On the Ask Drew Q&A page, Carl C asks:
Can you apply for airline cards for husband and wife to post to the same frequent flyer number to pool them instead of being spread across two accounts? (i.e. citi exec or citi plat cards for husband and wife but give same ff#)
Can you apply for airline cards for husband and wife to post to the same frequent flyer number? So why would someone want to earn miles from two people into one account?
For example, let’s say that a couple hops on a cheap fare to Europe and they each collect 15,000 miles into some program like AA or United. 15,000 miles each is nice, but if both were combined into one account they would have 30,000 in one account, and it would be enough miles for a oneway to Europe.
The problem is that with airline frequent flyer miles only the person flying gets to earn the miles. In this case, your only hope is the few airline programs that have family accounts.
Combining points balances
Most notably MommyPoints says that the following programs allow you to combine your frequent flyer accounts:
- Club Carlson
- British Airways
There are other less popular programs as well, but know that some of these have specific terms and conditions for transfers. Like having the same address, and SPG needs you to have the same address for at least 30 days.
With these specific miles earning programs, you can combine points with your spouse once the miles are in your account.
With the actual credit cards, your rewards number should match the name on the credit card. Some rewards programs might not notice or care, but officially it’s the card holder’s rewards program.
But what may be helpful is earning a currency that allows you to transfer to another program and allows you to transfer to a spouse’s account. Most bank points and transferable points currencies allow you to transfer to your spouse’s frequent flyer account.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Lots of earning opportunities and very valuable points, so I really recommend Chase points (as long as United doesn’t change their program). Although word of caution: they don’t allow (and actually crack down on) transferring to someone other than your spouse. So have the same address on file and all that.
It appears that with Chase’s new system you can add your spouse to your account. Now you need to add both yourself and your spouse in order to transfer.
American Express Membership Rewards points
American Express doesn’t technically allow you to transfer to a spouse, but it does allow you to transfer to an “authorized user” of the card… which is easy to do. Just add your spouse as an authorized user and then transfer to their accounts.
Citi ThankYou points
These allow you to transfer to another person’s Citi ThankYou account, but MommyPoints says they expire after 90 days of transfer, so make sure you transfer when you need to use them.
If your balances are low and you need to combine points, the best bet is to stick to transferable programs like Chase, Citi, Amex, and SPG. Two people earning in these programs can earn a lot of points quickly and put them into one frequent flyer account.
With big balances it’s not a big deal, but if you only have enough miles in each account for one person, I agree it’s easier to book awards for two people with one account.
But even if you don’t have points with one of the transferable bank points to top off a balance or combine with a partner’s, you can still use a few family programs, like British Airways.
Having a few miles split between multiple accounts can be inconvenient. For instance there are those awkward times where you have United miles and Air Canada miles each to book the same flights for two different people. I did this recently where I put the United flight on hold, booked the other then went back and booked the United flight. But hopefully this post can help you avoid some of those moments.