Important Rewards Program Expiration Dates

 One of the most reckless mistakes anyone in this hobby could make would be to let their points expire. There’s simply no excuse for it. After all, Award Wallet is free to use and will keep track of point expiration dates for you. All you have to do to keep your miles active is to earn or redeem points during a specific period of time. This period ranges from 12 – 24 months. With all the different ways to keep your points from expiring, this shouldn’t be difficult at all to manage. That said, it’s good to be aware of specific reward program expiration policies. Below is a summary of expiration dates for frequent flyer and hotel rewards programs:

Frequent Flyer Programs

Of the big frequent flyer programs, Delta and JetBlue have the best policies – miles do not expire. That’s incredibly helpful – especially with Delta Skymiles, which can be a pain to redeem. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to keep topping off your account if you’re unable to redeem Skymiles for a reward. I’ve personally had incidents where I transferred points from Membership Rewards to Delta, only for the award I wanted to increase. It was incredibly frustrating. So now, I keep 25,000 Skymiles in my account for the purpose of booking award miles more easily (when necessary).

JetBlue TrueBlue is just an awesome rewards program all around. Even if miles did expire, their point pooling policy would be a great way to avoid point expiration. Alaska Airlines and Southwest Rapid Rewards come in second for the most generous mileage expiration policy. Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity. Considering how both currencies are so valuable, I have no qualms about transferring flexible rewards points to either account.

American Airlines – 18 months of inactivity

Alaska Airlines – 24 months of inactivity

Delta Airlines – Miles do not expire

JetBlue – Miles do not expire

Southwest – 24 months

United Airlines – 18 months of inactivity

Hotel Rewards Programs

The most generous point expiration policies belong to Club Carlson, Marriott, and Hyatt. Points within these programs expire within 24 months. That’s twice as much time as IHG, Hilton, and Starwood allot to keeping accounts active. It’s a bit strange that Starwood hasn’t updated its policy to match Marriott’s. But considering the limited ways to earn SPG points, most folks with substantial SPG balances probably also have the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express. The activity on co-branded credit cards like this count towards keeping your account active.

Club Carlson – 24 months

IHG Rewards Club – 12 months

Hilton Honors – 12 months

Marriott Rewards – 24 months

Starwood Preferred Guest – 12 months

World of Hyatt – 24 months

It’s good to be aware of these expiration dates. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for how you’re going to keep your rewards accounts active. Earning and redeeming points is pretty much all there is to it. Thus, picking up a co-branded credit card or even utilizing a rewards program shopping portal is the best way to go. More importantly, get yourself signed up for an Award Wallet account so you’ll get ample warning before your points expire.

Have you ever let a rewards balance expire? How do you keep your accounts active?

Ariana Arghandewal
Ariana Arghandewal is a travel hacker and travel rewards expert who earns over 1.5 million miles every year. When she’s not contributing to Frugal Travel Guy, she publishes her own points and miles blog, PointChaser.com. You can connect…
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The JetBlue Plus Card

  • Annual Fee: $99 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: 0%
  • Card Type: Travel

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  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
  • Your first checked bag is free.

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


3 months

30,000

$1,000


JetBlue Purchases

6.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Groceries Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


The JetBlue Plus Card

  • Annual Fee: $99 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: 0%
  • Card Type: Travel
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
  • Your first checked bag is free.

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


3 months

30,000

$1,000


JetBlue Purchases

6.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Groceries Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Apply Now

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