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How to keep your hotel points from expiring without staying in a hotel

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How to keep your hotel points from expiring without staying in a hotel

Brendan DorseyHow to keep your hotel points from expiring without staying in a hotelMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

We’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.

Pro tip: The easiest (and most mindless!) way to keep your points from expiring is to use one of the best hotel credit cards for a reoccurring monthly bill like Netflix. That way you can set it and forget it, and you won’t ever have to worry about your points expiring.

Points expire in most U.S.-based hotel programs after 12 to 24 months of no earning or redemption activity. And some programs like Choice and Wyndham hotels expire after two and four 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
World of Hyatt24 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
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. Read below for all the ways to keep your hotel points from expiring!

Choice Hotels International

Link:  Choice Privileges

Choice points expiration policy

Choice says: “As long as you stay an active Choice Privileges member, we’ll make sure you keep the points you earn. Now, as long as you have a qualifying activity every 18 months, you keep your points.”

1.   Keep Your Choice Hotels Points Active By Earning Points

  • Complete a point-eligible stay at any Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban, Econolodge, Rodeway Inn, Cambria Hotel & Suites, or Ascend Collection hotel
  • Use the Choice Privilages® Visa Signature® Card
  • Shop through the Choice Privileges Online Mall
  • Purchase points from Choice Privileges
  • Refer-a-friend to Choice Privileges

2.   Keep Your Choice Hotels Points Active by Redeeming Points

Radisson Rewards

Link:  Radisson Rewards

Radisson Points expiration policy

Radisson says: As long as you actively participate in the program by earning or redeeming points within the previous 24-month period, Gold Points do not have an expiration date.”

1.   Keep Your Club Carlson Points Active By Earning Points

  • Stay at any Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Park Inn, or Country Inn & Suites
  • Rent a car with companies like Alamo and Avis
  • Plan a meeting 
  • Shop for wine with Vinesse wine club
  • Purchase points from Club Carlson

2.   Keep Your Club Carlson Points Active by Redeeming Points

Hilton Honors

Link:  Hilton Honors

Hilton points expiration policy

Hilton says Hilton Honors points expire after 12 months with no activity.”

1.   Keep your Hilton points active by earning points

2.   Keep your Hilton points active by redeeming points

Hyatt

Link:  World of Hyatt

Hyatt points 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 Hyatt points active by earning points

2.   Keep your Hyatt points active by redeeming

IHG

Link:  IHG Rewards

IHG points 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

Marriott

Link:  Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Points expiration policy

Marriott says: “Marriott Bonvoy points expire after 24 months without qualifying activity.”

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

Wyndham

Link:  Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham points expiration policy

Wyndham says “Wyndham Rewards points expire after 18 months of no account activity. They also expire 4 years (48 months) from the date earned, regardless of account activity.”

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 for 18 months.

1.   Keep your Wyndham points active by earning points

2.   Keep your Wyndham Points active by redeeming points

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

More Info

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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Thank you for the info regarding how not to let your hotel points expire. I take it that airline points would be similar. Can you do piece on them?

Transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to keep your points active no longer works for Marriott/Bonvoy.

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.

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