Understanding Mileage Expiration Policies in U.S. Loyalty Programs

When it comes to travel rewards, accruing miles or points through airline loyalty programs is a common strategy among travelers. These rewards, often earned through flights, credit card spending, or partner activities, can lead to significant savings on future travel expenses. However, one crucial aspect of loyalty programs that travelers must navigate is the expiration policies associated with these rewards.

In the United States, various airlines offer loyalty programs with differing rules regarding the expiration of miles or points. Understanding these policies is essential to ensure that hard-earned rewards do not go to waste. Let’s delve into the mileage expiration policies of popular U.S. loyalty programs and explore strategies to prevent rewards from expiring.

U.S. Loyalty Programs With No Mileage Expiration

Among U.S. carriers, several loyalty programs stand out for their absence of mileage expiration policies. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and United MileagePlus all offer miles that never expire. While these programs provide peace of mind to members, it’s essential to note any inactive account policies that may lead to temporary locks but can be easily reinstated.

Other Major U.S. Airline Loyalty Programs

While most U.S. airline programs offer miles that don’t expire, some exceptions exist. American Airlines AAdvantage, Frontier Airlines Frontier Miles, and Spirit Airlines Free Spirit have mileage expiration policies ranging from 12 to 24 months of inactivity. However, certain exemptions apply, such as age or credit cardholder status.

Tips to Prevent Miles From Expiring

To prevent miles from expiring, travelers can engage in various activities beyond flying. These may include accruing mileage credit through dining partners, car rentals, credit card spending, or transferring points from other loyalty programs. Additionally, many airlines offer reactivation options for expired miles, typically involving a reactivation fee.

By staying informed about each airline’s specific requirements and engaging in regular activity within loyalty programs, travelers can ensure their miles remain active and ready for redemption. Whether through flying, dining, or utilizing credit card benefits, keeping accounts active is key to preserving valuable rewards.


Airline miles can be valuable assets for travelers, offering opportunities for free flights and other benefits. Understanding the expiration policies of loyalty programs and taking proactive measures to keep accounts active are crucial steps in maximizing the value of airline miles and preventing loss.

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