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5 easy ways to keep your points from expiring
One of the easiest things to do is forget you have points or miles in a loyalty account and lose them to expiration. This is especially an issue since a lot of loyalty programs suspended point expirations during the pandemic, but now they have re-implemented their old policies. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to keep them alive, but here are 5 easy ways to keep your points from expiring.
I was reminded that Singapore Airlines miles normally expire if you don’t use them within 36 months ( they’re automatically extending them for 6 months if they expire this year ). I received an email and checked my account. Without the pandemic extension, I’d lose nearly 100k miles to expiration!
How often do points and miles expire?
Great question….Here’s a basic chart that will help keep track
|Program||Expiration after||Extend?||Transfer Partner|
|Aeromexico||24 months||with activity||Amex|
|Air Canada||18 months||with any activity||Amex|
|Alaska Airways||Accounts locked after 24 months of inactivity||Call to restart||Marriott|
|American Airlines||18 months||with any activity||Bilt, Marriott|
|British Airways||36 months||with any activity||Chase, Amex, Cap1, Marriott|
|Emirates||3 years||nope||Bilt, Chase, Amex, Citi, Cap1, Marriott|
|Etihad||18 months||Acitivty||Amex, Citi, Marriott|
|EVA||36 months||nope||Cap1, Citi|
|Flying Blue: KLM/Air France||24 months||Activity||Amex, Bilt, Chase, Citi, Cap1, Marriott|
|Hawaiian||No expiration||Amex, Bilt|
|Iberia||36 months||Activity||Chase, Amex, Marriott|
|Jetblue||Never||Amex, Cap1, Marriott|
|Korean Air||10 years||Marriott|
Credit card holders of more than 3 months = no expiration
Elites = no expiration
|Malaysia||36 months||activity||Citi, Marriott|
|Qantas||18 months||activity||Amex, Citi, Cap1, Marriott|
|Qatar||36 months||activity||Citi, Cap1, Marriott|
|Singapore||36 months from earning.||Not with activity. But you can pay a fee per 10,000 miles||Amex, Chase, Cap1, Citi, Marriott|
|Turkish||36 months||For a fee ( $10 per 1k miles ) for another 3 years||Bilt, Citi, Cap1, Marriott|
|United||None||Bilt, Chase, Marriott|
|Virgin Atlantic||None||Amex, Bilt, Chase, Cap1, Citi, Marriott|
|Choice||18 months||Activity||Cap1, Citi, Amex|
|Hyatt||24 months||Activity||Bilt, Chase|
|IHG||12 months unless elite then none||Activity||Bilt, Chase|
|Marriott||24 months unless lifetime elite||Activity||Amex, Chase|
|Wyndham||18 months||Activity||Cap1, Citi|
1) Transfer points to keep them active
This is why I love flexible point currenies…it gives you options. If you’re not staying at a hotel or flying on an airline to keep your points active…just transfer points in. Not every airline or hotel program is like this, but the vast majority of them are.
2) Keep a co-branded credit card to keep your points alive
Credit cards are an easy way to keep your points alive as well. Any activity you make on that card extends the life of your points. Also, cards like the IHG Rewards Premier from Chase keep your points from expiring just for holding the card.
3) Buy points
You can easily buy points to create activity. An easy purchase of 1000 points may set you back $30 or $40, but it’ll keep that cache of points active. Totally worth the money.
4) Dining Programs
If you aren’t participating in a dining program you definitely should. You simply link your credit card to the program and you’ll earn the points of that loyalty program, in addition to your credit card points, when you dine at participating restaurants You can read a full description of Dining Programs here, but these are the programs that currently offer them:
- Alaska Airlines
- United Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta SkyMiles
5) Use a shopping portal
Loyalty programs have their own online shopping portals that will code your order to earn points in their program. It’s a super easy way to keep your points alive, but also earn tons of bonus points for items you’d buy anyways. All you have to do is log into the mall and then link into the retailers’ normal site. You’ll not only earn your credit card points, but you’ll also earn the points of the portal you’re using.
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France Flying Blue
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airwaysf
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
My favorite way to see which portal is offering the biggest bonus is CashBackMonitor
As you can see, these are 5 easy ways to keep your miles and points from expiring without even leaving your house.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
In Chase branch: 70k Points after $4k spend in 3 months ( make appt with banker –Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.)
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.