Exchange your expiring airline perks and hotel upgrades — here’s how

In the spirit of holiday giving, we want to know: Do you have an expiring airline upgrade, drink voucher, lounge pass or another travel benefit you won’t be using that you could share with a fellow TPG reader before it expires?

We first recommend offering your expiring certificates and other perks to family members, co-workers and friends or seeing if there’s any way to take advantage of them yourself. Once you’ve determined you still have some that’ll go unused before expiring in the new year, you can consider sharing them with another reader — perhaps even swapping rewards. Keep reading to find out how you can participate and even benefit from someone else’s upgrade; follow our instructions below.

What are elite upgrades and perks?

Why not make someone’s day by upgrading them to Polaris business class with expiring United PlusPoints? KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

With elite status and credit cards, you may have perks that you can share with a companion. For example, Alaska Airlines offers four upgrade certificates to MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K flyers. These certificates allow you to secure first-class upgrades on economy tickets. These upgrades apply to the individual member, their companions or even other customers traveling independently.

As long as the “U” fare class is available, you can use these certificates on most flights operated by Alaska Airlines. Sharing these upgrades with eligible customers is simple, and they remain valid until Dec. 31 in the year you earned them.

Likewise, the United Explorer Card includes two one-time United Club passes. You can give these to another person for their own United Airlines travel.

Here’s a more extensive list of various upgrades and perks that might be expiring that you can potentially share with another person:

  • United PlusPoints: Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members receive 40 and 280 additional PlusPoints for qualifying for their respective status tiers. If you earned status in 2022, your PlusPoints are set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024.
  • Delta Regional and Global Upgrade Certificates: Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion members who selected upgrade certificates as their Delta Choice Benefits for the status they earned in 2022 have until Jan. 31, 2024, to use their upgrades.
  • American systemwide upgrades: AAdvantage Platinum Pro and AAdvantage Executive Platinum members who select systemwide upgrades as their Loyalty Choice Rewards have one year from the time the upgrade(s) are deposited into their AAdvantage accounts to use them.
  • Hyatt free night certificates: Hyatt lets you gift free night certificates like Category 1-4 and 1-7 awards to another person with certain provisions. Unfortunately, you can’t gift club lounge or suite upgrade certificates.
  • Lounge passes, drink tickets and more: This category can include airline lounge passes issued as a credit card or hotel elite status perk and drink tickets sent in airline elite status welcome packets. These benefits expire on a rolling basis, so check the certificate to confirm validity before offering to share. Note that some may be shared electronically while others are only available in paper form and will need to be mailed.

Related: 8 elite status benefits you’re not using but should

Benefits of sharing and requesting expiring elite perks

Seat 1A in American Airlines Flagship First. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

If you have any unused airline and/or hotel perks, why not try and gift them to a fellow TPG reader? You may even be able to ask if they can exchange rewards with you. Doing so can brighten someone’s day by sharing an expiring perk or upgrade, even if you’re not traveling together. Best of all, there is no cost involved.

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Related: 7 airline and hotel loyalty programs that let you give the gift of elite status

How to participate in TPG’s 2023 expiring elite exchange


First, make sure you’re following @thepointsguy on Instagram. You’ll see our post about sharing the holiday spirit there. Comment with what you have to offer, but please refrain from simply asking for things. The point of this reward swap is giving. If someone does post something that is of interest, please directly message the person.

To note, your offer cannot be sold or exchanged for money. Our Instagram reward exchange thread is simply to connect our readers with generous people within the TPG community. Additionally, TPG is not responsible for anything you give or receive through this exchange.

Related: The 10 best places to visit in December

Bottom line

Our expiring elite exchange allows travelers to share their expiring airline upgrades, drink vouchers, lounge passes and other travel benefits with fellow TPG readers. This way, you can ensure that these benefits don’t go to waste.

To participate in this exchange, follow TPG on Instagram, comment on what you have to offer and connect with others through direct messages. Remember, this exchange is solely for giving and cannot involve selling or exchanging items for money. TPG holds no responsibility for any transactions or exchanges made through this platform.

It’s the perfect opportunity to spread the holiday spirit and make someone’s travel experience that much better.


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