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Having a loyalty currency balance expire due to a lack of activity has been a frustrating aspect of the miles & points world for quite some time but there has long been a special place in hell reserved for loyalty programs that expire miles and points even if a member has been crediting flights or stays to their account on a frequent basis.
Lufthansa’s Miles & More program and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer are just two examples of loyalty programs where miles will expire after a set period of time regardless of how many flights you credit to the program in the intervening period and, up until today, Asia Miles was a program that followed suit.
Not any more.
As of 1 January 2020 Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program) will no longer automatically expire 3 years from the date they were credited to a member’s account.
Unfortunately Asia Miles hasn’t decided to follow the likes of United and Delta by eliminating the concept of mileage expiration completely, but it will be allowing its members to keep their balances alive by posting some activity to their accounts at least once every 18 months (this is similar to how the American Airlines AAdvantage program works right now).
Importantly, however, this new and improved expiration policy will not extend to miles that have already been earned and which are already sitting in member accounts.
Per Asia Miles:
For all new Miles earned from 1 January 2020, the Miles expiry date is automatically extended by 18 months from your last Miles crediting or debiting date. All Miles credited on or before 31 December 2019 will continue to follow the existing Miles expiry arrangement.
This seems unnecessarily harsh but the policy change is still very welcome.
Keeping Your Asia Miles Balance Alive
Asia Miles suggests that crediting flights to an Asia Miles account, redeeming miles from an Asia Miles account and earning miles from credit card spending will all constitute activity that will extend the validity of a member’s miles balance by a further 18 months…but US-based Asia Miles members should have another option too.
Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou both allow members to transfer points across to Asia Miles (in 1,000 point increments) and these transfers should also qualify as an activity that will extend the expiration date of an Asia Miles balance (we should be able to confirm this in the new year).
I would have preferred to see Asia Miles remove all mention of a mileage expiration policy from its terms and conditions but given how draconian the current expiration policy is, this is still a very positive move.