Choice Privileges points expiration policy effective February 1, 2016 is a major program change. If a member is not active within 18 consecutive calendar months, that member will forfeit all accumulated Choice Privileges points.
On August 1, 2017 all inactive Choice Privileges accounts since February 1, 2016 will forfeit all their points.
The current Choice Privileges points expiration policy is an outlier in hotel loyalty programs. Choice Privileges points in a member’s account expire two calendar years after the year points were earned.
Current Choice Privileges Points Expiration Policy
- Points earned January to December 2015 expire December 31, 2017.
- Points earned in January 2016 expire December 31, 2018.
New Choice Privileges Points Expiration Policy effective Feb 1, 2016
- Points expire after 18 months of account inactivity to take effect August 1, 2017.
Choice Privileges members who lose points on August 1, 2017 can request their points be reinstated to their original points expiration date for points earned in 2015 and Jan 2016 that would have expired under the current Choice Privileges points expiration policy at the end of 2017 or 2018.
New Policy Good for Frequent Guests at Choice Hotels
This points expiration policy is good for frequent guests in Choice Hotels. Choice Privileges account activity at least once every 18 months keeps points from expiring in the future. Choice Privileges members who actually use the program can accumulate large amounts of points and save them for longer than 24 to 36 months, the maximum length of time before points expiration under the current program rules.
As a general rule of thumb, holding onto hotel points for more than two or three years will likely mean these points decrease in redemption value as hotel reward night rates increase in cost.
Personally, as a big user of Choice Privileges points, my problem is I can’t retain enough points for my hotel needs after frequent trips to Denmark, Norway and Sweden over the past 18 months and into 2016. The current points expiration policy was better for me and probably the vast majority of Choice Privileges members.
18 Month Expiration Policy is Bad for Most Hotel Guests
In general, I am against short term expiration policies for points and miles earned. Most hotel guests are not frequent guests who will stay in a Choice Hotels every year. The new policy makes points earned last year expire five months early and points earned in January 2016 expire 17 months earlier than under the current rules.
There will likely be some infrequent guest reading this post in two years wondering why all the points in their Choice Privileges account were wiped out.
In my opinion, 18 months is not a very long time to stay away from any single hotel chain and loyalty account.
Choice Privileges Points Expiration Details
CHOICE PRIVILEGES® POINT FORFEITURE POLICY
Choice Privileges members must remain active in the Program to retain the Choice Privileges points they accumulate. If a member is not active within 18 consecutive calendar months, that member will forfeit all accumulated Choice Privileges points. To maintain an active status in the Choice Privileges Rewards Program and retain accumulated Choice Privileges points, you must engage in qualifying activity, such as completing a qualified point-eligible stay, earning points, airline miles or Amtrak Guest Rewards points, redeeming Choice Privileges points, earning points from a purchase using your Choice Privileges Visa® card*, earning points with one of our partner programs, purchasing points, and referring a friend**.
Beginning February 1, 2016, members have until August 1, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time to engage in a qualifying activity before this forfeiture policy is enforced. Any qualifying activity after February 1, 2016 will keep members’ points active for an 18 additional months. Starting August 1, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time and continuing on the first day of each subsequent calendar month thereafter, Choice Privileges points will be forfeited in accounts with no qualifying activity during the previous 18 consecutive calendar months. Qualifying activity keeps your points active for 18 additional months, beginning on the first day of the month after your activity is completed through the 18th month of inactivity. A qualifying activity is completed when points post or are removed from your account.
Not all activities count toward maintaining an active status in the Choice Privileges Rewards Program. The following are some examples of non-qualifying activities that do not count toward maintaining an active status in the Choice Privileges Rewards Program: completing a non-eligible stay, registering for a promotion, gifting points (only counts as a qualifying activity for the member who receives the points, not the member who gifts the points).
*Available for U.S. members only.
**The refer-a-friend option awards points to your member account when a friend enrolls in the Choice Privileges Rewards Program and completes a point-eligible stay. Your points will remain active for an additional 18 consecutive calendar months based on the date the points post to your account, not on the date when you refer your friend.
Members who earned points between January 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016, under the former point expiration policy, which carried a firm expiration of points on December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2018, respectively, will be eligible to request any points forfeited under the new forfeiture policy (stated above) be reinstated to their member account by contacting member services. This point reinstatement is only available for points earned between January 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016, and forfeited on August 1, 2017, where the member had no qualifying activity under the new forfeiture policy but whose points would not have expired until December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2018, respectively, under the previous point expiration policy.