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Earlier this week, TPG reader (and responsible parent) JB tweeted me to ask:
“@thepointsguy Brian, is there a minimum age limit for setting up a frequent flyer account? For instance, can my six-year-old start accumulating miles?”
A person can start accruing miles as soon as they’re old enough to fly with a ticket purchased in their name – and that includes an infant. If a baby can take a flight, they can accrue miles and points. And happily, many airlines – such as JetBlue and British Airways – make it especially easy for families to set up household mileage-accrual accounts that include their children.
JetBlue just launched their Family Pooling Program last October, which allows up to 2 adults and 5 children to essentially share a single account. The main account holder decides how many points to contribute to the account up front (for free), and thereafter each member can decide – on an ongoing basis per transaction – what percentage they want to contribute to the Family Pool. Note, however, that any Point transfers you make after accepting the Family Pooling invitation will be subject to the applicable transfer fees and rules.
British Airways’ Executive Club Household Accounts allows you to automatically pool the Avios miles of up to 7 family members using the same address, then proportionately takes points out for redemptions based on each member’s percentage of the total pool. For more for info on this program, check out my post called Maximizing British Airways Avios Series: Household Accounts.
Here are several other frequent flyer programs that allow you to pool family-member miles:
ANA Mileage Club. The Japanese carrier has a Family Account Service option that allows families to combine their points. Additionally, ANA is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.
Emirates Skywards. The Dubai-based carrier’s Family Bonus Program (see clause heading #16) allows you to nominate up to 8 family members and receive 20% of the miles they fly. Note that a Family Bonus member must be over two years old. Emirates is also an Amex transfer partner.
Etihad. The Etihad Guest Programme allows family members to pool miles in one account. Families nominate a Family Head and up to eight Family Guests. Have a look at this post for the other basics of the Etihad Guest Programme.
Hawaiian Airlines. The Hawaiian Miles program offers the Share Miles feature, but only to holders of their credit or check cards.
Japan Airlines. The JAL Family Club allows members to share miles between relatives at different households. There is a $30 fee per family that is charge to the account of the designated “Primary Member”.
Korean Air. Immediate family members can combine SkyPass miles to issue awards.
Qantas. Travelers can combine miles between eligible members of their extended family once every 12 months with a maximum of 100,000 miles per transfer.
And in summation, the answer to your initial question is a resounding “yes” – set up a mileage account for your child, regardless of how young they are. If you start kids off early enough, by the time they’re in high school (or maybe even kindergarten), they might just be able to redeem for their own international business-class awards!
While we’re on the topic of household accounts, be sure to check out my post on Tips for Using Frequent Flyer Miles for Family Travel – it’s full of helpful info.