It’s unclear how long the coronavirus outbreak will continue to impact the world and disrupt travel. Thankfully, many hotel programs are announcing changes to their status programs that will benefit travelers once travel does resume.
While status changes are subject to change at any time, it’s uplifting to see these programs putting policies in place to help bring their members peace of mind.
From status extensions to waiving points expirations, read on to find out what various hotel loyalty programs are doing for their elite members.
Updates to hotel loyalty programs and memberships
Accor has announced that they will be extending each of the Accor Live Limitless (ALL) status tiers — Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond — for a year for their members in Greater China. This includes the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Regardless of how many eligible nights a member completes in 2020, their statuses will not expire until Dec. 31, 2021.
Status extensions have not yet been granted for members outside of Greater China.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Rewards members will now be able to maintain their current status through Jan. 31, 2022. Also, for any Best Western members that were downgraded to a lower status tier at the end of 2019, their previous status will now be reinstated for the same time period.
While they haven’t updated member elite status as of now, the Choice Privileges program did post a statement posted online to highlight how they are continuing to evaluate member elite status.
Changes they have announced to date include:
- Changes or cancellations for existing reservations or new reservations booked between March 17, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are now free (so long as they’re made at least 24 hours before the scheduled arrival date).
- Point expiration has been paused until May 31, 2020.
Hilton, the first of the major hotel loyalty programs to announce status extensions, stated on their Hilton’s coronavirus page that elite status validity will be extended for a full year for all members. For those whose status was set to expire March 31st of 2020, this has been extended to the same date in 2021. For those with status expiring March 31st of 2021, their status has been extended through March 31st of 2022.
The hotel group made several other changes, including:
- Until December 31st, 2020, all points expiration will be paused
- Any existing reservation with a scheduled guest arrival on or before June 30th, 2020 or new reservation booked before that date can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled arrival at no charge.
- All Weekend Night Reward certificates earned with Hilton American Express cards that were unexpired as of March 11, 2020, have been extended through August 31, 2021. This includes any new certificates issued before August 30, 2020.
IHG’s is extending membership until December 31, 2021, for members with accounts in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. IHG points will also be extended until that date.
IHG is also reducing the required points or nights necessary for elite status by at least 25% through the end of the year. Those that purchased Ambassador status during the first half of 2019 will also have their status extended by six months, including an updated “complimentary weekend night” voucher.
Finally, the program will be waiving all cancellation fees for either new or existing books made between March 11th and April 30th, 2020.
Members that earned Marriot Bonvoy elite status in 2019 will have their status extended to February 2022. Bonvoy point expiration is also paused until February of 2021, at which time points will expire if the account has been inactive for more than 24 months.
Marriott has announced several other updates in response to the coronavirus:
- All new or existing Marriott reservations can be changed or cancelled without any fees until June 30, 2020, so long as the change is made at least 24 hours before the scheduled arrival date.
- Outstanding free-night certificates earned by members with Marriott credit cards that are set to expire in 2020 will now be valid through January 31st, 2021.
- Suite Night Award certificates set to expire on December 31st, 2020 have been extended for a full year.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Elite members of the I Prefer rewards program will retain their status through June 30th, 2021 even if they do not meet the minimum number of nights required. All members will have their points expiration dates extended through August 31st, 2020.
For Radisson Rewards members whose status is set to expire in February of 2021, that elite status will be extended through February 2022. Starting March 1, 2020, points expiration has also been suspended for six months. E-certs expiring on or before June 30, 2020 will now remain valid through June 30, 2021.
Bookings made directly with Radisson for stays on or before April 30, 2020, can be cancelled or changed with no penalty. For changes, travelers will be responsible for the difference in rate where applicable.
All members with Golden Circle tier status, including Diamond and Jade, will have their status extended through December 31, 2021.
World of Hyatt
All members that held valid World of Hyatt elite status as of March 31, 2020, will have their status extended through February 28, 2022.
All rewards set to expire between March 1 and December 31, 2020, will remain valid through December 31, 2021. Point expirations have been paused for all members, regardless of status tier, through December 31, 2020.
Hyatt has also made several changes to its loyalty program, including:
- Hyatt is postponing their planned changes to their award chart and will wait to introduce peak and off-peak pricing until 2021.
- All new and existing reservations, including those made with the Advance Purchase Rate, can be changed or cancelled without penalty through June 30, 2020. Changes must be made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled arrival.
- Advanced Purchase Rate reservations made before March 8, 2020, for travel prior to June 30, 2020, can be cancelled for 10,000 World of Hyatt points. The reservations must have been made directly with Hyatt.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
All current Wyndham Rewards elite members will have their status extended through December 31, 2021.
Additionally, Wyndham would like to gift Gold elite status to all essential workers. Those eligible can enroll on Wyndham’s #EverydayHeros webpage, and their status will remain valid through December 31, 2021.
Wyndham has announced several other changes to their Rewards program, including:
- Points set to expire before September 30, 2020, will have their expiration paused.
- New or existing reservations for travel on or before June 30, 2020 made directly with Wyndham can be changed or cancelled without penalty. Changes must be made at least 24 hours prior to scheduled arrival.
- For reservations with arrival dates after June 30, 2020, changes or cancellations can be made without penalty so long as it is at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled arrival.
For further assistance, please reach out to your designated Professional Travel team.
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