When do Marriott points expire? Here’s what you need to know

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Regardless of how you prefer to earn Marriott points, be it by earning intro bonuses on Marriott cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, or by earning points with a Marriott partner (or both!), you’ll want to be sure you’re familiar with Marriott’s points expiration policy. It would stink to earn all those points and have them vanish before you can use them.

Officially, Marriott points expire after 24 months if you have not earned or redeemed points in that time span. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to make sure that does not happen. 

Almost any activity in your account will ensure your points stay alive for another two years (I’ll share a few exceptions later in the post). You don’t even have to stay with Marriott to make sure your points remain active. This is nice to know given we’re still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a list of qualifying activities that will reset the clock on your Marriott points:

Do Marriott points expire? Yes, but it’s easy to stop that from happening. (Photo by II.studio/Shutterstock)

How to prevent Marriott points from expiring

Earn Marriott points from credit cards

Having a Marriott credit card and using it at least once every 24 months will ensure you earn points and keep your account active.

You can earn Marriott points directly from cards with welcome bonuses like:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
I redeemed points earned from Marriott credit cards for a stay at the luxurious St. Regis Abu Dhabi with my kids. (Photo by Jasmin Baron/Million Mile Secrets)

You can also earn Marriott points indirectly by transferring points from flexible rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio in increments of 1,000 points. With Amex Membership Rewards, the transfer ratio is 1:1, also in increments of 1,000 points. You can earn Amex Membership Rewards points with the following cards:

Personal cardsBusiness cards
American Express® Gold CardThe Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressAmerican Express® Business Gold Card
American Express®️ Green CardThe Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

The information for the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Stay at Marriott hotels

This is pretty obvious, but earning points from a paid stay will count as activity in your account, as well as redeeming points for an award stay.

Marriott hotel brands include:

There is one important exception. Marriott stays booked through third-party sites, like Orbitz or Expedia, will not earn Marriott points. Don’t count on a stay booked this way to extend your points’ validity.

Transfer Marriott points to airlines

One of the best ways to use your Marriott points is to transfer Marriott points to airlines through one of 40+ airline partners.

Redeeming points this way will count as activity in your account and keep your miles from expiring. Most airlines have a 3:1 transfer ratio, and when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll get a bonus 15,000 Marriott points added to your transfer.  So you’ll get 20,000 miles for airlines with a 3:1 transfer ratio, plus an additional 5,000 bonus miles (from the 15,000 Marriott point bonus).

Transfer United Airlines miles to Marriott

Marriott and United Airlines have a partnership called Rewards Plus. Through this you can transfer United Airlines miles to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. This qualifies as activity in your Marriott account.

Earn Marriott points with partners

You can earn Marriott points with travel partners Hertz and Cruises Only.

With Hertz, you’ll earn 2,000 Marriott points for rentals of two or more days, and 500 Marriott points for one-day rentals. With Cruises Only, you can earn 3 Marriott points per $1 spent when you book through its Marriott partner site.

Book an activity through Marriott

You can earn Marriott points by booking activities like tours and culinary experiences; those Marriott points will keep your account active.

Book cooking classes, walking tours and more with Marriott experiences to keep your points active.

Book a Marriott event or meeting

When you book a wedding, conference or other event through Marriott, you can get 2 points per $1 (up to 60,000 Marriott points per event).

Donate Marriott points

Keep your points active and do good at the same time. You can donate your Marriott points to various organizations, like the American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund and the Children’s Miracle Network. Check out all your donation options here.

Redeem Marriott points for gift cards

You won’t get a very good value, but you can redeem Marriott points for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Bath and Body Works and Target.

Purchase Marriott points

This should be a last resort, but if your points are expiring and you have no other option for earning or redeeming, you can buy Marriott points at a rate of $12.50 for 1,000 points.

What will not keep your Marriott points active?

Most earning and redeeming activities in your Marriott account will reset your points expiration date for another 24 months, but there are a few that will not qualify.

  • Gifting or transferring points to other Marriott members
  • Receiving points as a gift or transfer (transferring Marriott points to airline miles or transferring United Airlines miles to Marriott WILL reset the clock, though)
  • Earning points through social media, like #BonvoyPoints
Giving Marriott points to another member or receiving a gift or transfer of points won’t stop your points from expiring. (Photo by recep-bg/iStock)

Bottom line

Marriott points expire after 24 months of inactivity. But there are plenty of ways to keep your account active like by earning Marriott points from credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card or Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

By transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards cards. Or by staying at a Marriott hotel. Just keep in mind, there are a few activities that will not reset your points expiration date, like receiving points as a gift or transfer

Luckily, because there are so many other ways to keep your Marriott points alive, this shouldn’t be an issue for most.

Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

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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