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Last week, AwardWallet shared an interesting finding on an often overlooked Star Alliance loyalty program: EgyptAir’s Plus program has a unique feature that can provide a great shortcut to Star Alliance Gold status. If you create an EgyptAir Plus Family Miles account, all redeemable and tier miles earned by your family will be credited to the main member’s account.

EgyptAir Plus Status

This program consists of four tiers: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. If you earn Gold or Platinum EgyptAir Plus status, you’ll also have earned Star Alliance Gold status. You need the following Tier (elite-qualifying) miles to earn each status:

Blue — 0
Silver — 30,000
Gold — An additional 30,000 after achieving Silver
Platinum — 1,000,000 lifetime Tier miles

EgyptAir Plus status is valid for 24 months from the qualification date. Once you’ve achieved Gold status, maintaining it is easier than the initial earn requirements; you only have to earn 30,000 Tier miles within 24 months after earning Gold status to maintain it for another two years.

EgyptAir Plus Family Miles

This program is not unique in that fact it lets you pool redeemable miles between a family — Asiana, British Airways, Etihad and JetBlue also let you do this for free — but the fact that Tier miles are also pooled is the key difference with EgyptAir Plus. It’d be great if you could get five office workers together and take their miles over the course of a month, but EgyptAir doesn’t make it that easy.

You can add up to five members with a “first degree family relationship” to an account. You must email a copy of each potential member’s passport to customeraff@egyptair.com and specify their relationship to you. The family member must be at least two years old, and you can modify a family account up to one week prior to a flight.

Each family member will receive his or her own frequent flyer number that needs to be added to any EgyptAir- or partner-operated ticket. Only the main member will have an online log-in and profile where they can view the entire family’s activity. Additionally, only the main member will be able to take advantage of elite benefits, though the regular Star Alliance companion perks (such as 1 free lounge guest) do apply.

Earn EgyptAir Plus Tier Miles

Like with any other Star Alliance carrier, you need to check the earning rates based on the fare class you’ve booked to see how many miles you’ll earn for a flight on a partner airline. If you’re going to fly EgyptAir itself, you can use its own mileage calculator.

Here’s the partner earning chart for crediting United flights to EgyptAir Plus:

For perspective, a family of five flying round-trip from Newark to San Francisco on a discounted economy-class Q fare would earn the main account holder 19,241 EgyptAir Plus Tier miles. If you do find yourself flying from New York to Cairo on EgyptAir’s own metal, you’ll earn Tier miles faster once you attain Silver status, according to its own online calculator.

The last part of the strategy to consider is the fact that you’ll have 60,000 redeemable EgyptAir miles — enough for two round-trip domestic tickets in the US on United. Check the EgyptAir Star Alliance award chart for other possibilities, and note that you have to call EgyptAir to redeem miles for any award tickets.

Bottom Line

Star Alliance Gold is particularly handy to have if you’re a United flyer because it gives you United Club and other Star Alliance airline lounge access when you’re traveling internationally, plus free checked baggage, priority check-in and priority boarding. However, this strategy isn’t for everyone, as you must have family members who travel and are willing to credit flights to EgyptAir rather than United or another Star Alliance carrier.

Would you consider using EgyptAir Plus Family Miles to earn Star Alliance Gold status?

Featured image courtesy of Tatyana Belyakova via Getty Images.

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