Do Sonesta Travel Pass Points Expire?

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Yes, if you have no activity on your account for 24 months, then your Sonesta Travel Pass points will expire. Per the Sonesta Travel Pass T&Cs page:

“Members who do not engage in eligibility activity for 24 months will be re-classified as “Non-Active” and immediately forfeit all Rewards Points in their account.”

Unfortunately, Sonesta Travel Pass has not joined the host of other airlines and hotels with suspended points expiration during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Sonesta extended Travel Pass elite status through June 30, 2021.

What Constitutes Activity

What constitutes eligible activity is a little complicated according to the Sonesta Travel Pass T&Cs:

“Eligibility activity includes accruing or redeeming Rewards Points and accruing a Qualified Room Night.”

This raises the question of what is a Qualified Room Night? The answer is simple per the Sonesta travel Pass T&Cs:

“Qualified nights are reservations made at qualifying rates and are used to identify changes in member level and to earn Reward Points.”

So, to prevent your points from expiring, you will have to have some activity (earning or redeeming) on your account in 24 months. This can include a qualified room night.

Earning Sonesta Travel Pass Points

There are a few ways to earn Sonesta Travel Pass points.

  • Earn 10X points per dollar for stays at eligible Sonesta properties
  • Earn points for everyday spending with the Sonesta World Mastercard®

Redeeming Sonesta Travel Pass Points

You can redeem Sonesta points for stays. Sonesta categorizes almost all of its hotels into 9 tiers, although some resort properties are category 10 or 11. Redemptions are at the following rates:

  • 10,000 points at Tier 1 properties
  • 12,500 points at Tier 2 properties
  • 15,000 points at Tier 3 properties
  • 17,500 points at Tier 4 properties
  • 20,000 points at Tier 5 properties
  • 22,500 points at Tier 6 properties
  • 25,000 points at Tier 7 properties
  • 27,500 points at Tier 8 properties
  • 30,000 points at Tier 9 properties
  • 40,000 points at Tier 10 properties
  • 50,000 points at Tier 11 properties

A Big Player in 2021

Sonesta has historically been a small player in the US's hotel market, with 74 properties dotted around the country. Things have quickly changed in 2021 with Sonesta is taking over 103 former IHG properties and 98 former Marriott properties. This expansion tripled the size of Sonesta's footprint, making it a much more viable option for stays and a loyalty program.

Our Take

The Sonesta Travel Pass program is simple and straightforward, with few of the complexities that larger programs have. But with a new larger footprint in 2021 and a reasonably generous points expiration policy, the program is worth a closer look in 2021.

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  • Gail Curcio says:

    Our 50th wedding anniversary 2028 . Currently we are staying at Sonesta x 1
    Year waiting house build . We want go Hawaii 50 anniversary. How many points are needed and will they expire 7 years

  • Despite their expansion, which makes encountering a Sonesta more likely, their rewards program is not at all compelling.

  • There’s a few places I’ve been where Sonesta now has a presence, and it’s always good to have more feathers in one’s cap. This new program just reinforces the value of transferable point cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred for the flexibility. Can you tell us if Sonesta allows for earning airline miles instead of hotel points for those of us who are loyalists in other programs, and aren’t likely to use Sonesta except occasionally? Thanks.

    • It does NOT look like Sonesta offers the option to earn miles instead of points – as you can with many other hotel programs. Looks like you’ll have to earn Sonesta points – which could mean orphaned points if you don’t stay enough to redeem for a free night.

  • Open Letter to Sonesta:
    Sorry, Sonesta, but I (for one) just can’t bear the thought of joining, tracking and preforming tricks to prevent expiration of accruals (even with AwardWallet’s expert assistance!) in yet another hotel loyalty scheme. Maybe if and when things approach normal , I’ll consider adding your properties to the list of accommodation options when booking future travel. In the meantime, congratulations on your re flagging of some IHG and Marriott properties which I hope will not infringe on my retention of IHG and Marriott elite status by eliminating options in that regard.

    • Hah! I feel the same way in many regards. After all, we have enough hotel programs to keep up with already! But, then again, hopefully competition will be good.

  • I’m a fan of the Sonesta brand and think that this will help them grow as travel resumes.

  • Sonesta is the most exciting new Hotel brand to come along in a long time. Hopefully the can keep growing to include more hotels where I travel regularly. Thanks for the helpful article.

    • They have the momentum. They’re expanding just as others contract. They’re seizing the day and are apparently in a position to do so with financial backing. If the hotel business eventually returns to pre-pandemic levels, they should be a winner, I would think.