You’ve got half of the points needed for a free flight and your partner has half of the points needed. Don’t you wish you could combine them so that you have enough points to book that free flight?
It may surprise you to find out that you can, in fact, combine your bank rewards points in most programs. However, how you share those points and who you can share them with varies according to which bank you’re with.
Let’s look at how to share your bank rewards points with others and the particular rules each of the major banks has in place.
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How to share American Express Membership Rewards points
You cannot directly share your Membership Rewards points with another person by moving points from your account to someone else’s American Express account.
However, it is possible to transfer your points to someone else’s account with one of Amex’s airline or hotel transfer partners as long as that person is listed as an authorized user or business employee on one of your accounts. Once that person has been a cardholder on your account for at least 90 days, you can send your Membership Rewards points to, say, their British Airways Executive Club or Marriott Bonvoy account.
There is no requirement that this authorized user be a spouse or partner; it can be anyone, family member or not.
How to share Capital One miles
You can share your Capital One miles with any other Capital One customer.
First, call the number on the back of your credit card. Then you’ll provide the name and card number of the person you’re sending miles to as well as how many miles you want to send. (Capital One says this feature should be available online at some point in the future.)
The transferred miles do not expire.
How to share Chase Ultimate Rewards points
There are only two people you can share your Chase Ultimate Rewards points with. The first is with one other person who lives with you. The second is with another one of the owners of your business if you have a Chase small-business credit card.
To share with another cardholder for the first time, call the number on the back of your card and tell the phone representative that you want to share points with another person. The agent will ask for the card number of your household member or fellow business owner and then you will be able to initiate a transfer. After this first transfer, that cardholder’s information should be available online within your account for transfers in the future.
For subsequent transfers, log in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Near the top, click on “Combine Points” and follow the prompts to choose which credit card you want to send points from and which account they will go to. After choosing the number of points to send, you can confirm the transfer.
This avenue allows cardmembers who have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card to transfer those more valuable points to people who don’t have those cards.
How to share Citi ThankYou Rewards points
You can share your ThankYou points with anyone of your choosing who has a ThankYou Rewards account. They don’t need to be an authorized user on your credit card or a relative of any kind.
However, there are some rules you should know about:
You can only share a total of 100,000 ThankYou points in a calendar year.
You can only receive a total of 100,000 ThankYou points in a calendar year.
Shared points are only valid for 90 days from the date they are received.
You can only share points earned through the use of your Citi credit card account. That means you can’t share taxable points, points earned through a Citibank checking account or points that Citi has made unavailable for redemption.
The Citi Rewards+® Card is not eligible for 10% points back with points sharing. (Note: The 10% back benefit is on the first 100,000 points you redeem each year).
The 90-day rule deserves an explanation. Once you share points with someone, those points expire within 90 days. That means whoever you send the points to should have a plan for redeeming them, such as transferring them to an airline partner. If your recipient sends the points to a Citi transfer partner, those points will not expire in 90 days but will be subject to the new expiration rule in your airline or hotel account — whatever that rule may be.
It’s also worth mentioning that your recipient can’t return the points to you to avoid having them expire. You also can’t reshare points that you originally received from someone else.
Now that you know the rules for sharing points, let’s understand how to share the points. Many users run into a problem where they have a separate ThankYou account for each of their credit cards and seemingly can’t combine their points or their accounts online. If this happens, call 1-800-THANKYOU (1-800-842-6596). After your accounts are linked with all of your points in one place, proceed as follows.
From your online account, click on your points balance. (You also can head straight to thankyou.com.) After logging in, click on “More Ways to Redeem” at the top and choose “Points Sharing” from the drop-down menu.
From here, you’ll fill out the information for the recipient of your points, choose how many points to share and then agree to the terms and conditions before confirming your transfer.
On a separate note, Citi has many airline and hotel partners for transferring your own points. However, you are not permitted to transfer your ThankYou points to a loyalty account with a specific airline or hotel program belonging to someone else. The name on the account sending the points and the name on the airline or hotel account receiving the points must be the same.
Being able to share your credit card rewards points with others is advantageous. Maybe someone in your family is close to a flight award they want to book but needs a few more points. Or maybe you aren’t really using those points but your friend would love to have them for an upcoming trip.
Knowing when you can share your points and how to do it opens a great number of possibilities for redeeming your points for maximum value.
Featured photo by Martin Novak/Getty Images.