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Best Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme for 16yo to start collecting miles

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  • NFH

    I made the mistake of choosing Miles & More as my Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme. I say it was a mistake because there’s a very mean 3-year hard expiry on miles, irrespective of account activity.

    I would like my 16yo daughter start collecting miles on a different Star Alliance airline, which:

    1. Does not expire miles provided there’s account activity every 3 years (like British Airways);

    2. Is suitable for earning miles on other Star Alliance airlines at similar rates; and

    3. Ideally is European so that she can sometimes spend her miles directly on the airline’s own short-haul flights.

    Her first Star Alliance flight will soon be on Air Canada.

    Any suggestions?

    anuj

    I would suggest:

    United – they have very good value redemptions with low taxes and you can’t transfer from amex so worth earning directly
    Aegean – one of the easiest to earn status in
    SAS – tend to give more miles for each booking class than other airlines and also allow group accounts. Negative is their terrible IT

    NFH

    Thanks. That’s a very helpful list to consider. United has an expiry policy of only 18 months since the last transaction, so that’s not going to work for an insufficiently-travelling teenager. SAS has a hard expiry of 4 to 5 years with no possibility of extension, which is only slightly better than Miles & More. Aegean’s policy is 5 years since the last transaction, which seems like the best option.

    Lyn

    It sounds as if you may not be up to date with United’s expiration policy. They changed it two or three years ago and their miles no longer expire.

    See https://www.united.com/en/gb/fly/mileageplus.html
    and specifically “Oh, and those miles? They don’t expire. Ever.”

    They also offer redemptions within Europe at a fairly reasonable rate, as well as Transatlantic redemptions without the equivalent of BA’s surcharges. The trick is to find “standard” awards at the minimum level rather than their dynamic awards.

    John

    Aegean status is difficult to earn but easier to maintain. The requirements to maintain gold are 33% of those to earn gold from nothing. Many cheap fares in economy earn nothing and cheap fares in J earn very little. When redeeming taxes and charges are high. You may need to go to Greece a lot.

    United is better for earning and redeeming with low charges if you won’t achieve status.

    A 16yo is likely to be buying cheap economy fares in her 20s, unless you want to fund her travels (and those of her friends) in premium classes.

    Lyn

    Another thought. If you were to look up your daughter’s Air Canada flight on WheretoCredit (Rob has an article somewhere) it would show you how many miles or points she would earn in the different Star Alliance schemes.

    My sister lives in Canada and she doesn’t fly very often. She uses United to credit occasional Air Canada or United flights. She used to have a Marriott card to top up the miles for redemptions. Now Chase no longer offers this card in Canada, the fact that United miles don’t expire has become more important.

    SAbadshah

    Yet another idea Your daughter’s Air Canada flight would show you how many miles or points she would earn under the various Star Alliance programmes if you looked it up on WheretoCredit (Rob has an article somewhere). In Canada, where she resides, my sister rarely flies. She uses United to pay for sporadic flights on Air Canada or United. To top off the miles for redemptions, she previously had a Marriott credit card. Since Chase no longer provides this card in Canada, it is more crucial that United miles never expire.

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