Keep your miles and points from expiring!

How can I keep my miles and points from expiring?

You do not want to let your miles and points expire.  While some loyalty programs will reinstate them, you will likely have to pay a fee.  Worst case scenario, you may not even have the option to pay to have points or miles reinstated.

There are so many easy ways to keep your points and miles in hotel and airline loyalty programs active.  You do not have to fly or book a hotel to keep your points from expiring in most programs.  So here is a list of the loyalty programs we use the most and how to keep your miles and points active in each.  These are not necessarily the only ways to keep your points from expiring, but to my knowledge they are the easiest/cheapest ways.


Keep your hotel points from expiring

Staying at a hotel on a paid night will reset your expiration clock.  Redeeming points for free nights or points and cash nights will also extend your points expiration date.  I will not include this in the different ways to keep your points active, because it’s obvious, but just keep that in mind.

Each hotel loyalty program has a different policy and timeline.  I will list the policy and  different ways to keep points active with each of these programs.

Hyatt

World of Hyatt points expiration, do Hyatt points expire

How to keep Hyatt points from expiring:
  • If you have the Hyatt credit card from Chase, your points are active for at least as long as the credit card account is.
  • If you have a Chase Sapphire Card, it is unclear if Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Hyatt will count as activity in your World of Hyatt account.  So transferring 1,000 UR points to Hyatt may or may not work to keep your account active.
  • But, it is definitely considered activity if you transfer Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt then use the Hyatt points to redeem a room. 
  • Worst case scenario, you can purchase points.  I generally do not recommend purchasing points but if you have a stash of points that are about to expire, it may be worth it to buy the smallest amount.  Currently, the smallest amount you can purchase is 1,000 points and the cost is $24.

Once your World of Hyatt account has activity, your expiration is extended another 24 months.

when do Hyatt points expire, how to keep Hyatt points active

You will miss out on free stays at great hotels such as the Andaz Napa if you let your Hyatt points expire!

Starwood

Since I use my SPG on many of my everyday purchases, I have no trouble keeping my points active!

Ways to keep SPG points from expiring:

  • If you have an Amex SPG credit card, make a purchase
  • Transfer points to an airline.  Remember there are minimum amounts though.  In other words you cannot transfer only one point.
  • Transfer points to a household member.  Remember that you can pool your Starwood points with family members for free as long as you live at the same address.
  • Fly on Delta and make sure your SPG account is linked to your Delta account.  If you have Gold or Platinum status, you earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar spent on Delta flights.
  • Transfer Starpoints from Amex Membership Rewards points.  The ratio is not good (1000 MR for 333 Starpoints), but if you’re desperate, it’s worth it.
  • Donate points to charity
  • Worst case scenario: purchase points.  The minimum purchase is 500 Starpoints for $17.50

Any activity listed above will extend your expiration date 12 months.

*SPG’s policy does not specifically state whether or not point transfers from Marriott Rewards counts as activity.  I’ve seen data points to suggest that SPG does count these transfers but Marriott does not.  So, if that is true, you can technically keep your SPG points active with Chase Ultimate Rewards by transferring UR to Marriott and then from Marriott to SPG. Click here to read more about the Marriott and SPG merger.

when do spg points expire, do marriott points expire

The Westin Playa Conchal in Costa Rica. Don’t let your SPG points expire or you will miss out on free nights at great hotels like this one!

when do spg points expire, to marriott points expire

The beach at Westin Playa Conchal in Costa Rica. Don’t let your SPG points expire or you will miss out on great hotels like this one!

Marriott

Even though Marriott and SPG have merged, they operate as separate programs for now.  Unfortunately, transfers to Marriott from SPG or vice versa will NOT keep your Marriott points from expiring.  BUT, it seems that points transferred from Marriott to SPG keeps your SPG account active.

It seems that points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards will not count as activity, either.

when do marriott points expire, how to transfer marriott points

How to keep Marriott points from expiring:

keep Marriott Rewards points from expiring, do marriott points expire

  • Make a purchase if you have the Marriott credit card from Chase.
  • Transferring points from SPG or Ultimate Rewards do not count as activity.  But you could transfer points from either of these to Marriott, then redeem the Marriott points.  Once you redeem, your points are good for another 24 months. 
  • Worst case scenario: you can buy 1,000 Marriott Rewards points for $12.50

Hilton

when do Hilton points expire

How to keep Hilton points from expiring:

  • Make a purchase if you have a Hilton co-branded credit card from American Express.
  • Make a purchase through the Hilton Honors Shopping Mall
  • Buy points.  You can get 1,000 points for $10
  • Donate points
  • Transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards or Citi Thank You
  • Hilton Honors dining program
when do Hilton points expire

Don’t let your Hilton points expire or you’ll miss out on free nights at great hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam!

IHG

  • Policy: Keep your points from expiring by earning or redeeming at IHG or with partners once every 12 months.
  • IHG does not explicitly state was does and does not qualify as account activity, but data points suggest that just about anything that increases or decreases your account balance will extend your expiration date 12 months.
How to keep IHG points from expiring
  • If you have the Chase IHG credit card, make a purchase
  • Buy the minimum amount of points (1,000 points for $13.50)
  • Redeem points for ebooks for as low as 200 points
  • Transfer the minimum amount of Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG which is 1,000 UR.
  • IHG dining program

How to keep airline miles from expiring

If you fly on an airline on a paid ticket, your miles expiration date will be extended for the number of months stated by that individual airline’s policy.  Some airlines will count a redemption as qualifying activity but some airlines, such as Southwest do not.  In other words, you must have earning activity to keep Southwest points active.

American Airlines

  • Points expire after 18 months of no activity
  • Activity is earning or redeeming miles with American airlines or their partners
  • AA may let you reinstate expired miles, but it will cost you:reinstate expired American Airlines miles, when do aa miles expire
How to keep American Airlines miles from expiring:

British Airways

  • Points expire after 36 months of no activity.
  • Activity is defined as collecting, spending, sharing, or purchasing at least 1 Avios every 3 years.
How to keep miles from expiring:
  • If you have the BA co-branded credit card from Chase, make a purchase
  • Make a purchase through the British Airways shopping portal
  • Earn miles on qualifying car rentals
  • Purchase or share Avios
  • Transfer from UR, SPG, or Amex MR.
when do aa miles expire, American Airlines miles expire

British Airways Avios are my favorite currency for booking Mexico! Don’t let your Avios/miles/points expire!

Delta

At this time, Delta miles do not expire!! That was easy.

JetBlue

At this time, JetBlue points do not expire! 

Alaska Airlines

  • Points expire after 24 months of no activity
  • Activity is defined as earning or redeeming at least one mile.
  • Miles can be reinstated if it’s been less than a year since expiration but there is a fee of $75.
How to keep Alaska Airlines miles from expiring:
when do Alaska airlines miles expire

Alaska Airlines miles are my favorite way to book Hawaii due to a loophole that allows me to add a stopover.

Southwest

Points expire after 24 months with no earning activity.

How to keep Southwest points from expiring:

United

  • Points expire after 18 months of no activity.
  • United defines activity as earning or redeeming miles.
  • You can have expired miles reinstated but it will cost you:reinstate united miles
How to keep miles from expiring:

Conclusion

Besides the obvious: staying at a hotel or flying on an airline, there are other ways to keep your miles and points active.  For people who travel often, keeping miles and points from expiring will never be a problem.  But for those who value quality over quantity when it comes to trips, you will need to be careful and take measures to prevent your miles and points from expiring!

 

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