A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question about how to keep IHG Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points from expiring due to non-activity.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I’ve one account on IHG and one on SPG with lots of points but this year I had no chance to use or gain points. They will expire in the next months and I’m looking for a way to keep them alive.
If I understood their rules, I just need to change my point balance before the expiration date. I.e. for IHG I think I can redeem just 200 points for an ebook. Is that enough to keep my account alive for another year?
Please may you suggest me the easiest way to do that also with SPG?
Thank you in advance for your advices and for all the suggestions you gave us on your site.
When IHG started to expire points after 12 months of inactivity earlier this year, I wrote a piece (access here) about how to keep them alive.
The cheapest way is to redeem for an ebook or song. There were some even lower than 200 points when I looked at this few months ago. This is considered activity and will extend the validity of your points by 12 months.
Easiest way with SPG probably is to purchase the minimum number of Starpoints allowed or move Starpoints to some airline program (minimum 2,500 for non-status members). You can also donate 500 Starpoints to one of the charitable causes.
Expiring points after 12 months of inactivity is very aggressive in my opinion considering (the rather) low value attached to them on the books of these companies.
Keeping IHG Rewards Club points from expiring is easy and SPG is not that difficult either (just do the charity donation).