Through the COVID pandemic, hotel loyalty programs have extended the expiration policies for reward points several times. Several programs have extended points expiration until the end of 2022. However, some programs set a date for reinstating the requirement of having some account activity to keep points active. For example, Choice Privileges’ usual policy is that you need to have some account activity within 18 months to keep your account active, otherwise you’ll lose the points in your account.
I received an email from Choice informing me that I would lose my points if I didn’t have any account activity before 3/1/22
We earned our Choice points from a stay at Comfort Inn in Sonora, TX. While I usually wouldn’t worry about losing 500 points in a program I’m not interested in, I wanted to see what I could do to keep my points active.
The quick answer was to earn points or redeem points.
Digging a little deeper into the Choice website, I found this list of qualifying activities:
- Qualifying point-eligible stay (earning points or miles),
- Redeeming Choice Privileges points (free nights, gift cards etc.)
- Earning points with the Choice Privileges Visa® card (US members only)
- Purchasing points
- Referring a Friend*
However, this list didn’t show earning points with partners as a qualifying activity. I knew that Choice Privileges is a transfer partner of AMEX, Citi and most recently of Capital One.
Of the three partners, the most valuable transfer partner is Citi where 1 ThankYou point will get you 2 Choice points. I decided to find out if transferring points to Choice from Citi would extend your account expiration date.
I logged into my ThankYou account and transferred 1,000 points to my Choice Privileges account. Transfers are in 1,000 point increments.
After hitting the transfer button, I received several emails from Citi confirming my transfer. I refreshed my Choice account and had 2,000 more points in my account. In addition to that, my account expiration date is now 18 months from now.
Let’s be honest. It’s not usually worth it to transfer 1,000 points to a loyalty account you’re not sure you’ll ever use. However, I wanted to see if transferring points would count as a qualifying activity, which it apparently is.
Since Choice Privileges is a transfer partner of AMEX, Citi and Capital One, there’s no reason to let your points expire if you have enough of them to worry about.
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