Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a financial expert who would advise against saving money, but when it comes to the currency of hotel points, many travel experts agree it would behoove you to
For starters, points can undergo devaluations, meaning the same amount of points that booked you five nights last year might only cover four nights now.
Even worse, points can expire completely. Often, hotel loyalty program points expire if your account is inactive for a period of time — typically one to two years.
To help make sure your points don’t evaporate before you're ready to escape on vacation, we’ve put together a guide with hotel point expiration dates for eight major hotel chains:
Points expiration is certainly annoying, but here’s one silver lining to come from the coronavirus pandemic: Most major hotel brands amended their policies in 2020 (and again in 2021) to account for the fact that members opting out of travel this year might otherwise be forced to forfeit points. Because travel is generally still quite restricted, including new quarantine rules and vaccination/testing requirements, many of those terms have been extended through 2021.
Thus, we’ve also included a column for the new, temporary rules around hotel point expiration dates due to COVID-19.
The good news is that you don’t actually have to stay at a hotel within that expiration period to keep your points active. In most cases, you can prevent your points from expiring by earning points through other means — such as using hotel-branded credit cards — or spending them on other non-hotel bookings.
Here are some specific, non-stay ways to keep your hotel loyalty accounts active, broken down by hotel brand (this is not a comprehensive list):
It can be a bummer when you think you’ve accrued enough points for your vacation, only to find that they’ve expired. Check your accounts for when you last showed activity.
If you don’t plan on using your points before they expire, take action now. You might have to fill out a survey or donate a small chunk of points to charity. But the small sacrifice in time or charitable donations is likely worth it to make sure your hotel points don’t expire completely.
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the , including those best for: