After you get a credit card, you look forward to the day you can use all those points you have earned. You want the credit card rewards that the advertisements promised. But when you go to use them – you find that they disappeared.
While most credit card rewards are not going to disappear, some have a definite time. If you do not use them – you will lose them. In some cases, on the last day of the year, many people will lose existing rewards.
Conditions May Apply
Some credit cards have conditions on the points that card owners need to be aware of. Many of them require that a user keep their payments up and use the card at least once a year. Other cards may require that you use rewards at least once every two years. Either way, you need to know what the terms are so that you do not lose your hard-earned points.
Saving Points for That Vacation
If you are saving your points up for a vacation or trip, you need to keep an eye on the terms of the card. Of course, if you are continuously making purchases with your card, you do not need to worry about points or miles expiration dates. Also, if you have a Delta Skymiles or United card, your miles will not expire.
Credit cards that generate miles for American Airlines, however, will expire after 18 months if you do not use the card during those times. If you continue to use the card, the expiration date becomes extended for another 18 months.
Cards for Southwest Rapid Rewards are safe for 24-months if you earn more points with flights. Your points are also safe if you earn points through a partner.
Statement Credits May Expire
If you have a credit card that has a yearly fee – usually a high-end card, you may see a statement credit on your card statement. While this may sometimes simply indicate a credit for a returned item, it may also be a percentage back of your purchases for the month. There is often a monthly or yearly limit that you can receive.
It is the statement credit amount that will expire at the end of the year on some cards. This can be a total of up to $300 on some cards. There may also be some conditions on how you may redeem it. For example, an airline card may have points that can be used to upgrade your seat or check your baggage. Certain restaurants may promise a discount of a percentage on your next purchase, etc. Other discounts may be given from various dining, travel, or various retail stores.
Points May Expire December 31st
It is these points on some cards that are only good until December 31st, or some may expire after you have had them for a calendar year. An example of a card that offers such rewards is the Business Platinum Card offered by American Express. Points earned through shipping or a wireless phone service can earn as much as $20 per month. A credit of up to $200 a year can be earned on airline fees. Like similar cards, the points expire at the end of the calendar year if they are not used.
In some cases, you can order flights or upgrades, etc., before your points expire for a flight next year. This will let you use them now – even if you do not plan on traveling before the year ends.