How to stop your Avios from expiring

Jun 12, 2022

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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

British Airways plane
(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:

  • 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 photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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