American Express Membership Rewards points are worth an average of 1.8 cents each. That takes into account the wide variety of redemption options available to you, whether transferring them directly to airline and hotel partners or using them as a credit when booking through the Membership Rewards Travel portal.
Learning Airline Terms Can Pay Off With a Free Night in Paris
Many things in the airline industry are not always clear. Surely, you have overheard someone in an airport or on a plane lamenting that they have a layover of two hours in the airport. Or perhaps, you caught part of a conversation of someone having a stopover for a couple of hours. Technically they are not the same thing, and one can actually be a good thing as it can give you the chance to stop somewhere en route before going on to your final destination.
How to Recover Airline Miles After They Expire
Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you’ve allowed some of your
The best programs have a flat fee or return the miles complimentary on request. Most, however, use a sliding scale that can make it very expensive to restore large balances. Think carefully about how much you value those miles and what you might use them for before spending several hundred dollars to get them back. Finally, a few programs don’t offer any opportunity to restore lost miles. This post at least describes a few ways that their life can be extended if you act before they expire in the first place.
When Do Airline Miles Expire?
|Air Canada||Aeroplan|| 12 months
|Alaska Airlines||Mileage Plan||24 months
|American Airlines||AAdvantage||24 months
|British Airways||Executive Club||36 months
|Cathay Pacific||Marco Polo Club||36 months
|Delta Air Lines||SkyMiles||Never
|Hawaiian Airlines||HawaiianMiles||18 months
|KLM/Air France||Flying Blue|| 20 months*
|Singapore Airlines||KrisFlyer||36 months
|Southwest Airlines ||Rapid Rewards||24 months
|United Airlines||MileagePlus||18 months
*after last qualifying flight
American Airlines (AAdvantage)
Miles earned with American AAdvantage will expire after 24 months without any account activity in your AAdvantage account. If they expired on or after December 2002 (which applies to most people reading this post), then they are eligible for reactivation. American Airlines charges between $200 and $600 depending on how many miles you’d like to restore.
- $200 to restore 1-50,000 miles
- $400 to restore 50,001-75,000 miles
- $600 to restore more than 75,000 miles
United Airlines (MileagePlus)
Unlike American Airlines, United places a time limit on how quickly you must act to recover any lost miles. They can only be restored within 18 months after they expire. Fees are also much higher than with American Airlines if you wish to reinstate a very small number or a very
- $50 to restore 1-5,000 miles
- $200 to restore 25,001-30,000 miles
- $400 to restore 50,001-75,000 miles
- $600 to restore 100,001-125,000 miles
- $1,200 to restore 200,001-250,000 miles
- $2,500 to restore more than 500,000 miles
There are other intermediate price points not listed above, but you can view all of them by reading the complete terms and conditions. If you decide to proceed, log into the United website through this dedicated page.
Alaska Airlines (Mileage Plan)
Alaska Airlines claims that miles do not expire, although it reserves the right to close and delete an account that is inactive for 24 months. (Is there a difference? Supposedly this means that there’s a chance no immediate action will be taken.) Miles can be re-instated up to one year after they are “deleted” for a flat fee of $75.
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Rapid Rewards points will expire after 24 months without account activity, and there is no policy for reinstating points after they have expired. Most people report no luck in their requests to have miles returned; they are likely lost for good.
Hawaiian Airlines (HawaiianMiles)
Any earning or redemption activity in your HawaiianMiles account in the past 18 months will prevent your miles from expiring. Once miles have expired, they can be re-instated for a fee. This is not disclosed online, but multiple reports suggest the cost is roughly $30 per 1,000 miles. This would place it among the most expensive fees of any program, and it is probably not worthwhile to most people. Just buy the ticket with cash.
Air Canada (Aeroplan)
Aeroplan has one of the most strict policies, letting miles expire after just 12 months of account inactivity. In addition, there is no cap to the fees you must pay to have them restored. Expect an administrative fee of CAD$30 plus CAD$0.01 per mile. For example, restoring 50,000 miles would cost CAD$530.
British Airways (Avios)
Avios expire after 36 months of inactivity. There is no policy for reinstating Avios after they have expired, so they may be lost for good, but some people report success if the miles were lost recently. Miles that are returned may come with an additional requirement, such as new activity within the next three months, or else they’ll expire again — and for good.
Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)
KrisFlyer miles don’t expire all at once. Instead, individual miles expire three years after the month in which they were earned. This means that more recently earned miles will remain available for use. Keep this in mind when looking at your account balance and saving up for a large redemption.
Although expired miles will not be returned, the expiration date can be extended an additional six months (for general members) or 12 months (for elite members) at a rate of $12 for every 10,000 miles. Alternatively, you can redeem 1,200 miles instead of paying $12. These fees are levied online and increase to $20 or 2,000 miles when requesting an extension in person or by phone.
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
Like with Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program, individual Asia Miles are valid for 36 months after they were earned.
All members pay the same fee of $40 per 2,000 miles to extend their validity by an additional 36 months. This fee only applies online; in-person or telephone requests will cost $100 per 2,000 miles. Although both fees are high, the extension is particularly long and might make this transaction worthwhile.
KLM/Air France (Flying Blue)
Miles will not expire in Flying Blue as long as you take a qualifying flight every 20 months. Be aware that this policy excludes other forms of account activity from delaying expiration. In addition, Flying Blue does not have a policy on restoring miles after they have expired, so they may be lost permanently.
A Guide to Getting Twice the Rewards: How to Double Dip
If you think you’ve mastered the world of
Eight Simple Ways to Prevent Your Miles from Expiring
Many airline loyalty programs today have one of two approaches toward keeping miles valid for redemption. Some say that miles have a fixed expiration date, no matter what you do. Others say the miles will remain active indefinitely as long as you have an “active” account.
How to Get Free WiFi in the Air
Hurdling through the air at 500 miles per hour at an altitude of 35,000 feet is a marvel in itself, but today’s on-the-go society wants more. Airlines are responding by adding new-fangled entertainment systems and wireless internet access. But, that isn’t enough. Passengers don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Luckily, there are some airlines that connectivity is a modern-day necessity, not a luxury, and they provide free Internet to help pass the time. Hop aboard one of these airlines to take advantage of it and remain productive inflight.
A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Rewards Credit Card
There are a lot of
More than Miles: Other Benefits to Consider when Choosing a Travel Card
We are all familiar with the points and miles game. Signing up for cards with big bonuses, using specific cards for certain types of spending, staying abreast of promotions and watching out for deals on travel. However, there are some things you may not have considered when applying for a travel card or booking a flight. Things that may be important especially if you are a frequent traveler like free baggage check, lounge access, member status and other ancillary benefits.
Change and Cancellation Policies for 12 Common Airline Loyalty Programs
Planning the perfect travel award can be difficult and time consuming, which makes it especially frustrating when those plans go astray.
Will You Have a Problem in Europe with a U.S. Issued Credit Card?
If you travel overseas with any kind of frequency, you already know what EMV cards are. And if you don’t, you might’ve noticed the new types of terminals in stores here in the U.S. Instead of swiping your card, you’re often asked to enter it into the slot in front of the terminal.
Frequent Flyer 101: How Does it All Work?
In the complex world of airline award travel, there is some terminology that needs a bit of explaining. If you understand the terms it will make your travel planning much easier. So let’s talk about how it all works and decipher the jargon along the way.
Five Reasons to Use the Venture From Capital One Card at Home and Abroad
There are two types of travel rewards credit cards. Airline and
How to Avoid Baggage Fees on JetBlue
Paying a fee to check your luggage on
How to Avoid Baggage Fees on Alaska Airlines
Mileage Plan elite members can check a certain amount of luggage for free on Alaska Airlines flights. The rest of us may need to cough up some cash. Here’s a look at how much checked bags cost on Alaska Airlines and ways to skirt the fee whenever possible.
How to Avoid Baggage Fees on Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines is not immune to the dreaded checked bag fee. If you aren’t careful, you could pay a ton when checking bags on your next Delta flight. Here are a few methods to help you avoid those extra fees.
How to Avoid Baggage Fees on American Airlines
Paying extra to check your bag on
How to Avoid Baggage Fees on United Airlines
MileagePlus elite members score free baggage allowance on United Airlines
Does Trip Insurance Cover Award Travel?
Most travelers will tell you that trip insurance is a must-have whenever you’ve got an expensive or extensive vacation planned. There are a host of circumstances—mostly unexpected—that can crop up and force you to cancel a long-planned vacation or even a last-minute getaway.
How to Keep Your AAdvantage Miles From Expiring
American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire 24 months after you earn them unless there’s some activity in your account. Luckily, you can reset the expiration date by either earning or redeeming miles, which means that there are dozens of ways to keep your miles fresh for your next award flight.
How to Keep Your United MileagePlus Miles From Expiring
Article update: United got rid of miles expiration and United miles now never expire (provided your United account is open and in good standing).
If you take the time to earn miles, you need to be aware of the rules for keeping those miles. Some airlines will claw back your miles if there isn’t any account activity within a certain number of months. In the case of United Airlines, you will forfeit your miles if you do not earn or redeem miles for 18 consecutive months. Let’s talk about what you can do to keep your miles.