Coronavirus (COVID-19): Hotel Elite Status Extensions, Changes, and Updates

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting countless industries across the world. The hospitality industry is no different and possibly the least immune.

Hotels that are used to having occupied rooms and packed restaurants are now closing in an attempt to stop the financial bleeding and ride this out until people start traveling again.

When people do start traveling again, hotels want to be sure that their previously loyal customers come back and keep spending their money where they used to.

To guarantee that, hotels have been offering elite members plenty of perks for when they return. These perks include point expiration extensions, status extensions, and more.

Of course, not all hotel loyalty programs are created equally, so some elite members may be getting more than others. Here is your ultimate guide for what hotels are offering in terms of elite status extensions, points, and more.

Hotel Responses Overview

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Waldorf Astoria pool. Image Credit: Hilton

Compared to the airline industry, the hotel industry has been very accommodating when it comes to reservation cancellations and elite benefits.

While not as complex as airline reservations, the hotel industry has its own quirks. Fortunately, the big hotel chains have been very generous with their elite members in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotel Benefits Chart

HotelExtending Points?Extending Certificates?Extending Elite Status?
Accor HotelsYesYesYes
Best WesternPoints never expireN/AYes
Caesars EntertainmentYesYesYes
Choice HotelsYesN/AYes
HiltonYesYesYes
HyattYesYesYes
IHGYesYesYes
MarriottYesYesYes
Omni HotelsNoYesYes
Preferred Hotels & ResortsYesYesYes
Radisson HotelsYesYesYes
Shangri-LaYesN/AYes
Wyndham Hotels & ResortsYesN/AYes

Individual Hotel Responses – Elite Status Requirements

Accor Hotels

Initially, Accor Hotels had only extended Accor Live Limitless status for 1 year to members who live in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

The new policy, for ALL-Accor Live Limitless members, extends status through December 31, 2021, and all expiring points will be paused through December 15, 2020.

Members with unused Suite Night Upgrades as of December 31, 2020, will have them automatically extended for 12 months.

Finally, ALL Status nights and points earned between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, will be rolled over to help members earn elite status faster in 2022.

Best Western

Elite members will see their status automatically extended through January 31, 2022.

Additionally, elite members who lost status at the end of 2019 will have their status leveled-up to their previous tier. As always, Best Western Rewards points never expire.

Caesars Entertainment

Caesars, the hotel and casino company, will be extending elite Tier Status to all current elite members through January 31, 2022. Additionally, requirements for achieving elite status will be reduced for 2021. The new requirements are:

  • Platinum: Now 4,000 Tier Credits (was 5,000 Tier Credits)
  • Diamond: Now 12,000 Tier Credits (was 15,000 Tier Credits)
  • Diamond Plus: Now 20,000 Tier Credits (was 25,000 Tier Credits)
  • Diamond Elite: Now 60,000 Tier Credits (was 75,000 Tier Credits)
  • Seven Stars: Now 125,000 Tier Credits (was 150,000 Tier Credits)

Finally, all scheduled Reward Credit expirations for 6 months of inactivity have been paused until at least September 1, 2020.

Choice Hotels

Diamond members will have their status extended through December 31, 2021. Gold or Platinum members as of May 20, 2020, will have their status boosted by 1 level through December 31, 2020. To maintain that status through December 31, 2021, members need to stay 5 nights between June 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Points will not expire through December 31, 2021. Normally points expire after 18 months of no account activity.

Hilton

Hilton Barra da Tijuca Rio de Janeiro
Hilton Barra da Tijuca Rio de Janeiro. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Hilton Honors points will not expire until December 31, 2020, even if there was no account activity for 12 months. Credit card free night awards will not expire until August 31, 2021.

All elite members whose 2019 status was scheduled to be downgraded on March 31, 2020, will automatically receive an extension through March 31, 2021. Hilton is also extending all 2020 elite members’ status through March 31, 2022. Additionally, Hilton will roll over all 2020 elite qualifying nights to 2021. For example, if you’ve stayed 10 elite-qualifying nights this year, you will start 2021 with 10 nights — helping you achieve elite status faster.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire or Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® cardmembers with unexpired or new Free Weekend Night Rewards issued through December 31, 2020, can now use those nights any night of the week (not only on weekends). Additionally, any new Free Weekend Rewards issued from May 1 through December 31, 2020, will be valid for 24 months instead of the normal 12 months.

Update: For those planning an upcoming Hilton stay, as of July 28, 2020, Hilton is requiring all guests at its U.S. properties to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces until further notice.  

Hyatt

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Park Hyatt Maldives. Image Credit: Booking.com

World of Hyatt points will not expire until December 31, 2020, even if there was no account activity for 24 months. All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade, or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, will be extended to December 31, 2021.

Status and elite benefits will be extended for all existing elite members without having to re-qualify. This means that whatever status was shown as of March 31, 2020, will be automatically updated to reflect a February 28, 2022, expiration date.

Update: For those planning an upcoming Hyatt stay, as of July 27, 2020, Hyatt is requiring all guests at its U.S. and Canadian properties to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces until further notice.  

IHG

InterContinental Hotels London Park Lane Exterior View
Your elite status can really come in handy at world-class properties like the InterContinental London Park Lane. Image Credit: IHG

IHG is extending Rewards Club elite status to all existing members through January 2022. Additionally, requirements for qualifying for elite status during the 2020 calendar year have been reduced by 25%.

Points will not expire until December 31, 2020, even if there was no account activity for 12 months.

Credit card anniversary award nights that were due to expire starting March 1, 2020, will not expire before December 31, 2020. Certificates issued in 2020 will have an 18-month redemption period.

Update: For those planning an upcoming IHG stay, as of July 27, 2020, IHG is requiring all guests at its U.S. and Canadian properties to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces until further notice.  

Marriott

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort Pool 1
Access beautiful beaches and a pool at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort. Image Credit: Marriott

Marriott Bonvoy elite members will have their status extended by a year, through February 2022. Points will not expire until February 2021, even if there was no account activity for 24 months.

Additionally, Marriott is gifting all members 50% of the elite night credits that their tier earned them in 2019. For each tier, the credits are:

  • Silver Elite: 5 elite nights
  • Gold Elite: 13 elite nights
  • Platinum Elite: 25 elite nights
  • Titanium Elite: 38 elite nights
  • Ambassador Elite: 50 elite nights

Credit card anniversary award nights and travel packages that were due to expire in 2020 will now expire on January 31, 2021. Suite Night Awards (SNAs) have been extended by 1 year.

If you haven’t signed up for a Marriott Bonvoy account, now’s the time. Through November 28, 2020, new members who sign up at this page earn a Free Night Award (worth up to 25,000 points) after 2 paid stays.

Update: For those planning an upcoming Marriott stay, as of July 27, 2020, Marriott is requiring all guests at its U.S. properties to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces until further notice.  

Omni Hotels

Omni Parker House Hotel Boston
Omni Parker House Hotel Boston. Image Credit: Omni Hotels

Select Guest members who did not re-achieve Platinum or Black Level status last year will not have their status downgraded for 2020. For those elite members who did reach Platinum or Black Level, they will have their statuses extended through the end of 2021.

Select Guest Free Nights with booking expiration dates of March, April, or May 2020, have been extended by 3 months.

While nothing has been announced yet, Omni has hinted that there will be reduced requirements for achieving elite status for 2021.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Woodstock Inn Resort Vermont
The Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vermont. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

I Prefer elite members will have their status automatically extended through June 30, 2021, regardless of travel in 2020.

Additionally, any expiring points that members had will be extended until the end of August 2020, which will provide time to use those points towards an I Prefer Rewards Certificate.

Radisson Hotels

Radisson Blu Kuwait
Where will your Radisson status take you? Image Credit: Radisson

Radisson has suspended its point expiration policy by 6 months, effective March 1, 2020. It has also extended the elite status of members through February 2022, for those that would have expired in February 2021.

E-certs earned using the Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card that are scheduled to expire between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020, can be redeemed through June 30, 2021.

Shangri-La 

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
Shangri-La Hotel in Paris. Image Credit: Booking.com

All Diamond and Jade Shangri-La Golden Circle elite members will have their tier status automatically extended through December 31, 2021.

Additionally, Golden Circle Award Points, which normally expire on an annual basis, will be extended as well.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham Royal Sea Cliff Resort
Wyndham Royal Se Cliff Resort. Image Credit: Wyndham

Wyndham Rewards has suspended its point expiration until September 30, 2020. All current elite members will have their status extended through the end of 2021.

Wyndham has also said to expect “relaxed Member Level earning requirements” for 2020, as well as other options for guests.

Final Thoughts

Overall, elite members should not have too much to worry about when it comes to retaining or regaining elite status. Almost all of the major hotel chains have very customer-friendly policies at the moment, and if they change, it will probably only be for the better.

Multiple elite programs have said that more changes are coming after the pandemic starts to settle down.

Of course, now is not the time to travel, but when it is, there will be plenty of hotels fighting for your business. Use this time to evaluate your future travel needs and decide whether or not now is the time to make the switch from 1 loyalty program to another.

This information will be changing often, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back frequently!


Frequently asked questions

Will I lose my elite hotel status due to the coronavirus?

In short, probably not. Almost every major hotel company is extending elite benefits through 2021 and beyond. If you earned elite status with a hotel chain in 2019, it is very likely that it will automatically be extended so that you will be able to keep your benefits when you start traveling again.

Are my hotel points going to expire if I can't travel?

Almost every hotel chain has extended the expiration date on points so that travelers will have time to use them after the coronavirus pandemic when people can start traveling again. If you have points that are due to expire soon, scroll up and check the policy of your hotel.

Which hotel chains are offering elite status extension due to the coronavirus?

With the exception of Accor, essentially every major hotel chain operating in the U.S. is offering an elite status extension of some length. Choice Hotels is still waiting to announce what its strategy will be to get back either loyalty members.

I have free hotel nights from my credit card --- will those expire?

Based on all of the information we have gathered so far, every credit card free night certificate that we know of will automatically be extended. Scroll up and find your specific hotel loyalty program to find out exactly how long your free night will be extended for.

Chris Hassan

About Chris Hassan

Chris is from Boston and is currently living in Rio de Janeiro with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Shelby. When Chris was in college, he spent a semester abroad studying hotel and business management in Switzerland. That is where he caught the travel bug and met his wife. Quite a successful trip!

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