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When do Frequent Flyer Points Expire?

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Tom Goward | 30/04/2020

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The coronavirus outbreak has forced airlines to suspend, reduce and cancel many flights across the globe. Airlines are flat out assisting travellers with existing bookings, and even offering change and cancellation fee waivers. The outbreak means many of us won’t be able to travel for a while yet, which is why now is a good time to check when your frequent flyer points/miles will expire. This beginner’s guide covers the expiration details of some airlines relevant to Australian travellers.

When do my frequent flyer points expire?

The policy of each airline differs, although most of the time point expiry is based on one of two factors. Either the time your points balance has been inactive (no earnings or redemptions) or the period of time from when you earned the points. The expiry period for many airlines is listed below.

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles will expire after 12 months of inactivity, and only earning miles will extend the expiration date of your LifeMiles. Simply purchasing some extra miles will be sufficient to extend the expiry date.

Air New Zealand Airpoints

Airpoints Dollars remain valid for a minimum of four years from the date they were earned.  Airpoints Dollars which are older than 4 years will be removed from your account on your anniversary date of the. Oldest points are used first, and there is no expiry for Gold or Elite members.

Alaska Mileage Plan

Mileage Plan Miles expire after 24 months of balance inactivity. You can reinstate  expired miles for up to one year with a US$75 fee.

American Airlines AAdvantage

AAdvantage Miles expire after 18 months of balance inactivity. You may be able to reinstate expired miles for a fee.

British Airways Executive Club

British Airways Avios expire after 36 months of balance inactivity.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific recently changed their Asia Miles expiration policy. Asia Miles earned from 1 January 2020 will expire after 18 months of balance inactivity, however, Asia Miles earned up to 31 December 2019 will expire from 36 months from the time the miles were earned.

Delta SkyMiles

SkyMiles do not expire

Emirates Skywards

Skywards Miles expire from 3 years since the date they were earned. Skywards Miles due to expire are removed at the end of the month in which you were born. There is no expiry for Platinum members.

Etihad Guest

Etihad Guest Miles expire after 18 months of balance inactivity.

Malaysia Airlines Enrich

Enrich Miles expire at the end of the month after 3 years since the date they were earned.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas Points expire after 18 months of balance inactivity.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer Miles expire at the end of the month after 3 years since the date they were earned. There is no expiry for PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members.

THAI Royal Orchid Plus

Miles expire at the end of the quarter after 3 years since the date they were earned. There is no expiry for Platinum members.

United Mileage Plus

MileagePlus Miles do not expire

Velocity Frequent Flyer

Velocity Points expire after 24 months of balance inactivity.

How can I stop my points from expiring?

There are a few ways to keep your balance alive for airline loyalty programs where points expire after a period of inactivity. Here are a few ways you can keep your balance active to avoid sacrificing your hard-earned points:

Set up a reminder: A calendar reminder for when your points are due to expire is a great way to make sure that you will take action before they do.

Spend with a linked credit card: A frequent flyer credit card is a great way to regularly earn points on your everyday purchases. Here is our list of the best offers right now.

Redeem points: If your points are about to expire, it may be a good idea to book that redemption flight you have been thinking about.

Earn from an online purchase: Shopping online via an airlines’ online shopping portal can be an easy way to avoid disaster. For example, Qantas Shopping or the Velocity eStore.

Buy additional points: If your points are about to expire but you don’t want to redeem just yet, you may want to purchase some points to keep your balance alive. Many airlines allow you to buy frequent flyer points through their website.

My points have expired – what do I do?

There is nothing stopping you from contacting your frequent flyer program and asking for your points back. While the recovery of your points can never be guaranteed, it can’t help to try. Occasionally airlines may offer a points challenge, where members are asked to earn a certain number of points within a certain period in order to have their balance reinstated.

Airlines offering points expiry extension due to COVID-19

Some airlines have changed their points/miles expiry policy due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak. Of the airlines listed above American Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have extended their expiration policies.

Emirates Skywards

Emirates Skywards miles due to expire this year will have their expiry date extended until December 31 2020.

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines have extended the validity of AAdvantage miles that are set to expire between April 2 and June 30 until July 1, 2020.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines have extended the validity of miles which are due to expire soon. KrisFlyer members who have miles due to expire between April and August 2020 will have their miles extended by six months, as in the following table.

THAI Royal Orchid Plus

Thai Airways have extended the validity of Royal Orchid Plus miles that expired at the end of March or are due to expire at the end of June or September 2020. These extended miles can be used for award redemption until 31 December 2020.

Avianca Lifemiles

Those holding Avianca Lifemiles with miles set to expire between April 1 through until the end of 2020 will now get the expiry date extended until December 31 2020.

Summing Up

Most airline frequent flyer points/miles are subject to expiry. Knowing when your points are due to expire can save you from missing out on potential rewards. Unfortunately, once your points are gone, it is often quite difficult to get them back.

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Tom Goward

Tom is a Hobart-based writer with a passion for aviation and travel.

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Having any type of activity will keep your Qantas points valid for another 18 months. Simply earning points from credit card spending, flying, shopping online or filling up your car at BP will do the trick. Officially no. However, if your points do expire, contact the Qantas support centre and they will most likely offer you an earning challenge to reinstate your points. Some airlines will tell you, however most won't. It's therefore important to keep track of your points and make sure you use them.
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How do I stop Qantas frequent flyer points from expiring?

Having any type of activity will keep your Qantas points valid for another 18 months. Simply earning points from credit card spending, flying, shopping online or filling up your car at BP will do the trick.

Can you get expired Qantas points back?

Officially no. However, if your points do expire, contact the Qantas support centre and they will most likely offer you an earning challenge to reinstate your points.

How do I find out when my miles expire?

Some airlines will tell you, however most won't. It's therefore important to keep track of your points and make sure you use them.

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