It is important to know your points expire in order to avoid losing a large stockpile of points. Most programs will allow you to renew the expiration date of your points by earning, transferring, or redeeming points. If you need some ideas on how to earn points for a specific program, visit our “Earning Points” page for each major airline or hotel (e.g., our United Airlines Earning Points page). You can also sometimes extend the life of the points by booking a hotel night with points and canceling it, which redeposits the points.
Points earned from an airline or hotel credit card will not expire by closing the card, because the points are transferred from the card automatically at the close of each statement. American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points will not expire as long as you have one card that earns those types of points. So if you have a large Chase Ultimate Rewards points balance and only one card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, don’t close that card until you either: (1) open another Ultimate Rewards card, (2) use those points via the Chase Travel Portal, or (3) transfer the points to an airline or hotel program.
However, for some programs, it is impossible to extend the life of your points. I made this mistake early in my points career when I transferred a ton of American Express points to Etihad during a 30% transfer bonus. Etihad’s points expire 24 months from the point of the transfer and there is no way to extend them, so I had to book a decent award to avoid a total loss.
Airline Expiration Date Ways to Extend Aegean 60 months Earn 1 point from a paid flight Aer Lingus 36 months Earn or redeem 1 point Aeroflot 24 months Earn 1 point from a paid flight Aeromexico 24 months Earn 1 point Aeroplan/Air Canada 12 months Earn or redeem 1 point. Air China 24 months, but expire on December 31 Not Possible Air France/KLM 24 months Earn 1 point from paid flight Air New Zealand 48 months Not possible Alaska Airlines 24 months Earn or redeem 1 point All Nippon Airways (ANA) 36 months Not Possible American 18 months Earn or redeem 1 point Asiana 120 months (10 years) Not possible Avianca 12 months Earn 1 point British Airways 36 months Earn or redeem 1 point Cathay Pacific 36 months Not possible China Southern 36 months Not possible Copa 24 months Earn or redeem 1 point Delta Never N/A Emirates 36 months Not possible Etihad 24 months Not possible EVA 36 months Not possible Frontier 6 months Earn 1 point Hainan 24 months Earn or redeem 1 point Hawaiian 18 months Earn or redeem 1 point Iberia 36 months Earn or redeem 1 point JAL 36 months Not possible JetBlue Never N/A Korean 120 months (10 years) Not possible LATAM 36 months 1 point from a paid flight Lufthansa 36 months Not possible Qantas 18 months Earn or redeem 1 point Qatar 36 months Not possible Singapore 36 months Not possible Southwest 24 months Earn 1 point Spirit 3 months Earn 1 point Thai 36 months Not possible Turkish 36 months Not possible United 18 months (unless you have United credit card) Earn or redeem 1 point Virgin Atlantic 36 months Earn or redeem 1 point Virgin Australia 24 months Earn or redeem 1 point