Answering the FAQ – Do Avios Points Expire?
If you’re a regular reader of Thrifty Points the likelihood of your Avios points ever expiring is minimal. However if you’ve got a bunch of Avios sitting in an account which has remained inactive for some time then these Avios points may well be at risk.
With a value of roughly 1p per Avios point, you could be sitting on a small gold mine. As such it’s important to know the answer to the simple question – do Avios expire? Read on to find out the rules surrounding British Avios expiration and how you can stop Avios expiring!
If you’re new to Avios or would like to see how you can make your Avios points go further, you may find our recent British Airways First Class review interesting. Within the article there’s a step-by-step guide on how to earn enough Avios points in a year from your day-to-day spending for a First Class flight. Alternatively sign up to our newsletter for weekly tips and tricks…
So when do British Airways Avios Expire?
I’m afraid to say that in certain instances it’s more than possible for those hard-earned Avios to expire. If you don’t collect, spend, purchase or share at least one Avios every 3 years your Avios points will expire.
As such all you need to do to prevent Avios expiration is simply find one way to earn or use at least one Avios on your account. Even if you don’t fly regularly this should be an extremely easy mission to accomplish as we show below.
How to Prevent BA Avios Expiration?
The good news is that there are numerous ways you can prevent British Airways Avios expiry. Let’s take a look at these methods, starting with the easiest…
Shop with British Airways
Will you be making an online purchase over the next month? Well, did you know that you can earn Avios points with 100s of retailers? Simply go to the British Airways shopping site and click through to your retailer of choice. By doing so you can earn anywhere between 1 and 12 Avios for every £1 you spend and also extend the life of your Avios by 36 months. However this option isn’t instant so if you’re in your 35th month (or anywhere near) you may want to select one of the other options…
Purchase or Transfer Avios
You can purchase Avios through the British Airways website but I’m afraid to say they’re not cheap. With a £15 handling fee the smallest purchase of 1,000 Avios would cost you £31 – a terrible deal as we discuss here.
Alternatively you can transfer up to 27,000 Avios a year to another British Airways Executive Club member. It’s unfortunately going to cost you though, with a transfer fee of £25 for 1,000 to 6,000 Avios.
Convert Membership Rewards Points
One of the most generous free rewards credit cards in the market offers free transfers to Avios. If you already have American Express Membership Rewards points it’s possible to convert these to Avios at a rate of 1:1.
If you have some time on your hands and would like a market-leading credit card for earning Avios points (yes even better than British Airways’ own card!!) we’d recommend the American Express Gold Card (reviewed here). The card earns the equivalent of 1 Avios point for every £1 you spend. You’ll also receive a sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points (equivalent to 10,000 Avios), if you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months, as well as 2 free lounge passes.
You can increase the sign-up bonus from 10,000 points to 12,000 points using this link.
Spend Avios to Stop Avios Expiry
One final option is to use some of your Avios points. You can use your Avios points on a staggering 29 airlines (I too was shocked when I worked this out) so you shouldn’t struggle to find a flight redemption. You could also use the part pay with Avios function which would allow you to reduce the cost of a flight by using a minimum of 1,000 Avios points.
Alternatively you can use your Avios points for hotel bookings or car rental through this page on the British Airways website.
Do Household Avios Expire?
The 36-month rule relating to whether Household Avios expire is exactly the same. However only by redeeming Avios points can you ensure that everyone’s personal Avios within the Household account do not expire. This is because by redeeming points from a Household account, a prorated number of points will be taken from each person’s account – therefore keeping everyone’s account active.
If you only earn points then they will go towards your personal account, keeping solely the account of the individual who earned the Avios points active. Don’t get caught out!
Summary – Don’t Let Those Avios Points expire!
Preventing those Avios points from expiring should be easy for regular readers of Thrifty Points. Even if you’re not a regular reader (although we hope you will be with time), we’ve highlighted a number of ways you can prevent Avios expiration.
If you’ve got time on your side, one of the easiest methods is using the British Airways online shopping portal – found here. You’ll earn anywhere between 1 and 12 Avios for every £1 you spend and ensure your Avios are kept active for a further 36 months.
Alternatively and only in a worst-case scenario, you can purchase 1,000 Avios for £31. We would however make sure you try to avoid this at all costs….