How Marriott Will Expire Points in Their New Program

A reader asked me how points expiration would work in the new program.


  • Starwood expires points after 12 months of inactivity. Any activity in an account extends points for another 12 months.

  • Marriott expires points after 24 months of inactivity. Not all activity extends points in an account. If you earn points via social media, for instance you’re awarded points for answering trivia questions on Twitter, those points don’t extend your account.

The new combined program keeps the Marriott points expiration rules.

I had hoped that since this is a ‘new program’ or at least it will be next year when it gets a new name and the programs are ‘formally’ combined, that everyone’s activity would get reset. After all, how can a program expire points based on lack of activity from before it even existed?

Unfortunately they’re going to carry over your last activity dates from predecessor programs. Marriott tells me that “In August, your most recent activity across either program will represent the counter start date.”

On the other hand though this should be seen as status quo for Marriott members (no loss) and an improvement for Starwood members.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So simply holding either an Amex SPG card or a Chase Marriott card will do nothing to prevent points expiration?

    What about getting/holding one of the upcoming ‘fancy’ cards?

  2. I would venture to say if you have and more importantly use one of their branded cards points might stay. After all there are essentially two ways they earn money, hotel stays ( with food and beverage) and Credit Cards

    Just a thought

  3. @Gary, you should have pointed out that once one reaches a Lifetime elite status, points never expire.

  4. No “might” about it, Ghostrider 🙂 !
    Correct, Alan, merely holding one of their credit cards will not prevent expiry! One must grab that Visa or Amex out of the sock drawer & actually charge a purchase once every 2 years 😀 to keep points alive!

  5. What will happen to Marriott Category 5 certs come August 1? Will they become good for up to cat 5 under the “new” chart. Wife and I each have one, trying to figure out if better to use them know or save them.

  6. Hepworth, based on what MR has said about Travel Package 7-night cert.s, most of us expect that they will be valid for up to 25K points ( = new Cat. 4.) But there’s no info yet on which hotels will be in which new categories.

  7. @B1BomberVB. Thanks. What’s the word on the 7 night certs? Opportunity to pick one up now and have it be more valuable after the combination? I realize it’s speculative pending how they categorize hotels.

  8. how do SPG points transfer to Marriott… and then in turn how Marriott “points” transfer to airline transferable points/miles? I have liked the 20k SPG miles transfer at 60k + 15k miles on the skim to whichever airline I transfer them to so I get 75k miles…. If I understand this, SPG points go from 1 to 3 Marriott points. I would then transfer 60k Marriott point (= to 20k SPG points),and it’s still 75k airline point transfer…I think this is a wash but would love confirmation or clarification if I’m wrong….

  9. Just to understand, if given a 7 night Marriott travel certificate cat 1-5 to use that after August 1 that can/might be changed to cat. 1-4 after the fact! How is that allowed? The certificate says cat 1-5. Oh wait, Screwed again and still not kissed! lol
    I know that starpoints conversion will go down after Aug. 1. Does anybody know if possibly the value of Marriott points might possible go up to egual a 1-2 conversion. Ok just dreaming I guess.

  10. Having been a member of the Ritz Carlton Club for YEARS and spending lots of $$$ on premises, I would have thought my Rewards points would be safe. NOT! They disappeared recently. All of them. Since then I have avoided all Marriott properties as much as possible. I did contact Marriott but they they had no answer about the Club Member thing. Just a sentence or two about their “policy.”
    Ouch. I guess it’s only booking a room that saves you.

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