United MileagePlus has done away with its mileage expiration policy, adding new peace of mind for less frequent flyers.
Beginning Aug. 28, 2019, United MileagePlus miles no longer have an expiration date, as initially reported by The Points Guy. Now, frequent flyers of the airline won’t need to keep their accounts active to maintain their balance.
Previously, MileagePlus members needed to earn, redeem or transfer miles at least once every 18 months to keep their miles from expiring. For less frequent travelers, this could be a big downside – especially for those saving a large number of miles for a rainy day.
Luckily, the days of purchasing unnecessary items with miles to put off expiration are behind us.
Are mileage expiration dates disappearing?
United is not the first airline to do away with its mileage expiration policy, as it follows in the footsteps of Delta and JetBlue. Unfortunately, expiration policies are still common among other major airline programs.
American Airlines miles, for example, expire after 18 months of inactivity; Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire after 24 months of inactivity.
While it is encouraging that a major airline loyalty program like United MileagePlus is doing away with mileage expiration, it is still unclear if other programs will follow suit. For now, be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of any rewards program you take advantage of.