While you’re working hard to rack up those credit card points or airline miles and watching your rewards balance grow, there’s another number to keep in mind: when your points expire. Seeing your rewards vanish isn’t exactly fun, so it’s important to know the expiration dates and take steps to keep your points alive. Luckily, the Nerds are here to help. We’ve outlined the expiration dates of popular point programs and what you need to do to keep them alive. Happy earning!
Credit card rewards programs
|American Express Membership Rewards||None, as long as account is in good standing|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Points||None, as long as account is in good standing|
|Citi ThankYou Points||Varies by card – most expire after 3 years, some cards (like Citi ThankYou Premier and ThankYou Preferred) do not expire as long as you earn or redeem every 12 months|
|Bank of America Travel Rewards||None, as long as account is in good standing|
|Capital One Miles||None, as long as account is in good standing|
|Wells Fargo Rewards Points||5 years after earning|
|Barclays Arrival Miles||None, as long as account is in good standing|
Note: Most cash back rewards, like those earned with the Chase Freedom®, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card or Discover it® - Cashback Match™ don’t expire as long as you keep the account open and in good standing.
Airline credit cards
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||American Airlines AAdvantage||18 months|
|British Airways Visa Signature® Card||British Airways Avios||36 months|
|Virgin America Visa Signature® Card||Virgin America Elevate Points||18 months|
|United MileagePlus® Explorer Card||United Miles||18 months|
|Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express||Delta SkyMiles||No expiration|
With each program, you can keep your miles alive by earning or redeeming miles on the program. You can book award travel, make purchases on your branded credit card, buy through the airline shopping portals or just book a flight and include your frequent flyer number.
Note: Most of the time, if you have a co-branded airline credit card where your rewards miles are deposited directly into your frequent flyer account, you’ll keep your miles even if you close the credit card account.
Hotel credit cards
|Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card||*Hilton HHonors||12 months|
|Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card||*Marriott Rewards||24 months|
|The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card||Choice Privileges||Dec. 31, two years after earning|
*Point expiration is measured by inactivity, not earning date, so you can keep your points alive by earning or redeeming rewards before the inactivity period ends.
Note: Like airline credit cards, if your credit card-earned hotel points are deposited directly into your loyalty program account, you will probably still keep the points after you close the account.
Image via iStock.