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Best OW alliance for non-expiring miles

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Old Oct 11, 10, 2:22 am
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Best OW alliance for non-expiring miles

Hello all,

This is my first post to flyertalk although I have been a lurker for a while.

I was wondering what people thought was the best airline in OW if someone wanted to get miles that never expired. I travel around 500k - 600k BIS miles a year and currently use Finnair as my OW carrier and also have a Marco Polo account. Both of these programs do not offer a lifetime mile option at any of their status levels so I was wondering what the best program that the majority of people use to circumvent that was.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old Oct 11, 10, 5:08 am
  #2
Ambassador: Japan Airlines
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: LAX
Programs: JAL Mileage Bank, oneworld Sapphire, SPG Gold
Posts: 13,712
Welcome to flyertalk, atlasspeaks!

Where are you base at? HKG? And what your travel pattern is like? Is non-expiring miles the only thing you want to get?

With the amount of travel you did, you can attain JAL top level elite easily. As long as you maintain JGC Premier or JMB Diamond status, your miles won't expire. But attaining JMB status requires 4 JAL Group flights.

Another option is AA. As long as you have activity in every 18 months, the miles won't expire.

These are the two off the top of my head. But IMHO, other things such as mileage redemption opportunity is just as important. E.g. If you want to redeem upgrade award, you'd better stick with the airline you travel most or bank the miles to the program that would let you redeem upgrade award.
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Old Oct 11, 10, 6:41 am
  #3
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Well my situation is interesting. I'm based out of ICN so my two main airlines are Asiana and Korean Air. They both have very good expiration times at their top tiers, 12 years and non-expiring, respectively. However, to get to top tier on both airlines requires 1 million miles which is a bit ludicrous. To get lounge access quicker I've been putting my non-Korean air and non-Asiana flights on Lufthansa (Star Alliance) and Delta (Sky Team), which leaves me with just One World to complete. I first put my miles on Mexicana since I was flying to Mexico frequently but that turned out to be a bad move. Now I have them in Finnair because I was flying out of Helsinki a good deal as well but realized a bit too late that Finnair and Marco Polo both have pretty terrible expiration times on their miles. My travel patterns are very erratic and I never really know where I am going so I'm just covering all my continental bases with my programs.

I might look into AA, but I'd prefer a program where if I don't use my miles in the course of a few years they won't vanish.
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Old Oct 11, 10, 6:58 am
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA EXP 4.28 MM & LT PLT, QR PLT, SPG PLT 100 and LT GLD
Posts: 9,721
Originally Posted by atlasspeaks View Post
I might look into AA, but I'd prefer a program where if I don't use my miles in the course of a few years they won't vanish.
AA only requires activity every 18 months. I know that this is discussed somewhere else on FT, but IIRC if you get an award ticket, that counts as qualifying activity even if you subsequently cancel the ticket and return the miles to your AAdvantage account. If you're EXP (as I would guess that you will be), I don't think that there's a service charge for the return, and the taxes/fuel fines you pay on redemption would be refunded.
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Old Oct 16, 10, 2:51 pm
  #5
Moderator, Hilton Honors
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: hopefully travelling
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Posts: 70,041
Welcome to Flyer Talk atlasspeaks

I maintain a blog post summarising the mileage expiry policies of all major FFPs.
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Old Oct 16, 10, 7:14 pm
  #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Hague
Programs: AA, BA, KLM
Posts: 158
AA is good and easy in this resepct. I think the official rule is also 4 AA metal flights a year but this has not been enforced.
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