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When Will My Credit Card Rewards, Points and Miles Expire?

Dec. 3, 2018
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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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

Program Expiration
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 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® Cash Back don’t expire as long as you keep the account open and in good standing.

Airline credit cards

Card Loyalty Program Expiration
British Airways Visa Signature® Card British Airways Avios 36 months
Virgin America Visa Signature® Card Virgin America Elevate Points 18 months
United℠ 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

Credit Card Program Expiration
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card *Hilton HHonors 12 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.