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.
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.
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.