With just a week left in 2021 now is a good time to double check if you have any points and miles that will be expiring at the end of this year. For the most part, the majority of loyalty programs have extended the pause on points and miles expiry into 2022 however there are a select few that are not. The biggest program I can think that is not extending points expiry after December 31, 2021 is World of Hyatt. There are others as well which I list further below in the post.
TLDR: Check these accounts right away for expiring miles/points:
- Hyatt points expiry pause ends on December 31, 21
- Porter Airlines points expiry pause ends on December 31, 21
- Choice Privileges points expiry pause ends on December 31, 21
- Wyndham Rewards points expiry pause ends on December 31, 21
- American Airlines miles expiry pause ends on March 31, 22
What triggered this post from me is Hyatt, there has been lots of buzz around the hotel chain not extending elite status, free night awards, suite upgrade vouchers as well as points. This is especially so for those outside of the United States as the rest of the world does not have a Hyatt co-brand credit card and has proportionately less hotel properties to stay at (or even eat at to earn points) so the call has been put out by travelers and bloggers alike for Hyatt to follow in the footsteps of Hilton, IHG and Marriott but as of the date of posting this there was no movement on Hyatt’s part. Personally I though tmy wife and I were set to have our points expire come January 2022 if we didn’t do anything but then I recalled we both earned some free points when Hyatt had a wellness promotion in December 2020. So I wiped the sweat off my forehead knowing our points are safe until December 2022 as Hyatt has a 24 month inactivity rule. Sadly though some of our club access vouchers will be going the way of the dodo bird as there is no way to keep them from expiring on December 31.
Had we not earned those wellness points I was prepared to do one of several things to earn some points to keep the accounts active. The easiest would be to transfer points from my account to hers and we’d be all set. If you have two or more accounts in your household and your points are due to expire this is a good route and a free one at that to take. Simply complete this form (PDF) and email it to World of Hyatt. Do note they state this transfer is only to take place when someone needs a certain amount points for a particular award redemption but Hyatt has told us this is not the case. I mean if you consider it the points will be eventually used for an award but when… who knows. The next easy option if you can’t transfer points to someone is to simply buy Hyatt points. You can buy as little as 1,000 points for US$24 (plus GST/HST) and that will keep your account active. Right now though through to December 31 if you buy 5,000 or more points in one shot you’ll receive a 30% discount on the purchase price. Click here to learn more and/or to buy points. Additionally, if you live near a Hyatt hotel but don’t want to complete a stay you can order take out (not via a food delivery service like Skip) from that hotel’s restaurant and earn points on the meal so that’s the next best way to keep your account active if you can’t get a stay in before the end of the year.
So that’s Hyatt, now what about the other programs? Let’s take a look at some of the other major programs that Canadians use. These policies are current as of December 23 but can changed or extended again as has been the case for most of these programs:
Air Canada Aeroplan
Points expiry paused until Sep 29, 2022 (points will start expiring on Sep 30). The airline has an 18 month inactivity rule which means accounts with no activity after March 30, 2020 will start to see their points expiring. Earning points is easy with Aeroplan from online shopping to Starbucks to Home Hardware or redeeming a small amount of points to one of their charities is all it takes to keep your points and account active. If you have an Aeroplan co-brand credit card your account will remain active as well.
Reward miles will expire if an account does not
have activity for 24 months. I could not find any information if the
program is pausing that rule. And if I recall correctly they never did
pause it during the pandemic as program members are not reliant on
travel for the majority of earning. Much like Aeroplan it is super easy to earn or redeem AIR MILES so you should have no problem keeping the account active.
WestJet dollars do not expire*. With WestJet you will want to check your travel bank credits those do expire. Also any vouchers you may have received from the World Elite Mastercard or from elite status that are set to expire on December 31, 2021 can be extended. You do need to register by December 29 to extend them (do that here) * Some dollars that are earned as bonuses during promotions may expire
Porter Airlines VIPorter
From what I can tell points will start expiring again after December 31, 2021 including those reinstated from 2020. The program has a 24 month inactivity rule so if you haven’t earned or redeemed any points since December 31, 2019 you will lose those points. Porter is tougher, you pretty much have to have a flight with them (either earning points or redeeming points for that flight) to keep your account and points active
Canadian North Aurora Rewards
Points expiry paused until Jan 1, 2023. The program has an inactivity rule of 24 months which means you’ll need some activity in your account over the next year if you haven’t earned any points since Jan 1, 2021. If you are not flying with Canadian North you can earn points by shopping at merchants like The Northern Shopper, Bob’s Welding Fuel Stations. Stanton’s Grocery or Northwind Petroleum. You also have options to donate points (as little as 1,000 points) or redeem for gift cards.
Air France KLM Flying Blue
All miles expiring between December
2021 and November 2022 will be extended to December 31, 2022. Flying
Blue has a two year inactivity rule which is more limiting than other
programs. The qualifying activity needs to be a flight on Air France,
KLM, Aircalin, Kenya Airways, TAROM or other airline partners. So you
could credit a WestJet flight to your Flying Blue account and that
should keep your miles active.
Pause on miles expiry until March 31,
2022. They have an 18 month inactivity rule so if you haven’t earned any
activity since September 20, 2020 you may want to look at earning or
redeeming miles by March. You can convert RBC Rewards points or points
from multiple hotel programs to the AAdvantage program.
Best Western Rewards
Points don’t expire.
British Airways Executive Club
British Airways Executive Club
has a three year inactivity rule in place so you need to earn or redeem
at least one Avios every 36 months. BA was one of the few programs that
did not provide an extension on expiry due to COVID. Options to keep
your account active without flying BA or one of their partner airlines
include converting points from Amex Membership Rewards, RRBC Rewards (Avion cardholders only) or HSBC Rewards. Converting from hotel
programs, buying Avios, or even getting the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
This one gets a little more
complicated – Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles used to (and still kind of
does) have both an expiry and an inactivity rule. Any miles earned in
the program prior to January 1, 2020 have a three expiry rule regardless
of account activity. This is quite typical of many programs outside of
North America where they have two rules. Asia Miles did become one of
the first Asian program to change however and will live by an inactivity
rule only for miles earn on or after January 1, 2020. That inactivity
rule is 18 months. There is no current extension or pause on the
expiring of miles. The best way to keep your account active is to fly
with Cathay but if you can’t you can shop online via their Canadian
online shopping portal, convert points from a credit card like Amex Membership Rewards, RBC Rewards (Avion cardholders only) or HSBC Rewards. Convert points from a hotel program like Marriott Bonvoy or get
yourself the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum card.
Miles no longer expire even if you have no activity in your account.
Points expiry is paused until Dec 31, 2022. IHG’s
inactivity rule is shorter at only 12 months so to keep your points
active you’ll need some sort of qualifying activity during 2022. If you
have IHG Rewards elite status you are not subject to this rule. Just to name a few of the options to keep your points active are to have a stay at one of their hotels, redeem for free nights, transfer points to an airline, buy points, or even rent a car with Hertz.
Points expiry is paused until Dec 31, 2022. Most suite night and free night awards (like those from the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card) are being extended if they are due to expire between now and June 29, 2022. The extension is until June 30 2022. Marriott’s standard policy is 24 months of inactivity so accounts that do not have any qualifying activity after Dec 31, 2020 will be those starting to expire in just over a year’s time. Keeping your points active can include using a Canadian Marriott credit card, staying at one of their hotels, buying points, renting a car with Hertz, converting points to an airline and the list goes on.
Points expiry is paused until Dec 31, 2022. The program also recently moved from a 15 month to a 24 month inactivity rule so accounts that do not have any qualifying activity after Dec 31, 2020
will be those starting to expire in just over a year’s time. Like the other hotel programs a stay (paid or redeeming points for an award night) will keep your account active, you can convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton, or convert your Hilton points to one of their airline partners.
Miles no longer expire even if you have no activity in your account.
We are also approaching two years since the pandemic first took hold of the world. If you were one of the early ones to get in on getting your travel credited as vouchers and haven’t used them yet I would check to see when they are due to expire as some airlines and vacation companies provided a two year window to utilize them. Some travel providers have automatically extended vouchers or credits, for example Sunwing Vacations is allowing credits to be used for travel up to September 30, 2026.
Wrapping it up
Miles and points expiry program inactivity is one aspect of loyalty programs that many people are unaware of or don’t not pay enough attention to. We have heard so many stories over the years (most recently Aeroplan during a short window in July 2020) where members of programs log in to their accounts and see their balance is 0. For the most part however during the pandemic this has not been an issue as many loyalty programs have continually updated and extended their inactivity/expiry rules and now with Omicron spreading like wildfire we will more than likely see further extensions from those programs that haven’t already given until the end of next year. That being said with only a week left in the year we haven’t seen movement from Hyatt and several other hotel programs like Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards so be sure to go and check all your accounts and the respective program’s policies for expiry to see if you need to have some activity in the next 7 days.
Be sure to also check out our feature Expiry and Inactivity Rules of Canadian Loyalty Programs for more tips and details on this topics.
Title image via Canadian North Aurora Rewards