When Do Credit Card Points Expire?

Pam

You’ve worked hard to create that stockpile of credit card points and now you are wondering, “When do my credit card points expire?” Let’s go over that!

 

Transferable Credit Card Points

These include the following credit card points:

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards never expire as long as you have a credit card with Chase that offers them. Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Business Preferred. If you cancel your card and there are still points in that account, you will lose those points. There are ways to avoid this though!

Your first option is to transfer those points to another card. Let’s say you don’t want your Ink Business Preferred anymore. First, you would transfer those points into your Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card, assuming you have one. After you move your points to another account you can cancel your card or better yet downgrade to a no-annual-fee card like the Ink Business Unlimited. Another option is to transfer your points to your spouse’s Ultimate Reward account before canceling your card. You also have the option to transfer the points into a cashback-earning Chase card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card but if you do this you won’t have the ability to transfer your points to hotel and airline partners. Alternatively, you can transfer the points to Hyatt or United before you cancel, to keep some sort of points/miles.

 

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards never expire as long as you have at least one of their cards that earn Membership Rewards. If you have a high annual fee card like the American Express Gold Credit Card or the American Express Platinum Credit Card, you can always open a lower fee card and keep those points. The American Express Green Card has a lower annual fee and you still earn Membership Rewards with it so it makes a perfect downgrade card. Just make sure both cards are linked to the same Membership Rewards account. Another option is to transfer those cards to an airline or hotel partner before canceling.

 

Citi ThankYou Points

Citi ThankYou Points don’t expire as long as you have a card that earns ThankYou Points. Are we seeing a theme here? They do allow you 60 days to use those points if you cancel their card.

 

Capital One Venture Miles

Capital One miles never expire as long as your card remains open. If you close your account, you will lose any unused miles. If you want to close your account, you can transfer your points to another person’s account or to a transfer partner.

 

Airline Miles

If you cancel your airline credit card you will not lose your airline miles. They will stay in your account but with some airlines, they can still expire if you go too long without any activity. Fortunately, you usually have 1-3 years of inactivity before this happens. You usually don’t even have to travel or use them to keep them active. By logging into your loyalty account you should be able to see when your last date of activity was or when your miles are set to expire. If you find that you are close to losing them you can usually do one of the following:

  • Buy a handful of points to reset the clock and keep them active
  • Use the credit card associated with them to reset the clock
  • Shop in their shopping portal
  • Transfer points from one of your transferable point cards into your airline loyalty account

 

American Airlines Plane

American Airline miles will expire after 18 months of no activity but there are many ways to keep those points active without taking a flight.

 

Let’s look at some common airline carriers and their expiration policies.

  • American Airlines – 18 months
  • Alaska Airlines – do not expire but after 24 months have to reactivate
  • Delta Airlines – do not expire
  • Frontier Miles – 6 months
  • Hawaiian Airlines – do not expire
  • JetBlue – do not expire
  • Southwest – do not expire
  • United Airlines – do not expire

 

Hotel Points

Like airline miles, you won’t lose your hotel points if you cancel your credit card. Unfortunately, most hotel points have an expiration date of 12-24 months without activity. Again, you can use the credit card associated with these hotels to reset the clock. If you have canceled your card then you can stay at the hotel, buy points, or transfer some points from one of your transferable point cards into your hotel account to reset the clock. There are other things you can do as well, message us if you need help. Here are some of the expiration times for the most popular hotel chains:

  • Best Western – never expire
  • Choice Hotels – 18 months (you can purchase points)
  • Hilton Hotels – 24 months (you can purchase points)
  • IHG – 12 months (no expiration for elite members)
  • Marriott Bonvoy- 24 months
  • Radisson Rewards – 24 months
  • Wyndham – 18 months AND 48 months after acquiring regardless of activity
  • Hyatt -24 months

 

Koloa Landing Poipu- Marriott Hotel in Hawaii

Keep those Marriott points active so you can save enough points to stay at Koloa Landing in Kauai.

 

Bottom Line

I have had to purchase 1,000 points from a couple of reward systems to keep them from expiring and also had to use the credit card associated with others for a small purchase to keep some points from expiring. We work hard for these points, we don’t want to lose them. I have a lot of different points/miles in several accounts and I count on AwardWallet to help me know about expiration dates.

 

 

 

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