Unused frequent flyer points will usually expire after a certain amount of time. In our local Qantas and Virgin Velocity programs, points will only expire if the account is not kept active. Earning or redeeming just one point at least once every 18 months is all it takes to keep the entire balance alive. But not all programs work this way. In Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program, all miles expire exactly three years after they are earned – regardless of how active the account is.
With such a restrictive point expiration policy, it is important for KrisFlyer members to keep track of their miles to ensure they don’t expire. Constantly earning and burning points will ensure that any miles earned are spent within three years. But what should you do if you have a large balance of miles with an imminent expiry date, and no plans to fly Singapore Airlines in the near future?
I have about 15500 KrisFlyer points that will expire next May. We have no plans to use them beforehand as they will not buy any flights out of Australia. Most of my points are on QF and I am not a member of Velocity but my wife is. It seems the best option is for me to join Velocity and transfer the Kris points to it, even though I will lose some points in the transfer rate. Any suggestions as to whether this is the best option or other ideas?
One option is to transfer the miles to Virgin Australia’s Velocity program. As part of a unique agreement between Virgin and Singapore Airlines, points can be transferred between the two programs. There is a small penalty on point transfers, but once converted they will not expire as long as the Velocity account is kept active.
Another possibility is to simply use the miles. While 15,000 KrisFlyer miles may not be enough to fly on Singapore Airlines out of Australia, it is sufficient for a shorter Singapore Airlines or partner airline flight. Partner airlines include Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. As an example, 11,000 miles is all that is needed for many Virgin Australia domestic flight redemptions.
Paying a small fee to extend the miles is another option. All members can extend their KrisFlyer miles for up to six months. Plus, anyone holding status with Singapore Airlines is able to extend their miles for up to 12 months for the same price. Miles can be extended online or over the phone, though it is cheaper to do so on the Singapore Airlines website.
I spotted on the SQ website that it’s possible (for a small cash or points fee) to extend the validity of KF Miles by 6 months (via the Miles Expiry tab in your KF account). From memory, the charge was US$20 or 1500 points per 10,000 points extended. If you can use the KF Miles later in the year, it might be a better option than the 1.35:1 loss (or thereabouts) that will apply if transferring them to Velocity?
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