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Consolidating miles across programs
I used to travel a lot for business but I travel far less now. If I include the FF accounts my wife and two college-age kids (who don’t travel much) we have around 300,000 miles or hotel points, but they are scattered across 15 programs, with United and Delta making up about 100,000 miles each.
Are there good ways to translate Virgin Atlantic miles, Choice Hotel points, IHG, National car rental points etc. into a single airline loyalty program without paying exorbitant mile-transfer “commissions” or other fees?
What about transferring United miles to Delta or vice versa, “laundering” the miles through Hilton, Marriott or some other common partner?
Not a lot of good options here. Most programs do not allow you to pool household accounts (BA is a notable exception) .
Marriott & SPG points can be transferred to each other (1 SPG = 3 Marriott) and Alaska & Virgin America (1:1) because those groups are in the midst of mergers. Other than that, as far as I’m aware, you can only transfer points between airlines that share currencies, like BA & Iberia both using Avios.
As for transferring hotel points to airlines, it can be done though not always at a great ratio. Check out this old post ([URL]http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/06/24/transfer-partner-master-list/[/URL]) from Frequent Miler and click on the link to the up-to-date spreadsheet. Click on the Convert Hotel Points to Airlines tab to see how the points transfer. They *may* also require that the points go to the frequent flyer account in the same person’s name.
Just a minor amendment Virgin America currently transfers to Alaska at a 1:1.3 ratio.