The 500 Mile Expiration Conundrum

“Q uick! Your miles are about to expire…” was the title of an e-mail message which awaited me earlier today — and well, it was bound to happen sometime.

Would you believe that I actually forgot that I have 500 Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns miles in an account that I did not realize at the moment that I even had?

It was a spur of the moment thing, really — and I am shaking my head realizing that it escaped my mind.

The 500 Mile Expiration Conundrum

This article which I had written on Saturday, July 11, 2015 reminded me what had happened: I participated in a promotion where I was able to net 500 free and easy points quickly; and I created an account to do just that…

…and then I simply forgot about it. I guess those 500 EarlyReturns miles were just not important enough to me — especially as I have never flown as a passenger on an airplane operated by Frontier Airlines.

I suppose it is safe to say that I never won the free round-trip flight from Frontier Airlines which accompanied the 3 Billion Mile Giveaway promotion where participants freely and easily earned 500 EarlyReturns miles simply by entering the contest — but I digress.

What To Do?

Sure, I could keep those miles from expiring through a variety of options — although aside from Thanks Again, the option of being able to earn more miles by shopping for something is not available with Frontier Airlines.

Attempting to join Thanks Again using the direct link from Frontier Airlines only directed me to this message:

Not Found

The requested resource was not found.

Thanks again, Thanks Again.

I am not interested in applying for a Frontier Airlines Mastercard. Scratch that one.

Those 500 EarlyReturns miles could net me a subscription to either Cigar Aficionado magazine, Texas Monthly magazine or Diabetes Forecast magazine for a year; but as I am not a diabetic person who resides in Texas while smoking cigars, those magazines are completely useless — never mind the fact that I do not remember the last time I actually subscribed to a magazine. I will turn the page on this one.

I could buy EarlyReturns miles and even receive a bonus of 50 percent on my purchase — but why?!?

Flowers could earn me 20 EarlyReturns miles for every dollar spent — but no one has gotten into a bunch lately complaining that I do not bring them flowers any more; so at the risk of shunning my inner Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand and stamen on this deal, I decided to petal myself past it.

Sorry — I have no idea from where my sense of humor stems; but it is difficult to leave alone.

Steered towards the offer to save up to 35 percent off of the rate of a rental car with Budget Rent A Car and net 750 bonus EarlyReturns miles in the process had me brake for a second — but I have not rented a car from Budget in years and have no desire to do so now. I drove away from this offer with disinterest — even though I could rent from a number of other car rental companies.

Sharing my opinions and earning EarlyReturns miles with e-Rewards was not a possibility, as I am already a member. There was no need to take a survey on this one.

Here is an interesting option: I could get six delicious wines for $6.99 per bottle and earn 5,000 EarlyReturns miles. I will drink to that!

Oh, wait — that’s right…I do not drink alcoholic beverages.

I avoid e-Miles like the plague after they did not honor a simple offer in which I participated and fully qualified to earn 100 frequent flier loyalty program miles almost six years ago; so that option is out of the question.

Under the Transportation heading, I noticed that the subheading reads Transpiration. That is the word always suggested to me by the auto-correct function on my laptop computer whenever I attempt to type the word transportation — and that is no joke. At least I am not the only one who experiences this for a spell — and besides, I am not interested in using Super Shuttle or going on a cruise at this time.

Hotel stays? Earning EarlyReturns miles through either of them is a consideration; but I cannot help but get the nagging feeling that earning miles or points elsewhere would be a better deal for me.

Of course, the other option is to simply allow them to expire — but such a sacrilegious act would e considered blasphemous in the frequent traveler world…



This is not exactly an issue which is keeping me awake at night; and there are problems in the world which are absolutely far worse — but I thought I would ask you for your opinion as to what you would do if you faced a similar scenario.

Source: Frontier Airlines.

8 thoughts on “The 500 Mile Expiration Conundrum”

  1. Easy says:

    What’s your home airport? Trying flying them if possible! I once flew SF-Chicago for $50 RT on Frontier. On another note, it’s kind of a miracle your miles lasted this long, as Frontier miles are supposed to expire after 6 months of inactivity. Good luck!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Atlanta is where I am based, Easy

      …and seeing when I wrote the article, I automatically assumed that the miles lasted for 18 months, which is standard in the frequent flier program industry.

      What you suggest is good advice — and I thank you for that — but part of the conundrum is wondering if a cheap flight is worth the effort…

  2. Billy Bob says:

    i booked LAX – ORD last week for $19 (!) on frontier in Dec.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do believe that that sale — or one similar to that — is in effect right now, Billy Bob.

      Thank you.

  3. Becky says:

    I got the same email today. The bright side, for me, was that I had more than just those 500 miles, so I qualified for a transfer into my choice of airlines/hotels (it normally takes a minimum of 1,000 Frontier miles for about 70-100 miles in a different program).

    Brilliantly, I chose to transfer into Virgin America, another airline I can’t believe I have miles with. Not only did I solve my Frontier problem, but I postponed the conundrum with a second airline that is sure to send me an expiration notice in the future.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Despite the poor conversion rate, I might have considered doing something similar, Becky — if I had 1,000 EarlyReturns miles and not 500 of them.

      As you illustrated, sometimes the poor conversion rate is worth it.

  4. Waste the 500 miles. Flying on this lousy carrier isn’t worth ANYTHING.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      What happened for you to form that opinion about Frontier Airlines, gregory johnson?

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