When your Marriott Bonvoy points expire, and how to stop it

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

Marriott Bonvoy is the loyalty scheme for AC Hotels, Aloft, Autograph, Courtyard, Delta Hotels, Design Hotels, Edition, Element, Fairfield Inn, Four Points, Gaylord, Le Meridien, Marriott, Moxy, Protea, Renaissance, Residence Inn, St Regis, Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Springhill Suites, Towneplace Suites, W and Westin.

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

When do Marriott Bonvoy points expire?

According to clause 1.6 of the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions here:

Members must remain active in the Loyalty Program to retain Points they accumulate.  If a Member Account is inactive for twenty-four (24) consecutive months, that Member Account will forfeit all accumulated Points.  Members can remain active in the Loyalty Program and retain accumulated Points by earning Points or Miles in the Loyalty Program or redeeming Points in the Loyalty Program at least once every twenty-four (24) months, subject to the exceptions described below.  If a Member does not maintain an active status for five (5) consecutive years, the Member’s Account may be deactivated.  Once Points are forfeited, the Points cannot be reinstated, but a Member can earn new Points, unless that Member’s Account has been deactivated.

i.      Not all Points activities help maintain active status in the Loyalty Program.  The following activities do not count toward maintaining an active status in the Loyalty Program:

A.      Gifting or transferring Points; however, converting Points to Miles or Miles to Points does count toward maintaining an active status;

B.      Receiving Points as a gift or transfer; or

C.      Earning Points through social media programs, such as #MarriottBonvoyPoints

How does Marriott Bonvoy define ‘earning or redeeming points’?

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.

Marriott has a very lenient policy (you only need one item of activity every two years) so there is no reason why you should lose your points.

JW Marriott Venice main building

There are various ways of achieving this if you live in the UK:

Earning points:

Buy Marriott Bonvoy points – $12.50 gets you 1,000 points and your problem is solved

Credit a Hertz or Sixt car rental to Marriott

Refer a friend to Marriott Bonvoy who completes a stay – you earn 2,000 points

Transfer some American Express Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy (the ratio is 2:3)

Taking out the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cardour full SPG Amex review is here

Spending points:

The easiest way to trigger some spend activity would appear to be to book and then cancel a redemption night. This should count as activity.  However, comments from our readers in the past have suggested that this does not work, at least if the cancellation is done immediately after booking.

Transfer some points into an airline loyalty scheme.  The minimum transfer is 3,000 points.

Redeem points for cash credit when staying at a Marriott hotel (although if you had a stay, you would be earning points from it anyway unless you booked via an intermediary such as Expedia)

Redeem for merchandise or High Street shopping vouchers via Exclusively Yours

Redeem 12,500 points for a $50 Marriott electronic gift card

Transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to another person.  You can transfer up to 100,000 points per year to another person, so if your partner has an active account you might as well just transfer your points to them.  There is no charge for transfers but you need to call Marriott Bonvoy to arrange them. You need to transfer all of your points because the transfer itself is not ‘activity’ and will not stop any remaining points expiring.

As you can see, there is no excuse at all for letting Marriott Rewards points expire – just spend $12.50 on buying 1,000 points.

How to be notified of upcoming miles and points expiry dates

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 ($30 per year) it also tracks your all expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.  On the free plan, you can track the expiry date for three loyalty schemes of your choice.

Bits: BA adds Do&Co catering on more long haul routes, additional BA A350 Club Suite flight announced
Good KLM Business Class sale from UK (inc regional departures) from £1400
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Comments

  1. A bit confused, Rob, you recommend transferring points to keep them alive, however the Marriott rules quoted above says this is not the case? (Though it’s early and I may have read it wrong!)

    • Peter K says:

      +1

      • I was saying transfer them out to a friend before they expire – ie move the lot.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Are you mixing up transferring MR from your AMEX and transferring to someone else?

      The first is qualifying the second of you transferred all your points to someone else their account would have needed to have qualifying spend in the past 24 months or they would expire too

  2. Or you can dine in one of their hotels then show your membership number when paying for bill

    • RussellH says:

      Does that still work? It was an SPG thing, not a Marriott thing, and since the merger I have not been able to find any info on it. Not that that means it is not there of course!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Old SPG brands still participate and I think all Marriott in Asia Pacific

  3. RakishDriver says:

    Any smidge of a hint of a Marriott credit card in the UK anytime soon?
    Amex SPG is surely disappearing sooner rather than later.

  4. Bertster says:

    The list of brands is missing Moxy. And possibly Bulgari?

  5. You forgot to mention that for those with lifetime statuses, points never expire

  6. Binks says:

    Thanks for the article Rob. I was asking myself Thais precise question the article is addressing just the other day. Plan is transfer my wife’s points to my account over the next mont or so.

    Q: is there a limit to the number of points transfer someone can receive from friends and family in a give year? For example can I receive a batch of 39k from one person and 50k from another?

    Thanks

    • There is a 100k send limit, unsure if there is a receive limit but it would be over 100k if it existed.

      • Binks says:

        Thanks Rob 😎. I may call up Marriott Bonvoy and pose the question.

      • this reminds me – i have a bone to pick with marriott. In order to do teh transfer you need to give them a call. the only number listed was a US number, but Marriott told me that it would be toll free from any country. They were wrong, and the call cost about £15. The transfer was, though, instant which is a good thing.

  7. Binks says:

    I am looking for some guidance. I am about to spend £8k on a family holiday and wondering what cc to use given all the recent Amex changes have impacted my original plan.

    I have the Amex gold cc and plat cash back card. I previously had the IHG Plat card and after receiving my free voucher cancelled it in early Feb. I have c290k Amex MR points, 170k virgin miles, 230k IHG points and 40k Marriott points. I would be eligible for anAmex sign up bonuses. I also the basic Virgin FC cc – I had the old virgin Amex from MBNA and applied when they scrapped their card.

    I have been thinking bout Virgin FC premium cc however don’t think if I’d get accepted as I’ve been rejected twice already.

    I was thinking maybe use my wife’s Amex SPG card and accumulate some more Marriott Bonvoy points.

    Ideally I’d like to minimise the cc fee. Be great to hear thoughts from the HfP community.

    I should also add I do not have any immediate plans to use my points however thinking next year may take a trip using Singapore airlines one way business class to KL, after a week or so take a connecting flight to HK and fly back upper class with virgin (given the benefits of the low fees when redeeming points).

  8. Michael says:

    So as long as i’m spending on my SPG card im fine?

  9. neuromancer says:

    Booking a reward room and canceling a few days later definitely does not extend the validity or at least the last activity date in the account does not change.
    Asked e representative and the answer was that I need to really stay for it to count, not sure if it’s true.
    That said, I transferred my wife’s points to my account, the expiry date in her account passed some months ago and there are still some leftover points there, not sure for how long. Looking for some free activity to round them up to 1000 and transfer them too.

  10. Slightly OT. With the inability to upgrade the Marriott travel packages,
    1)has anyone got any good tips on where to use the category 1-4 TPs. Have 2 unused and may just let them expire.
    2) Can you use them for family/ friend if you are not present at check in?

    • Simon says:

      Did upgrading MTPs end in Aug 2018? I had no idea this upgrade facility had bitten the dust?

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