British Airways Improves “Household Accounts”: Redeem Pooled Miles for Anyone You Wish

British Airways offers “household accounts” that allow you to pool miles from multiple frequent flyer accounts to redeem a single award.

You can pool points with six people who live at the same address. That increases the usefulness of signing up family members who are just taking a single trip, since their miles aren’t stranded — you can burn them. And it increases the usefulness of credit card signup bonuses, even, each family member can sign up for the card and you can take the miles from their account towards your own accounts (pretty selfish of you, right?).

The downside to creating a household account has been that you could only redeem for members of the household. You’ve given up the ability to redeem award tickets for people that aren’t linked in the household account — no other family (who don’t live with you) or friends.

That restriction has changed. You can now create a household account and also have “a list of family and friends, so you can spend your Household Avios on more people who are important to you, and who don’t live at the same address as you.”

You can put up to 5 people on this friends and family list. Once you add someone they have to stay on for six months before you can take them off (to create room for someone else).

This is a big improvement to the household account program.

(HT: Head for Points)


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Translation – if you have an excess of avios, you can go on FT and auction them off to 5 people every 6 months. Nice work BA.

  2. Cancelled my household account (family of 6) a month ago because i couldn’t book other family members to come visit us. I was able to create a new household account today. No 6 month wait.

  3. Gary,

    Do you know if this change also removes the restriction of not allowing BA mile transfers from household accounts into Iberia accounts? (to avoid fuel surcharges)

  4. Exactly my issue Bo! I cancelled my family account so that at some point I could transfer to Iberia if needed.

    Another BA question: Is a companion certificate in a household account good for anyone in the household to use? Example: If my wife earns the certificate with her Chase BA card, can I use it with a third party?

  5. On household accounts, which elite restrictions/fee waivers apply? If one member is gold — is it a “gold” account with free award changes/redeposits for all awards from that account?

  6. @Charles, the T&C for companion certificate states the person who has earned the companion certificate needs to be travelling and the companion can be anyone, not in the same household, I believe.

  7. I never worried about this… just signed up other friends/family members with my address and added them. Has never been a problem for them when traveling or at the airport.

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