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Last year I created a blog series reviewing the British Airways Avios program, which included a whole post dedicated on pooling your points to create a British Airways household account. One of the best perks of this program is that it allows you to combine all your accounts in your household. With other programs you need to transfer points (which costs $$), however, British Airways allows you to do this for free. All points from the joined accounts will be pooled into one and the award you are looking to redeem will come out of those pooled points.
Up until a few days ago there was one caveat to the program – while you could combine up to 7 accounts into one Household Account, all accounts must have had the same address on file and you could not redeem your points for anyone outside of the Household Account. Starting December 12, 2013, they added an enhancement allowing you to create a “Family and Friends” list where you can add up to 5 friends/family members who DO NOT live at the same address. Those added friends/family members will not have their point balances pooled into the Household Account, but it simply just allows you to redeem your points for these people. Remember though, you cannot remove someone from the list for six months, so do not go crazy adding 5 random people and then realize you want to swap them out with someone else right away.
Here is the Family and Friends list FAQ:
Q. What is the Family and Friends list?
A. The Family and Friends list allows Executive Club members who are part of a Household Account to redeem for up to five nominated individuals who do not live at the same address.
Q.How is the Family and Friends list different to a Household Account?
A. Household Accounts allow up to seven individuals who live at the same address to ‘pool’ their Avios together into one cumulative Household Account Avios balance which can then be redeemed by all Household Account members.
We have introduced the Family and Friends list to provide added flexibility which allows Household Account members to redeem for up to five nominated individuals who do not live at the same address. Avios balances are not ‘pooled’ with individuals who are on the Family and Friends list.
Q. How is the Family and Friends list different to the Travel Companions list?
A. The Travel Companions list allows you to easily save the details of people who you regularly travel with in order to make the booking process quicker and easier when you are purchasing flights using cash online at ba.com. You cannot redeem Avios for Travel Companions.
The Family and Friends list enables you as a Household Account member to nominate up to five people who you would like to redeem Avios for – who do not reside at the same address as you.
Q. Can I nominate individuals to be on my Family and Friends list who are also listed as Travel Companions?
A. Yes, however you must add the individuals details onto both lists as this doesn’t happen automatically.
Q. Where can I view my Family and Friends list?
A. You can view and make changes to your Family and Friends list, Household Account and Travel Companion list after you have logged into your online Executive Club account at ba.com.
Q. How often can I add/remove individuals from my Family and Friends list?
A. You can make changes to your Family and Friends list at any time, however anyone that you add to your list must remain on your list for a minimum of 6 months.
I know many people avoided combining accounts under the same roof into a Household Account for the pure reason that they then would not be able to book a ticket for a family member/friend who lives elsewhere. This enhancement now allows you to do both!
You can create a Household Account and a Family and Friends list here.