Marriott has announced that their points will now begin to expire after 2 years of inactivity. Previously, Marriott points did not expire. However, for the longest time they did have a clause saying that they “reserve the right” to make points expire if there were no point earning activities in 2 years; it was just never enforced.
Starting February 1, 2016, members who do not have qualifying activity in the prior 24 months will forfeit all accumulated points.
If you have not engaged in qualifying activity since January 31, 2014, you have until January 31, 2016 to do so before the policy is enforced*.
The following activities do not count toward maintaining an active status in the Marriott Rewards® program:
- Gifting or transferring points
- Receiving points as a gift or transfer
- Earning points through social media programs, such as #MRPoints
There are two rather interesting tidbits in the implementation of this rule. First of all, the new terms and conditions are semi-retroactive. If you haven’t had any qualifying activity since a little over a year ago, your points will now expire in less than a year. Second, transferring points does not count as a “qualifying activity,” so those that were hoping to make Chase UltimateRewards points transfer to keep their accounts active are out of luck.
Marriott also made it clear that expired points cannot be reinstated.
I personally don’t think this came as a huge surprise, especially since Marriott has long had the “expiration clause” in their terms and conditions. This news definitely came at a bad time though, after Marriott announced their updated hotel categories, where almost 3 in 10 hotels will cost more in the upcoming program year.
For comparison, below are expiration policies of some other hotel chains:
- Hyatt: Points expire after 24 months of inactivity
- Hilton: Points expire after 12 months of inactivity
- SPG: Points expire after 12 months of inactivity
- IHG: Points never expire