Expiring Asia Miles


One of the absolute worst features about Asia Miles is that they expire…as opposed to most other programs where regular activity keeps the miles in perpetuity. Earned Asia Miles fall into yearly buckets, which expire every 3 years. Below I outline some ways to utilize or keep your Asia Miles from expiring.

1. Book an award ticket! – Duh.

Well, this is not so simple if you have no plans to travel. The good thing is that the expiration date is not the latest travel date, it is the lastest date to redeem the miles. Asia Miles allows you to book tickets up to around 360 days in advance. So, if you have miles expiring tomorrow, you can still book a ticket within a year.

What if you don’t know what dates you’ll travel? 

One nice aspect of Asia Miles is the date change policy. You can change the dates of the flights for FREE (keeping the itinerary the same,) within a year from the date of ticketing.

Lets say you want to go to Bangkok (or any destination), but have no idea when to go. Just book a ticket with a dummy date sometime in the future, and then change the dates when you pinpoint your exact days. Personally I’d try to book something around 11-12 months out so I don’t have to keep calling customer service to extend the ticket.

Can I change my dates of travel after my flight award has been issued? If so, how?

Yes, you can change your travel dates free of charge, subject to award seat availability. Please contact us prior to your original departure date. You can send us your request by phone, email, fax or via the online feedback form.

2. Redeem and refund your miles

Lets suppose you followed my suggestion above, but decided not to take that trip to Bangkok after all. A year has almost gone by and the ticket will be a complete waste, right?  Wrong. You can redeposit the Asia Miles back into your account, and the miles will have a new 3-year expiration date for a fee of $120 USD or 12,000 Asia Miles.

Can I cancel my redemption booking online? If so, how will I be refunded?

Redemption bookings can be cancelled online. If you wish to receive a refund for your award ticket, please ensure that the ticket is totally unused and has not expired. You can then contact The Marco Polo Club Service Centre or Asia Miles Service Centre for a refund, where a service fee of either USD120 or 12,000 Asia Miles applies. Once the process is complete, the mileage will be credited back to your account, and the airport taxes and fuel surcharges paid for the award tickets will be refunded to your credit card account within 4 to 6 weeks.

3. Use the miles on non-air travel

Generally Asia Miles has poor redemption values for non-flight related items, but you could purchase items from their online store if you really have no other use for the miles.

Asia Miles Lifestyle Awards

There is one item I think has a good value however, and this is the Airport Limousine service in Tokyo. You can find these under Car Rental & Transportation.

The award requires 5,000 miles for travel between Narita and downtown Tokyo, or 4,000 from Haneda. I have taken this bus before, it is timely and there are porters to help load on and off your luggage. The normal cost between Narita and Tokyo is 3,000 JPY or approx $38 USD. I usually value miles at about $0.01 USD a piece, so this one of the best values for Lifestyle Awards.



  1. Thank you for your article. The main problem I see here is they don’t make it clear that they’ll charge you a very steep fee to extend the expiration date. I have had other mileage programs with mileage expiration dates. I was able to call before they expired and roll them over for no cost or a nominal fee. In the case of Asia Miles, they wanted to charge me $1,600USD to roll over 81,000 miles…actually 80,000 miles because they only work in 2,000-mile increments. A $1,600 fee is RIDICULOUSLY high under any circumstance. Asia Miles customer service is next to impossible to contact via telephone, they don’t respond to email messages and they are not upfront about the costs they will charge you to change expiration dates. They say all of their policies are on their website which is hard to navigate and the information is buried. If they want to charge to avoid expiration, they should clearly include that information when they email you that they are about to expire. I didn’t realize this was an “urgent” matter until I tried to extend the mileage the day before they expired. I even got American Express involved (the miles I deposited were from AmEx) to see if they had a “secret phone number” to reach them because after 5 attempts and being on hold for almost an hour each call I gave up. AmEx even they agreed the way they have this set up is difficult at best, they had never heard of such a high fee for this type of transaction and agreed the website was difficult. Asia Miles also forced me to register my cell phone number (which I did NOT want to do) with them before I could even log on to my account. $1,600USD is A LOT of money for doing nothing but a computer entry and for miles I didn’t even earn by flying with them…it’s free found money for them and I feel they are definitely taking advantage of their passengers.

  2. Hi,

    Are you sure your redeem+refund for US$120 fee gets the expiring miles extended for another 3years?

    I think the above only gets the expiring miles to extend “until your NEXT expiring date” (ie, usually 1year or less) according to CX. For example:

    I have 90k miles expiring on 31July 2014 and I booked a confirmed flight for May 2015 using those miles. I can cancel the flight anytime for a fee of US$120 and the 90k miles will go back into my account BUT those 90k miles will expire on 31Jul2015.

    Am I right or wrong? Thanks.

    • My previous experience has the refunded miles expiring three years later. Maybe other readers can help advise if they experienced a different expiration date upon refund.

  3. tom: how many miles between hkg and lax? which months are the easiest time to book ticket to los angeles? what’s the difference between premium economy and economy besides price?

    • 60K in economy between HKG and LAX using US miles. Generally the low seasons for travel between Asia and North America is Jan – April and Mid-Sep – right before Xmas. I don’t think you can redeem Star Alliance awards on premium economy class. But generally it’ll have more legroom and maybe better food and service. In between business and economy basically.

  4. Hi there I need your advice as I have about 48,000 miles expiring on March 2013 and I have no idea what is best to do with them in order to not waste anything… could you please give me some advice please??? huge thanks!!!

    • Hi Stan,

      As mentioned in the post I would suggest booking a ticket to a place you can imagine yourself flying to within the next year, since you can change the dates for free.

      For example, if you’re from overseas, 48,000 miles will get you a one way ticket in premium economy to a destination up to 7,500 miles from HKG. Or you could book a roundtrip ticket to somewhere within 5,00 miles in economy roundtrip. HKG to Sydney perhaps, hypothetically.

      You’ve got tons of options here. Worst case if you won’t fly redeem it for goods, but usually terrible value. Or book a ticket for friends or family, the ticket doesn’t have to be in your name.

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  7. “I usually value miles at about US$0.01 USD a piece”.
    I think you should value the miles much more than that. I think a good valuation is the one offered by Asia Miles itself, where you can buy 1,000 mile blocks for US$30. That makes each mile valued US$0.03, quite a huge difference.

    • @alfeno: I definitely agree with you. Asia Miles should be valued higher than $0.01 USD in most instances, but not sure I would take the price that the airline sells it as face value, because it’s based on redemption value.

      As a sample I just checked HKG – HAN RT May 29/Jun 15, running $3500 HKD ~ $448 USD. 15K Asia miles for a RT ticket, so runs to $0.0298 on this expensive route. (+Taxes / Fees / Surcharges will devalue it slightly more)

      However, if I look at a HKG – SYX $2130 HKD ~$273 USD; comes out to $0.0182 per mile…so in summary it varies depending on what you redeem the miles for.

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