Back in 2016, Marriott announced a new rule where all points will expire if there is no activity in the account within 24 months. There is nothing worse than signing into your loyalty account to learn that you are passed the two year mark and your account has been wiped clean. You’ve worked hard for your points, so the last thing you want to do is lose them. Fortunately, though, there are many ways to keep your Marriott points active, even without stepping into a hotel room.
To check to see when your points will expire…
Sign into your Marriott Rewards account by going to Marriott.com and entering your email/Marriott number and password. Click on your name (in the upper right hand corner) and select Account Activity. Under “Latest Activity” it will tell your last qualifying activity date. Notice that not all points earned will reset the counter.
Since Marriott points expire 24 months after your last qualifying activity, you can easily do the math and just add two years to the date. With the example above, since the last qualifying activity was on 3/3/2019, the points will expire on 3/3/2021 if there is no activity during between now and then.
5 easy ways to keep your points from expiring…
Stay at a Marriott hotel
Earning or redeeming points at a Marriott hotel is by far the easiest method. Although, I wouldn’t suggest staying at a Marriott for the sole purpose of keeping your points active since there are many other easy methods to keep your points active. Also, the stay must happen prior to your points expiring. Simply booking a reservation (regardless if it is a paid reservation or free night reservation on points) will not extend the stay. You actually need to complete your stay to re-set the expiration date.
You can donate 2,500 points to nine different charities and this will count as account activity. You will then not have to worry about your points expiring for at least another 24 months. All charities require at least 2,500 point minimum donation, so you can just pick the one you support the most and donate to that particular cause. There are other causes to donate to, but this one requires the least amount of points.
You can purchase 1,000 points for $12.50. While this is by no means a good price to pay for points, if you are desperate to keep your points active in time, paying this small amount is well worth it.
Marriott has a few different reward partners, but one of my favorite ways to earn points is with their dining program — Eat Around Town. After joining this free program, all you have to do is link your credit card to your account and then use that particular card when you pay at a participating restaurant. Your purchase will be tracked and you’ll be on your way to earning free Marriott points. You might be pleasantly surprised to see all of the participating restaurants in your local neighborhood. New members can also receive 1,000 bonus points.
Have a Marriott credit card
Earning points from one of the many Marriott co-branded credit card will earn you qualifying points. Even if this is not a card you use for everyday spend, just paying for a pack of gum once a year on the card will count as qualifying activity.
With many ways to earn and redeem Marriott points, you truly should never have to worry about your points expiring. Additionally, if you do not have that many points in your account to begin with, you might want to think about transferring them to a significant other (family member, friend, etc.). While transferring points will not keep your account active, you might find you are better off to combine your points with another loyalty member and redeem your points together for a free night. Just note that you can only transfer a maximum of 100,000 points per year.
As a final reminder, make sure to take a look at your Marriott account and make sure you never let your points expire.