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 ||24 Months with no account activity|
|Alitalia||January 31 for all miles earned in the prior year|
|American ||18 Months with no account activity|
|Asiana||Mileage expiration dates are determined according to your membership grade at the point of boarding or mileage accrual Details Here|
|Avianca (Lifemiles)||12 Months with no earning activity|
|British Airways||36 Months with no account activity|
|Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)||Expire 36 Months from the date the miles are credited to the account|
|Iberia||36 Months with no account activity|
|Japan||Expire 36 Months from the date the miles are credited to the account|
|Lufthansa||36 Months with no account activity (Exception: Lufthansa Elites and Monthly Users of Miles and More Credit Card)|
|Singapore||Expire 36 Months from the date the miles are credited to the account|
|Korean||10 Years from the date of flight|
|Virgin Australia||24 Months with no account activity|
|ANA||Expire 36 Months from the date the miles are credited to the account|
|Etihad||Expire 24 Months from the date the miles are credited to the account|
|Emirates||3+ years from the date of travel (miles are removed from your account at the end of your birth month)|
|Hawaiian||18 Months with no account activity|
|Latam||36 Months with no earning activity|
|Finnair||18 Months with no account activity|
|Qantas||18 Months with no account activity|
|Qatar||Qmiles are valid for a period of 3 years and will expire twice a year at the end of the semester in which those Qmiles where earned. Expiry dates will be 30th June and 31st December each year|
|Air France / KLM||24 Months with no account activity|
It has been nice to see more and more airlines switch their program over to a no expiration policy. During the 2020 calendar year we have seen multiple domestic and foreign airlines make the changes. Hopefully more will continue to follow suite to stay with the competition. I am surprised American Airlines hasn’t made the change yet since they usually follow whatever Delta and United do and vice versa.
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 a transfer for a booking that didn’t work out etc. Knowing that there doesn’t need to be a rush to use or extend the airline miles reduces some of the anxiety from managing multiple frequent flyer accounts.
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 is an easy way to earn a few miles and extend them. Carrying one of their co-branded credit cards and making a small purchase is another. Lastly, making a transfer from a transferrable currency like Membership Rewards will also normally do the trick.