One of the things that is so fascinating about the frequent flyer space is that there are always tools popping up which fill a small but useful niche.
I often get emails from Head for Points readers asking about the best place to credit a particular flight when they do not want to open an account with that airline directly.
In theory it should be simple – just pick an airline in the same alliance (SkyTeam, Star Alliance, oneworld, what remains of Etihad Airways Partners) where you do have an account.
In reality, it isn’t that simple:
Most airlines have additional partnerships with airlines on top of their main alliance partners
Not all alliance partners treat other members equally. Airline A may only give 100% of miles flown for a business class ticket on airline Z whilst Airline B may give 200%.
In the worse case scenarios, some airlines will give no credit at all for certain heavily discounted partner tickets – in which case you might as well credit elsewhere. This is often an issue with heavily discount Lufthansa business class tickets, for example, which are issued in ‘P’ class and often earn nothing with partners.
There is a website which can guide you around all this – wheretocredit.com.
In terms of ease of use it couldn’t be simpler. Tell it which airline you are flying and, if known, the exact ticketing class (this should be on your eticket) and it will show you where you will get the best return for the flight.
One thing to remember, of course, is that miles have no value if you can’t use them. You might earn almost double the number of miles crediting an ‘L’ class Malaysia Airlines flight to American Airlines instead of British Airways, but if you never spend those AA miles then you have wasted the lot. Bear that in mind before you pick an obscure partner.