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Credit Cards

Could You Get 90 Extra Days to Use Credit Card Points and Miles After Closing an Account?

Could You Get 90 Extra Days to Use Credit Card Points and Miles After Closing an Account?
Joe Cortez

A new bill passed by the New York Senate could give flyers who collect credit card points extra time to use them after they close their account. The law would give account holders a 90-day grace period to spend points after changing or closing an account entirely.

The New York legislature wants to make it easier for flyers to use their credit card points, even after they change or close their account. Forbes reports the state senate approved bill S7104A, and is expected to be signed into law by governor Andrew Cuomo.

Bill Gives 90-Day Grace to “Redeem, Exchange or Otherwise Use Any Credit Card Points”

The bill, as approved by both chambers of legislature, would give flyers time to use their points, regardless of how their accounts were closed. According to the bill: “If any credit card account or rewards program is modified, cancelled, closed or terminated, the holder must receive notice from the issuer” as soon as possible. The announcement must be sent within 15 days of the decision.

On the date that a notice is sent, account holders would have 90 days to use their points however they see fit. Moreover, credit card companies would be prohibited from putting an expiration date on those points before that date.

However, the bill falls short of protecting those accused of fraud from collecting their points. The law states: “The provisions of subdivision two of this section shall not apply in the case of fraud by the holder with respect to the credit card account or any related rewards program, or misuse by the holder of the credit card account or any related rewards program.” In the case of the American Airlines flyer accused of opening multiple accounts to fund a trip to Hawaii, the law may not protect them.

The law will not go into effect immediately. Once is it signed by Gov. Cuomo, the bill will take effect one year after the date of becoming law. The soonest flyers could get the 90-day grace period would be July 2021.

Could This Bill Become Law in Other States?

While California and New York generally lead the nation in legislative actions, it’s unclear if other governments are considering a similar action. Forbes notes there is no federal law in place which dictates how long flyers have to redeem their points if they close their account.

But if the New York law holds, it could provide a framework for other states to adopt the policies.

“If the law is adopted in other states, it could add an additional layer of consumer protection from issuers who try to claw back rewards without merit,” Robin Saks Frankel of Forbes writes. “Simply because savvy cardholders have found ways to maximize potentially lucrative rewards programs.”

Would an extra 90-day grace period change your credit card strategy? Share your thoughts on the FlyerTalk Forums!

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1 Comment

  1. jamesteroh

    July 28, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Citi closed my doublecash account with no notice even though I had the account for five years and never carried a balance. I would have welcomed this since I had already put $12,000 on the card and lost $250 in rewards that could have gone on another card. Fortunately I cash out my rewards on the statement closing date every month but have a lot of chase points saved and am waiting until travel is safe again but am scared they’ll do what citi did and I’ll forfeit over $6,000 in points

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