Due to COVID-19, most airlines have extended their points expiration policies. For U.S. airlines, that’s understandable because the airlines that haven’t totally done away with point expiration typically make you have some account activity every 12-18 months.
It’s a different story when dealing with points programs from outside the U.S. For example, I’ve been receiving emails from British Airways over the past year reminding me that my points are approaching their expiration date.
While I’m not traveling, I haven’t found any use for my Avios. Fortunately, British Airways has one of the most lenient policies with regards to expiring points. To keep your points, you only need to have some type of Avios activity every 36 months. That’s either redeeming or earning Avios.
One of my favorite ways to keep accounts active is to credit a car rental, but I don’t plan on renting a car. I might make a flight redemption using Avios for the end of 2021 or early 2022, but that’s not a sure bet.
I need to find a way to keep my points active and have 5 months to do it.
One of the easiest ways would be to make a purchase through the British Airways shopping portal. There’s a bunch of online shopping links, any of which would deposit points into my account in plenty of time.
This time of year, one appealing offer is to earn points purchasing TurboTax. It’s something I’m going to be buying anyway. I might as well earn miles and keep my account active in the process.
But what if there was nothing of any interest in the British Airways store?
My next option would be to transfer points to British Airways from either AMEX Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards. The flexible point programs of both banks are transfer partners with British Airways. I’d have to transfer 1,000 points, but that’s enough to keep my points active for another 3 years. Which currency you choose to transfer depends on which one you value most or which one you have a healthy account balance.
Marriot Bonvoy is also a transfer partner but unless you’re transferring in 60,000 point increments to get 25% more airline miles, it’s a bad deal. However, it’s not the worst deal.
The last and most repulsive option would be to purchase 1,000 Avios for $53. Ouch.
Right now, I’m considering the TurboTax deal. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll find another purchase through the shopping portal or transfer 1,000 points into my account from AMEX or Chase.
As long as you don’t want until the last second, there’s hardly ever a need to pay the ridiculous price to purchase miles to keep an account active.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary