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Quick points: Save miles on infant and child award tickets with these 3 programs

May 13, 2022
5 min read
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Traveling with little ones can be costly. Saving enough miles for one or two award seats can be difficult enough — but when you have a family, you suddenly need miles for three, four, five or more seats.

Most airlines allow you to bring a lap infant under the age of 2 on board free of charge when flying within the United States. However, when traveling internationally, airlines typically generally charge 10% of the adult price for that privilege. Fortunately, some frequent flyer programs have more family-friendly policies than others.

Today we'll take a quick look at some of the best airline programs for planning award travel with infants and children.

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Best programs for lap infants

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Aeroplan offers by far one of the most generous lap infant policies.

Aeroplan requires just $25 CAD or 2,500 miles for a lap infant to fly with you, even on long-haul premium cabin flights. You can also book your lap infant right on Air Canada's website with a paying adult, so you won't have to call.

You can transfer points to Aeroplan from American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt and Marriott Bonvoy.

Related: How Aeroplan’s Family Sharing prevents ‘gaming’ while letting you rack up rewards faster

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Another good option for lap infant awards is Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Lap infants on Flying Club award bookings are charged the following rates:

  • Economy: 1,000 miles per sector, plus taxes/fees.
  • Premium Economy: 2,000 miles per sector, plus taxes/fees.
  • Upper Class: 5,000 miles per sector, plus taxes/fees.
(Photo by Nicholas Ellis/The Points Guy)

You can transfer miles to Flying Club from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Bilt and Marriott Bonvoy.

Related: Save money on lap infants by booking awards through Virgin Atlantic

Honorable mentions

Asiana Club, British Airways Executive Club and Korean Air SkyPass charge 10% of the adult award price plus taxes/fees for lap infants. Depending on the cost of your award ticket, these can be solid booking options as well.

Related: Avoid spending hundreds of dollars to fly holding your baby: tips for lap infant award travel

Best programs for kids

Most airlines do not offer discounts for children's award tickets. After all, if a seat is occupied by a child, it can't be sold to a full-fare adult.

There's one notable exception, however.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Flying Blue recently launched its Flying Blue Family program, which allows families to pool their points and save 25% on all non-promotional award tickets for children ages 2-11 in any cabin.

While 25% might not sound too significant, the savings can add up.

For example, a one-way business class flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on July 11 costs 75,000 Flying Blue miles at the time of writing. The child ticket, however, prices at 56,250 miles. While children will still have the pay the same taxes and fees that the adult pays, the nearly 20,000-mile discount is terrific.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

You can transfer points to Flying Blue from American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One, Citi ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt and Marriott Bonvoy.

Related: How to plan a multigenerational family trip

Bottom line

Traveling with your family can be a special — albeit costly — experience. Some airlines charge more than others for lap infants and child awards, but there are programs like Aeroplan, Flying Club and Air France/KLM Flying Blue that allow you to save.

If you're traveling with infants or children, you should familiarize yourself with an airline's policies to ensure you're getting the best value from your awards while limiting your out-of-pocket expenses. We recommend that you do this before transferring your credit card points, so there are no surprises during the booking process.

To further maximize your family's travels, check out our guide on pooling miles.

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

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases