Tips to give your kids a head start on their own miles & points journey

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Family travel is a huge part of the miles & points world. Lots of people get into this hobby because they want to visit family, or they want to vacation with their family.

As a mom and miles & points fanatic, I’ve already started getting my 4-year-old daughter into the hobby (albeit, unbeknownst to her) by setting up here own frequent flyer accounts so that she earns miles for eligible flights, which will really add up over the years. Plus, they can watch their own rewards balances grow, and learn math along the way!

And while I’m not at this stage yet, giving a child a credit card by adding them as an authorized user is also an excellent way to teach them about finances and the importance of establishing and maintaining a healthy credit score.

My daughter earned miles when we flew to Hawaii. (Photo by the author)

Tips for introducing children to the miles & points hobby

Teaching children about credit cards and miles & points can encourage their passion for travel and personal finance. Here are a couple of tips to get your kids started in the miles & points hobby.

Add your child as an authorized user

Authorized user credit cards are great for kids because they can help them start building a credit history and increase their credit score.

It’s never too early to start establishing credit history. If your child is old enough to make responsible credit card purchases, you can benefit by earning miles and points when they shop. And they may even learn a thing or two, like how to budget, the concept of interest and fees, paying bills and the importance of organization. Plus, certain credit cards offer bonus miles or points just for adding an authorized user.

Some banks ask for the social security number of an authorized user and some do not. But the account should link to their credit profile based on home address.

Just keep in mind that the primary cardholder is responsible for all charges on the account. So don’t add a child if you’re concerned about them buying a lifetime supply of toys the first chance they get.

That said, learning good financial habits at a young age can set you up on a path toward responsible spending the rest of your life.

Create frequent flyer accounts for your children

The good news is, there’s no minimum age to get a frequent flyer account. Even if your children only fly occasionally on family trips, the miles they earn can add up over time!

Teaching your kids the value of airline miles and points can help them get excited about their future in the hobby. And accumulating frequent flyer miles over time could get them enough for an award flight to exciting destinations when they’re ready to travel on their own!

How soon can I start building my child’s credit?

It depends on which issuer you’re dealing with. Some card issuers require an authorized user to be a certain age. Here’s a look at the requirements for some major banks:

Credit Card issuerMinimum Authorized User Age
American Express15
Bank of AmericaNone
Barclaycard13
Capital OneNone
ChaseNone
CitiNone
Discover15
US Bank16
Wells FargoNone

Bottom line

You can help your kids establish credit history by adding them as an authorized user to your credit card account. Having a credit history will help your kids once they turn 18 and can apply for their own top travel credit card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which ranks as one of the best cards for beginners. Plus, teaching your kids about earning valuable miles & points can spark their interest in travel and encourage solid financial habits.

Even better, you’ll earn miles, points, or cash back for purchases they make as an authorized user!

And don’t forget to create frequent flyer accounts for your children. Accumulating miles for paid flights every so often can really add up over time and might even be enough for an award flight.

Do you have any credit card or frequent flyer tips to share with fellow parents? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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