Mile Expiration Policies By Airline: Our Complete Guide
Airline mileage programs have different policies regarding your frequent flier accounts and miles. The policies relating to mileage expiration are among the most important for you to be aware of. We’ve compiled this chart to give you the mile expiration policies for the more popular programs.
Related: Guide to Airline Award Change and Cancellation Fees
Types of Mileage Expiration Policies
- Miles expire after specified period of inactivity – this generally means that as long as there is some activity in your mileage account either from earning or redeeming miles your time period resets
- The miles expire after a specified period from the date of travel or when the miles were earned, regardless of account activity.
- The miles expire after a specified period of time with no earnings activity. Some airlines specify the earning activity must come from paid flights.
Related: Ways to Get Free or Reduced Cost WiFi on Flights
Mile Expiration Policies by Airline
|Airline||Mile Expiration Policy|
|Alaska ||Miles don't expire, but your account can be shut down after 24 months with no account activity|
|Alitalia||24 months with no qualifying activity|
|American Airlines||18 months with no account activity|
|ANA||36 months after they are earned|
|Asiana||10-12 years, depending on your status and how the miles were earned|
|Avianca (Lifemiles)||12 months with no earning activity|
|British Airways||36 months with no account activity|
|Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)||18 months with no qualifying activity|
|Emirates||3 years from when they are earned, then they expire in your birth month of that year|
|Etihad||18 months after they are earned; miles never expire for Platinum elites|
|Finnair||18 months with no account activity|
|Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)||24 months with no account activity|
|Iberia||36 months with no account activity|
|Japan Airlines (JAL)||36 months after they are earned, regardless of other activity|
|Lufthansa||36 months after the miles are earned; unless you have elite status or a Lufthansa credit card, which allows you to extend them|
|Korean||10 years from when they are earned|
|Latam||3 years from when they are earned|
|Qantas||18 months with no account activity|
|Qatar||3 years from when they are earned; if earned in the first half of the year, they expire June 30; if earned in the second half of the year, they expire December 31|
|Singapore||3 years after they are earned|
|Virgin Australia||24 months with no account activity|
Increasing how long your miles remain active, as well as making it easier to achieve qualifying activities, is a bonus. Nothing is worse than losing miles from your frequent flyer account. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen multiple domestic and foreign airlines make positive changes. Hopefully more will continue to follow suit.
Holding miles in programs that have no expiration policies makes life a little bit simpler. It also gives you a little more security, should you have a stash of miles from recent cancellations or miles you transferred for a booking that didn’t work out. It’s nice when you don’t have to constantly monitor those miles or keep doing required activities to avoid losing your stash.
For any airline programs that require earning to extend their miles, there are a few easy ways to accomplish that. Many airlines have a shopping portal or dining program, which are easy ways to earn a few miles and extend the others. Carrying an airline’ co-branded credit card and making a small purchase is another way to provide qualifying activity on your account. Lastly, making a transfer from a transferrable currency like Membership Rewards will also normally do the trick, but make sure to check your account data afterward to confirm. Don’t just assume.
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[…] Here is a nice summary of airline mile expiration policies, by Miles to Memories. […]
Etihad and Qatar no longer expire with acticity.
Air France/ KLM??
Added it in – thanks!
Air France/Flying Blue requires a Sky Team flight every 24 months – or one of their credit cards.
Thank you so much. I gather ANA miles, and falsely assumed that each time I earned more miles with credit card usage, ALL my miles would be extended 36 months! But this is definitely bad news, as my miles will slowly vanish now if unused! We really have to be careful with everyone nowadays!
I think Lufthansa is wrong- they can’t be extended unless you have the credit card. Even if you have the card I think there is some weird rule about needing to use it each month or something like that.
Asia Miles/Cathay Pacific miles expire after 18 months of no activity. This is a new change for since you now can keep miles from expiring by adding, using or transferring miles.
SQ could be added. Krisflyer miles expire in January after 36 months. No extensions unless you pay.
what about frontier?
[…] reference with all the airline mile expiration policies. Remember, only Delta and JetBlue miles never […]
you might recheck Avianca Lifemiles, I believe the policy is you need to earn every 12 months not just have some activity.
I think you’re right – transferring in works, using miles does not. The 10 years from the flight on Korean is confusing. I’ve never flown Korean, but I’ve transferred miles in their and earned them on the branded CC. Does it just mean 10 years from when you earned? I think Turkish should be added to this list, since it is a TYP partner
Thank you guys! I’ll fix this over the weekend.