By: Revanche

I almost lost 22K Starpoints!

August 5, 2010

“They” always say not to save credit card or rewards points, and once again, “they” are right.  

Somehow, I lost track of my various hotel loyalty programs and let one of the more valuable programs lapse.

It’s possible I wouldn’t have noticed it even today except I was browsing a lot of online sales and after fussing over a lot of clothes I’d like to order BUT didn’t want to pay shipping for, I came to my senses. If I’m going to spend on clothes, that can’t come out of my regular cash funds!  They’re already stretched so it was time to go hunting for some point redemption for the next good sale.

That’s when the brilliant idea to cash in those long hoarded Starpoints flashed through my mind: Starpoints usually redeem at a 1:1 ratio and offer some premium stores like Nordstrom.  Blissfully ignorant, I popped into the SPG website and tried to log in. After several failed attempts, I called the customer service number inquiring about my account.

Oh. It had been inactivated.  

22,000 points, gone.

It’s been over 18 months since my last account activity and that meant it was fair game for deactivation. In fact, my Starpoints account had gone inactive back in April but I’ve been a little busy not staying in hotels or vacationing, sadly. 

!!!  I was really ticked at myself for letting that happen, so carefully asked about having the account reactivated which was surprisingly easy. The rep even volunteered the next happy bit of news: I haven’t permanently lost my points yet. They’ll reinstate those points in about 3-5 days.

My hoarding was with the best of intentions: I thought I’d find a way to earn a few more points to maximize my redemptions for up to $250 in gift certificates since I no longer travel and stay in Starwood hotels for work.  Regardless of intentions, though, the result was that I almost lost a hefty redemption of $200 in gift certificates simply because I got greedy.  

Don’t let your points get stale, redeem them if you’re not earning any more!

8 Responses to “I almost lost 22K Starpoints!”

  1. That reminds me that I have $100 something dollars to redeem on the Mastercard we won’t be using anymore thanks to the PenFed Visa…thanks! Losing that would suck.

  2. Yikes! Thank goodness you were able to get them back!

  3. Jenna says:

    That is awesome that you were able to get them back! Aren’t business travel rewards awesome?

  4. This reminded me that I have a bunch of point with SPG! I stacked up 30,000 points when I stayed in a Sheraton for a month after our move. I had high hopes of using them for a trip, but that seems less and less likely.

    .. And now I see they have Banana Republic gift cards. Ooooooh!

  5. Jersey Mom says:

    That’s why I like my Amex Blue – they give me cash back automatically once a year.

  6. ohhhhh how distressing!

    But they’re REALLY gunna give you all 22,000 points back? That’s pretty generous.

    I’m with Jersey Mom, though: Love the AMEX card because they fork over a nice pile of dollars once a year.

  7. Revanche says:

    @BFS: Even if you don’t use it immediately, like in the case of these points and the redemption options, definitely preserve them.

    @Saving Cents in the City: I know! That was a surprise too.

    @Jenna: Fab, really. 🙂

    @paranoidasteroid: BR AND Amazon, I think.

    @Jersey Mom: My other cards are cash back and hotel points that continually stack but I’m considering moving off the hotel one entirely.

    @FaM: they really are, and they really did. Amazin.

  8. ashley says:

    Wow, scary! Good thing you could get them back, and fairly painlessly it sounds like!

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