When do your frequent flyer points expire? Here is a roundup of the key programs

GUIDE: Program Guide
DIFFICULTY: Easy
TIME TO READ: 1 minutes
POSTED: July 5, 2017
UPDATED: February 23, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Relevant to Multiple Programs

Given the questions I get on a regular basis about this, there seems to be an increased awareness from many points collectors these days that their points might expire if they don’t keep using their frequent flyer accounts.

However many aren’t quite sure exactly what the policies of the different programs are, so I thought I’d round them up in a summary for quick reference.

The key take-aways? The best policy locally is with Air New Zealand Airpoints, and the worst, Avianca LifeMiles – with a general global trend of expiring miles after around 18 months on inactivity.

Rewards ProgramDo points expire?After how long?Notes
Air New Zealand AirpointsYes - time from earnedMinimum of 4 years validityOn anniversary of program join date, points from over 4 years prior will expire

Oldest points are used first

No expiry for Gold or Elite
Qantas Frequent FlyerYes - with inactivity18 months of inactivity
Velocity Frequent FlyerYes - with inactivity24 months of inactivityTransferring points between family members or receiving points via Family Pooling will not prevent your points from expiring
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyerYes - time from earned36 months from accrual6-12 month extension depending on status available with payment of fee
Oldest miles are used first.

Transfer to Velocity if at risk of expiry.
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesYes - time from earned36 months from month miles are earned.Renewal for another three years or transfer to another member with payment of fee
Etihad GuestYes - time from earned24/30/36 months from the month miles are earned for regular/Silver/Gold & Platinum members
British Airways AviosYes - with inactivity36 months of inactivity
Avianca LifeMilesYes with inactivity12 months of inactivityEasiest way to extend miles is to donate even just one mile to charity—extends for one year
American Airlines AAdvantage milesYes - with inactivity18 months of inactivityReinstate for a fee depending on number of miles
United Mileageplus milesYes - with inactivity18 months of inactivityReinstate for a fee depending on number of miles
Alaska Mileage Plan milesYes - with inactivity24 months of inactivityMiles can be reinstated for up to one year for a $75 USD fee
Delta SkymilesNo

Most Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards – the Westpac Airpoints Classic Mastercard and Air New Zealand American Express Card the notable exceptions – will ensure that your Airpoints Dollars never expire.

What are the best ways to stop your points from expiring?

Thankfully, it’s never that hard to keep some activity in your account to keep your balances active.

  1. Earn some points from a program partner – accrue a car rental, hotel stay, or online purchase to your account.
  2. Redeem some points – if you have enough.
  3. Transfer some points over from a credit card program
  4. Earn some points from a linked credit card
  5. Use a service like awardwallet.com to keep tabs on your balances.

I’m sure many of you have learned the hard way not to let your miles expire. Don’t forget!

When do your frequent flyer points expire? Here is a roundup of the key programs was last modified: February 23rd, 2018 by Keith