Originally Posted by Jamesj
Question: If I travel with wife and 4 children and pay for all their airfares on my credit card, can I get frequent flyer miles for all tickets credited to my single frequent flyer account? Or does each person in a family have to accumulate their own miles, even dependents?
Sorry, you can't combine miles between family members. So your spouse and four kids each have to have their own FF numbers.
There are some airlines who occasionally promote ways that one family member can transfer miles to another, but when you read the fine print, they have transfer fees that are prohibitively expensive, such as American's ShareAAMiles
plan. They charge $50 to transfer 1000-5000 miles. At $50/5000 transfered, it would cost you $250 to transfer a whole domestic ticket's worth (25000) of miles. But if you look at the fare sales and book in advance, you can often buy a ticket for about $250 or less. So that's no deal at all, just a moneymaker for the airline.
What you can do is buy all the tickets on a miles-earning card. If you bought all 6 tickets on your Delta Skymiles Amex, for example (or any other mileage-earning card), you'd get the dollar value in points all on your own Delta Skymiles FF account, because that would be the FF account linked to your credit card. However, the miles for actually flying on the trip would accrue to each individual passenger's FF Accounts.
So let's assume six $250 tickets to fly a 2000 mile each way trip. You'd earn 1500 miles for the $1500 spent for the tickets, plus 4000 miles for actually flying the trip. Then if you rented a car and stayed at a hotel that gave miles in the same programs, you'd probably get 500-1000 miles total from that, plus about $1000 for the cost of the rental and hotels and misc. that you spent using that same mileage-earning credit card.
That trip would earn you about 6500 miles, or slightly over 1/4 of another free trip. Meanwhile your wife and each of your kids would have earned about 4000 miles in their own accounts.
Could be more, because sometimes the airline-linked credit cards give you double miles for purchases of travel on that same airline. For example, the Delta Skymiles Amex gives you two miles for every dollar spent on Delta tickets. One mile per dollar on everything else (Actually the Amex miles-earning cards give double miles or Membership Rewards Points for purchases at the Postal Service, at home improvement stores, on wireless phone service, and on groceries and drugstores, so you can really work some good earnings with them on routine household expenses as well.)
Now if you don't already have that mileage-earning card, you can probably get 10,000 to 15,000 mile bonus just by applying for the card, getting approved and using it. So if you were planning a ski trip next winter, figure out the airline you'd fly, apply for their card, get the big bonus, buy the tickets on that card, do the other incidental purchases to earn a few more miles, and stay/rent from their partners on the actual trip. You'd almost certainly earn one free trip as soon as you took that trip.