The price of oil went up, the economy turned down and the airline industry has been one of the hardest hit. As a result, we got fuel surcharges, seat assignment charges, baggage charges to name but a few. The airlines also decided to levy an expiration date on your hard earned frequent flyer miles. That means, in most programs, your miles will expire if there isn’t qualifying activity in as little as 12 months (see table after the break for expiration times).
However, there are some easy ways to prevent your miles from expiring, even if you don’t plan on flying. Read on to learn how I rescued my AAdvantage miles, and how you can rescue your miles today.
In my case, I had about 25,0000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles that were going to expire. I had no plans to fly American Airlines, but I made a qualifying purchase through the AAdvantage Eshopping proram at Bose.com, which deferred my expiration date for another 2 years. You’ll notice that my miles actually expired, but were re-credited when my Bose.com transaction posted.
All the large American carriers have affiliates online trough which you can earn miles. Often, there are partnerships with large online store such as Target, Ecost or Bestbuy and if you’re lucky you can even find something you needed anyway with free shipping.
Alternatively, you can sign up for a Dine for Miles program. These programs allow you to earn up to ten miles for every dollar spent at local participating restaurants. A quick take-away burrito may be all you need to rescue your miles. Just like the shopping option, just visit your airline’s website to see how you can participate.
Here’s a list of the expiration periods of the major US airlines and please share your experience in the comments below.
AirTran A+ Rewards Credits = 12 months.
Alaska Mileage Plan Miles = 3 years
Aloha AlohaPass Miles don’t expire.
America West Dividend Miles Miles = 18 months
American AAdvantage Miles = 36 months
ATA Travel Awards Points = 24 months
Continental OnePass Miles don’t expire.
Delta SkyMiles Miles = 2 calendar years
Frontier EarlyReturns Miles = 2 calendar years
Hawaiian HawaiianMiles Miles = 36 months
JetBlue TrueBlue Miles = 1 year after the date earned
Midwest Midwest Miles Miles = 36 months
Northwest WorldPerks Miles = 3 calendar years
Southwest Rapid Rewards Credits = 24 months
United Mileage Plus Starting = 18 months
US Airways Dividend Miles = 18 months