Factors of View: Can I earn the miles if I purchase somebody a ticket?

Possibly you owe somebody a favor. Or, perhaps you are simply that good.

Regardless of the purpose, you are shopping for a airplane ticket for another person (hopefully with a rewarding credit card). Are you able to earn the miles on that flight? It is your cash, in any case.

Here is a have a look at which factors and miles you possibly can earn because the individual paying for the ticket — and those you will not earn, regardless of how badly you need them.

Associated: The best travel credit cards of 2023

Passenger or payer: Who earns miles on this flight?

Most airline loyalty programs have a number of methods to earn miles. It could possibly be from renting a automobile with a companion, buying within the provider’s duty-free journal or utilizing one of many airline’s bank cards. However what about flights — and particularly, what about flights the place you paid however another person flew?

For simplicity, we’ll refer to 2 people on this situation: the passenger (the individual flying) and the payer (the one paying for the ticket with factors, miles or money). Let’s take a look at who earns the miles from taking the flight.


Frequent flyer applications require the identify on the ticket to match the identify on the frequent flyer account; in any other case, no miles or flight credit will likely be awarded. This could show tough for these with a latest identify change and even these with hyphenated final names (since not all laptop methods settle for these).

For instance, Qantas has the following in its help center:

“Does the identify on my Frequent Flyer account have to match the identify on my airline ticket?

Sure. Qantas and our airline companions require identify validation earlier than crediting Qantas Factors to a Frequent Flyer account. If the identify in your airline ticket matches the identify in your Frequent Flyer account, factors will robotically be credited. If there are variations between the identify in your Frequent Flyer account and the identify used in your airline ticket, you could not obtain Qantas Factors and Standing Credit by means of the automated course of.”

Thus, the identify on the frequent flyer account and the identify on the ticket should match precisely. You may’t put your loyalty quantity on another person’s ticket to obtain miles for a flight the place you were not the passenger.

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Even when you paid for the ticket, solely the passenger earns miles from the flight. This is applicable to folks paying for flights for his or her youngsters as properly. That is why children need their own frequent flyer accounts.

How will you earn rewards when paying for another person’s flight?

Whereas the passenger earns miles for flying, the payer can earn factors and miles in different methods.

First, you possibly can earn along with your bank card. By utilizing a journey rewards bank card the place “flights” or “journey” is a bonus class, you possibly can earn bonus miles or bonus factors for every greenback spent on the ticket. This additionally applies to paying simply the taxes and costs on award flights booked with miles.

Associated: Maximize your airfare: The best credit cards for booking flights

Second, when you’re paying for the ticket on-line, you could possibly use shopping portals to earn further factors, miles or money again. Whereas most airways do not companion with these websites, many online travel agencies do. Simply pay attention to the potential pitfalls of booking with third-party sites versus going on to the airline.

Lastly, the payer and the passenger could possibly pool their miles collectively after the flight. Numerous airlines allow loyalty members to pool points, although the foundations for every program are totally different.

Relying on which airline the passenger flies and which loyalty program the flight is credited to, the passenger could possibly earn miles from the flight after which switch these to the payer. Nevertheless, there may be a payment for this, so verify this system’s guidelines upfront.

Associated: Can I transfer points and miles between loyalty programs?

Backside line

Whilst you would possibly really feel you are entitled to receiving the airline miles accrued if you pay for another person’s ticket, solely the passenger can earn miles from flying. Frequent flyer applications is not going to award miles when the passenger’s identify would not match the identify on the loyalty account offered at check-in.

Nevertheless, there are methods which you could earn miles when paying for another person’s ticket. That comes from utilizing the suitable bank card, stacking with buying portals and doubtlessly sharing the miles by means of factors pooling after the actual fact.

Editor’s be aware: “Factors of View” is a sequence evaluating selections on which bank card to make use of. For those who’re going through a dilemma about which card is greatest for an upcoming cost, e-mail us at with the topic line: “Factors of View query.”

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