Unused Reward Points and Expired Credit Card Rewards

Using Unused Reward Points Before They Become Expired Credit Card Rewards

Many people will suffer through the higher APRs on reward cards for the reward points. However, these points only do you good if you redeem them before you lose them. Many credit cards have limits on how long you can use your rewards points for. Expired credit card rewards are useless, and this is an easy way to lose unused reward points. It is only a smart idea to hold onto your unused reward points if there is no expiration date.

There are several reasons people might lose their unused reward points, and we’ll talk about them. We’ll also talk about how you can avoid ending up with expired credit card rewards. You’ve earned your rewards points, and you want to make the most out of them.

Unused reward points need to be used to prevent expired credit card rewards.

Ways to Prevent Expired Credit Card Rewards

1. Redeem Them Frequently

One of the most obvious ways to save your unused reward points is to redeem them frequently. If you’re someone who forgets, set a specific date every two or three months. Do this the same day every time you redeem your points. Eventually, you’ll have a routine down, and it’ll be easier to remember them. Set email or text reminders or mark it on your calendars to make it easier to remember.

2. Check Your Terms and Conditions

Your credit card’s terms and conditions will outline your rewards benefits. It’ll also list expiration dates when you’ll lose any unused reward points. With this in mind, make sure you redeem everything right before the expiration date. Again, set reminders, so you don’t forget and lose them. These rewards will help to balance out the higher APR that comes with most reward credit cards.

3. Track Your Unused Reward Points

Although you may be tempted to track your unused reward points on paper, this is easy to lose. There are several free Smartphone apps available that allow you to keep track of your points. Many of them come with built-in reminders and credit card alerts about reward expiration dates as well.

4. Check the Unused Reward Points Balance Before You Cancel Your Card

There are some credit cards that have rewards that never expire. As long as you keep an account open, your rewards will be waiting. However, if you go to close your credit card account and you have unused reward points, you lose them. Always double check and redeem any remaining reward points before you close your account. An exception to this rule is a co-branded airline credit card. You may not lose all of your points or miles when you cancel. The airline may allow you to have the remaining miles or points on credit.

Popular Credit Cards with Rewards Points that Never Expire

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ credit card
Discover it® Card
Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Reasons Why People Lose Their Unused Reward Points

1. Saving for Larger Rewards

To many people, it becomes a case of how many points can they earn. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as your rewards don’t expire. Once people realize they can save for bigger rewards, they tend to hoard their points. For example, if you have a tiered reward system, you’ll earn bigger things with more reward points. The higher tiers traditionally offer better all-around packages, and people aim for these. Credit card sign-up bonuses help people accumulate a large amount of rewards points fast.

2. Redeeming Can be a Difficult Process

Depending on the card, redeeming your rewards can be a major headache. Many people seek to avoid this by simply not redeeming their unused reward points until the last minute. For example, many travel cards make it difficult to redeem your miles unless you plan a specific trip. Then you have to calculate to see if you have enough points to cover your costs. Additionally, there may be blackout dates to look out for.

3. Every Card is Different

If you have more than one rewards credit card, you know how hard it is to track them both. Every rewards card does things differently, and this includes their redemption process. This can be extremely frustrating for anyone, and it may put people off. One of your cards may give straight cash back, while the other has several categories. Additionally, they all have rules about expiration dates as well.

4. Credit Card Lenders Make Redeeming Difficult

Unless your card is straight cash back, you may have to jump through hoops to get your unused points. Many credit card lenders require you to have so many points before you can redeem them. They may also require that you log into their website and request a reward redemption. Some cards only allow you to redeem your points in the form of gift cards to certain stores. All of these factors make it harder for the average person to redeem their points.

Bottom Line Expired Credit Card Rewards are Unused Reward Points

When it comes to redeeming your unused reward points set a system up. You don’t want to miss out on them because you’ve earned them. Redeem your rewards frequently, and double check any expiration dates. All of these small things can ensure you never miss out on rewards points again.


CreditFast has reviewed the best reward credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each reward credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

Monica Kowollik

Director at CreditFast.com
Monica has covered credit card and personal finance news for over 15 years. From an early age, she developed an interest in financial literacy and saving money. Monica hopes to help others to improve their personal finances one article at a time.

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