Check Your Accounts For Expiration

This will be my last post (probably) before 2019, but in the meantime, I have a homework assignment for you. It’s time to make sure that your points aren’t going to expire.

Are Your Points Still There?

points expire

Meters enforced occasionally.

As you may know, most loyalty programs demand, well, actual loyalty from you. Whether they give it back depends on the program. Nevertheless, their game, their rules, so you have to play by them.

Most companies, though, are benevolent dictators. As long as you have some sort of activity in your account, whether that’s earning points or redeeming them, over an extended time period (usually 12-24 months), your expiration clock will start anew.

Almost anything will count. Earn points by shopping through their online malls? Good. Redeeming for a reward? Good. Transferring credit card proprietary points? Also almost always good. Etc.

In other words, there’s no reason for your points actually to expire, unless you forget about them. That’s why it’s so important to check your accounts at least once per year, to make sure that you’re not on the verge of expiration. If you are, there’s usually a simple way to extend them.

Best thing to do? Set a calendar invite for once per year. Maybe every six months, if you are cautious. Here are a few of the biggest programs’ expiration policies.


Marriott: Every 24 months. Some restriction on what defines “activity.”

Hilton: Every 12 months. If they expire, you may be able to reactivate them.

Hyatt: Every 24 months.

IHG: Every 12 months.


American: Every 18 months

Delta: Score one for Delta. Their miles don’t expire.

United: Every 18 months

Southwest: Every 24 months

JetBlue: Hooray for JetBlue! No expiration.

Remember, you probably have other accounts that you have opened over the years. Even a few thousand points will usually get you something, so check everything, and don’t lose them.

Happy new year!


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