How to Prevent Airline Miles from Expiring

emirates-867766_1920It will be heartache if the hard-earned miles get expired~ now we give a thoroughly introduction of the miles expiration policy of each Airlines.

AirlinesIATA CodeExpiration Term
AeroMexicoAM24 months
Air Canada (Aeroplan)AC12 months
American AirlinesAA18 months
Air France & KLM (Flying Blue)AF & KL20 months Δ
Alaska AirlinesAS24 months
All Nippon Airways (ANA)NH36 months*
British AirwaysBA36 months
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)CX36 months*
Delta Air LinesDLNever
EmiratesEK36 months*
Etihad AirwaysEY24 months ※
EVA AirBR36 months*
Hawaiian AirlinesHA18 months
jetBlueB6Never
Korean AirKE10 years*
LufthansaLH36 months*
QantasQF18 months
Qatar AirwaysQR36 months*
Singapore AirlinesSQ36 months*
Southwest AirlinesSW24 months
THAI AirwaysTG36 months*
United AirlinesUA18 months
Virgin AmericaVX18 months
Virgin AtlanticVS36 months
Asiana AirlinesOZ10 years*
AviancaAV24 months

Generally speaking, after certain effective activities in the miles account, all the miles will be extended for longer. For example, there are 60k bonus miles in my United, expire on December 2015, i had 1k miles recorded on September 2015, this is of course effective activity. Then all my 61k miles will earn 18 months validity period start from September 2015, and extend longer from then.

But you also have seen that we also labeled some marks on some Expiration date besides the above commonly seen policies, that is because the mileage expiration policy of those Airlines are different with the previous illustrated one, let’s just explain:

  • Asterisk*: means that the expiration date of the miles is determined starting from the recorded date, and it will keep unchanged even if the later miles activities. For instant, for ANA, it will have three years validity after the recorded of miles, and this part of points will get expired if they are not used after three years,other activities of the account will not affect the expiration date of the points of this part.
  • Triangle Δ:means that the miles expiration date will be extended only after you earn the grading mileage( pay attention it is different from the bonus miles), this is the policy of Flying Blue, and you can also read it in our Flying Blue miles introduction.
  • Plum ※:Mileage expiration date of Eithad are related with membership grade. Common members two years, Silver members 2.5 years, Gold Card and Platinum members 3 years.
Avoid the expiration of the miles

Generally speaking, if only there are some activities, the expiration date of the miles will also be extended. Points coming out and in will be treated as effective “activity”, so generally there are following ways to avoid the expiration:

  • The most stupid way, taking by air! Choose the aircraft itself, or its partner Airlines, and earn the miles to the account which you want to avoid the expiration, pay attention that some cheap class may not have the bonus mileage accumulation~
  • If you have the co-branded credit card, you can spending on the co-branded credit card to earn the miles, and extend the mileage validity
  • Through online shopping, buy something and you will earn mileage to your account. Similar way, you can earn by kinds of dinning program and rental program.
  • Directly buy the points, this is the fastest way, but not a good deal sometimes. actually it is more suitable for the one who just need a little bit mileage when he want to redeem the tickets, and then hurry to buy some points
  • Transfer points from the miles system, some transfer points are coming to the account immediately, transfer 1000 points( many are transfer starting from 1k), and then you can extend the date~ and that will not be treated as instant transfer, no need to wait for long
  • For UA, we recommend the software MileagePlus X, because the spending miles of this software are coming to the account immediately, very necessary for the life extension!
  • It is also feasible to buy some magazines with miles or spending points ways like donation etc.

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