Because airlines don't want to lose customers, they typically don't allow frequent flyers to transfer airline miles to another airline. Several third-party options exist, however. These let you filter miles between certain airline frequent flyer programs. Once transferred to the new airline, you can use the miles for reward travel, merchandise and gift cards.
WebFlyer does not actually transfer the miles for you. Instead, it shows what paths to take to transfer from one frequent flyer account to another. Using the mileage converter, choose the frequent flyer program you want to move from and the program you want to move into. As of 2015, WebFlyer shows conversions for most major airlines, including Delta, American Airlines, U.S. Airways and United. The WebFlyer converter shows you the options for transferring, the conversion rates for transferring and the terms and conditions related to the transfer.
If you are a Diners Club Rewards member, you can transfer points between airlines by first transferring the miles into your Diners Club Rewards account. Participating airlines include:
- Air Canada
- British Airways
For example, if you wanted to move 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles to your Delta SkyMiles account, you could move the 10,000 miles to a Diners Club Rewards accounts at a 2:1 ratio, leaving you with 5,000 miles. You then move the 5,000 miles from the Diners Club account to the Delta SkyMiles account.
Airlines that qualify to transfer miles to Hilton Honors points include:
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Olympic Air
- Virgin Atlantic
The entire list of participating airlines is on the Hilton Honors website. You can then transfer Hilton Honors points to airlines like American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Frontier, United and U.S. Airways. The exchange rate of miles to points varies depending on the airline. To transfer points, log into your Hilton Honors account and click on the "Exchange" tab, and enter how many points you want to transfer and to what program.
Transferring miles through third-party websites typically reduces your total amount of miles available because of the transfer ratios.
Several of the large airlines have alliance or partners. You typically cannot transfer to a partner airline, but you may be able to redeem the miles for reward travel. For example, if you have miles with United, you cannot transfer them to United's Star Alliance partners, but you can use the miles to book award travel on partnering airlines. United partners include Lufthansa, Air Canada, Air China and Singapore Airlines.