How to Transfer Air Miles Into Another Air Miles Account

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Some airlines allow frequent flyers to transfer miles to another account.
Some airlines allow frequent flyers to transfer miles to another account. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Maybe you fly so often for work that you'll never use all of your frequent flyer miles before they expire, or perhaps a family member can't afford to fly to an event and you'd like to donate your miles to them. Transferring frequent flyer miles from one account to another air miles account can usually be done, but at a price. Familiarize yourself with the regulations of your specific air miles program before promising your miles to someone else.

Things You'll Need

  • Airline miles account
  • Phone
  • Computer

Call your airline or check its frequent flyer program website and determine what the rules are regarding transferring air miles, if this is allowed at all. Southwest Airlines for example, does not allow users to transfer air miles from one account to another.

Determine how many miles you need to transfer to the other person's account. This will vary depending on whether you're trying to top off someone's account to earn them a free flight, or you're just transferring miles that you won't use. Your airline may put a restriction on how many miles can be transferred. British Airways, for example, allows members to transfer a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 19,000 miles to another account.

Calculate the cost to transfer miles. Fees vary depending on the airline. According to Smarter Travel, one cent per mile to 1.5 cents per mile is typical, but some airlines charge additional transfer fees on top of the per mile cost. If you're transferring a large number of miles, the cost to transfer may be hundreds of dollars.

Visit your air miles program website or call the airline and conduct the miles transfer. You'll need the miles account number and full name of the person to whom you'll be transferring the miles. You may also need his or her email address.

Contact your friend or family member and have them check their account to ensure that the miles transfer was successful.

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