Sharing points: These credit card rewards programs allow it

Some rewards programs have restrictions for pooling points with family, friends – here's what you need to know

Dan Rafter
Personal Finance Writer
Specializes in mortgages, credit and credit scores

Sharing credit card reward points with friends, family

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You want to travel with your spouse to Hawaii on your anniversay using rewards points. Problem is, you're 30,000 points shy of the amount you need to redeem free flight tickets and a hotel for two.

Your spouse, however, has built up 40,000 points with the same credit card rewards program. If both of you could pool your points, you'd be able to celebrate your anniversary in Hawaii for free.

Here’s some good news: Some credit card issuers allow you to pool rewards points with family members – and some of them, even with friends.

However, some programs are more restrictive than others. Read on to see which credit card rewards programs let you share points.

Credit card rewards programs that allow point pooling, at a glance

Compare restrictions, cost:  

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Pool with immediate family members
  • Yes.
Pool with extended family
  • No.
Pool with friends
  • No.
What you need to know
  • Can only pool points with spouse or domestic partner.
Cost
  • Free.

American Express Membership Rewards

Pool with immediate family members
  • No.
Pool with extended family
  • No.
Pool with friends
  • No.
What you need to know
  • Can only transfer points to frequent flyer/loyalty program account of authorized user.
Cost
  • Free.

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Pool with immediate family members
  • Yes.
Pool with extended family
  • Yes.
Pool with friends
  • Yes.
What you need to know
  • Can share a maximum of 100,000 points in a calendar year.
Cost
  • Free.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

Pool with immediate family members
  • Yes.
Pool with extended family
  • Yes.
Pool with friends
  • Yes.
What you need to know
  • Can also donate to charitable organizations.
Cost
  • Free.

See related: How couples can pool miles, transfer points for award travel

Credit card rewards programs that let you share points

Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can transfer points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, but there are some restrictions

  • You can transfer points from one of your Chase cards to another Chase card in your name. That's easy enough.
  • When it's time to transfer points to other cardholders, things are much more restrictive.
  • You can only move points to another Ultimate Rewards Chase card belonging to a spouse or domestic partner.
  • You can't share points with friends or other extended family members.
  • Transferring points is free.

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards is extremely restrictive when it comes to transferring points.

  • If you have more than one American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, all your points are pooled into a common account, so you don’t have to transfer from card to card.
  • AmEx doesn't allow you to transfer your points to any other person or account.
  • You can, however, transfer points to a frequent flyer account in someone else's name if that person is an authorized user on your American Express account.

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi's free points-sharing program is probably the most generous offered by the major credit card providers.

  • It allows you to share points with any other member of Citi's ThankYou Rewards program. They don't have to belong to your family or be an authorized user on your account.
  • There are some restrictions: You can only share up to 100,000 ThankYou points in a calendar year, and you can only receive the same amount during a year.
  • Most importantly, shared points are only valid for 90 days after the transfer. This means you need to use those shared points quickly before they expire.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

Wells Fargo-branded credit cards offer a generous and free sharing program, too.

  • You can pool your rewards points with anyone who is a member of the rewards program. They don't have to be family members.
  • You also can donate Go Far Rewards points to charities if you feel like giving back to the community.

Don't let rewards point pooling cause you to overspend

William Haynes, regional teacher and tutor recruiting manager with the Princeton Review, has long been a frequent traveler. Though Haynes and his wife had a baby in February, his goal before this milestone was to travel to a new country every year. He accomplished this by doing everything he could to maximize his rewards points and airline miles.

However, he advises not to overspend on your credit cards, for instance, simply to earn more points that you can then pool. The free stays, airline miles or rewards might be enticing. But running up too much debt just to pool more points is a bad financial move, Haynes said.

"Be responsible," Haynes said. "Credit is a fine thing until it gets out of hand."

See related: 5 ways to maximize card rewards earning potential


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Updated: 10-23-2018