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If you have a Marriott Rewards account you will want to read this post! Last year, Marriott stated that they were going to follow their never followed before expiration policy. This means that all points will expire if there is no activity in the account within 24 months. Before implementing this policy, they gave everyone a grace period until February 1, 2016. In a few weeks, if you fall into the lack of activity within the past 2 years, all points in your account will be lost. So make sure to check your account and make sure you are in the clear!
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 My Account (in the upper right hand corner) and select Account Overview. Under “Last Activity” it will tell you when your points will expire. If the date is February 1, 2016 or within a few months after that, make sure to follow my advise below to keep your points active.
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 (listed below) 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.
- Donate points. You can donate 1,000 points to “Hotels for Heroes” and this will count as account activity and extend the life of your points for another 24 months. While giving away hard earned points is never easy, they go to a good cause and ensure you do not lose all your points. There are other causes to donate to, but this one requires the least amount of points. You can donate points here (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Hotels for Heroes donation link.
- Buy 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. You can purchase points here.
- Earn points with a reward partner. There are a few different reward partners where you can earn Marriott points, but the easiest one in my opinion is the “Shop My Way” partner. This is the same concept as an online shopping portal where you earn points simply by making your normal online purchase. Go to the “Shop My Way” site first, enter your Marriott Rewards number, search for the desired online merchant, and click “Shop Now”. You will then be brought to the merchants regular website where you can make your online purchase as you normally would. You’ll then earn Marriott points based on the price of your purchase. You only need to earn 1 point to actually keep your account active! If you are going to shop online, you might as well earn points and miles for your purchase! Keep in mind though that sometimes it can take up to 12 weeks for the points to actually be deposited to your Marriott account (although it can take as little time as a few days). The points will need to hit your account PRIOR to the expiration date. You can search all reward partners here.
- Transfer your points to another account. While earning or redeeming points from a simple transfer to another account will NOT extend the life of your account, if you do not have many points to begin with, you might just want to transfer all points to a significant other (or family member, friend, etc.) and then use that persons account when reserving a free night reservation. For example, my husband only has 18,600 points in his account and hardly ever stays at Marriott hotels. He is more of a Starwood type of guy when he travels for work. I, on the other hand, have well over a million points in my Marriott account that still need to be redeemed. It isn’t worth it to keep the points in his account and we are better off consolidating them all into one account. A few things to keep in mind though: 1) You can only transfer in increments of 1,000; 2) You can transfer a maximum of 50,000 points per year; 3) There is a $10 fee to transfer points, but waived if you are a Marriott Gold or Platinum Elite member.
Just remember to take a look at your Marriott account and to not let your points expire!