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Is Avios planning to end points expiry?

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Very few people lose their Avios via expiry. The rules are very lenient – you only need to earn or spend one Avios every 36 months, from any source, to keep your balance alive.

People may use the odd small balance but, by definition, any even half-serious collector will have activity.

However, Virgin Flying Club recently changed its policy. To coincide with the launch of the Virgin Group-wide Virgin Red scheme, the expiry rules were removed entirely. Your Virgin Points are now safe for life.

Is avios expiry about to end?

Is Avios about to announce the end of expiry?

I imagine that most of you will have been tucked up in bed on Friday night with the 91 tightly-written pages of IAG’s 2020 financial results (PDF).

For those of you who didn’t make it all the way to the end, there is an interesting note at the top of page 56. This is where you have the details about the accounting treatment of outstanding Avios.

To quote:

“Deferred revenue relating to customer loyalty programmes consists primarily of revenue allocated to performance obligations associated with Avios. Avios are issued by the Group’s airlines through their loyalty rogrammes, or are sold to third parties such as credit card providers, who issue them as part of their loyalty programme. Avios do not have an expiry date and can be redeemed at any time in the future. Revenue may therefore be recognised at any time in the future.

You need to remember that this is in the formal, albeit unaudited, financial statements. Every word has been gone over carefully. It would be surprising if it had slipped through by accident.

Let’s see if there is an announcement in the next few weeks.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (45)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • vlcnc says:

    I got an email yesterday about points expiring wierdly, I thought points expire only after 36 months of inactivity? I checked my last activity and I did a hotel transfer from Marriott in March 2019 so only been 24 months – so am wondering if something has changed??

    • ChrisC says:

      If they didn’t send you an email about expiry and giving people time to do something about it you’d be complaining!

      • vlcnc says:

        Not complaining if they’re just giving me ample time – not an expert on miles (which is why I occasionally read here), just checking they’re not suddenly changed this 36 month rule or if hotel transfers don’t count as saw this article.

  • Adam Toscani says:

    Can someone just explain in plain English everyday Joe layman’s terms please? Do my points expire if I don’t use them? My partner and I both have avios accounts which are both lumped together in the household account. Thanks

  • flyforfun says:

    Lets be thankful BA isn’t like Emirates and some other airlines where points have a fixed life to use them in. It doesn’t allow the occasional traveller to build up many points but obviously useful to a frequent flyer as there should be fewer people competing for reward seats.

    • Mawalt says:

      I think these airlines have it wrong as it actually discourages most people from using their loyalty schemes except for the top tier frequent flyers. L M&M is a good example because without the credit card, there is really very little point in them: the other schemes are often worse.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Because of the expiry policy I’ll drive 100 miles to fly BA instead of emirates from my local airport. I’d also go via Qatar when that was an option.

      I also transferred MR to emirates purely so I could cash out some orphan points to Heathrow Rewards.

      It’s completely bonkers to make it as hard as possible to build a large enough balance to redeem a flight.

  • G says:

    I think this is just conservative accounting for the fact that it’s so easy to keep avios alive

  • Stu N says:

    “You need to remember that this is in the formal, albeit unaudited, financial statements. Every word has been gone over carefully. It would be surprising if it had slipped through by accident.”

    What you don’t say is the review has been done by a sleep deprived audit junior who never wants to see another pizza or Hilton breakfast ever again….

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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