Which Loyalty Programs Allow Family Points Pooling?

Apr 28, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

“Reader Questions” are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

Sharing points and miles with others isn’t easy when it comes to airlines, but what about hotels, as TPG reader Efrem asked us in an email…

Are there any hotel point plans that allow a husband and wife to combine their points?

TPG Reader Efrem

This is a timely question since one of the major hotel chains just added family pooling to its points program. When Hilton Honors changed several features of its loyalty system in January — including introducing Points & Money awards and dropping the second “H” from its name — it also announced members would gain the ability to pool points, and that feature became available this week.

But what other programs allow members to pool points? Well, it’s much more common on the hotel side of things than it is with airlines. In fact, Hilton joins Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, Best Western and Club Carlson in allowing some form of points sharing at little to no cost. Some programs such as Best Western require you to have the same physical address as the person you’re pooling points with, while others like Club Carlson allow elite members to transfer points to pretty much anyone at all.

jetBlue airplanes on the tarmac at JFK (John F Kennedy) Airport in New York. (Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)
JetBlue is the only major US airline with family pooling. Photo courtesy of James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images.

So if you’re looking to combine hotel points, you’ve probably got some options. On the other hand, if you want to share frequent flyer miles, the possibilities are much more limited. JetBlue is the only major US airline that allows family pooling for free, although Hawaiian offers the feature to a subset of its customers who have its credit card or check card. If you include international carriers, you’ll have a few more choices — British Airways has household accounts in which seven people in the same household can combine points, as does Etihad for up to nine family members. Asiana, Korean and Qantas have more restricted forms of pooling, and Japan Airlines will register you for the JAL Family Club for a 1,000-mile initiation fee.

As far as American, Delta and United, they’ll be happy to let you share miles with others… for an outrageous price. The amount varies depending on the airline, but in all cases it’s almost certainly not worth the cost. But remember, you can always book a ticket for someone else using your miles — just put their name on the ticket when redeeming the award.

Hope this helps, Efrem, and thanks for the question. If you’re a TPG reader with a question you’d like answered, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or send an email to info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image courtesy of Hero Images via Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.