During these unprecedented times, it’s helpful to have a comprehensive, clear, and simple guide to help us keep track of hotel program updates and airline points and program changes. Due to coronavirus and its devastating impact on the airline and hotel industry, both hotels and airlines have been incentivizing their loyal customers with perks. It makes sense that when travel resumes, hotels and airlines want their loyal guests to come back. The perks offered by each hotel group and airline vary, so let’s go through each major hotel chain and airline and see what’s been offered in the way of elite status extensions, points protection, and other benefits as well.
Below are the most recent policy updates for the top hotel and airline rewards programs. Coronavirus airline and hotel rewards changes keep coming!
Hotel Rewards Programs
Marriott Bonvoy moved its points expiration date out to Feb. 28, 2021. Suite Night Awards now expire on Dec. 31, 2021. If your free night award expires in 2020, you can now use it through Jan. 31, 2021. All Marriott Bonvoy elite statuses earned in 2019 are now valid through Feb. 28, 2022.
Wyndham Rewards moved its points expiration date out to Sept. 30, 2020. If your current status is Gold, Platinum and Diamond, your elite status extends through Dec. 31, 2021.
No worries about losing World of Hyatt points! World of Hyatt points are now good through Dec. 31, 2020. Points redemption rate changes, which had been scheduled to begin on March 22, 2020, will be postponed until 2021.
Hyatt members who cancel stays made with points will see their accounts credited within three to five business days. All Free Night, Suite Upgrade and Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, now have expiration dates of Dec. 31, 2021.
Did you have elite status with Hyatt as of March 31, 2020? You now have it until Feb. 28, 2022.
Choice Privileges points now expire on May 31, 2020. The hotel chain has no set policy for elite member status qualifications.
Best Western Rewards points do not expire. After canceling a reservation on points, you will receive a points refund in your account. All members maintain current status through Jan. 31, 2022.
If your IHG Rewards Club points were to expire after April 1, 2020, they now remain valid until Dec. 31, 2020.
As a creative solution, IHG adjusted the number of points required to reach each status level. In 2020, points required have decreased by 25% or more. Essentially, this means Gold Elite members must acquire 7,000 qualifying points (down from 10,000). Platinum Elite members must acquire 30,000 qualifying points (down from 40,000). Spire Elite members must get 55,000 qualifying points (down from 75,000).
Radisson has extended, by six months, all points expirations, effective effective March 1, 2020. If your elite status would have expired in February 2021, you now have status extended through Feb. 28, 2022.
If you Hilton points were to expire between March 16 and December 31, 2020, expiration has been put on hold. If you are a US Hilton member with a Hilton Honors credit card from American Express, the expiration date of your Weekend Night Rewards (including new awards issued until Aug. 30, 2020) is extended to Aug. 31, 2021.
All members whose 2019 status would have been downgraded on March 31, 2020 now have status extensions through March 31, 2021. Hilton Honors members’ 2020 statuses are now extended through March 31, 2022.
Accor’s rewards program members are receiving 50% of the status nights and points required to achieve their current status. These night and points will automatically be credited to accounts. No news about points expiration dates has been announced.
Points expiration for all I Prefer Hotel Rewards members has been extended through Aug. 31, 2020. Additionally, members will maintain their current status through June 30, 2021.
Airline Rewards Programs
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles expire after two years of account inactivity. As a member, if you purchased tickets with miles and have canceled or will cancel flights in March, April or May due to coronavirus concerns, miles are credited back into the accounts.
Those credits have an extended expiration date of July 5, 2021, for travel through May 31, 2022. If you earned credits before March 1, 2020, there are now six month booking extension expiration dates. Alaska members elite statuses have been extended through Dec. 31, 2021.
All companion certificates set to expire in 2020 will also be extended. You now have until December 31, 2020, to book new travel through November 26, 2021.
Delta SkyMiles miles do not expire. Did you book an award flights that qualifies for a change fee waiver? This includes flights scheduled for March and April 2020 and those purchased in March 2020. If so, miles will be redeposited in your account for free.
If you have an upgrade certificate and travel voucher set to expire between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can now use them until Dec. 31, 2020. All upgrade certificates and travel vouchers with expiration dates after June 30, 2020, now have six month extended expiration dates.
If you’re an Elite SkyMiles member, your 2020 medallion status and medallion qualification miles are extended through 2021. The good news is that those extended medallion qualification miles will count towards 2022 status.
If you have a voucher in your My Wallet section of your SkyMiles account, the following extensions have been made:
- A 6-month extension on eligible Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates and $200 Delta Travel Vouchers selected as Choice Benefits.
- SkyMiles Select members will receive a 6-month extension to the priority boarding benefit and any unused drink vouchers.
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card members who have earned a $100 Delta Flight Credit will get a 6-month extension beyond their current expiration date.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card members with Companion Certificates with an original expiration date between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, can use them to book and fly by December 31, 2020. Certificates that expire between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional 6 months after the current expiration date.
- Delta Reserve cardmembers will also get a 6-month extension to use their Delta Sky Club 1-Time Guest Passes beyond their current expiration date.
JetBlue TrueBlue points do not expire. Did you have a flight booked with points and canceled due to coronavirus? JetBlue will credit the points back to your account. JetBlue has not announced changes.
United MileagePlus miles do not expire. Qualifying Premier points earned on your United Explorer and United Club credit cards double and quadruple respectively from May 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.
Platinum and Premier 1K members receive a six-month extension for any PlusPoints set to expire on or before Jan. 31, 2021.
All annual membership and subscription benefits have now been extended by six months. Status extensions for MileagePlus members with 2020 Premier status go out to Jan. 31, 2022. A reduction by 50% has been put into place for elite status qualifications.
Status has been extended for members of the American Airlines AAdvantage program whose elite statuses expired on Jan. 31, 2021. Status is now extended through Jan. 31, 2022.
To qualify for elite status in 2020, thresholds have been reduced by up to 50%. Changes regarding miles expiration dates have not be announced.
Finally, if you have an eligible American Airlines AAdvantage credit card, your spend on that card from May 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, will count towards your Million Miler status.
Southwest Rapid Rewards points do not expire. All Southwest Rapid Rewards members will receive 15,000 tier qualifying points, 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status.
Members with A-List and A-List Preferred status will have their status extended through Dec. 31, 2021. Rapid Rewards members with Companion Pass status will have their status extended through June 30, 2021. And if you have any expiring travel funds, don’t worry. Travel funds have been extended until September 2022.
HawaiianMiles rewards miles will not expire between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. If you are a Premier Club member as of March 19, 2020, you will have your membership extended by three months. Elite status requirements for 2021 will be updated, but the new elite tier qualifications have not been released.
Air Canada and Aeroplan have released their new policies. Miles will not expire through May 14, 2020. Starting May 15, 2020, the normal rules apply. This mean that accounts without activity for 12 months will start to forfeit points.
Elite member status is extended through 2021. It’s also possible to gift their same level of status to a friend or family member.
Both the airline and hotel industries have been quick to recognize the benefits of having a loyal customer base. They now keep coronavirus airline and hotel rewards changes regularly updated! This recognition has played out in the ease with which travelers have been able to cancel and amend hotel reservations. Status and points extensions encourage and recognize loyalty. Loyalists can breathe a sigh of relief about retaining and regaining status. It’s good to know that the changes protect previously accrued points and miles.That’s a good thing!
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