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Can my credit card points expire?

Alex Ritchie avatar
Alex Ritchie
- 4 min read
Can my credit card points expire?

Everyone loves earning rewards, which is why rewards credit cards are so popular in Australia.

And perhaps you’ve even been carefully tracking your spending for the last year to ensure you’ve earned enough frequent flyer points to go on a holiday or for a new appliance from your rewards points store.

However, some cardholders may not realise that their hard-earned points may not only be capped but can also expire over time. Here is everything you need to know about how credit card points can be limited and even removed by your card provider.

Do credit card points expire?

Short answer is yes, some credit card providers do have expiration dates on their points. However, the majority of credit cards do not allow rewards points to expire, while some may come with credit card point caps.

For the majority of credit cards with rewards expiry conditions, you’ll be encouraged to earn or redeem points at least once in a set time frame - such as every 18 or 24 months.

Different credit card providers have different rewards programs and expiry conditions. The easiest way to know if your credit card caps or expires points is to read your cards’ Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or the terms and conditions, typically found on your providers’ website.

In many cases if you cancel your credit card, you will forfeit any remaining rewards points attached to that account.

Here are some of the most popular credit card providers and their expiry conditions for various rewards programs:

ProviderAffiliated reward programsExpiry conditions
AMEXMembership RewardsNo expiry date
Qantas Frequent FlyerEarn or redeem points at least once every 18 months to avoid expiry
Virgin Velocity FlyerEarn or redeem points at least once every 24 months to avoid expiry
ANZANZ Rewards36 months after issue
Qantas Frequent FlyerEarn or use points at least once every 18 months to avoid expiry
St. George/Bank of Melbourne/Bank SAAmplify RewardsNo expiry date
Qantas Frequent FlyerEarn or use points at least once every 18 months to avoid expiry
CitiCiti RewardsNo expiry date
FlybuysEarn or collect points once a year to avoid expiry
Emirates SkywardsValid for 3 years from the date of travel and will expire at the end of the receiving member's month of birth in the third year.
Commonwealth BankCommbank AwardsNo expiry date
HSBCRewards Plus36 months after issue
Qantas Frequent FlyerEarn or use points at least once every 18 months to avoid expiry
NABNAB Rewards36 months after issue
Qantas Frequent FlyerEarn or use points at least once every 18 months to avoid expiry
WestpacAltitude RewardsNo expiry date
Qantas Frequent FlyerEarn or use points at least once every 18 months to avoid expiry

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as of 08/10/2020.

How do I prevent my credit card rewards points from expiring?

If you are saving up for a big-ticket reward point purchase but don’t want your credit card rewards points to expire, there are some strategies you can try to keep your points balance active.

  • Make small purchases: If there’s something small and affordable in your credit card’s rewards program that won’t dent your budget, such as a gift card to an affiliated store, consider exchanging points you won’t miss for this.
  • Earn points in different ways: If your frequent flyer rewards points are set to expire as you’ve been saving them up, but you are unable to easily earn new points via travelling, consider alternative ways to earn frequent flyer points. This includes purchasing items in affiliated stores with your chosen airline or even filling up your car with petrol. Take a look at your credit card point conditions and don’t forget to set calendar reminders before your points may expire, especially if you’re trying to grow your balance for a big purchase. This can help to prevent any disappointment.

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Product database updated 22 Jun, 2024

This article was reviewed by Finance Writer Alison Cheung before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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product data updated on

Product data updated on 22 Jun 2024