If you fly JetBlue or overnight at hotels within the greater Hilton portfolio, we have some exciting news for you. Each program offers an excellent, easy, and fast way for families and friends to rack up points together. It’s called points pooling. And as the name suggests, several individuals can combine their points to hit thresholds for redeeming free nights and flights. Huzzah!
This is great for families in which a few members have small (and large) sums of points lingering. Or kids who are able to collect points but not quite at the age for understanding how to redeem them. Now everyone can combine those points to make them count or pool them with a head of household who can maximize use of those points.
There’s no cost for pooling points within these two programs. It just takes a few minutes to set up the pool and dive in. Here’s what you need to know as you get your feet wet.
JetBlue-TrueBlue Points Pooling
JetBlue is the only major US carrier to offer a points pooling option free of charge. This special program allows for two to seven friends and family members to earn points together.
First, a “Pool Leader” needs to be assigned for the group—we recommend someone who is good at managing, tracking, and maximizing points. The leader must be 21 years old or over. Start by signing into your TrueBlue account. Then invite up to six members—of any age—to join your pool through the click of a button on the JetBlue-TrueBlue website. The recipient will then receive an email with the invitation.
Invitees can then accept to be part of the pool, with the “Pool Leader” having most of the control over the points. Here’s where it gets a bit complicated. Invitees can still redeem their individual points for flights at any time. However, only the “Pool Leader” can dip into the pooled points or assign which members can access the pooled points.
We’ll clarify with an example. Say I have 40,000 JetBlue-TrueBlue points in my account. My sister has 5,000; my mother 8,000; my five-year-old daughter 10,000; and my roommate 2,000. I invite them to join my pool, and I become the “Pool Leader.” I now have the ability to redeem a total of 75,000 points, my 40,000 plus everyone else’s. I can redeem them however I choose, for myself, for them, or for anyone else.
I give my sister access to the pooled points. She can also redeem up to 75,000 miles for whomever she likes. However, let’s say I simply invite my roommate to my pool because he has 2,000 points, which he will never use and he offered them up. I can now use those miles and so can my sister. Say roomie tries to get fresh after seeing the points pool of 75,000 when logging in. Well, he’ll only be able to redeem his 2,000 because he doesn’t have access to the pool from me, the “Pool Leader.” Hopefully, you are inviting trustworthy people into your pool, but ya never know! Also, if you are thinking of being a bit slick yourself and creating multiple pools, fuggedaboutit! TrueBlue members can only be a part of one and one pool only.
Hilton Honors Points Pooling
Hilton Honors also allows members to pool points for free, but we actually find Hilton’s transfer option far easier, so we’ll start with that.
Hilton Honors members can transfer points to each other at no charge. Sign into your Hilton Honors account. Go to Transfer Points. Choose how many points you’d like to transfer and to whom (identified by name, email address, and Hilton Honors account number). Hit Transfer and the transaction is done. So simple and so free! There are a few rules, however. Only six transfers can be made per calendar year. Transfers can be in increments of 1,000 to 500,000 points and max out at 2,000,000 per year received. Also, you must be of majority age (18+ or 21+) in your state or country of residence to be a Hilton Honors member. So, no kids accounts here.
If you prefer to pool points, the “Pool Leader” in this case would reach out to the pool through the Pool Points page after logging into Hilton Honors. The leader can email up to 10 potential pool members. (Note: Members must be in the program a minimum of 30 days, have at least 1,000 points and meet same age requirements as above for pool eligibility.) The leader can request points from the pool, but invitees should understand that combining points does not create a joint account. Transfers are one-way to the “Pool Leader” and invitees no longer have access to their points. This works out well when friends and family are planning an award stay together but don’t have enough points individually to redeem for free nights. Pro tip: Assign a leader with the highest status.
Again, we’ll clarify with an example. Say I have coveted Diamond status with Hilton Honors and 140,000 points in my account. My sister has 50,000; my mother 80,000; and my five-year-old daughter 30,000. We all want to take a trip to Paris together and four nights at our desired hotel will cost 300,000 points. I can either transfer their points into my account to achieve 300,000 or invite them to join my pool and become the “Pool Leader.” I now have the ability to redeem a total of 300,000 points for our vacation. Given my Diamond status, we’ll likely get a suite upgrade and have a fabulous family vacation.
In conclusion, consider maximizing the use of TrueBlue or Hilton Honors points with pool access. Now you’re ready to dive in!