How to stop your Avios from expiring

Jun 12, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.

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.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.