This post is also available in: FR
What are your options if you need to transfer miles or points to another account (spouse, friend, relative…)? Review of the different possible paths.
It’s not always easy to use your miles when you’re traveling together. Miles and points accounts are predominantly individual accounts. Few loyalty programs offer the option of a “joint/family” account. But there are a few more or less easy ways to make transfers in order to gather points in the same account.
Why transfer points? Pros:
- Be able to complete an account with the few points needed to make a reservation,
- Enjoy benefits such as a free fifth night with Marriott Bonvoy
- Take advantage of the status a family member has acquired with the loyalty program
- Convert points into an airline program at a discounted rate, such as Marriott Bonvoy at 60,000 points
Membership number when applying for a credit card
When applying for a credit card, you may be tempted to enter your spouse’s/friend’s membership number to consolidate points into one account “at source”.
Be aware that while this is technically possible for some programs, others have put up barriers to prevent it. And what is valid today, may not be valid tomorrow. Here are some pointers to the major credit card programs and issuers:
When you sign up for an AIR MILES credit card, issued by American Express or BMO(both offer 14!), you can provide your spouse/friend’s account number. The miles will then go into the same account.
However, if your credit card offers benefits – such as the free companion ticket for some offers BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*), you will not be able to use it twice if you and your spouse sign up for the same card and provide the same AIR MILES account number.
The benefit is attached to the AIR MILES account, not the credit card.
When you sign up for an Aeroplan credit card, issued by American Express, CIBC or TD, such as the AeroplanPlusMD* American ExpressMD Gold Card, you will have the option to provide your Aeroplan membership number.
We strongly advise you to indicate this when you apply, to avoid the card issuer creating a new number for you. But don’t you dare give out another Aeroplan membership number: it usually won’t work, with a few exceptions!
Best Western Rewards
When you sign up for the Best Western Rewards Mastercard credit card, you cannot provide a membership number: MBNA will provide you with a membership number from Best Western Rewards(available at the bottom of your statement).
If you already have a Best Western Rewards membership number, you’ll need to call MBNA shortly after receiving the card to mention it. But don’t bother giving out another Best Western Rewards membership number – it usually won’t work!
And that’s not necessary: Best Western Rewards allows you to transfer points from one account to another for free, as we’ll see below!
When you sign up for the Marriott BonvoyTM American ExpressMD Card or the Marriott BonvoyMD Corporate American ExpressMD Card, you will be given the opportunity to enter your Marriott Bonvoy membership number.
We strongly recommend that you indicate this when you apply, so that American Express does not create a new number for you. But don’t you dare give another Marriott Bonvoy membership number: it won’t work! And it will be difficult to recover your points, lost between American Express and Marriott Bonvoy!
And it’s not really useful: Marriott Bonvoy allows you to transfer 100,000 points per year from one account to another for free, as we’ll see below!
Transferring points between accounts, program by program
Here we will study the transfer of points between accounts of the main loyalty programs:
Transferring Marriott Bonvoy points between accounts
Marriott Bonvoy allows all members of its loyalty program to transfer points to another member, free of charge, up to 100,000 points per year by calling +1 800 228 2100.
It’s convenient for a couple to go hunting for welcome bonuses credit cards linked to the Marriott Bonvoy program ! 100,000 points per year, allows you to combine everything into one account for easier booking and/or higher status on one account than the other!
Transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to other program accounts
Marriott Bonvoy allows you to convert points to miles from airline programs like Aeroplan. But the account name must match the name of the air program.
We therefore advise against converting Marriott Bonvoy points from your account to your spouse’s Aeroplan account, for example.
Best Western Rewards
Transferring Best Western Rewards points between accounts
You can transfer your points from one account to another, free of charge! You have to call Best Western Rewards Customer Service.
The only condition: Best Western Rewards accounts must be at the same address.
To call Best Western from Canada or the United States, the number is 1 (800) 237-8483. All the members of the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia” who had to call customer service to transfer their points had only good comments to make about the quality of the customer service!
Transfer of Best Western Rewards points to other program accounts
Best Western Rewards allows you to convert points to miles from airline programs such as Aeroplan. But the account name must match the name of the air program. We do not recommend that you convert Best Western Rewards points from your account to your spouse’s Aeroplan account, for example.
Transferring Hilton Honors points between accounts
Great benefit of the Hilton Honors program: the ability to pool points with up to 10 other members!
This means that points from 11 Hilton Honors accounts can be combined without any fees!
Transferring Hilton Honors points to other program accounts
Hilton Honors allows you to convert points to miles from airline programs like Aeroplan. But the account name must match the name of the air program. We do not recommend that you convert Hilton Honors points from your account to your spouse’s Aeroplan account, for example.
Transferring Aeroplan Miles between accounts
The loyalty program is like many others: very limited because very expensive. Transferring miles between Aeroplan accounts costs between 1.5 and 2 cents per mile redeemed.
Transferring Aeroplan Miles to other program accounts
Transferring Aeroplan Miles to other programs is almost impossible, except by dealing with platforms like Points.com, but the conversion rate will not be advantageous.
Transferring AIR MILES miles between accounts
Like Aeroplan, AIR MILES charges a very high fee for transferring miles between Collector accounts: $0.15 CAD/mile. To transfer 2,000 miles from one account to another… it would cost $310 CAD + taxes!
We strongly advise against doing so! The only way for you to do this is to provide the membership number you want when you sign up for one of the 14 AIR MILES affiliated credit cards.
This will make the welcome bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES miles from the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card easy to put into your account…or your spouse’s/friend’s.
But remember: what is valid today, may not be valid tomorrow!
Transferring AIR MILES miles to other program accounts
Transferring AIR MILES miles to other programs is not possible.
British Airways Executive Club
Transferring Avios miles between accounts
British Airways Executive Club is one of the only airline frequent flyer programs to offer “Family & Friends Accounts”.
You will be able to group your partner/spouse into your account, but also your children. By creating this account, you will become “The Head of the Family“.
There are three components to know about your British Airways Executive Club Account:
- My family account (7 people)
- My family and friends (5 people)
- My travel companions
This will allow you to transfer RBC Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards points into your own British Airways Executive Club account, and then pass them on to your family members!
That comes in handy when you take advantage of a welcome bonus like the 25,000 American Express® Gold Rewards Card Membership Rewards… which gets you the equivalent of 25,000 Avios miles!
Transferring Avios miles to other program accounts
Transferring Avios miles to other programs is not possible.
American Express Membership Rewards
Transferring Membership Rewards points between accounts
American Express Membership Rewards points cannot be transferred between accounts.
Transferring Membership Rewards points to accounts in other programs
Membership Rewards points cannot normally be transferred to other programs that do not have your name on them… with the known exception of Aeroplan.
Aeroplan has confirmed this ability, allowing you to transfer Membership Rewards points from your account to the Aeroplan account of your choice (relative, friend, spouse).
That comes in handy when you take advantage of a welcome bonus like the 25,000 American Express® Gold Rewards Card Membership Rewards… which gets you the equivalent of 25,000 Aeroplan miles!
Here’s a quick overview of how you can transfer points between accounts. For unlisted banking programs such as BMO Rewards or Scotia Rewards, please note that it is simply not possible to transfer points from one account to another.
This post is also available in: FRCome to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!