Travel Related

Prevent Your Airline and Hotel Loyalty Points from Expiring During Coronavirus Lockdown!

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Most of us are off the road, not flying, and out of hotels for the foreseeable future.

Some of your points and miles might be at risk — depending on how active you are with certain airline and hotel loyalty programs. For example, my friend Dave was a loyal American Airlines flyer — until his employer put him on Delta flights. Two years later, he holds tons of American points that are in jeopardy, simply because he’s switched his loyalty to Delta. He certainly doesn’t want to let his AA points disappear.

Here are some easy ways to keep your points and miles active without having to fly in a plane or stay in a hotel.

In fact, most of these can be achieved from home!

When Do Points Expire?

We’ll focus on some of the major US airlines and hotels.

No need to worry about your Delta, JetBlue and United points. They don’t expire as long as your account is open. (Delta points expire when, y’know, you do.)

  • Alaska Airlines points expire after 24 months of no point activity.
  • American Airlines points expire after 18 months of no point activity.
  • Hilton points expire after 12 months of no point activity, though their website allows you to submit for reclamation within 18 months.
  • Hyatt points expire after 24 months of no point activity. However, they’ve paused point expirations through May 31, 2020.
  • IHG points expire after 12 months of no point activity.
  • Marriott points expire after 24 months of no point activity. However, they’ve paused point expirations through August 31, 2020.
  • Southwest Airlines points expire after 24 months of no point activity.

(Some programs don’t expire their elite members’ points, so keep that in mind.)

Remember, airline flights and hotel stays are only a couple of ways to earn points. There are plenty of other methods!

Earn and Redeem Points without Traveling

There are several easy ways to generate point activity — and keep your accounts alive!

Shopping Portals

Several airline loyalty programs allow you to earn points through their shopping portals (similar to earning cashback through TopCashback, Rakuten, Be Frugal, etc.) Most hotels seem to have shuttered their portals.

In general, we’re fans of earning cashback instead of airline points. (Though Rakuten allows you to earn Membership Rewards points in lieu of cash, if you so desire.)

Businessman hand showing shopping cart with smart phone, on line shopping concept.
(©iStock.com/BsWei)

But in a pinch — such as needing to keep your points alive — airline portals are easy ways to score a few points.

Dining Programs

This is something you hopefully already practice.

Several hotel and airline loyalty programs reward you whenever you eat at a participating restaurant — provided you’re enrolled in their dining programs.

The programs work similarly to Dosh and Rakuten‘s dining programs. You link a credit card (or two, three, four…) and receive points anytime you pay with your card at participating restaurants.

These programs are administered by Rewards Network and you may sign up for as many as you wish. But a credit card can be linked to one account at a time.

Co-Branded Credit Card Spend

Airline and hotel co-branded credit cards (i.e. the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Card) earn loyalty program points on each purchase.

Transfer Points from Amex and Chase

American Express and Chase both partner with a number of hotel and airline programs. Transfering the bare minimum of points from Amex or Chase to a participating partner counts as points activity.

Redeem for Gift Cards or Other Products

I wouldn’t count on this option being available much longer. But many programs allow you to purchase gift cards or order magazine subscriptions — and pay with points.

Purchase Points

Most programs allow you to purchase points. Check out points.com and see what’s available.

Lyft (Hilton)

Hilton Honors members can link their Lyft and Hilton Honors accounts. (Not a Lyft member? Use our referral link and enjoy $5 off your first ride.)

Honors members earn 3X per dollar spent on Lyft rides. Plus, Honors members can redeem points in exchange for Lyft rides, though it’s not really the best way to spend your points.

Don’t forget to start your Lyft sessions through Rakuten and earn cashback!

You can also stack these options with Delta’s Lyft partnership, too!

Any Other Tips?

Can you think of other ways to keep point activity going without booking flights or stays? Please share your tips in the below Comments section!

— Chris

Featured image: ©iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 Comments

  1. Barry Graham Reply

    Some programs allow donations to charity which also count as activity.

  2. Derek Wright Reply

    IHG elites don’t face points expiration. By that, one feature then of IHG co-branded cards giving status is they also protect you against points expiration.

Write A Comment

BoardingArea