There are some points and miles programs out there that offer discounts for children that you should be aware of if you plan to use your points or miles for a family trip.
10xTravel is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or may no longer be available. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. You can view current offers here.
We all know that flying with your kids can be a bit of a struggle sometimes. Luckily, to make things a little less stressful, many airlines offer a discount on flights for children booked with cash.
When it comes to booking a flight for kids with miles or points, though, few programs offer discounts. That means that, in many cases, you may be better off booking your child’s seat with cash and your own seat with points or miles.
For instance, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) regularly runs a Travelers Start Young promotion in which you’re required to pay only fees and taxes for children ages 2 to 11. In this case, obviously, it makes more sense to buy your child a ticket with cash than redeem the full number of points or miles that an adult would have to pay.
However, there are some points and miles programs out there that offer discounts for children that you should be aware of if you plan to use your points or miles for a family trip.
Child Discounts with Air France-KLM Flying Blue Miles
Air France-KLM Flying Blue recently added child discounts and other family-friendly benefits to their loyalty program. The most exciting change to the program was the new 25% discount for award tickets for children ages 2 to 11.
To receive the discount, the child must simply be flying with an adult. This discount applies to all cabin classes and all partner flights that can be booked through the Flying Blue website.
Unfortunately, it appears as if this discount doesn’t work with Flying Blue Promo Rewards, which offers a rotating set of discounted destinations each month. If you try to book a Promo Rewards ticket for a child between the ages of 2 and 11, it will cost the same number of miles as an adult ticket.
It’s also worth noting that Air France-KLM offers discounts for children’s tickets purchased with cash. For instance, on Air France’s website, it says that children ages 2 to 11 can receive a discount “up to 20% on short-haul flights and up to 33% on medium-haul and long-haul flights.” So, it may be better to take the 33% cash discount than the 25% miles discount in some cases.
KLM’s website also says that they offer discounts for child tickets purchased with cash, but it doesn’t say exactly how much that discount is.
In any case, we recommend checking the cash rate for the child ticket and comparing it to the miles rate before booking.
However, if you have a ton of miles sitting in your Flying Blue account that you want to use, getting a miles discount for children is great.
Flying Blue now also allows members to pool miles with family members, has no mileage expiration for kids and teens under 18 years old, and gives parental leave for elite members, allowing you to put your elite status on hold while you care for your newborn.
The Best Ways to Boost Your Flying Blue Account
Of course, the most straightforward way to earn Flying Blue miles is to book flights with Air France, KLM or any of their partner airlines. Luckily, since Air France and KLM are members of SkyTeam, there are many airlines that allow you to earn Flying Blue miles.
There are also other ways to quickly rack up Flying Blue miles, which you can then use to book discounted flights for your children.
One fast way to earn Flying Blue points without getting on an airplane is to transfer points from a number of transferable points currencies.
American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Rewards miles all transfer to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. Plus, they can be used for a wide range of other redemption options as well, whereas Flying Blue miles can be used only through the Flying Blue program.
So, we highly recommend getting a points-earning credit card from one of these banks rather than earning them directly with the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard.
Citi ThankYou Points
after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
Annual Fee: $95
Flying Blue is also partnered with certain hotel loyalty programs that will reward members with Flying Blue miles for dollars spent or nights spent at their locations, including Best Western, Booking.com, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, IHG and Marriott Bonvoy. This is a good way to earn Flying Blue if you frequently stay at hotels.
Similarly, Flying Blue is also partnered with certain car rental programs that will reward members with Flying Blue miles for dollars spent or rentals, including Avis, Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Thrifty.
There are other ways to earn Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles, such as making purchases on Flying Blue’s online shopping portal. However, the best ways to earn Flying Blue miles are flying with SkyTeam member airlines, credit card spending and booking hotels or car rentals with Flying Blue’s partner programs.
Child Discounts with TAP Miles&Go Miles
Similar to Air France-KLM Flying Blue, TAP Miles&Go also offers a 25% discount for kids’ tickets purchased with miles.
TAP Air Portugal also offers a bunch of other perks available to infant and child passengers, including on-board cots for infants under 1 year old and special meals for infants and children on long-haul flights.
It’s also worth noting that TAP Air Portugal doesn’t offer a 25% discount for child tickets purchased with cash. Additionally, Miles&Go miles are worth 1.7 cents apiece, so the fact that you can only get this discount only when using miles clearly means that purchasing your child’s flight ticket with miles is definitely the better option.
The Best Ways to Boost Your Miles&Go Account
The most straightforward way to earn TAP Miles&Go miles is to fly with TAP Air Portugal or one of its partner airlines. Since TAP is a member of Star Alliance, many airlines allow you to earn Miles&Go miles. There are also other ways to earn Miles&Go miles, which can be used to book flights for your children at a discounted rate.
If you want to earn Miles&Go miles through credit card spending, your best bet is to get a Capital One credit card that earns Capital One Venture Miles. Capital One allows you to convert their rewards currency to Miles&Go miles at a 1:1 ratio. Capital One Rewards miles are also a flexible currency, so you can use them for many other redemptions apart from Miles&Go miles.
The Marriott Bonvoy program is also a prominent transfer partner of TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go and you can quickly boost your Miles&Go account by spending with a Marriott-branded credit card, such as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, and then transferring your points into the Miles&Go program. However, these points transfer at a 3:1 ratio, so you should use your Marriott Bonvoy points this way only if you have a specific redemption in mind.
You can also earn Miles&Go miles by spending with TAP Air Portugal’s shopping and dining partners. However, most of these partners are based in Portugal. In general, flying with Star Alliance airlines or spending with a Capital One Rewards miles-earning credit card are the best ways to boost your Miles&Go miles balance.
Sign Your Children up for Frequent Flyer Programs
On a related note, if you haven’t already signed up your kids for frequent-flyer programs, then you may be missing out on the opportunity for your children to earn airline miles every time they fly with you.
In some cases, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to enroll your kids in a frequent-flyer program, especially if the miles expire quickly and your kid doesn’t fly often. However, some airlines, such as Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, now offer frequent-flyer miles that never expire. American Airlines also offers miles for kids that won’t expire until they turn 21.
It can also be a bit annoying to enroll your children in frequent-flyer programs as some of them have a lot of red tape to get past, including consent forms, phone calls and the need for extra email addresses.
But, if you’re able to enroll your child in frequent-flyer programs successfully, they can earn valuable miles that can be used for great redemptions. And, if they can rack up miles with Air France-KLM Flying Blue or TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go, they may also receive the benefit of those 25% discounts.
The Bottom Line
With most airlines, you may be able to get a discount on a flight ticket for your children when booking with cash. However, not many airlines offer discounts when booking award flights for children with miles.
Air France-KLM and TAP Air Portugal are the two exceptions in the industry. Both of these airlines allow you to book tickets for children with miles and receive a substantial discount. And, since Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance and TAP Air Portugal is a member of Star Alliance, you can make these discounted redemptions with a wide range of flight operators.
However, even with the discounts, there are still times when it may make sense to book your child’s ticket with cash instead of miles. So, before making any booking, always compare the cash rate and miles rate to see which offers more value.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. , 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening
after you spend $6,000 in 3 months
after you spend $4,000 in 3 months
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.