Hotel Point Expiration Policies and Tips to Keep Hotel Points Active

Last week we explored airline mileage expiration policies.  Today we’ll learn when hotel points expire and how to keep your hotel points active.  Fortunately, it is easier to keep hotel points active compared to airlines.  Since neither is really hard that shouldn’t be a problem. Just like air miles my suggestion is to pick a favorite program, but also diversify your points so you can have the right points depending on your destination.

When do hotel points expire?

HotelExpiration Policy
Choice Privileges Dec 31st 2 years after earning the points
Club Carlson 24 months without activity
Hilton HHonors12 months without activity
Hyatt Gold Passport12 months without activity
Marriott Rewards 24 months without earning points
Priority Club RewardsPoints don't expire
Starwood Preferred Guest12 months without activity
Wyndham Rewards18 months without activity

How do I keep my hotel points from expiring?

AwardWalletFirst, of all the best way to track your expiration dates is by using Award Wallet (image to the right shows a sample of the expiration column from Award Wallet).  This is a free service that helps you track your airline and hotel earning activity.  If you are really concerned about miles expiring with a certain program then I’d set a calendar reminder or visit a site like FutureMe.org and schedule an reminder three months before you miles are schedule to expire.  This way you can be sure to have some account activity before miles expire. For illustration purposes I’ll assume that you have miles expiring with Starwood.  We’ll assume that you don’t plan to stay in the hotel before the miles expire.

What could you do to keep those points active?

How to Keep Starwood Starpoints from Expiring?

Before we get to all the options below I wanted to point out that Starwood allows free transfers to a spouses account (or someone who shares your address).  Technically you don’t earn activity for purchasing, transferring  and redeeming points, but sometimes this does keep an account active.  Also, Starwood allows free cancellations so you could make a hotel booking and then cancel your reservation at a future date.  Again The first place to stop is

Starwood’s page on earning points.  Here’s what you’ll learn:

  1. Make a single purchase with your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card® from American Express credit card (assuming you have one)
  2. Fly on Delta using the Starwood and Delta crossover program.
  3. Transfer points from your American Express Rewards account or Diners Club account.
  4. Answer Audience Rewards quiz questions.
  5. Donate points to UNICEF or Red Cross.
  6. Rent a car from any eligible partner.
  7. Dine at a restaurant in a Starwood hotel.
  8. Switch your home energy provider.

Remember, as long as you either earn or spend points that will trigger a qualifying activity and give you an additional 12 months without worrying about your mileage expiration.

Moral of the story: There’s no reason why you should ever be concerned that your points will expire as long as you’re willing to watch your expiration dates and creatively create activity if necessary.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to keep points active in your favorite hotel program you can email me or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to address your question.

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