Advertisement

Hotel Points Expiration Policies Roundup

by on April 18, 2013 · 18 comments

in Accor, Best Western, Carlson, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hotel Industry, Hyatt, IHG Rewards, Marriott, Starwood

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Following up on the recent national survey I commissioned from The Princeton Group and my contest about how people track their frequent flyer miles, I thought it would be a good idea to create a basic guide to the expiration policies of the major loyalty programs. In yesterday’s post I covered airline miles expiration policies and terms, so today I wanted to roundup the terms of hotel loyalty programs.

Although most airline miles and mileage accounts expire with no qualifying activity, the good news with hotel points is that many of the major programs out there have no points expiration terms, so your points remain safe even if you don’t have any qualifying activity.

That said, even if you accrue points to a program that does impose expiration terms, there are still plenty of ways to keep your accounts active, whether it’s carrying a co-branded credit card that earns hotel points, transferring points in from a program like Amex Membership Rewards (Best Western, Choice, Hilton, Starwood) or Chase Ultimate Rewards (Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club).

You can also check out this post on shopping portals and this post on dining rewards networks for more ideas about how to track your points and keep them from expiring so you can put them to use when you need them.

Here is a quick list of the major hotel programs and their expiration time frames, and then below you can read the details for each.

HOTELS EXPIRATION TERMS
Best Western Rewards No expiration
Choice Privileges 24 months
Club Carlson 24 months
Hilton 12 months
Hyatt 12 months
Le Club Accorhotels No expiration with activity once per year
Marriott/Ritz-Carlton 24 months
Priority Club No expiration
Starwood No expiration with activity once per 12 months
Wyndham Rewards 18 months with no activity, and 4 years overall

Best Western Rewards: Best Western Rewards points do not expire for members of the North American club, which includes members who reside in North, Central and South America, Asia and South Africa.

Choice Privileges: Choice Privileges points expire on December 31, two years after the year in which they were deposited into your account unless forfeited or canceled earlier due to membership inactivity or otherwise in accordance to these rules and regulations.

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

Hilton: Hilton 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.

Hyatt: If an account is left inactive for more than 12 calendar months, the account may be deleted and all points in the account forfeited.

LeClub Accorhotels: The points never expire and can be extended indefinitely as long as Le Club Accorhotels member stays in a participating Accor hotel at least once a year.

Marriott: 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.

Priority Club: Priority Club Rewards points never expire.

Starwood: Your points won’t expire as long as you show account activity once per year. 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.

Wyndham Rewards: Wyndham Rewards points expire four (4) years after being posted to the Member’s account, unless the points are forfeited or cancelled earlier due to membership inactivity or otherwise in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. All accrued points in a Member’s Wyndham Rewards account may be cancelled or forfeited if the Member has no Account Activity for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Previous post:

Next post:

  • http://twitter.com/pricesquire Ben Price

    Just to clarify (and this goes for hotels and airlines, too): just by the mere fact of having a co-brand CC, and using it, your points will never expire. That’s an absolute rule. Correct?

  • Choice not a good Choice

    You need to clarify in your post that the Choice Rewards program points expiration policy is not like all the others. Points expiring do not refresh with new activity and the two year expiration is a hard expire. It is very difficult to obtain value with Choice since the points expire two years after they are earned. Just when a member accumulates nearly enough for a reward the earliest earned points time out and there is no longer enough for a reward. It’s the worst of the bunch, by far. Listing it as 24 months, as you have, shows it comparable with the other programs. Please make your readers aware. Maybe you can add a third column, ranking the programs values. Then I think Choice will show up clearly as the wrong Choice.

  • Derek

    I’m going to nitpick. Marriott does have a policy to expire after 24 months:
    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.

    However, in practice they do not do this. Policy could change at any time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.owens1 Travis Owens

    Starwood points won’t expire as long as there is activity within your account once every 18 months, or if you have the spg Amex your points will never expire.

  • Steve

    you goofed on Wyndham. They have 2 sets of rules.
    all points expire within 4 years.
    also all points expire after 18 months of inactivity.

  • thepointsguy

    Thanks we clarified in the post.

  • thepointsguy

    Actually it’s 12 months as the post states: “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.”

  • thepointsguy

    Ah thanks – found confirmation and amended the post.

  • Cyclops

    I have 140K Hilton points that are about to expire at the end of the month due to inactivity on my Hilton account. What can I do keep them active? Will a purchase on my Hilton AMex card count as activity? The statement will close next month. How about buying something through the HHonors shopping portal? Does making a future booking with the points count as activity? Any other suggestions?

  • Cyclops

    I have 140K Hilton points that are about to expire at the end of the month due to inactivity on my Hilton account. What can I do keep them active? Will a purchase on my Hilton AMex card count as activity? The statement will close next month. How about buying something through the HHonors shopping portal? Does making a future booking with the points count as activity? Any other suggestions?

  • Cyclops

    I have 140K Hilton points that are about to expire at the end of the month due to inactivity on my Hilton account. What can I do keep them active? Will a purchase on my Hilton AMex card count as activity? The statement will close next month. How about buying something through the HHonors shopping portal? Does making a future booking with the points count as activity? Any other suggestions?

  • Cyclops

    I have 140K Hilton points that are about to expire at the end of the month due to inactivity on my Hilton account. What can I do keep them active? Will a purchase on my Hilton AMex card count as activity? The statement will close next month. How about buying something through the HHonors shopping portal? Does making a future booking with the points count as activity? Any other suggestions?

  • http://www.Fishing4Deals.com/ Fishing4Deals

    I opened an SPG credit card from Amex for the 25K point promotion, and now I feel compelled to pay the annual fee of $65 to keep my points from expiring. Any way around this?

  • koam

    1) Starwood SPG online help just told me that 16 months of no account activity results in expiration.

    2) None of the SPG agents offered this info, but when asked they all said that transactions you generate on the SPG website, including donating 500 points to Unicef or redeeming 5,000 points for an Amazon gift card all count to extending your expiration date for another 16 months.

    3) I called in to confirm and the agent told me that even if your points do expire, that they will reinstate them and it only takes 3 to 5 days to do that. A) You must call after they expire, not before. B) They guy say that he reinstates points for people all day every day, They understand if you have a year when you’re not traveling much and they want to keep you. C) The guy said that even though my points are due to expire in a month (November) , that the program probably won’t get around to actually expiring them until January or February.

  • koam

    Update:

    1) Starwood SPG online help just told me that 16 months of no account activity results in expiration.

    2) None of the SPG agents offered this info, but when asked they all said that transactions you generate on the SPG website, including donating 500 points to Unicef or redeeming 5,000 points for an Amazon gift card all count to extending your expiration date for another 16 months.

    3) I called in to confirm and the agent told me that even if your points do expire, that they will reinstate them and it only takes 3 to 5 days to do that. A) You must call after they expire, not before. B) They guy say that he reinstates points for people all day every day, They understand if you have a year when you’re not traveling much and they want to keep you. C) The guy said that even though my points are due to expire in a month (November) , that the program probably won’t get around to actually expiring them until January or February.

  • Lauren

    I just called Hyatt and the rep said their points never expire. Can you confirm this please?

  • peterathome

    you only have to have activity in your starwood account once every 12 months(it used to be 18). I am not sure it they will count it as activity, but you could eat a meal at a restaurant in a starwood hotel and have them enter your starwood number for points on your account. I would cancel and then look for something to spend the points on within a year. you can reapply for a new starwood card after not having one for a year, and also can transfer points to someone else if they live at the same address (and have a card). I hope this helps

  • peterathome

    I had my points reinstated once. also I had a reservation with points and then cancelled it, and the returned points were counted as new activity. The best deal is my new gold amex canada card lets you convert the points 1:1 to starwood points! I wonder if US amex cards allow this also

Print This Page