Advertiser Disclosure

When Do Your Frequent Flyer Miles Expire?

April 6, 2018
Travel
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

How do you ensure your miles don’t expire before you had a chance to redeem them?

Easy — just make sure there’s some account activity before the expiration period is over. Account activity is any action that either adds or uses points.

When does your frequent flyer miles expire?

AirlinesFrequent flyer programMiles expiration
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan24 months if account is inactive
American Airlines
AAdvantage

Read our review
18 months if account is inactive
Delta AirlinesSkyMiles

Read our review
None
Frontier AirlinesEarlyReturnssix months if your account is inactive
Hawaiian AirlinesHawaiianMiles18 months if account is inactive
JetBlue AirwaysTrueBlueNone
Southwest AirlinesRapid Rewards

Read our review
two years if account is inactive
Spirit AirlinesSpirit Milesthree months without earning miles
United AirlinesMileagePlus

Read our review
18 months if account is inactive

To keep your miles active, fly more with that airline. Try flying a weekend trip to rack up some mileage. An easier way to gain miles (and account activity) is to link your credit card to Skymall accounts or other retailers that offer similar services. Any purchase you made will add airline miles to your account.

Some airlines also count travel rewards credit card usage as account activity since you’re adding to your mileage bank. As long as you use your JetBlue American Express within 12 months, your account is active.

>>MORE: The best travel credit cards

Or, if you don’t mind parting with some miles, a lot of programs let you spend some miles on other things, like magazine subscriptions, to keep your account active. You lose a few hundred points, but that’s way better than losing all your miles.

More from NerdWallet 

Cheap things to do in any city

How to find cheap flights

Find deals and hacks on traveling smarter