Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points – a handy resource for maximising 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) where you do have an account.  If you are flying Finnair, you could credit it to your British Airways account as both are oneworld alliance members.

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%. Airline Y may award miles based on what you paid whilst Airline Z may award on distance and class.
  • 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 discounted Lufthansa business class tickets, for example, which are issued in ‘P’ class and often earn nothing with partners.

What is

There is a website which can guide you around all this –

For 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.

Take a look at this example for a discounted Business Class ticket on Emirates:


Whilst Emirates is not in an airline alliance, you have more options than you thought about where to send them.

If this was a flight I was taking, I would looking at various options – and not just which one earned the most miles:

  • Emirates isn’t in an alliance, but if I credit to them I can top the miles up with American Express Membership Rewards points and redeem them for easyJet flights, a hotel room or some UK event tickets even if I don’t have enough for a flight
  • JAL, Malaysia and Qantas are oneworld alliance partners, so I could use the miles for a British Airways redemption – but would I have enough? Only Qantas accepts top-ups from American Express Membership Rewards.
  • Only Qantas and Emirates allow Amex top-ups, although TAP Air Portugal is a HSBC Premier credit card transfer partner

You may think differently to me – perhaps you have an existing balance in one of these schemes you want to top-up, or perhaps you don’t have any American Express or HSBC points to top up your balance.

One thing to remember, of course, is that miles have no value if you can’t use them.  wheretocredit also doesn’t help with telling you where you will earn status most easily.

Comments (22)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Occasional Ranter says:

    Anyone looked at crediting oneworld flights to Alaska’s program ? It seemed amazingly generous, both in terms of crediting multiples of miles actually flown in J and in terms of miles needed for long haul redemptions in J, but I haven’t looked at it for a year or so.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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