Singapore Airlines’ loyalty program KrisFlyer has announced they will extend the validity of miles due to expire soon:
KrisFlyer miles expiring between April and August 2020 will be extended by six months and will be valid till October 2020 and February 2021 respectively.
When the extension occurs depending on which month your miles are due to expire:
(A reminder that KrisFlyer miles usually expire 36 months—which is 3 years—after the month they were earned.)
If you had earned 30,000 KrisFlyer miles in August 2017, they would be due to expire in August 2020. You would wait until the end of August and then KrisFlyer would extend their validity until February 2021.
You could then redeem your miles in February 2021 for a flight redemption, with travel able to be booked as far as one year out, i.e. February 2022.
KrisFlyer has one of the more restrictive policies on miles expiry amongst frequent flyer programs.
Whilst this special extension due to COVID-19 is welcome, the program definitely could have been more generous by extending the validity of all miles no matter when they were due to expire.
They could even go a step further by scrapping their three-year hard-expiry rule and falling into line with other programs by instituting an 18-month or 24-month soft expiry as Qantas and Velocity, respectively, do, or go even further like Asia Miles did on 1 January 2020 and remove their expiration policy entirely.
Our original guide to the expiry of frequent flyer programs follows.
When do your frequent flyer points expire? A roundup of the key programs
There seems to be an increased awareness from many points collectors these days that their points might expire if they don’t keep their frequent flyer accounts ‘active’.
However, many aren’t quite sure exactly what the policies of the different programs are. So here is a summary for quick reference.
When do my points expire?
- The general global trend of points expiring after 2-3 years of inactivity
Other key takeaways
- Most generous policy locally is with Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Strictest policy locally with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
When do your frequent flyer points expire?
|Rewards program||Do points expire?||After how long?||Tip|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||Yes - with inactivity||18 months of inactivity||A great way to extend is to download the Qantas Wellbeing app and earn points for exercising or even just sleeping
Transferring points between family members will not prevent your points from expiring (transferred points take on the expiry date of existing points in the account)
|Velocity Frequent Flyer||Yes - with inactivity||24 months of inactivity||Transferring points between family members or receiving points via Family Pooling will not prevent your points from expiring
|Air New Zealand Airpoints||Yes - time from earned||Minimum of 4 years validity||On anniversary of program join date, points from over 4 years prior will expire
Oldest points are used first
No expiry for Gold or Elite
|Alaska Mileage Plan||Yes - with inactivity||24 months of inactivity||Miles can be reinstated for up to one year for a US$75 fee|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||Yes - with inactivity||18 months of inactivity||Reinstate for a fee depending on number of miles|
|Avianca LifeMiles||Yes - with inactivity||12 months of inactivity||Very strict policy
Spending miles does not extend expiry
Easiest way to extend is to buy 1000 LifeMiles or transfer Marriott Bonvoy points over
|British Airways Executive Club||Yes - with inactivity||36 months of inactivity|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Yes - with inactivity/time from earned||18 months of inactivity (for miles earned from 1 January 2020)/|
36 months from the month miles are earned (for miles earned up until 31 December 2019)
|Renewal for another three years or transfer to another member with payment of fee|
|Emirates Skywards||Yes - time from earned||36 months from accrual||Here are some ideas on what do with your expiring miles|
|Etihad Guest||Yes - with inactivity||18 months of inactivity|
|Marriott Bonvoy||Yes - with inactivity||24 months of inactivity||Extend expiry by transferring minimum 3,000 Marriott points to 1,000 frequent flyer points; buy points; donate minimum 2,500 points to charity|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Yes - time from earned||36 months from accrual||Oldest miles are used first
6- to 12-month extension depending on status available with payment of fee
Transfer to Velocity if at risk of expiry
|THAI Royal Orchid Plus||Yes - time from earned||36 months from accrual||Miles expire on a quarterly basis and may vary slightly depending on the timing of when the miles were credited into the account|
|United MileagePlus||No||Effective 28 August 2019, the previous 18-month soft expiry no longer applies|
The major credit card points programs out there don’t let your points expire, but you’ll need to remain a cardholder to keep access to them.
The exception to this rule is with ANZ Rewards. Those points must be used to claim a reward three years after the end of the year in which the points were earned, or else they will be cancelled.
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. Here are some ideas:
- Earn some points from a program partner—credit a car rental, hotel stay or online purchase to your account
- Redeem some points—if you have enough
- Transfer some points over from a credit card program
- Earn some points from a linked credit card
- Buy points, e.g. from Qantas or Velocity
- Buy wine from Qantas Wine
- Use a service like AwardWallet to keep tabs on your balances
- Ask for an extension or a points challenge
I’m sure many of you have learned the hard way not to let your points expire—don’t forget!
Do you have any other ways you have successfully prevented your points from expiring?