How to Lose Credit Card Rewards

There are occasions when credit card users lose points, miles and cash back rewards. Here are five of the most common credit card pitfalls in this area.


Some credit card programs take away rewards if you don’t continue to use the card. For instance, the NFL Extra Points card from Barclay will the close account of cardholders who do not make a charge for six consecutive months.

Program Changes

Credit card loyalty programs have terms and conditions that allow companies to make changes with little notice. Most of the time, these changes result in rewards being harder to redeem, or requiring more points or miles.

Late Payments

Some credit cards have terms that withhold rewards when the cardholder makes a late payment.


Many airline frequent flier programs have expiration dates. For example, if American AAdvantage miles aren’t earned or used at least once in any 18-month period, the miles are lost. Card holders should keep track of loyalty points through the credit card company Website.

Account Closures

When the credit card issuer operates the rewards program, cardholders will usually forfeit rewards when their account is closed for any reason. This includes customers canceling their credit card as well as banks closing delinquent accounts.

Credit card users should be very cautious about accumulating vast sums of points and miles for more than a year or two.