There is one thing that truly grinds my gears; having to pay to transfer (give) miles to a friend or family member to book an award flight. We have the miles, they just aren’t in one place; why should we have to pay more to transfer and book with them? The answer to that question is obvious, it’s a cash windfall for airlines. When it comes to using miles, for all the hard work, you want to be able to use them in one glorious swoop. For those of you that fly with Jet Blue, British Airways, Korean, Etihad, Qantas or Japan there is a wonderful way around the nonsense of transfers and fees: a Family (Household) Account. 

a family posing for a photo

Household accounts are free, and intended to offer members of the same family the ability to share and use miles at will, without the fees and transfers. Depending on the airline, you may need to be family or share an address. With a household account you are able to pool all the miles earned by your significant other, children or others residing at the same address, into one account. Yes, if you have young children whom you have to buy seats for, you can collect their frequent flier miles and use them as the “head of household”. 

My wife and I have a family account on British Airways. I was nominated as “head of household”, meaning I have the ability to spend her Avios, yet she doesn’t have that ability with mine. It doesn’t matter who you nominate as “head of household” as long as they are trustworthy, which one would hope your significant other to be. Obviously a household account requires a certain amount of communication, but it can be incredibly advantageous and save tons of money. At the moment, Laura has 140,000 miles and I have 100,000, giving us a combined household balance of 240,000. If I wanted to book two 120,000 mile tickets, we wouldn’t need to pay the annoying transfer fees or book separate tickets. Instead, when I go to purchase two tickets for 240,000 miles, the miles are already pooled together and available for use without fee and bookable on one reservation.

a close-up of a plane

To Get your Family Account Set Up, Click Your Airline: Jet Blue EtihadBritish AirwaysJapan Airlines, Korean Airlines, Qantas Airways. Not only does a family account save you money on future flights, it allows you to begin stealing miles from your children before they even know what you’ve done. 

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Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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