Joining forces with friends and family can be a great way to maximise points redemption for travel. Pooling points together allows you to redeem for longer routes or better seats. Each of the frequent flyer programs handles family points travel differently, so here is a quick overview of four of the largest frequent flyer programs in Australia.
Qantas Frequent Flyer is the largest frequent flyer program in Australia so it’s likely you and your family members are members. Unlike other frequent flyer programs that allow pooling, Qantas doesn’t. However, what it does offer are unlimited family transfers. Each transfer must be at least 5,000 points and it is capped at 600,000 points per 12-month period.
This does allow families to consolidate points if at least one family member has more than 5,000 points. Here’s a quick example: a husband has 10,000 points while his wife has 4,000 and their daughter has 3,000. If the husband transfers 5,000 points to his wife, she can transfer 9,000 points to their daughter and the daughter in turn can transfer 12,000 points to her father so he ends up with 17,000 points.
Virgin Australia offers a unique Family Pooling option where families can link accounts and designate a head of household to combine points, status credits, and even credit card signup bonuses. This is often the fastest way for someone to earn status, so they can then potentially bring family members into lounges on shared trips.
A family pool can consist of up to 2 adults over 18 years old and up to 4 children under 18 years old. Once a child turns 18, they are automatically removed from the Family Pooling.
For families that do not wish to use Family Pooling, family transfers are still an option. You can make up to four transfers a year that are at least 5,000 points and no more than 100,000 points. These transfers are free if done online.
Skywards also offers a family pooling option, although it is a little more limited than Velocity’s. Up to eight immediate family members can sign up to pool all or a percentage of their points earned into a central “My Family” account. However, this only pertains to points earned after registering. It does not include Tier Miles (Skywards’ status credits) or miles earned through credit cards.
Etihad Guest’s family pooling allows up to eight members of a family to pool points that accrue into the Family Head’s account although miles can be used by any family member. For each member that joins the family account, you can earn 500 bonus miles once that member takes a flight on Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, or Air Seychelles.
If you have multiple frequent flyer programs and struggle to keep them straight, consider Points Bank. Our free online tool allows you to sync and manage all of your frequent flyer and loyalty programs in one place. When you want to buy frequent flyer points or you’re ready to redeem, our experience travel agents can help you maximise your redemption.