Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points – a handy resource for ensuring you maximise your frequent flyer miles

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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 –

which frequent flyer scheme is the best to credit my flight

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.

Comments (9)

  • Oz says:

    Hi. I have several flights booked on Virgin Australia next year. I’ve looked into their loyalty scheme (velocity) and although I could spend their point at IHG it looks like I can’t join from uk. Any suggestions please?

    • John says:

      Join in Australia?

    • Marcw says:

      I don’t want to be rude, but before commenting you should read the article, and do your homework. Wheretocredit is a very handy tool, where you can search by airlines and fare code/class. So go back to your bookings and check the booking code and add it to wheretocredit. There you can see which airlines will get you miles, and importantly, how many miles. But careful, even though TikyTiky Airlines Club gives you 300% of miles, check before whether you will have a use for them. Usually you should credit your flights to a program where you can top-up miles without flying.

      • Lumma says:

        To be fair, you are being rude and haven’t answered his question.

        He’s wants to credit the points tho Virgin Australia’s scheme and transfer the points to IHG, but can’t sign up as he needs to be in Australia and is asking if anyone knows a way around this.

        Probably better off crediting to Virgin Atlantic and transferring to IHG from there. Unless you get more points/better value with Virgin Australia

        • The Original David says:

          A better question would be why not just credit them to VS Flying Club, which also allows IHG transfers?

        • Marcw says:

          I dont think he knows what he wants. That’s the issue. velocity points cannot be transferred to hotel partners, but like Avios, can be used for hotel stays.

          Unless he points out how he wants to use the miles/points, there will be as many suggestions as comments.

          Virgin FC might be a good option… But if he prefers to use the miles on shorter routes, it’s pointless. If he wants to transfer them to IHG it’s a terrible idea, more so since they dont count for status. That’s why it’s important to have a rough idea how you want to redeem your miles/points. Based in that you make decissions… But some homework is needed!

  • James says:

    OT but does anyone know if there is a roundabout way to convert HSBC points into Marriott Bonvoy points?

    • 3742 says:

      I’m 99% sure the asnswer is no, but there are only four airlines available for transfers so check each one…

  • Alex Sm says:

    I was so frustrated to find out that Flybe has been taken off Wheretocredit aster its partnership with Avios ended. Now it’s some kind of a weird void when you can’t collect points on their flights at all and you won’t be able to claim retrospectively once they launch their new “exciting” loyalty programme. My twitter exchange with them is here: