How to Keep your Hotel Points from Expiring Without Staying in a Hotel!

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Hotel Points Expiration

I’ve written about how to keep your airline miles from expiring without flying.  Here’s how to keep your hotel points from expiring without staying in a hotel!  Points expire in most US based airline program after 12 to 24 months of no earning or redemption activity.

Some programs like Choice and Wyndham hotels expire after 2 and 4 years and there is nothing you can do to extend the expiration, so you might as well use them before they expire.

Award Wallet is a good tool to track your miles and points balances and expiration dates.

Hotel
Expiration Policy
Choice PrivilegesOn December 31st, 2 years after you earned the points.
Club Carlson24 months of not earning or spending points
Hilton HHonors12 months of not earning or spending points
Hyatt Gold24 months of not earning or spending points
Marriott24 months of not earning points
Priority ClubPoints Never Expire
Starwood Hotels12 months of not earning or spending points
WyndhamPoints expire after 4 years and you can't do anything to extend them beyond 4 years.

However, they will expire sooner (in 18 months)of not earning or spending points

But it is really, really easy to keep your hotel points active WITHOUT staying in the hotel!

Sometimes, all you need to do is to make an award booking and cancel it later, for free!  This will generate redemption activity when you make the award and earning activity when you cancel the award and reset the point expiration clock.  But be sure to check the cancellation policy when you book!

You can easily extend the expiration by buying something cheap or making a $1 donation from the airline’s online shopping mall, or using a credit card to keep your points active!

1.   Choice Hotels International

Link:  Choice Privileges

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

This means that Choice hotel points CANNOT be extended past the two year expiration date.

2.   Club Carlson

Link:  Club Carlson

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

1.   Keep Your Club Carlson Points Active By Earning Points

2.   Keep Your Club Carlson Points Active by Redeeming Points

3.   Hilton

Link:  Hilton HHonors

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

1.   Keep Your Hilton Points Active By Earning Point

2.   Keep Your HHonors Points Active By Redeeming Points

4.   Hyatt

Link:  Hyatt Gold Passport

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

1.   Keep Your Gold Passport Points Active By Earning Points

2.   Keep Your Gold Passport Points Active By Redeeming

5.   Marriott

Link:  Marriott Rewards

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

  • Marriott says: a Membership Account may be closed at the Company’s discretion if no Points or Miles are accrued during a 24-month period.  All Points in the Membership Account will be forfeited at that time.
  • This means that only earning (and NOT redeeming) Marriott points will extend the life of the points.

Keep Your Marriott Rewards Points Active By Earning

6.   Priority Club

Link:  Priority Club

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

7.   Starwood Hotels And Resorts

Link:  Starwood Preferred Guest

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

  • Starwood says:Starpoints earned or otherwise obtained by an SPG Member will forfeit without notice if the SPG Member becomes Inactive, even if the SPG Member has achieved SPG Lifetime Gold or SPG Lifetime Platinum status.
  • An SPG Member is considered “Inactive” if during a 12 month period: (a) the SPG Member has not had an Eligible Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel; (b) the SPG Member has not earned or redeemed any Starpoints, or (c) the SPG Member’s account has been cancelled.

1.   Keep Your Starwood Points Active By Earning Points

2.   Keep Your Starwood Points Active By Redeeming Points

8.   Wyndham

Link:  Wyndham Rewards

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

  • Wyndham saysWyndham Rewards points expire four (4) years after being posted to the Member’s account, unless forfeited or cancelled earlier due to membership inactivity or otherwise in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • But Wyndham goes on to say: “All accrued points of a Member’s Wyndham Rewards account may be cancelled or forfeited if the Member has no account activity for a period of 18 consecutive months.
  • What this means is that your points WILL expire FOUR years after earning them and there is nothing you can do to extend this four year period.  But your points will expire sooner if you have NO account activity during 18 months.

1.   Keep Your Wyndham Points Active By Earning Points

2.   Keep Your Wyndham Points Active By Redeeming Points

PS: I’m traveling so won’t be able to get the comments and email quickly.

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29 Responses to How to Keep your Hotel Points from Expiring Without Staying in a Hotel!

  1. How about transferring points on points.com? I don’t like points.com in general, but I have a couple of programs with tiny numbers of points (50) that I could transfer out to generate some activity.

  2. Very useful! Thanks.

  3. Marriott strictly doesn’t enforce the 24month expiration policy. I was fortunate to not have any miles expire even though there was no earning/redeeming activities at all for close to 5 years. Hilton on the other hand .grrrrr….. but they gave me an option to earn it back with targeted challenge. All of this because I took a break from miles/points games and forgot the golden rule to never let any points/expire.

  4. One time with Marriott I booked a hotel with points and then had to cancel a couple of months later. When I canceled the points were redeposited into my account and the expiration date was reset.

  5. Hyatt doesn’t enforce its expiration policy, either. Not sure about the others.

  6. I assume transfers from e-rewards also count as earning?

  7. Great post, D – this one goes in my “keepers” file!

  8. This is useful content, thanks!

  9. @Travel Bug – I don’t believe Points.com lets you transfer to many hotels (unlike airlines).

    @Scott – That is my favorite way of extending hotel points since it is free and easy to do!

    @Lisa – I don’t see why not.

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  11. Very VERY helpful chart. Thanks for the effort and insight!

  12. So it would appear that if you have a credit card for a hotel rewards program, you could simply use the credit card to buy something and that would count as earning? Sorry to ask, but I’m still fairly new to all this.

  13. @JavaChip – Thanks!

    @Kevin – Yes, that’s correct!

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  16. Earning SPG points with Audience Rewards trivia has been (at the very least temporarily) ‘suspended, pending a review of the program’.

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  18. @Thomas – Thanks. I made the change.

  19. I just called Hyatt to check my expiration date and they said that hyatt points never expire. Has their policy changed maybe?
    Thanks!

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  21. * An SPG Member is considered “Inactive” if during a 12 month period: (a) the SPG Member has not had an Eligible Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel; (b) the SPG Member has not earned or redeemed any Starpoints, or (c) the SPG Member’s account has been cancelled.“

    Is this really an “OR” conjunction? It reads like even if I have points-earning activity, I also need an eligible stay every 12 months, otherwise I’ll be considered inactive? So much for building points for an aspirational vacation!?

  22. @Marvin – I interpret it is either of a) or b) or c). That said, it is a bit vaguely worded.

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  24. Hi Darius,
    I just checked Marriott’s website. it says ”
    Do Marriott Rewards points expire?

    As long as you make a paid stay at a Marriott hotel every 24 months, your account and points remain active. Otherwise, your points may expire.

    is this a change from previous policy or I can still make a purchase to maintain my points?
    Maria

  25. I receive Starwood Options each year which I may convert to Starpoints. Is converting StarOptions to StarPoints considered “earning” starpoints in order to keep my Starpoints active?

  26. @maria prel – Very interesting. Thanks for pointing it out.

    @Frank – I don’t have any personal experience, but I believe it should.

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  28. My Dad’s Marriott Rewards balance was just reset to zero. He last earned points on the account about 2 years ago.

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