Quick points: Book award travel faster by pooling your points

Pooling your points and miles can make sense in several scenarios. For one, as previously alluded to, it’s useful if you don’t have many points yourself but have friends or family members who can give you a boost. For instance, 15,000 miles spread across four family members’ accounts isn’t very useful, but when pooled together, could be enough for a free flight.

Another time it can make sense to pool your points is if you’re traveling with someone and they have a higher status than you. For example, if you and a friend are planning a Marriott stay and they have Platinum Elite status while you have no status, you should book the entire stay from their account. This way, you’ll receive elite benefits like free breakfast that you wouldn’t have received if you made the booking from your account.

Lastly, if you are thinking about canceling a credit card, you might forfeit unused points. By transferring your points to another member, you could avoid letting your hard-earned points go to waste.

Of the U.S. airlines, only JetBlue, Frontier and Hawaiian allow some version of award pooling. There are also a number of international carriers that allow pooling, including Air Canada, Air France and KLM (Flying Blue) and British Airways.

For the most up-to-date list of airlines that allow pooling, see this guide.

Pooling your points can help push you over the threshold and subsequently have enough miles for a free trip. From enjoying elite benefits to saving points that would have otherwise been forfeited, it’s worth your while to familiarize yourself with the policies related to pooling your points.