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“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.
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 email@example.com.
Featured image courtesy of Hero Images via Getty Images.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees