New Marriott Rewards Expiration Policy As of February 2016
E ffective as of Monday, February 1, 2016, members of the Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program who do not have qualifying activity in the prior 24 months will forfeit all accumulated Marriott Rewards points — meaning that if you have not engaged in qualifying activity since Friday, January 31, 2014, you have until Sunday, January 31, 2016 to do so before the new Marriott Rewards expiration policy is enforced.
The following activities do not count toward maintaining an active status in the Marriott Rewards program:
- Gifting or transferring points
- Receiving points as a gift or transfer
- Earning points through social media programs or promotions — such as #MRPoints
- Registering for a promotion
- Marriott Vacation Club owners staying during their ownership stay, even if earning Elite credit
The items included in the list shown below is considered qualifying activity to extend the expiration date of Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points:
- Earn points or miles on a qualified paid stay at any of the greater than 4,000 participating hotel properties worldwide
- Redeem points for an award stay at any of the greater than 4,000 participating hotel properties worldwide
- Redeem points for any one of greater than 200 redemption options — including merchandise, cruises and digital downloads
- Make a purchase using a Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card
- Earn points with one of the program partners of the Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program
- Purchase Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points
- Hold a qualifying group or event with the Rewarding Events program
- Earning points or miles on incidental charges at qualifying brands
- Marriott Vacation Club owners exchanging their weeks or MVC points for Marriott Rewards points
- Converting points to airline miles or airline miles to points
To find out when your most recent activity took place, you can:
- Visit My Account at the official Internet web site of the Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program and select Account Activity to view your activity history
- Receive an announcement via e-mail message or postal mail of the policy enforcement which will list your account point balance and last known qualifying activity, if you have elected for this option
- Call Marriott Rewards Guest Services to inquire about your last qualifying activity
If your Marriott Rewards points are forfeited, your account will not be closed to further use; and you will not need to set up a new account; but if you do not maintain an active status for five consecutive years, your account may be deactivated. Also, the new point expiration policy does not directly impact elite level status or the ability for you to earn elite night credits or receive elite benefits at any hotel or resort property.
By the way, the act of merely booking and/or cancelling a reservation is not qualifying activity under the point expiration policy. You must complete a qualified paid stay or redemption stay to qualify.
Once Marriott Rewards points are forfeited, they cannot be earned back after the expiration date of 24 months — unless it is determined the points were expired in error, in which case, you should contact Marriott Rewards Guest Services to remedy.
If you have earned lifetime elite level status in the Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program — whether that level is Silver, Gold or Platinum — you are not affected by this change. However, Marriott Rewards reserves the right to change and modify benefits of lifetime elite level status membership at any time.
“From time to time adjustments to the programs are necessary to make room for new services and benefits that will enhance the member experience” is the reason given for the enforcement of this new policy, as shown at the Internet web site containing frequent asked questions pertaining to the expiration of points.
Here are the exact words to the terms and conditions of the Marriott Rewards points expiration policy:
POINTS EXPIRATION POLICY: Members must remain active in the Rewards Programs to retain Points they accumulate. If a Member is not active for 24 consecutive months, that Member will forfeit all accumulated Points. The Rewards Program will start enforcing this policy on February 1, 2016. Members can remain active in the Rewards Programs and retain accumulated Points by earning Points or Miles in the Rewards Programs or redeeming Points in the Rewards Programs at least once every 24 months, subject to the exceptions described below.
If a Member does not maintain an active status for five consecutive years, the Member’s account may be deactivated. Once Points have been forfeited, the Points cannot be reinstated, but a Member can earn new Points, unless that Member’s account is deactivated too.
Not all Points activities help maintain active status in the Rewards Programs. The following activities do not count toward maintaining an active status in the Rewards Programs:
- gifting or transferring Points; however, converting Points to Miles or Miles to Points does count toward maintaining an active status
- receiving Points as a gift or transfer
- earning Points through social media programs, such as #MRPoints
Rewards redeemed by a Member prior to Point forfeiture are still valid even though the Reward may not have been fulfilled at the time of Point forfeiture.
The points expiration policy does not currently affect the Points in Elite Lifetime member accounts; however, the Rewards Programs may choose to apply a points expiration policy to Elite Lifetime member accounts in the future.
I personally am not thrilled about this new policy; but unless you have lifetime elite status in the Marriott Rewards frequent guest loyalty program or stay at participating hotel and resort properties at least once every two years, it should not be an issue.