The point expiration policy of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program has been relaxed where any Starpoints activity resulting from earning or redeeming will now count towards keeping your Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program account active and preventing the expiration of Starpoints currently in your account. As a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program, I welcome this great news — and I join many fellow FlyerTalk members in applauding the amended policy.
Here is the policy, as officially stated by Starwood Preferred Guest:
4.2 Forfeiting Starpoints. Except for SVO Owners to whom the obligations in Section 9 apply, Starpoints earned or otherwise obtained by an SPG Member will forfeit without notice if the SPG Member becomes Inactive, even if the SPG Member has achieved SPG Lifetime Gold or SPG Lifetime Platinum status. An SPG Member is considered “Inactive” if during a 12 month period: (a) the SPG Member has not had an Eligible Stay at an SPG Participating Hotel; (b) the SPG Member has not earned or redeemed any Starpoints, or (c) the SPG Member’s account has been cancelled.
Before the policy change, the only ways to keep a Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program account active was to do one of the following within a period of twelve months:
- Stay at a participating Starwood Preferred Guest hotel property
- Purchase a meal costing a minimum of ten dollars at a restaurant at a participating Starwood Preferred Guest hotel property, or
- Use the official Starwood Preferred Guest credit card
Additionally, Starwood Preferred Guest “soft-lands” anyone who currently has elite status but does not retain it, meaning that a Platinum elite member will “soft-land” to Gold elite status and a Gold elite member will “soft-land” to Preferred, Preferred Plus or Corporate elite status, depending upon which elite status is most appropriate — which means that a Platinum elite member could downgrade to Gold elite status and then to Preferred elite status, but the twelve-month inactivity clock will not begin until you reach Preferred elite status.
If the earning of any Starpoints counts towards renewing the expiration date of the Starpoints currently existing in your Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program account, I highly recommend participating in PointsPlay at Audience Rewards, where you earn two free Starpoints for every trivia question you answer correctly, thereby keeping your account active at no cost if you are unable to stay at a Starwood Preferred Guest hotel property within the next 18 months for whatever reason.
What new strategies do you recommend with the amended point expiration policy by Starwood Preferred Guest?