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At some point you may want to share miles with someone, whether it’s your significant other, family member, or a friend who’s traveling with you. Sharing miles comes in handy when you don’t have enough miles in your account for an award ticket. Remember that you can usually always use the miles to book an award for a friend of family members without transferring the miles.
But sometimes you don’t have enough miles in your account. So why not just transfer miles when you want them? Because airlines usually charge a fee to transfer your miles. But some frequent flyer programs allow you to share miles.
Frequent Flyer Programs That Allow Mile Sharing
Here are 11 frequent flyer programs that allow sharing miles (pooling of miles under 1 account) between family members. Most of these programs are not US-based, and other than JetBlue, Hawaiian Air, and British Airways, may not be very practical for US readers because they charge fuel surcharges when you use your miles for an award.
1. JetBlue TrueBlue
JetBlue is a low cost but frills heavy US airline that offers in-flight entertainment and TVs in every seat. And it’s the only US airline with a family mileage plan.
You can have 2 adults and 5 children (under the age of 21) in a Family Pooling account.
The Head of Household manages all points in their Family Pooling account. Family members must contribute a minimum of 10% of the JetBlue points they earn to the Family Pooling account.
2. British Airways Executive Club
A. Household Accounts
A Household Account allows up to 7 people living at the same address to share and use Avios points (British Airways points).
There is no fee to set up a Household Account.
Being able to pool miles for 7 family members is great, but there are drawbacks of an Avios household account:
- You can’t use your Avios to book for people who aren’t in your Household Account
- You can only change your Household Account address once every 6 months
- High fuel surcharges on British Airways
But you can avoid high fuel surcharges when you use your Avios on:
- Flights within the US
- Flights from the US to Europe on Aer Lingus or airberlin
- Flights from the US to South America and the Caribbean
- Flights within Europe
- Flights on LAN (Note: some domestic LAN flights have fuel surcharges)
- British Airways (Comair) flights in South Africa
- Qantas flights within Australia
- Flights on S7 (a Russian airline)
B. Family and Friends List
A Family and Friends list lets you use your Avios for up to 5 people who do not live with you.
If you need more Avios points you can transfer:
3. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t ordinarily allow you to share miles. But there is an exception.
You can share Hawaiian Airlines miles if:
- The person you’re giving miles to has a Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard (and is the primary cardholder)
- You and the person you’re giving miles to have valid email addresses listed
You can transfer Starwood points to Hawaiian Airlines.
And the Barclays Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard gives you 35,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles after spending $1,000 within 3 months.
4. Qantas Frequent Flyer
Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, doesn’t offer a family account. But you can transfer Qantas points (minimum of 5,000 to a maximum of 100,000 points) to a family member every 12 months under their Family Transfer.
There are no fees when you complete a Family Transfer online. If you call to make the transfer, there is a $35 fee.
Qantas charges fuel surcharges on award tickets.
5. Asiana Club
You can enroll a maximum of 5 family members in the Asiana Club Family Mileage Plan, the family sharing program of Asiana Airlines, a Korean airline.
Family members can share Asiana miles without limitations.
There is no fee for the Family Mileage Plan. But you have to prove that you’re related.
You have to pay fuel surcharges on Asiana award tickets.
If you need more Asiana miles, you can transfer Starwood points to Asiana Airlines.
The sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express (and the business card version) is currently 25,000 Starwood points after you spend $5,000 within the 1st 6 months. As always, terms & conditions apply.
When you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airlines, you get 5,000 bonus miles.
6. All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA) allows up to 8 family members to share miles in the Family Account Service.
To be eligible for Family Account Service, family members can’t live in Japan and must be related.
Up to 2 degrees of separation are allowed for a Family Account Service. Meaning if you are the Primary Member, then your Grandfather can be added to your Family Account because he’s 2 degrees removed from you. But a Great Grandfather would not be eligible because he would be 3 degrees removed.
ANA charges a 1,000 mile per member registration fee for each registered family member. Miles are deducted from the Primary Member’s account.
You will pay fuel surcharges on ANA award tickets.
You can transfer Starwood points to All Nippon Airways.
7. Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
You can add 9 people to a Japan Airlines Family Club account.
Family members must live outside of Japan to be eligible for Family Club.
JAL charges a 1,000 mile per member registration fee or $30 for each registered family member. Miles are deducted from the Family Club account.
There are fuel surcharges on JAL award tickets.
You can transfer Starwood points to Japan Airlines.
8. Etihad Guest
Etihad Airways, a United Arab Emirates airline, has a Family Membership which allows up to 8 family members (or 7 family members and 1 household helper) to share their Etihad miles.
The Family Head must nominate family members and documentation is required if requested by Etihad.
Although Family Guest members can earn tier status, all miles earned by Family Guest members will be deposited into the Family Head’s account to be distributed by the Family Head at his discretion.
If you need more Etihad miles, you can transfer Starwood points to Etihad Airways.
9. Emirates Skywards
You can nominate up to 8 family members to join the Family Bonus program of Emirates Airlines – the largest airlines in the Middle East.
Family members enrolled in the Family Bonus program will not earn their own mileage. When they fly, the Head of the Family earns 20% of the miles that the enrolled family member would normally earn.
There is no fee to enroll family members in the Family Bonus program, but each must be nominated and acceptance is not guaranteed.
You will pay fuel surcharges on Emirates.
You can transfer Starwood points to Emirates.
10. Korean Airlines SKYPASS
Korean Airlines, the largest airline in Korea, has a Family Plan that allows 5 family members to share miles.
You have to prove you’re related.
There is no fee for enrollment or registration.
You will pay fuel surcharges on Korean Airlines.
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Korean Airlines.
11. Virgin Australia Velocity
You can pool Virgin Australia miles in a Family Pooling account.
A Family Pooling account lets up to 6 family members living at the same address share points.
You can only have 2 people who are 18+ in a Family Pool.
Virgin Australia doesn’t fly domestically within the US. But you can use your Virgin Australia points on their partner airlines: Delta Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. To redeem miles on partner airlines, you have to call the Virgin Australia membership service center at 61-2-8667-5924. Note: This is an international number, there is not a toll-free number.
You can also use Virgin Australia points to fly from select US cities to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific on Virgin Australia.
But you will pay high fuel surcharges when you use Virgin Australia points.
If you need more Virgin Australia points, you can transfer Starwood points to Virgin Australia.
You can share miles in several frequent flyer programs, but the majority are based outside the US. Because of high fuel surcharges they might not be the best option for US based flyers.
But British Airways, JetBlue and Hawaiian Air could be worth considering for folks within the US.