We all hate expiring miles & points. I dislike miles expiry as much as anybody else. Depending of the program, the miles expire if there is no activity for certain time (usually 18 to 24 months) or set number of years after earning them (normally 3 to 5).
Some programs allow you to reactivate expired miles by paying a fee for doing so. Now, American Airlines has launched a campaign that is valid until the end of 2012. Please note that you can only reactivate miles that expired on or after December 31, 2002. You can access the offer here.
You can reactivate your expired American Airlines miles for a set fee:
- $200 to reactivate 1 to 50,000 expired miles
- $400 to reactivate 50.001 to 75,000 expired miles
- $600 to reactivate more than 75,000 expired miles
This offer is especially good if you had a large chunk of miles expired as the fee is capped at $600.
There is not an answer what an AA miles is worth because it depends entirely how you are using them. Conservatively, I normally use a figure about 1.5 cents for an AA mile. So, if you had more than 13K miles to expire that you could now reactivate, I would do it.
I know, it doesn’t sound right to having to pay to reactivate miles that you have earned. Sometimes it can make sense.
You can essentially consider this an offer to purchase American Airlines miles. Divide the fee by the miles you would reactivate. If the price is reasonable as it is if you had large number of miles to expire, just pay the fee and be done with it.
Here are AA’s frequently asked question about reactivating miles:
Q: Can I reactivate all of the miles that expired from my account, even if they expired at different times? A: As long as the miles expired on or after December 31, 2002, then there’s no limit to the number of miles you can reactivate. It doesn’t matter if your miles expired at different times. Rates are charged based on the total number of miles reactivated from one account at one time, regardless of when the miles expired. You can reactivate your entire expired mileage balance or just the portion you need. View complete details on Reactivating Miles.
Q: If it’s so easy to keep miles from expiring, why must I pay a charge to reactivate them? A: Keeping miles from expiring and reactivating expired miles are two very different activities. The AAdvantage policy on mileage expiration is extremely liberal, in that members have the ability to extend the validity of their miles indefinitely provided they have qualifying activity at least once every 18 months. However, after 18 months of non-activity, miles will expire and can no longer be used. The limited time offer to reactivateAAmiles provides customers with a special opportunity to use their expired miles by paying a charge.
Q: If I reactivate my miles, how long will they be valid? A: Reactivated miles are subject to expiration, which occurs if your account has no qualifying activity in any 18-month period. Since mileage reactivation counts as a qualifying activity, you will have at least 18 months in which to redeem your reactivated miles for an award.