Combining frequent flyer miles from two airlines to get a free ticket

George Hobica, July 15, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q: How can I combine miles from different airlines who are all partners.  Since the award travel can be on any of the partners, it seems having all the miles accrue in one place would be best.



    A: I don't know of a way to spend 25000 miles, say, on American and another 25,000 from BA, for instance, to get a 50000 mile award; however, many airlines let you earn and burn miles on their partners. If you fly airline A, you can often put any accrued miles in partner airline B's program; and you can use miles earned on airline B for a free ticket on airline A. You just can't take miles earned on airline A and put them in your airline B account to earn a flight on B.

    Many people like the flexibility of the American Express Membership Rewards program, which allows you to transfer mileage points to nearly 20 airline frequent flyer programs, including AirTran, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, Singapore and Southwest. Right now they're offering 25,000 bonus points for your first purchase using the Amex Gold Rewards Card for small business. Your points stay in a pool until you're ready to transfer and spend them on the airline of your choice.
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