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How to stop your Avios from expiring

June 12, 2022
3 min read
How to stop your Avios from expiring
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information.

Avios are the mileage currency of British Airways, Iberia, Qatar and Aer Lingus. Flyers can earn Avios on flights with any Oneworld alliance partner, as well as through some nonairline partners. The same broadly applies to redemption: Flyers can redeem Avios toward flights on each of the previously mentioned airlines as well as many others.

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There are certain risks with holding large sums of Avios. The first risk is devaluation. Typically, devaluation means that either the earning rate or the spending rate changes. The other risk to your Avios balance is that the points expire. It's important to know when your Avios will expire, so you don't suddenly see your hard-earned Avios balance disappear.

The good news is that compared to other programs, British Airways Executive Club is relatively generous with the Avios expiration rules. "Your Avios stay with you as long as you collect, spend, purchase or share at least one Avios every 36 months — any longer and your Avios will expire and be removed, so remember to take action before those three years are up," the airline's website states.

Related: How to transfer your Avios between British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus accounts

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

As long as your account has some activity every three years, your Avios are safe. Eligible activity includes earning, spending, sharing or even buying any amount of Avios.

In particular, earning activities for British Airways Avios include:

  • Flights on British Airways or any partner airline.
  • Crediting hotel stays to British Airways Executive Club or British Airways holiday bookings.
  • Crediting car rentals to British Airways Executive Club.
  • Using a British Airways credit card, such as the British Airways Visa Signature Card.

You can also prevent your Avios from expiring by spending them. These options include:

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  • Booking a reward flight with Avios — either an outright Avios redemption or using a combination of Avios and cash.
  • Upgrading a flight using Avios.
  • Using Avios to save money on cash flights.
  • Booking a hotel or car rental with Avios.

Purchasing Avios or sharing Avios with another Executive Club member will also reset your 36-month expiration clock.

Related: Why it makes sense to earn at least 1 British Airways Avios every year

Bottom line

You work hard to build up your Avios balance, so you should do everything possible to make sure you don't unintentionally lose your rewards. The good news is that there are many ways to earn Avios regularly — especially if you're following our beginners guide.

Additional reporting by Lori Zaino.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023