For those of you earning points in two-player mode or perhaps with even more participants, there are many occasions when it might be helpful to consolidate all your collective holdings in a loyalty program into one individual’s account.
You might 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? In this article, let’s answer these questions and maybe pick up a few tricks along the way.
In This Post
- Aeroplan: Family Sharing
- British Airways Avios: Household Accounts
- Marriott Bonvoy: Send 100K / Receive 500K Per Year
- Hilton Honors: Send 500K / Receive 2MM Per Year
- Other Programs
Aeroplan: Family Sharing
As of November 2020, the relaunched Aeroplan program 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 is no 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!)
The most interesting part of Family Sharing is how it works on the redemption side.
Whenever 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.
There are a few rules around joining and leaving a Family Sharing pool:
- Once a member joins a Family Sharing pool, they must remain in that pool for at least three months.
- If a member of a Family Sharing pool chooses to exit the group after that three-month period, they are not allowed to join another Family Sharing pool for a period of six months.
In the past, consolidating points between multiple Aeroplan users’ accounts was somewhat tricky, and involved perhaps adding your own Aeroplan number to your spouse’s Aeroplan credit card, or transferring your spouse’s Amex MR points to your own Aeroplan account, or something like that.
Now, with Family Sharing, there’s no need for any of those shenanigans: simply earn points collectively as a family, and you can draw from the pool when it’s time to redeem flights for any member of the family!
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 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. With such an easy way to combine your Avios at your fingertips, you don’t really need to worry about whether or not, say, Amex MR to Avios transfers require the name to match or not.
Simply transfer everyone’s MR points (or RBC Avion points or HSBC Rewards points, for that matter) into their respective Avios accounts, and your points can then be automatically pooled together through the Household Account feature.
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 elite 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.
Now, Marriott Bonvoy itself does allow 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.