Which Points Can Be Combined Between Different People?

For those of you earning points in multi-player mode, there are many occasions when it might be helpful to consolidate all your collective loyalty points holdings into one account.

Maybe you have an uneven number of points across two people’s accounts, and harnessing them all into a single account would allow you to redeem the miles for a flight for both people.

Or, there might be one person in the household who has earned elite status with a program, and you’d like to make all the bookings under that account in order to fully enjoy the benefits and perks of the status.

Which types of points can be combined across individuals in this way, and what are the rules you need to know? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to combine points from different accounts.

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Aeroplan: Family Sharing

Aeroplan offers a Family Sharing program that allows you to easily pool your Aeroplan points with up to eight family members.

Setting up your Family Sharing pool is very simple, and you can do so directly from your Aeroplan dashboard. 

For each member you invite, you’ll need to input their first and last name, Aeroplan number, the familial relationship, and whether or not that family member has the ability to redeem points out of the family pool. They will then receive an email inviting them to join your Family Sharing pool, and have the option to accept or decline.

Once the invitation is accepted, the new member’s points balance instantly pools into the collective Family Sharing pool’s points balance.

All of their future earnings (from credit card signup bonuses, points transfers, flying activity, etc.) will enter the pooled points balance as well, and there’s no upper limit to how many points can be pooled. If you’re in two-player mode, it’s an effortless way to consolidate points that are earned between partners.

If you often fly as a family, then it’s a great idea to create Aeroplan accounts for the kids as well, since they’ll earn Aeroplan points when flying on paid fares on Air Canada and Star Alliance airlines, which will contribute nicely to the family’s total.

On the redemption side, when a Family member redeems Aeroplan points, there is no ability to designate whether those points are deducted from their own points balance or another Family member’s points balance.

Instead, the points will come out of all Family members’ balances, and will be deducted proportionally to everyone’s respective points balances.

British Airways Avios: Household Accounts

British Airways Avios allows you to freely pool points between multiple accounts in the same household through their Household Account feature.

The member who initiates the Household Account process is designated as the “Head of the Household”, and has powers to add additional members to the household (up to six other people) or to remove existing members. Note that all members of a Household Account must be registered at the same address.

By setting up a Household Account, every member of the household will have their points balances pooled together, and every member can also make redemptions using this pool of miles.

When redeeming points, the Avios Household Account works similarly to Aeroplan’s Family Sharing: points are deducted proportionally from each member’s balances based on their individual totals compared to the household total. 

Qatar Airways Privilege Club: Family Program

Since joining the Avios family, Qatar Airways Privilege Club has gained further prominence. 

In Privilege Club, the Family Program allows members to pool points between up to nine family members. Unlike some other programs, Qatar Airways only allows points to be pooled from immediate family members, including spouses, children over two, parents, and parents-in-law.

Furthermore, you’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship when adding family members to the account.

All points are pooled into the primary member’s account, and only the primary member is able to make redemptions from the pooled account.

Adding a family member is all done through the Qatar Airways Privilege Club portal. Sign in to your account, and then click on “My Profile.”

Once here, look for the “My Family” tab, which is where you’ll be able to add up to nine family members to the account.

Be prepared to have birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports available, as you’ll need to add them as part of the process.

Family members must stay in the family account for two years. Anyone in the family who is over 12 may be de-linked from the combined account; however, any Avios accrued prior to the de-linking will remain in the family balance.

Note that British Airways Avios and Qatar Airways Avios can be transferred between each other at a 1:1 ratio. However, Avios must be transferred between accounts belonging to the same individual.

It isn’t possible to transfer pooled Avios under a British Airways Avios Household Account or Qatar Airways Privilege Club Family Program to an account in the opposite program belonging to a different household member.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue: Flying Blue Family

Air France/KLM Flying Blue is becoming more and more attractive in the loyalty landscape. One recent improvement that was added to the program is the ability to pool points with family members.

A Flying Blue Family account can be created for up to eight members. There is a maximum of two adults and six children that can join together.

The Family Leader is responsible for sending out the invitations to other members of the group. All that’s needed is the first name, last name, and Flying Blue account number.

Once joined, members must remain in the group for at least six months, and members can only be part of one Flying Blue Family group at a time. A member may leave after six months, and is free to then join another Family group.

The Family Leader can transfer points from other members’ accounts either partially or in full into the Family Leader’s account. The miles are valid for two years after the transfer.

Flying Blue has another attractive option for families, as children between two and 11 benefit from a 25% discount on reward bookings when travelling with at least one adult. The booking must be completed on the Air France/KLM Flying Blue website.

Marriott Bonvoy: Send 100K / Receive 500K Per Year

On the hotel side, Marriott Bonvoy is one of the most popular and easily accessible hotel loyalty programs for Canadians.

With Marriott, there’s even more of an incentive to consolidate points into one account, because the perks and qualifying nights associated with your Marriott Bonvoy status generally aren’t extended when the booking isn’t coming out of your account.

For example, consider a couple who both earn Bonvoy points through the Amex Bonvoy personal and business credit cards. The couple elects to make most of their bookings under one person’s account, thus earning valuable Platinum Elite status on this account and enjoying nifty benefits like suite upgrades and free breakfasts.

But if the couple were to redeem points for a stay out of the other person’s account (which has no status), then they wouldn’t enjoy any of the Platinum Elite benefits, and the qualifying nights earned on the stay also wouldn’t go towards re-qualifying for Platinum next year.

It’s therefore hugely advantageous for multi-player strategies to pool their Bonvoy points into a single account, to the extent that’s possible.

Marriott Bonvoy allows you to transfer points between accounts in an official capacity. Each account is allowed to send up to 100,000 Bonvoy points per calendar year to other accounts, and is allowed to receive up to 500,000 Bonvoy points per calendar year from other accounts.

You need to call up Marriott Bonvoy over the phone, and they’ll ask you to verify the information on both the sending and receiving accounts before initiating the transfers.

If you need to transfer out more than 100,000 Bonvoy points per calendar year, then you might try experimenting with collecting points in multiple accounts for a certain individual and then transferring up to 100,000 points from each account on different occasions.

For example, in theory, it’s possible for your spouse to collect Bonvoy points with one membership number on their Amex Bonvoy Card, while transferring their Amex MR points to different Bonvoy membership number, and then sending points from both accounts over to your own. 

However, keep in mind that having multiple accounts for one individual goes against the terms and conditions of the program, so this practice definitely falls into a bit of a grey area. It might be worthwhile to simply save the excess points to be transferred in the next calendar year instead.

Hilton Honors: Send 500K / Receive 2MM Per Year

Hilton Honors offers a very generous policy for sharing points among a group of travellers. You can add up to 10 other members to your pool and freely transfer Hilton Honors points in increments of 1,000, up to a maximum of 500,000 points sent and 2,000,000 points received per calendar year.

If you and your partner are signing up for the Amex US Hilton credit cards in two-player mode, then pooling your points will allow you to redeem for a single booking out of one account.

This would let you more easily take advantage of the Fifth Night Free benefit, while also being able to book out of the account of the member with the higher status level.

Another way to take advantage of Hilton Honors’s points pooling feature is when Hilton offers 100% promotions to buy points, which allow you to acquire Hilton Honors points for an effective rate of 0.5 US cents per point. These promotions come around pretty regularly, and can be a good way to score an aspirational stay at a fraction of the usual price.

There’s typically a limit on how many points can be bought out of a single account, so that’s where points pooling comes into play, allowing you to skirt around those maximum limits by buying points out of another household member’s account and then pooling it all together.

World of Hyatt: Share Points for a Reward Night

World of Hyatt allows members to transfer an unlimited amount of points between accounts at no cost. 

Officially, it’s only possible to share points between World of Hyatt accounts under two conditions:

  • Points may be transferred to any World of Hyatt member “in order to have a sufficient number of points to redeem a particular reward”.
  • Points may only be sent or received once every 30 days.

The first point would suggest that you must have a specific purpose for the points transfer.

In practice, however, there typically aren’t any checks for the purpose of the transfer, essentially meaning that World of Hyatt members can transfer as many points as they wish amongst each other for free.

The second point simply states that you can transfer or receive points once every 30 days. With no limit on the number or points, and no barriers as to whom you can transfer points to, World of Hyatt’s points sharing offering is indeed quite strong.

To set up a points transfer, the sender and the recipient need to to fill out and sign a Points Combining Request form, and then email it to Hyatt. Transfer times may vary, although most data points suggest a turnaround time of between two and five days.

Note that the information on the form must exactly match the information on the accounts. Electronic signatures are fine, too, so you won’t need to worry about getting ink on paper.

Points sharing with World of Hyatt can be particularly beneficial if one member of your family is looking to obtain or renew Globalist status.

Furthermore, bookings made from Globalist accounts are eligible for the “Guest of Honor” program, whereby elite benefits are given even when the status holder isn’t travelling. It is therefore advantageous to transfer points to the Globalist member’s account for additional free perks.

Similar to Hilton, sharing Hyatt points can be a useful way to get around the annual limit on buying Hyatt points with a bonus or discount.

Each member is limited to buying 55,000 Hyatt points per year, which may not be enough if you’re targeting an aspirational high-value stay like Calala Island Nicaragua or Alila Ventana Big Sur.

By sharing points with another household member, you’re able to circumvent the limit (as long as the account has been open for at least 90 days and is eligible to buy points).

Points Pooling Features with Other Loyalty Programs

Besides the above major programs, a few other loyalty programs also offer the ability to pool points together as a household:

  • Best Western Rewards is quite generous in terms of pooling points, allowing you to transfer your Best Western Rewards points in unlimited quantities to other accounts that share the same physical address.

  • Emirates Skywards offers a family sharing program in which each family member chooses to share up to 100% of their points with the family account. All points from up to eight accounts get pooled into a single family account, from which reward flights and upgrades may be requested.

  • ANA Mileage Club has a Family Account Service for family members who live outside of Japan, which costs 1,000 miles to set up. Miles are pooled into a single account and can be used for redemptions within the program.

  • EgyptAir has a very interesting Family Miles program for up to five first-degree relatives. All points and tier miles are deposited into the the primary member’s account, making it an easier pathway to Star Alliance Gold status for one family member.

  • PC Optimum’s Household feature allows family members to combine up to 10 accounts. All members of the Household may redeem up to the entire balance of points in the account. 

  • If you happen to enjoy elite status with Alaska Airlines, you will occasionally be able to share miles with other accounts at no cost. Otherwise, transferring between accounts is subject to a fee, so it’s best to earn and redeem separately if you don’t have status.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why those of you who are earning points as a collective effort within the household would find it beneficial to consolidate your earnings in a single household member’s account.

Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue openly allow for this possibility through the Family Sharing, Household Account, and Flying Blue Family features, respectively.

Meanwhile, on the hotel side, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and World of Hyatt are all happy to allow points transfers between members.

Strategically earning and pooling points can be a great way to consolidate multiple accounts into a single one, which can be beneficial both for redeeming points and maintaining and maximizing elite status.

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