Recently, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest made the surprise announcement that members could link accounts, convert points on a 3:1 basis, and even status match. I’m sure this led to SPG loyalists reviving old Marriott Rewards accounts. After all, with poor promotions called Megabonus (so bad I’ve stopped writing about them) and a requirement for 75 nights to reach Platinum status, it’s no surprise that many loyalty-programme-conscious people just aren’t staying at Marriott hotels.
Joe at Inside Flyer UK offers a cautionary tale… He converted Starpoints to Marriott points recently, only to see them expire almost immediately! Hopefully Marriott will return his points as a measure of goodwill, but we want to avoid the hassle by keeping in mind Marriott’s policy!
The expiration policy can be summarised as:
Accumulated points will be removed from your account if you do not have a qualifying activity in the prior 2 years. The program reviews member activity of the previous 24 months every month.
So, every month your account will be checked for activity, and any points balance might expire. Staying active shouldn’t be terribly difficult. A paid or award stay obviously counts. Purchasing a small number of points also counts. I haven’t tried it myself, but even booking an award stay with points and then cancelling it later should also count as activity.
But, most importantly, here is the list of activities that DO NOT COUNT, even though some of them would intuitively seem to be reasonable activity:
Gifting or transferring points
Receiving points as a gift or transfer
Earning points through social media programs, such as #MRPoints
Linking your accounts with other programs
Receiving Status Matching across program accounts
Transferring points to accounts in other programs
So, quite clearly, transferring points from Starwood Preferred Guest into Marriott Rewards DOES NOT reset the 24-month expiry date on your Marriott Rewards account.
So, do yourself a favour. Log into your Marriott Rewards account and check for recent activity before converting any Starpoints. Even better, sign up for Award Wallet, pay a small amount every six months, and expiry dates will be tracked automatically for you…