Back in May, SAS EuroBonus, the loyalty scheme for the Scandinavian airline, launched their equivalent of a British Airways Household Account.
Because BA and Avios have had family accounts for a long time, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are very common in the frequent flyer industry. In fact, they are surprisingly rare.
The new SAS EuroBonus scheme therefore struck me as something that could help a lot of people. Many Head for Points readers may not have an active account with one of the 27 airlines in Star Alliance but you may end up flying one very occasionally. You are likely to end up with a small number of points which are effectively useless.
If you were travelling as a family and set up a EuroBonus family account, your miles may not be useless. With the miles of a family of four people added together, you might have enough for a redemption for one person on any Star Alliance airline.
The key differences with British Airways household accounts are:
You CANNOT pool miles earned before you joined the family account. It only applies to future miles earning.
Miles are transferred from family account members to the head of the household account. They cannot be reinstated.
If a member leaves the family account, they do not get back the miles which have been transferred to the head of the account.
It is worth remembering that SAS EuroBonus is also an American Express Membership Rewards partner. This means that you can top up your household account using Amex points to get to the level you need for a redemption.
There are two obvious concerns that I have about this structure though:
Check the earnings ratio of the airline you will fly before crediting it to EuroBonus. Air Canada business class flights earn 150% of miles flown in its own Aeroplan scheme but only – unless they are full fare – 100% in EuroBonus. There are many examples like this.
Understand the EuroBonus redemption chart. It is certainly not the most generous redemption chart out there.
Between the two points above, you might find that – even combining the miles of your entire family – you don’t have enough to fly far. You can redeem SAS EuroBonus miles for £10 or £25 iTunes gift cards which may be one way of cashing out.