Credit Cards,  Miles and Points,  Travel Rewards

Miles and Points Programs Expiration Rules – What You Need to Know

Cash back and rewards points earned in credit card programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards, don’t expire as long as you keep your card open. However, when you transfer those points to your airline frequent flier or hotel loyalty account, they become subject to the terms and conditions of those programs, and may expire if you don’t use them.

Flexibility is one thing that makes credit card travel rewards points so valuable–they can be transferred to many different partners at will. As a rule, in order to retain that flexibility, you shouldn’t transfer any more points than you need to book a flight or stay. However, if you’ve earned miles or points from travel, or transferred more points than required, it’s important to understand the expiration policy of each program, and how to extend the life of your points so you don’t lose them for good.

In some programs, each mile or point in your account has its own expiration date, depending on when you earned it. In other programs, all of your miles or points expire at the same time–after a period of inactivity in your account. Earning or transferring even a small amount of points can be considered activity, which resets the expiration clock. Oftentimes, redeeming or donating points to charity will as well.

One simple way to extend the expiration date of your points in some programs–shopping online! As I’ve detailed before, purchasing through shopping portals is a great way to earn extra miles, points or cashback. In many cases, this type of earning is just the thing you need to generate enough activity in your account to give new life to your points!

As regular readers of this blog have figured out by now, PointsYak is on a mission to make it as easy as possible for you to maximize your rewards, so I’ve compiled a reference guide to help you. The following list represents all the current travel transfer partners of American Express Membership Rewards (Amex), Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase) and Citi ThankYou Rewards (Citi). In almost all cases, 1 credit card point = 1 mile or point in the travel program, and a minimum of 1000 points is required to transfer. The first bullet point tells you which reward program(s) it partners with and notes any deviation from the 1:1 exchange ratio. The second bullet point is a brief description of the expiration policy. And if the expiration can be extended by shopping through a portal, there will be a third bullet with a link to that portal.

Airline Programs

AeroMexico Club Premier

Air Canada Aeroplan

Alitalia MilleMiglia

American AAdvantage

ANA Mileage Club

British Airways Executive Club

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • Amex and Citi
  • Each mile expires 36 months after it is credited (FAQs)

Delta SkyMiles

El Al Matmid Club

  • Amex (1000 MR = 20 El Al points)
  • Each point expires 36 months after it is earned (Regulations)

Emirates Skywards

  • Amex
  • Each mile expires at end of the month of a Member’s birthday on/after the third anniversary of earning date (Program Rules)

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands

  • Citi
  • Each mile expires 36 months after it is earned (FAQ)

Etihad Guest

  • Citi
  • Each mile expires 24, 30, or 36 months after it is earned depending on your membership tier (Terms & Conditions)

Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)

  • Amex, Citi
  • Miles expire after 20 months without a qualifying flight (About Flying Blue)

Garuda Indonesia

Hawaiian Miles

Iberia Avios

  • Amex (250:200)
  • Earn or spend at least once every 36 months (transfers will not extend expiration) (FAQ)

JetBlue TrueBlue

  • Amex (250 MR = 200 TrueBlue Miles)
  • Miles never expire (FAQ)

Korean Air SKYPASS

Malaysia Airlines Enrich

  • Citi
  • Each mile expires at end of 36th month after it is earned (FAQ)


Qatar Airways Privelege Club

  • Citi
  • Valid for a minimum period of 3 years and will expire twice a year by the end of the semester (30th June and 31st December) in which those miles were earned (Earning Qmiles)
  • Extend or Revalidate miles for a fee

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

  • Amex, Citi, Chase
  • Miles expire after three years at the end of the equivalent month in which they were earned (Terms & Conditions)
  • Extend expiring miles for a fee

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

United MileagePlus

Virgin America Elevate

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Amex, Citi, Chase
  • Miles expire after 3 years of inactivity (Expiration)

Hotel Programs

Choice Privileges

Hilton HHonors

Hyatt Gold Passport

IHG Rewards Club

Marriott Rewards

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

  • Chase
  • All points expire after 24 months of account inactivity. Gifting and transferring points does not reset date. (Expiration Policy)

Starwood Preferred Guest

  • Amex (1000 MR points = 333 SPG points)
  • All points expire after 12 months of account inactivity (Do Starpoints Expire)

Remember: you’ve earned all the points and miles you have in each program, and they represent tangible value, so it’s important to keep them active for as long as possible. When the day comes that you have an opportunity to finally redeem them, you’ll be glad you did.

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