With miles earned by flying coming in at a lower rate than ever (unless you are paying a lot for your travels), it may not seem like you are getting that many miles toward future awards anymore. Fortunately, there is one way you can combine Star Alliance miles earned by your family and friends into one account which should help you reach your mileage goals quicker!
How To Combine Star Alliance Miles Earned By Your Family & Friends In One Account
With the amount of miles you can earn in US programs rapidly diminishing as the earn is based on spending, many people are discouraged that their flying is not adding up miles in their account the way it used to. Such a situation is perfect for airline frequent flyer programs that allow you to combine miles earned in a single account. This is what Aegean’s Miles+Bonus program lets you do with their Together Account. The only catch is that the one who sets up the account must have Aegean Silver or Gold status (will detail that below).
Crediting To Aegean Airlines
Crediting miles to a foreign program is a great way to increase the amount of miles earned because they credit based on the distance and fare class, not by the amount paid. In the case of crediting to Aegean, lower fare classes on United will only earn 50% of the miles flown but that will almost always still be more than United will give you if you do not have elite status with them. Based on that alone, it could make more sense to credit Star Alliance flights to Aegean.
But, it gets better. Now that SPG has partnered with Aegean and has added them as a transfer partner, it is possible to bulk up your Aegean account without having to even fly. SPG Starpoints transfer to Aegean at a rate of 1:1 and for every 20,000 points you transfer, you will receive a 5,000 mile bonus. So, Aegean is finally a viable airline award program to use!
Not all of the flights you credit to Aegean will earn 100% award miles (and some fare classes will not earn any) but it is easy to check using the Aegean earning chart and comparing it to the fare class you have purchased. Once you do that, you will know what you can expect to earn on the miles you fly. To see how many miles that is, I use gcmap.com to get my distances.
So, how do you get started with this? Here is a step-by-step guide.
Elite Status – The Key To Unlock The Miles
First things first! Aegean only allows Silver or Gold members to setup Together Accounts so you will need to have that status to combine the miles from other people’s accounts. The good news is that you can combine at any time so go ahead and setup Aegean accounts for your entire family (and maybe your friends as well) so that they will earn miles in those accounts until you earn the status.
To earn Silver status, you will need to credit 12,000 miles (remembering that not every fare class is 100% – figure 24,000 miles of flights on United to be safe) to Aegean and fly Aegean or Olympic twice in a calendar year. Or, you can forget all about flying Aegean and just credit 24,000 miles to your Aegean account. These miles have to be miles earned by one person so keep track of that. Once you earn Silver status, you can setup a Together Account and start pooling miles from anyone that is willing to let you have them!
Earning the Miles
Here are the airlines that will credit to Aegean at 100% (at least) on all mile-earning fare classes (see this chart for detailed information on every fare class by airline):
- Croatia Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
The minimum amount earned on United on mileage-earning fare classes is 50% so that is a good baseline to know what you can expect from them. To be clear, you will earn miles on every Star Alliance carrier but some credit to Aegean at 100% while others credit less on the discounted economy tickets – some all the way down to 25% of the miles flown.
Miles+Bonus Sign-Up & Bonus
When a person joins Aegean’s Miles+Bonus program, they are rewarded for joining by being given 1,000 award miles. All you need to do to get these miles is to sign-up for a new account and you will instantly get 1,000 award miles in that account. For the next step, you will need the member number from the newly created account and you are ready to move on! application link
Invite New Member Into Together Account
After the step above, everyone you create (or help create) an account for will have 1,000 miles in it. As they start flying and crediting to this new account, the mileage amounts will grow – in their account.
Once you (or someone else in your circle of family/friends) achieves Silver status, you can move on to the next step of setting up a Together Account from your elite account.
To setup your Together account, login to your Miles + Bonus account – here.
Once you activate the Together account, you can send a Together invitation to any members you like. They will need their own Miles + Bonus number first since you will use that to invite them. Once they accept, they are instantly put into the Together account. Both parties receive e-mail notifications throughout the process.
Add & Subtract Members
You can manage the account and remove members whenever you need to. That means that you could add everyone on a particular trip with you into your Together account for that one trip and then remove them once you are done. It could help make mileage accrual on a whole a lot easier. It is a good thing because you can still book business class award tickets to Europe from the US for only 90,000 miles roundtrip.
Here are some things to know about this process:
- You can only have 5 members in your Together account (besides the elite member) at a time
- You can only remove a member after 6 months of being on the Together account. This means you could have 10 members in a single year by rotating.
- When you remove a member, the award miles from their account stay in the Together account.
- The members in the Together account will continue to earn elite miles on their own but any new award miles they earn will combine in the Together account
This is an incredibly easy way to make single account grow from the flight activitiy of your family and friends. If your family takes a paid trip to Europe, you will likely earn something like 4,000 or more miles per person. By itself, that is nothing. If there are 4 people in your family, that totals 16,000 miles in your combined account! That is starting to get you somewhere!
On the flip side, if you the mileage-earning part of the cost of that ticket was $500, you would only earn 2,500 United miles that would have to stay in each individual’s account. Definitely better off using Aegean for these situations.
Even with the elite requirement, it is still not too hard. There are still many Aegean elites around and you could likely work something out with them if you combine your family’s miles into their account. Or, just keep accruing miles and wait until you earn Silver yourself. Believe me, if you have 40,000 miles across 6 accounts, doing a mileage run to get you over the hump to Silver would be worth it to bring all of those miles into one account!
Thanks to Aegean’s Together Account, I have been able to really bulk up my Aegean account. Even on our family’s trip from the US last year I was able to earn 24,000 miles (and this on sub-$400 tickets) in my Aegean account! Not bad!