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

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

Million Mile SecretsHow to Keep your Hotel Points from Expiring Without Staying in a Hotel!Million Mile Secrets Team

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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.

HotelExpiration Policy
Choice Privileges18 months of not earning or spending 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
IHG12 months of not earning or spending points

Your points will NOT expire as long as you have elite status
Marriott24 months of not earning or spending points
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

2016-06-06_09-44-29
Expiration Policy

Choice says: If a member is not active within 18 consecutive calendar months, that member will forfeit all accumulated Choice Privileges points.

1.   Keep Your Choice Hotels Points Active By Earning Points

2.   Keep Your Choice Hotels Points Active by Redeeming Points

2.   Club Carlson

Link:  Club Carlson

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

Club Carlson says: Gold Points do not have an expiration date as long as your account remains active by earning or redeeming within a 24 month period.

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

Hilton says HHonors points do not expire as long as members remain active in the program. To keep an account active, members can stay at one of Hilton Worldwide’s hotels, or earn or redeem HHonors points within 12 months.

1.   Keep Your Hilton Points Active By Earning Point

2.   Keep Your HHonors Points Active By Redeeming Points

4.   Hyatt

Link:  Hyatt Gold Passport

2016-06-06_09-48-21
Expiration Policy

Hyatt says If an account is left inactive for more than 24 calendar months, the account may be deleted and all points in the account forfeited.

1.   Keep Your Gold Passport Points Active By Earning Points

2.   Keep Your Gold Passport Points Active By Redeeming

5.   IHG

Link:  IHG Rewards

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Expiration Policy

IHG says: “All points will expire after 12 months if there’s no account activity.”

1.   Keep Your IHG Rewards Points Active By Earning

2.   Keep Your IHG Rewards Points Active By Redeeming

6.   Marriott

Link:  Marriott Rewards

hotel points expiration
Expiration Policy

Marriott says: Members must remain active in the Rewards Programs to retain Points they accumulate.  If a Member is not active for 24 consecutive months, that Member will forfeit all accumulated Points.  The Rewards Program will start enforcing this policy on February 1, 2016.  Members can remain active in the Rewards Programs and retain accumulated Points by earning Points or Miles in the Rewards Programs or redeeming Points in the Rewards Programs at least once every 24 months.

This means that earning and redeeming Marriott points will extend the life of the points.

However, there are exceptions which do NOT qualify as earning or redeeming activity:

  • Gifting or transferring points (however, converting points to miles or miles to points does count toward maintaining an active status)
  • Receiving points as a gift or transfer
  • Earning points through social media programs, such as #MRPoints

1.   Keep Your Marriott Rewards Points Active By Earning

2.   Keep Your Marriott Rewards Points Active By Redeeming

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

2016-06-06_09-50-11
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

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Could u update chart? Many are no longer current

Correction correction: I just love big corporations. So, Hyatt's website says the 12 months expiration in one place and 24 in another. Too lazy to call to find out :P.

Correction: Under Hyatt hotels you note their points expire in 24 months. On my accounts Q&A it says accounts may be deleted after 12 months. That may have changed since this article was written in 2013.

My hyatt points were expiring. called customer service and the guy said if I updated some information on my account he'd give me another 2 years active. I took off an old address. Done. 2 more years.

@ Bill, when I had the same thing come up recently I called Hilton Honors and they reinstated the points for me. Perhaps call again and ask to speak to a supervisor?

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