The Healthy Sleep Challenge helps redeem expired Qantas frequent flyer points

Qantas travelers who are letting their hard-earned frequent flyer points expire because of the pandemic need not despair as many now have the opportunity to run, bike and sleep to regain expired points.

Regaining points is part of a new informal process using the company’s wellness app.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: How to get expired frequent flyer points back.

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Frequent flyer credits may expire if no additional points or flight activity are recorded in travelers’ accounts.

However, most rewards programs go to great lengths to ensure that these points do not expire.

It can take as little as a single point accumulated within the year at an affiliated mall or on the company’s app to keep them active.

However, should they expire, 7NEWS understands there is now an informal process in place for Qantas customers to recover their expired points by completing a specified number of Qantas Wellness App challenges over a six-month period.

All they have to do is ask.

“(Qantas) gives you six months to earn at least 2500 points from two different sources, and when you do that you get back either some or all of the points you’ve lost,” said Australian frequent flyer editor Matt Graham said 7NEWS.

Many Qantas customers have long used the Wellness app to earn points and keep their accounts ‘active’ through such challenges. Now they can also reclaim expired points.

A 30-minute run earns up to 12 points, a round of golf earns up to 19 points, a two-hour bike ride earns up to 21 points, and a 45-minute swim earns up to 20 points.

Another challenge targeting sleep health rewards users for putting their phones down at least 30 minutes before their set bedtime and avoiding phone use during the night.

Frequent flyers with expired points have six months to redeem them by completing challenges in the Qantas Wellbeing App. Credit: 7NEWS

7NEWS understands that customers who have been given the green light by Qantas have been able to access their expired points and keep the newly earned points through the app within the specified timeframe after earning the specified points.

Some users are excluded from certain in-app features that multiply the points earned. These ‘multipliers’ are only available to users who also have health or life insurance or hold a Premier Titanium credit card through Qantas.

How long does it take for my frequent flyer points to expire?

The lifespan of an untouched frequent flyer account varies by rewards program.

Qantas frequent flyers – along with members of the affiliated Woolworths program Everyday Rewards – are required to earn points every 18 months to ensure their balance remains valid.

However, some of these requirements have been suspended during the pandemic.

Compare market spokesman Phillip Portman to 7NEWS: “Many rewards programs actually have a suspended expiration date for a period of time.

“Many people have not traveled or redeemed points during the pandemic.”

With aircraft now back in service, unaffected frequent flyer points may again expire due to inactivity.

Graham told 7NEWS he “saw a family lose 1.8 million points” last week.

“(That’s) enough for six round-the-world business class trips,” he said.

Many frequent flyer programs have been frozen during the pandemic due to travel restrictions, a rewards program expert said. Credit: Gary John Norman/Getty Images

A Qantas spokesman told “Unlike many loyalty schemes, Qantas points do not expire as long as the member remains ‘active’ – meaning the member earns or redeems at least one Qantas point every 18 months.

“Qantas is issuing several reminders and notifications to its frequent flyer members warning of the possible expiration of points. These messages contain simple tips and links on how you can quickly and easily earn points or use them to keep points active.”

Velocity frequent flyers, unlike Qantas members, do not have the ability to redeem expired points and are required to earn points every 24 months to ensure their balance remains valid after the pandemic lockdown ends in June 2023.

Members of Coles Group’s affiliated Flybys program are required to earn points every 12 months to maintain their balance and these points can be converted into the Velocity partner program to use on travel.

“When you’re shopping, make sure you’re Boosting in the apps and flashing those cards because the points you earn through Everyday Rewards or through Flybys can actually be exchanged for frequent flyer points,” Portman said.

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James Brien

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