It is important to know your points expire in order to avoid losing a large stockpile of points. Most programs will allow you to renew the expiration date of your points by earning, transferring, or redeeming points. If you need some ideas on how to earn points for a specific program, visit our "Earning Points" page for each major airline or hotel (e.g., our United Airlines Earning Points page). You can also sometimes extend the life of the points by booking a hotel night with points and canceling it, which redeposits the points.
Points earned from an airline or hotel credit card will not expire by closing the card, because the points are transferred from the card automatically at the close of each statement. American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points will not expire as long as you have one card that earns those types of points. So if you have a large Chase Ultimate Rewards points balance and only one card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, don't close that card until you either: (1) open another Ultimate Rewards card, (2) use those points via the Chase Travel Portal, or (3) transfer the points to an airline or hotel program.
However, for some programs, it is impossible to extend the life of your points. I made this mistake early in my points career when I transferred a ton of American Express points to Etihad during a 30% transfer bonus. Etihad's points expire 24 months from the point of the transfer and there is no way to extend them, so I had to book a decent award to avoid a total loss.
Hotel Expiration Date Ways to Extend Best Western Never N/A Choice 18 months Earn or redeem 1 point Club Carlson 18 months Earn or redeem 1 point Hilton 12 months Earn or redeem 1 point Hyatt 24 months Earn or redeem 1 point IHG 12 months Earn or redeem 1 point Marriott/Ritz 24 months Earn or redeem 1 point Starwood 12 months Earn or redeem 1 point Wyndham 48 months (but 18 months if no activity on account) Not possible beyond 48 months, but you need to earn or use one point per 18 months for account to be active.