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Most airline or hotel frequent flier programs do NOT allow you to combine your mileage balances between people, though there are a few exceptions (one notable exception is with Chase Ultimate Rewards, which allows you to transfer points as long as the other person is an authorized user on your card). For instance, when I ran a giveaway for 10,000 Hilton HHonors points, I had to pay $40 to transfer those points to the eventual winner, which I did because I love you guys 🙂
The British Airways household account
One very nice feature that British Airways has is the British Airways household account. A British Airways household account allows you to combine Avios points between members of the household
Another thing this lets you do is let kids earn Avios on paid flights, since as far as I was able to read, if you’re under 18 you technically can’t have an Executive Club account.
You can set up a BA household account here, you’ll first set up someone as the “Head of Household”. This person gets all the communication from British Airways and is the only person that can add or remove people from the household. You’ll only be able to change the members of the British Airways household account every six months (this I assume is to prevent people from booking Avios flights for strangers for payment). You can have up to 7 people that live at the same address as part of your British Airways Executive Club household account, and can add an additional 5 people as “Family and Friends”. You can REDEEM Avios for people on your Family and Friends list, but their Avios are not pooled together in the BA Executive Club household account.
Earning miles with the BA household account
With the British Airways household account, you continue to earn miles individually – the Avios that you earn are NOT pooled within all of the members of the British Airways family account.
And don’t forget – through June 30, 2016, you can earn 250 Avios for pre-registering for the Aer Lingus AerClub program. Those miles won’t transfer to British Airways or Iberia YET, but it’s likely that they will at some point.
Redeeming miles with the British Airways household account
When you REDEEM Avios with a BA household account, the Avios are taken pro-rata from the balances of the members of the household account. So if Person A has 100,000 Avios and Person B has 50,000 Avios, and a flight for 12,000 Avios is redeemed (by the Head of Household), then 8,000 Avios are taken from Person A and 4,000 Avios are taken from Person B.
Avios.com (which is related to British Airways Executive Club but NOT the same thing) also has the concept of a “family account”, which is treated somewhat separately.
Readers, any tips or tricks on how to maximize the British Airways household account?