If you fly just once or twice a year, it can take a long time to accumulate enough frequent flyer miles on an airline to earn a free ticket by yourself. However, if several people could pool their mileage together, the balance could be enough to redeem toward a free ticket or two every year.
The problem was you had to be a part of a family to pool miles on airlines such as JetBlue. Not anymore. JetBlue is part of a trend of opening up mileage pooling to whomever you’d like to share miles with, with its upcoming Points Pooling feature for its TrueBlue frequent flyer members.
What you need to know
Who can be in the pool: Your pool can have two to seven members of all ages. They don’t have to all live at the same address or be related to one another.
Who controls the miles: A pool leader — formerly called the head of household — who is at least 21 years old will control the mileage redemption. This person can authorize other members of the pool to redeem miles from the shared account balance.
Who can exit of pool: You can decide at any time to leave the pool with your unused miles.
Potential issues: This sharing option would let other people spend your miles. So you’ll want to make sure you fully trust the people in your pool, and have some sort of exchange rate for when one person decides to use pooled miles. It could be anything from paying for dinner to a set dollar amount per mile to paying for the hotel room on a trip.
Who else offers non-family mileage pooling: Frontier Airlines allows its frequent flyer club members to share their miles with other members who aren’t family.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2018, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
JetBlue raises fees for checked luggage and flight changes
How to get started with frequent flyer programs
Don’t let hidden hotel fees spoil your stay