If I don't have a stay booked and paid for but instead use a 'free' stay (using rewards points) and have points (typically 500) added to my account, instead of choosing something from the pantry, does that keep my points active? I believe points can be cancelled after 18 months or is it 24 months of inactivity? Please advise how I keep the points active since I don't want to pay for a hotel stay right now. Thank you
If there are no points accrued in a 24 month period Marriott has the right, at that time, to cancel the account and forfeit the points. To see the terms and conditions, go here: https://www.marriott.com/rewards/terms/default.mi Scroll to 'General Membership, Item #8'. Hope this helps.
Rather than put the points at risk, I would search for a super low rate (usually can be found on a weekend, in cities like Atlanta or DC often as little as $49) and pay for a room, even if you don't sleep there. (you must physically be there to check in, though).
All you need is some kind of activity in your account in a 24 month time frame. You can buy points to accomplish that or make a inexpensive stay somewhere nearby. Don't lose your points! They are too valuable!!
You may also consider using the MR Visa as points are added to your account which creates "activity." Another option is to convert some airline miles to MR to create "activity." Still more options exist such as sending flowers via FTD which earns points creating "activity." For more ideas to add points without spending $ on a hotel room, see: https://www.marriott.com/rewards/earn-points.mi#/1/