I typically do everything I can to keep points from expiring. The only exceptions are when keeping the points active aren’t just worth the trouble, at which point I’ll look to spend or donate them (which isn’t always so easy – I’m looking at you, Frontier Airlines!).
During the coronavirus pandemic, loyalty programs have extended, or in some cases removed, their point expiration rules. Some programs have gotten perilously close to letting points expire but as the time approached and negative publicity grew, the programs relented and begrudgingly extended points for a few more months.
The casino program MLife was the first one to let points in its program expire. The causal visitor probably didn’t notice and the loyal gambler had possibly returned to Las Vegas.
We’ve now reached the point where the first of the bigger hotel chains has decided they weren’t going to extend any longer. On December 31, 2020, Choice Privileges accounts with no activity for 18 months had their accounts zeroed out.
I only have a few points in the Choice Privileges program. That still doesn’t mean that I wanted to let my points go away. You could see the signs that Choice would eventually let accounts expire so I made a move to extend my account.
I needed to make a small purchase from Walgreens.com. I went to Cashback Monitor and saw that the Choice Mall was offering points.
I’m sure that I could have earned more points, but this small purchase extended my account by another 18 months.
Purchases from a shopping portal might not always extend your account; thus it’s important to know each program’s rules. But if a program lets you extend your account with a small purchase, it’s one of the best ways to keep accounts active.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary