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.
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.