvantage credit cards, and i plan to use the mileage to book CX tix to Asia later in the year. Since my husband is the primary card holder, he’s the one earning the points/mileage on the account, can he redeem a ticket for me without travelling with me? Thanks!

  31. Hi there,
    Is it ok to book the ticket for wife using husband’s award miles for travel?
    It is an an international flight ticket with UNITED AIRLINES for the return journey to SFO. Wife’s name is provided for the passenger name along with age, e-mail details. But in the ticket confirmation husband’s frequent flyer number is mentioned and all other details being that of the traveler. Is it ok or is it going pose any problem on the day of travel ? Should the United airline authorities be contacted before the travel?
    Please let me know AEAP. DAte of travel is march 28th 2015…
    Thanks in advance….

  32. Anyone want to transfer miles or use miles to pay for my husband and I to go to Cabo? Friends invited us free of charge except for flight and we just took our 4 kids to Disney World so we are tapped out 🙁 If anyone has a bunch of miles sitting around they will never use, feel free to contact me 🙂

  33. Hi, I have 160,000 miles on my AAdvantage account. I also have a Chase Sapphire preferred card. I like the way Chase allows me to redeem miles better. Is it possible to trnasfer my miles fromm AA to Chase?

  34. Hi everybody, i am new on the miles system, but i want to know if it is possible for a friend to sent me miles via my turkish miles and smiles account also if i can use these miles to book flight to another person?


  35. I would like to buy tickets for our son and his wife this way. Do I have to transfer points first?

  36. Hello,
    Would you happen to have the ability to donate miles to someone in desperate need of purchasing an airline ticket ticket?

  37. Does this apply to Delta airline as well?
    Can I use my miles to book for someone else? Even if I won’t be going to the trip with her? Thank you.

  38. I was told by an American Airlines/Citibank employee that if I book a flight for someone else, I need to travel with them…Is this true?

  39. When I tried to enter my husband’s name it said name didn’t match the rewards account name.

  40. Get Unlimited Gold and Cash for Tap Sports Baseball 2015 with this nice hack,
    you is going to be able to generate as many sources as you’ve, with
    out limits, just with a number of clicks and growth, you’ve gotten your self every one of many assets you wished.

  41. Lydia Christin

    Hullo, thanks for this helpful info. I would like to know if it’s possible for a friend in the US to book a flight for me from Uganda, Africa to Texas in the US.

  42. I know how to do this with SW. My question is, if a flight point cost goes down and I rebook it, do those refunded points then go in the name of the original flyer on my account the same as when I book a flight and later find a lower price, I have one year to use those funds/points in their name only?

  43. Can I use my Advantage miles to buy tickets for my son and his wife if I don’t travel (buy a ticket for myself) with them?

  44. Great Info. Answered my question. This was n