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Yes, Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank Miles do expire at the end of the 36th month after they were earned. Per the JAL FAQs page:
“The last day for the 36th month following the month of the flight (transaction) date”
To put this policy in simpler terms, it means your miles expire 36 months after they were earned at the end of the month. So if you earned your miles on August 10, 2022, they would expire on August 31, 2025.
Unfortunately, JAL does not offer the ability to extend the validity of its miles to its members. Worse, there is no way to have your miles reinstated if they have expired. So, it's important to keep up with when your Japan Airlines miles do expire.
Timing Varies by Region
The exact time your miles expire after 36 months varies depending on the region your account is registered.
- Members in Japan's mileage balance expire at 00:00 (midnight) on the first day of every month.
- North American region members' miles expire at 07:00 am US Pacific Time on the day before the expiration date, or 8:00 am when US Pacific Daylight Time is applicable.
- Japan Airlines miles expire at 15:00 GMT on the day before the expiration date for members in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. When British Summer Time is applicable, miles expire at 16:00.
- For residents of Asia and Oceania, JAL miles expire at 23:00 Hong Kong Time on the day before the expiration date.
Earning JAL Mileage Bank Miles
There are lots of ways to earn JAL miles, including:
- Earn miles for JAL flights.
- Boost your miles balance when you fly with partners, including Oneworld airlines, Korean Air, and more.
- You can earn JAL miles for hotel stays and car rental
- Shop online to earn JAL miles.
- In Japan, earn miles when you use a JAL Onsen service.
Boosting Your JAL Mileage Balance
While you can earn JAL miles in all the traditional ways — from flying to shopping — these methods do not allow you to boost your mileage balance in one hit massively. For that, you need a transfer partner. Unfortunately, JAL is not a partner with any of the major U.S. credit card points currencies; however, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to JAL Mileage Bank.
Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to JAL Mileage Bank at a ratio of 3:1 with a minimum transfer of 3,000 points. Keep in mind that Marriot has a 5,000-mile built-in transfer bonus when for every increment of 60,000 points you transfer at one time. So, if you transfer 60,000 points to JAL, you will receive 25,000 miles instead of 20,000.
JAL Redemption sweet spots
When it comes to using JAL miles, there are a few sweet spots to be had using the JAL distance-based partner award chart. One thing to keep an eye out for is the hefty taxes and fees on some awards. Some of the best value using JAL miles involves building open jaw award and multiple stopovers. One-way sweet spots include:
- Melbourne to Los Angeles via Dubai in Emirates business class for 130,000 JAL miles plus taxes and fees.
- New York to Lima, Peru, with LATAM for 80,000 Japan Airlines miles, plus taxes and fees.
- Tokyo to London via Dubai in Emirates business class for 85,000 miles, plus taxes and fees.
36 months is on the longer side of mileage expiration policies. However, the lack of ability to extend the validity or reinstate your miles is negative. But hopefully with so much time, redemption sweet spots, and the ability to boost your balance by transferring Marriott points, there should be no reason to let your JAL Mileage Bank miles expire.
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