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One tricky part about dipping into so many different rewards programs is that you can lose track of whether or not your points will be expiring. So it’s always good to do what you can to ensure that your points won’t expire and luckily there are several ways to avoid losing your points.
This article will answer how Marriott points expire and how you can prevent that from happening by getting activity in your account.
Do Marriott Points Expire?
Without any activity in your account, your Marriott points expire in 24 months.
The terms and conditions state:
If a Member Account is inactive for twenty-four (24) consecutive months, that Member Account will forfeit all accumulated Points.
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Can I get Marriott points back after they expire?
Once an account is closed and points are forfeited due to inactivity, Marriott points cannot be reinstated.
If you have status with Marriott or a very compelling reason why your points were allowed to expire, you might still contact Marriott and try to explain your situation but the terms and conditions are pretty clear that they don’t allow you to reinstate your points.
Once Points are forfeited, the Points cannot be reinstated
How to prevent Marriott points from expiring?
There are several different ways you can prevent your Marriott points from expiring.
Stay at a Marriott property
You can book a stay at any property in the Marriott portfolio and instantly reset the clock on the expiration date for your points. It does seem like you need to stay at the hotel for the activity to count, so you’ll probably need to at least check-in.
Redeem points for a stay
When you redeem points for a stay, you reset the expiration clock on your points.
Redeem points for travel
Put spend on your Marriott card
Some cards allow your points or miles to never expire when you hold the card. However, that is NOT the case with the Marriott card.
Instead, you need to have some type of activity on your card within 24 months, as the terms state:
The points transferred to your Marriott Rewards account won’t expire as long as there is card earning activity or other qualifying earning or redemption activity every 24 months.
So simply going to the grocery store and purchasing a bottle of water could reset the clock. This will also help keep your account alive and so you should be trying to put a purchase on your card every so often when possible.
Buy Marriott points
Another way to reset the clock is to purchase Marriott points. Marriott points can be purchased at the rate of $12.50 per 1,000 Points and may be purchased in increments of 1,000. This is often the easiest way to keep your points from expiring if you don’t have a Marriott credit card.
Covert Points to Miles
If you convert your points to miles with any of the eligible airlines that will be considered “activity” on your account and you’ll be able to reset the clock on your points. Marriott has the Hotel + Air packages and though they aren’t as lucrative as they once were, they can be a good option for getting your Marriott points to airlines.
Covert Miles to Points
Also, if you convert your miles to points with any of the eligible airlines that will be considered “activity” on your account and you’ll be able to reset the clock on your points. Note that converting airlines miles to Marriott points is not usually a very good option so I wouldn’t recommend many to do this.
If you rent vehicles with partners like Hertz and earn Marriott points, that will reset the clock.
Spas and restaurants
I’ve been told my (multiple) Marriott reps that an “incidental” stay (basically spending money at a hotel spa or restaurant) is enough to reset the expiration clock.
Just make sure that you’re actually earning Marriott points on the purchase; otherwise, you don’t have a basis for your purchase counting as activity.
Points issued or earned through Vistana, including, without limitation, tour incentives, purchase incentives, SPG Conversion, sweepstakes and other giveaway prizes, will expire six years following the date they are deposited into a Member’s Account, regardless of Member activity.
The expiration policy does not currently affect points in a Lifetime Elite Membership Account. However, the “Loyalty Program may choose to apply a points expiration policy to Lifetime Elite Membership Accounts in the future” so keep that in mind!
Some programs like Hilton have a special shopping portal where you can earn points via online shopping. This also allows you to reset the expiration clock on your points but Marriott no longer has such a program so this is no longer an option.
However, you can still redeem your Marriott points for shopping, which should count as redemption activity.
What doesn’t work to keep your Marriott points from expiring?
You should know that there are many things that don’t work to reset the clock on your point expiration.
Earning Points through social media programs, such as #MRPoints
This is a huge one to know about.
Marriott has rolled out some great promotions over the past couple of year where you can easily earn Marriott points by simply tweeting or posting about things.
However, these promotions will not reset your clock!
Gifting or transferring Points
If you gift or transfer points to someone you won’t be able to reset the clock.
Receiving Points as a gift or transfer
Also, note that if you receive points as a gift or transfer, you’re not going to get that clock reset.
Transfer points from Chase?
Marriott is a 1:1 transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards and so you can transfer your Chase points to Marriott in increments of 1,000 points.
I thought that this would surely count as account activity since many programs count transfers from award programs as activity but multiple Marriott reps informed that this would not. I’m still not 100% convinced this doesn’t count, though.
Marriott Points Expire FAQ
Just having a Marriott card is not enough to keep your points from expiring; you need to have some activity on your Marriott credit card (within a 24-month period) to keep your points from expiring.
Yes, when you use points for free nights, it resets the clock to keep your points from expiring.
Marriott points can be purchased at the rate of $12.50 per 1,000 points and may be purchased in increments of 1,000.
According to Marriott representatives, transferring points from Chase does not reset the clock. However, other online reports show that this has worked for some people.
There are a lot of ways to reset the expiration clock on your Marriott points. My preferred way is just to put a charge on my Marriott card and earn some points in the process but obviously you should choose whichever method is most convenient for you.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.