I had an interesting question from a reader last week. Can you transfer points to somebody else?
As with most things points related, the answer is something like this – “Um, not really.. it’s complicated”.
The terms of each loyalty program are different. But generally, points are non-transferable. However, there are some things to know about which often allow you to achieve similar results to a transfer.
Gift points to a friend
One of the interesting things you can do is gift points to someone else in the loyalty program. For example, you can gift up to 100,000 Virgin Atlantic points per year. The catch is… this is not a transfer, you have to buy the points you want to gift to someone. So it’s not really a transfer. You’re just buying points for someone. Which is fine, but that costs money and it won’t affect your points balance at all.
Buy a ticket for someone else
One of the most powerful things you can do with points other than spending them on yourself is spending them on someone else. Remember, points are just a virtual currency. So if you have a large balance of points and you either can’t or do not want to spend them, consider using them to buy a ticket for your friends or family.
You can also employ the same tactic to upgrade someone too. I was once flying to Hong Kong with a work colleague. There were two points tickets available in Business class when we checked in and I felt bad leaving him in Premium so I used my points to bring him along for the upgraded ride.
What should you do?
Most points expire if there is no activity on your account in a set period of time. So job one is making sure your points don’t expire. You never know when they will be useful for your circumstances, so it’s worth the effort to keep them alive. Usually, keeping them alive simply means making a transaction on your account. That doesn’t mean taking a flight, there are often lots of little tricks to do this for very little money. In fact, I will write an article covering more detail on this in future.
Use them every opportunity you get. If you’re flying, check if you can upgrade. As I discussed in my previous article, this is often great value and fairly easy to do (pending availability).
Most importantly, do not waste them. You paid good money for them, use them wisely or don’t bother collecting them in the first place! If you want advice on your personal situation, let us know.