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Comparing the expiry policies of all your frequent flyer miles

Now's probably not a bad time to consider this...

FFP Cards (ribeiroantonio SS)

With most of the world in travel lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that may be of legitimate concern is the expiry of your frequent flyer miles. Last week Singapore Airlines happily extended the validity of miles imminently expiring by six months, leaving the door open for further extensions as “the situation remains fluid”.

It seems a good time to check the validity of miles balances in all your frequent flyer programmes, some of which are also offering extensions due to the situation, while others are not.

Essentially there are three types of expiry policy for your miles or points in a frequent flyer programme:

  • Miles expire in fixed intervals (typically 2-3 years) based on the date they were earned
  • Miles never expire, with some eligible programme activity
  • Miles never expire regardless

We’ve gone through all 15 frequent flyer programmes you can transfer miles into from credit cards in Singapore (click here for our table of who transfers where), including details of any COVID-19 extensions in place as of 16th April 2020.

  • Edit 16th April 2020: LifeMiles validity extension added.
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Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Almost all our readers have a balance in Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer programme, by far the most popular in Singapore and transferable from any of the local credit card points schemes.

SQ A330 (Kentaro Iemoto)
Unsurprisingly, KrisFlyer is the most popular frequent flyer programme in Singapore. (Photo: Kentaro Iemoto)
KF Logo trans
Expiry: 3 years
Extendable? Yes, for 6/12 months
Exceptions: No expiry for PPS Club and Solitaire PPS Club members
The detail:
A member’s KrisFlyer miles will expire after three years at the end of the equivalent month in which they were earned. For example, miles credited to a member’s KrisFlyer account in July 2019 will expire on 31st July 2022.

KrisFlyer miles that are due to expire for the first time may be extended for a fee of 1,200 miles or
USD 12 per 10,000 miles or part thereof. For KrisFlyer members, miles may be extended once for a period of six months only. KrisFlyer Elite Silver and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members may extend their miles for a period of one year.

COVID-19: KrisFlyer members with miles expiring in April 2020 through to August 2020 will have those miles extended by six months.

We recently updated our comprehensive guide to the 12 things you can do if your KrisFlyer miles are expiring.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles is probably the second most popular frequent flyer currency to hold for most people in Singapore.

That’s because it unlocks a wide variety of oneworld airline redemption options, including competitive Business Class rates to and from Europe with the likes of Qatar Airways, Qantas and Finnair, but also because you can transfer credit card points to Asia Miles from almost any provider in Singapore, except OCBC and Standard Chartered.

QSuite A350-1000 3 (Airbus)
Asia Miles are popular not just for Cathay Pacific awards but also oneworld redemptions like the Qsuite. (Photo: Airbus)
AM Logo trans
Expiry: 3 years (miles earned before 1 Jan 2020)
18 months (miles earned from 1 Jan 2020)
Extendable? Yes, for a fee (miles earned before 1 Jan 2020)
Yes, with activity (miles earned from 1 Jan 2020)
Exceptions: None
The detail:
If you earned your Asia Miles before 1 Jan 2020, they expire three years later, plus the months between your credit date and programme joining anniversary month.

If you earned your Asia Miles after 1 Jan 2020, they will not expire provided you earn or redeem at least once every 18 months.

Asia miles are redeemed on a first-in, first-out basis, so the oldest miles are always used up first when you spend them. That means any miles you still have that fall under the time-based expiry system (pre 1 Jan 2020) will be deducted first, before any miles you may have sitting in the activity-based system (post 1 Jan 2020).

If you have a mix of miles earned under the old and new systems, your Asia Miles account will show you how many of your total miles balance fall into each of the two expiry categories.

Before 1 Jan 2020 under the 3-year validity system, expiring Asia Miles could be extended for a further 3 years on payment of a fee of US$40 per 2,000 miles extended. Since 1 Jan 2020 this is no longer possible for miles earned under the previous system, instead you can ‘port’ any miles earned under the old system to the new activity-based system for a fee of US$40 per 2,000 miles renewed. Miles earned under the new activity-based system cannot be renewed or extended by paying a fee, activity is required.

For Asia Miles in the activity-based system, simple ways to keep your miles alive for another 18 months include:

  • Transferring your NTUC LinkPoints to Asia Miles
  • A Kaligo or Rocketmiles hotel booking
  • A purchase at the Asia Miles Shop
Link to Asia
Keep it simple. Do this once a year and any Asia Miles earned after 1st Jan 2020 will never expire.

EVA Air

You can transfer credit card points into EVA Air’s Infinity MileageLands programme from American Express, Citi and Standard Chartered credit cards in Singapore.

EVtrans2
Expiry: 3 years
Extendable? No
Exceptions: None
The detail:
Mileage earned by traveling, or through partners, will be retained for 36 months from travel date or from the application date for transfer of mileage from partner’s system. For example, miles credited for a flight on 15th June 2019 will expire on 30th June 2022. The expired mileage will be automatically cancelled without notice.

Turkish Airlines

You can transfer credit card points into the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles programme from Citi credit cards in Singapore.

TKtrans
Expiry: 3 years
Extendable? Yes, for another 3 years
Exceptions: None
The detail:
Your miles are valid for at least 3 years starting from the date they were earned. They expire at the end of the third full calendar year at 23:59 local time in Turkey following their processing. For example if you credited to the programme in March 2020, those miles will expire on 31st December 2023. That means you’ll usually get more than 3 years to use them.

The statements sent out to you will show details of miles which are unused or about to expire. You can extend the validity of miles which are due to expire for another 3 years at a cost of 10 USD for every 1,000 miles.

Thai Airways

You can transfer credit card points into Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Plus programme from American Express and Citi credit cards in Singapore.

Thai Tails (Thai Airways)
Thai is one of the airlines with a fixed miles expiry policy that’s extending validity of its miles due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo: Thai Airways)
TGtrans
Expiry: 3 years
Extendable? No
Exceptions: No expiry for Platinum members
The detail:
Miles are valid for 3 years. Miles accrued in each quarter of any given year, and not redeemed, expire at the end of the corresponding quarter 3 years there after.

For example if you earned your miles in February 2020, they will expire on 31st March 2023 (the end of the first quarter, 3 years later).

Expiring miles that are not redeemed by the last day in each quarter are void and deleted from accounts.

COVID-19: Royal Orchid Plus members who have miles expiring in the first three quarters of 2020 (i.e. at the end of March 2020, June 2020 or September 2020) have had their validity extended to 31st December 2020.

Lufthansa

You can transfer credit card points into the Lufthansa Miles & More programme from Standard Chartered credit cards in Singapore.

MMtrans
Expiry: 3 years
Extendable? Yes*
Exceptions: No expiry for Frequent Traveller, Senator or HON Circle Member status holders

No expiry if you’ve held a Lufthansa co-branded credit card for three or more months and make at least one purchase per month

The detail:
Award miles are valid for 36 months from the date of the activity and, unless they have been used, expire at the end of the quarter. For example if you credit to the programme on 15th February 2020, the miles will expire 36 months after the end of that quarter, which is on 31st March 2023.

There is no way to extend your miles directly with Lufthansa, unless you gain Elite status or are eligible for one of the airline’s co-brand credit cards.

You can however extend your expiring miles for another three years through third-party company Loylogic (it’s legit) on payment of a EUR0.01 fee per mile, provided you have at least 500 miles expiring.

United Airlines

You can transfer credit card points into the United Mileage Plus programme from Standard Chartered credit cards in Singapore.

UAnewtrans
Expiry: Never
Extendable? N/a
Exceptions: N/a
The detail:
United MileagePlus miles never expire. Simple.