The issue of expiring points is not one anyone with an active Qantas Frequent Flyer account should need to worry about. Qantas has a clear policy that points will not expire as long as the account has been active in some way in the past 18 months. But for less frequent travellers, this is a potential problem.
This week one of our members has a gripe with Qantas for the way they (barely) drew their attention to the fact their childrens’ frequent flyer points were about to be wiped due to account inactivity. Almost by chance, a notice about the impending expiry date was discovered hidden in a standard monthly “points balance” email.
“Over the last 18 months our family travel has been restricted to [South America]. So no QFF activity for them… We received emails today that their points were about to expire. But that is the problem – it was only by sheer chance we realised that the emails were saying that.”
Some believe that the lack of a warning is a deliberate measure by Qantas to try to get more points to expire. It is also noted that the airline recently removed a feature on its website that stated when the most recent activity in an account was and when points are due to expire.
I certainly agree that QF could do better to alert their members of this, but then again the cynic suggests that while it is made very clear about points expiry, it’s in QF’s interest to allow points to expire as it’s less liability.
Whether or not it is Qantas’ intention to allow the points to expire unnoticed, most agree that the airline could do more to alert their members. American Airlines, for example, sends out an email specifically warning members if their points are about to lapse.
In any case, our members are happy to offer advice to help you ensure that your account remains active and your hard-earned points remain as your points.
The important thing to remember is that as long as there is some sort of activity in your account – with the exception of family transfers – every 18 months, your points are safe. There are a few easy ways to ensure this. A popular method is to install the Qantas toolbar. Once installed on your computer, you will earn one point per search. Making just one search per year and crediting the single point to your account may not be enough get you any free flights, but it will keep your existing points balance alive and kicking.
Other methods involve making a point-earning purchase with a program partner, for example by spending $31 at Woolworths. (One point per dollar over $30 is earned on transactions at Woolies.)
In this case, the chosen solution was to transfer the points to an active account. Points can be transferred up to four times per year between family members.
Have you been caught out? Perhaps you have another strategy to ensure your points don’t expire. Share your experiences HERE.