When your Starwood Preferred Guest points expire, and how to stop it

I receive regular emails from readers asking ‘How can I stop my Starwood Preferred Guest points from expiring?’ or ‘When do my Starwood Preferred Guest points expire?’. This new series looks at the major hotel loyalty programmes and shows you how to keep valuable points intact.

SPG is the loyalty scheme for Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Meridien, St Regis, Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, The Luxury Collection, St Regis, W and Westin.

Whilst Starwood was acquired by Marriott last year, SPG will not be integrated into Marriott Rewards.  A new combined programme will launch in 2018.

If you need to refer to this article in the future, there is a link to it on our ‘Hotel Promos’ page in the Starwood Preferred Guest section.  This also includes details of current SPG promotions.

When do Starwood Preferred Guest points expire?

According to clause 4.2 of the Starwood Preferred Guest terms and conditions:

Starpoints earned or otherwise obtained by an SPG Member will forfeit without notice if the SPG Member becomes Inactive, even if the SPG Member has achieved SPG Lifetime Gold or SPG Lifetime Platinum Status.  An SPG Member is considered “Inactive” if during a 12-month period: (a) the SPG Member has not had a Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel; (b) the SPG Member has not earned or redeemed any Starpoints; or (c) the SPG Member’s account has been cancelled.

What do they mean by ‘earning or redeeming’?

The key point is that YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY AT A HOTEL TO KEEP YOUR POINTS ALIVE. You simply need to have some activity go through your account over a rolling 12 month period.

St Regis Doha 3

If you have 1,000 or more Starwood points there is – at the moment – a very easy way to keep them active.  Simply transfer your points to Marriott Rewards and then transfer them back.

You may remember from my article yesterday on stopping Marriott Rewards points from expiring that this does not work in reverse!  You cannot save your Marriott points by transferring them to Starwood and immediately moving them back.

It DOES work for SPG, however.  This is the easiest way to get another 12 months life for your points, which will probably take you to the 2018 merger of the two programmes anyway.

If you have fewer than 1,000 Starwood points, which is the minimum Marriott transfer, you need another option.  There are various ways of achieving this if you live in the UK:

Earning points:

Transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into your account

Buy Starwood Preferred Guest points

Take out the UK Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card which comes with 10,000 SPG points (review)

Eat or drink at the restaurant of a Starwood hotel for $10 or more – you can earn points without being a registered guest

Credit an Avis, Budget or Sixt car rental to Starwood

Spending points:

If you have 2,000 points, book and then cancel a Category 1 redemption on a weekend night (but, at the moment, it is easier just to transfer to Marriott Rewards and back)

Transfer points into an airline loyalty scheme. The minimum transfer depends on your status level in the programme – it is 2,500 points for non-status members.

Redeem for an SPG Moments experience day

Redeem points towards the cost of a cash flight with SPG Flights

Donate points to the American Red Cross or Unicef – the minimum is just 500 points which makes this the lowest cost way to guarantee your points are safe

Transfer points to someone who shares your home address

Starwood also has various gift voucher redemptions (Avis, Amazon etc) but these require a US or Canadian mailing address.

You can also earn Starwood points with every Uber ride you take.  In order to do this, however, you must have had a Starwood stay in current calendar year, and if you’d done that then your points wouldn’t be expiring anyway.

As you can see, there is no excuse at all for letting SPG points expire!  If you want to track the expiry dates of all of your miles and points, I recommend signing up to AwardWallet for free. It keeps all of your points balances, including non-travel loyalty schemes, in one place and updates them automatically. If you pay for the premium version it also tracks your expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Hostime says:

    You can also earn Starwood points by riding Uber.

    • You can, but only if you’ve had a Starwood stay this year – which means your points won’t be expiring anyway!

  2. Alex W says:

    Just looked at the earning rate for Avis – 50 Star points per day seems pretty stingy! That said, anything is stingy compared to 18,700 Avios

  3. The list contains duplications