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

Chris Hassan's image
Chris Hassan
Chris Hassan's image

Chris Hassan

Social Media & Brand Manager

Countries Visited: 21U.S. States Visited: 24

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a ...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 44U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upended life as we knew it around the world. The hospitality industry in particular was one of the most drastically affected.

Hotels that had once been busy all year were either forced to close or scale back operations in a major way as the vast majority of people essentially stopped traveling for nearly 2 years. And even as COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out, rapid changes in the pandemic’s trajectory have led to a travel recovery characterized by fits and starts, with many travelers not ready to become road warriors again.

Hotel companies know that their loyal customers are also some of the most profitable, so they want to make sure that when people return to traveling, they do so at their properties. And the best way to do that is through their loyalty programs.

So far, we’ve seen brands extend elite status into 2023, offer reduced elite-status qualifications, reward bonus points and elite nights, and more.

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

Hotel Loyalty Program Responses Overview

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

While admittedly 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 pandemic.

Hotel Benefits Chart

SCROLL FOR MORE
Hotel Loyalty ProgramExtending Points?Extending Certificates?Extending Elite Status into 2022
ALL – Accor Live LimitlessYesYesYes
Best Western RewardsPoints never expireN/AYes
Caesars RewardsYesYesYes
Choice PrivilegesNoN/ANo
Hilton HonorsYesYesYes
IHG RewardsYesYesYes
Marriott BonvoyYesYesYes
Omni Hotels Select GuestNoYesNo
Preferred Hotels & Resorts I PreferNoNoYes
Radisson Rewards AmericasYesYesYes
Shangri-La Golden CircleYesN/AYes
World of HyattYesYesYes
Wyndham RewardsNoN/AYes

Individual Hotel Loyalty Program Responses — Elite Status Requirements

ALL – Accor Live Limitless

Members of ALL – Accor Live Limitless who earned Silver status or higher by January 2020 have had their elite status extended through December 31, 2022.

Point expiration has been paused until December 15, 2022, for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members.

Best Western Rewards

Best Western Rewards elite members have had their status automatically extended through January 31, 2023.

Requirements for 2022 have also been reduced to the following thresholds:

  • Gold: Stay 5 nights, or 3 stays, or earn 5,000 points
  • Platinum: Stay 7 nights, or 5 stays, or earn 7,500 points
  • Diamond: Stay 15 nights, or 10 stays, or earn 15,000 points
  • Diamond Select: Stay 25 nights, or 20 stays, or earn 25,000 points

As always, Best Western Rewards points never expire.

Caesars Rewards

Caesars Rewards extended elite Tier Status to all elite members through January 31, 2022. No further extension has been announced.

Tier Credit requirements are no longer reduced:

  • Gold: 0 to 4,999 Tier Credits
  • Platinum: 5,000 to 14,999 Tier Credits
  • Diamond: 15,000 to 24,99 Tier Credits
  • Diamond Plus: 25,000 to 74,999 Tier Credits
  • Diamond Elite: 75,000 to 150,000 Tier Credits
  • Seven Stars: 150,000+ Tier Credits (Invitation only)

If you used your Tier Benefits (like the $100 Diamond Dinner) in 2020 or 2021 and your status was extended, you will not receive those benefits again.

Choice Privileges

Choice Privileges originally extended all Gold, Platinum, and Diamond elite status levels through December 31, 2021. However, there was no additional extension, and points will expire after 18 months of no activity.

Although requirements to earn elite status in 2021 were reduced, they’ve been bumped back up again to the following:

  • Gold: 10 nights per year
  • Platinum: 20 nights per year
  • Diamond: 40 nights per year

Hilton Honors

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, 2022, even if there was no account activity for 12 months. Free night awards will not expire until December 31, 2022, at the earliest. 

All elite members will automatically receive a status extension through March 31, 2023. Additionally, Hilton rolled over all 2021 elite qualifying nights to 2022. For example, if you stayed 10 elite-qualifying nights last year, you automatically would have started 2022 with 10 nights — helping you achieve elite status faster. However, any rollover nights from 2020 were not carried into 2022.

Elite-qualification requirements have been reduced for 2022:

  • Silver: 3 stays, 7 nights, or 17,500 base points
  • Gold: 14 stays, 28 nights, or 52,500 base points
  • Diamond: 21 stays, 42 nights, or 84,000 base points

IHG Rewards

Kimpton Palomar South Beach pool and palm trees
Kimpton Palomar South Beach. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

IHG Rewards has extended elite status to all existing members through February 2023 based on status earned in 2019.

Here’s a look at the current requirements for earning IHG elite status in 2022:

  • Gold Elite: Stay 7 Qualifying Nights or earn 7,000 Qualifying Points
  • Platinum Elite: Stay 30 Qualifying Nights or earn 30,000 Qualifying Points
  • Spire Elite: Stay 55 Qualifying Nights or earn 55,000 Qualifying Points

Anniversary award nights earned from credit cards began expiring on December 31, 2021.

Points expiration for general program members resumed on December 31, 2021 — they’ll once again expire after 12 months of inactivity. However, points never expire for Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, and Spire Elite members.

Marriott Bonvoy

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort Pool 1
The JW Marriott Mauritius Resort. Image Credit: Marriott

Marriott Bonvoy elite members have had their status extended through February 2023. Point expiration has been paused until December 31, 2022, at which point members with no qualifying activity in the past 24 months will forfeit their points.

In 2021, Marriott had gifted all members 50% of the elite night credits that their tier earned them in 2020. However, for 2022, requirements have returned to normal:

  • Silver Elite: 10 to 24 elite nights
  • Gold Elite: 25 to 49 elite nights
  • Platinum Elite: 50 to 74 elite nights
  • Titanium Elite: 75 to 99 elite nights
  • Ambassador Elite: 100 elite nights + $20,000 spend

Anniversary award nights earned from credit cards and travel packages that were due to expire in 2020 or 2021 will now expire on June 30, 2022. Suite Night Awards (SNAs) have been extended again through June 30, 2022.

If you haven’t signed up for a Marriott Bonvoy account, now’s the time as the hotel chain has also brought back Elite Guarantees.

Omni Hotels Select Guest

Select Guest elite members who reached the Platinum or Black Level had their status extended only through the end of 2021. No further extension has been announced.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts I Prefer

All I Prefer elite members have had their status extended through June 30, 2022, regardless of travel activity.

Radisson Rewards Americas

Radisson Rewards Americas has extended the elite status of members through February 2023, while point expiration and e-Certs have been extended until June 30, 2022.

Any eligible nights earned toward elite status in 2021 were rolled over into 2022 and will qualify towards 2023 status.

Shangri-La Golden Circle

All Diamond and Jade Shangri-La Golden Circle elite members have had their tier status automatically extended through December 31, 2022, and Golden Circle Award Points expiration has been extended until December 31, 2022.

World of Hyatt

Poolside at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Status and elite benefits have been extended for all existing World of Hyatt elite members. This means that whatever status was shown as of March 31, 2020, was automatically updated to reflect an expiration date of February 28, 2022.

Elite requirements for 2021 were reduced by 50%. However, for 2022, they have returned to normal:

  • Discoverist: Stay 10 Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn 25,000 Base Points
  • Explorist: Stay 30 Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn 50,000 Base Points
  • Globalist: Stay 60 Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn 100,000 Base Points

Guests without qualifying activity in the past 24 months will forfeit their points starting again on December 31, 2022.

Hot Tip: Check out the details of Hyatt’s first major promotion of the year that allows you to earn bonus points for stays through April 20, 2022. 

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Rewards points began expiring again on January 1, 2022. However, elite status has been extended until December 31, 2022. 

Members can achieve status faster in 2022 as the chain has reduced its qualifying night requirements. The updated requirements are:

  • Blue: At enrollment
  • Gold: After 3 nights
  • Platinum: After 9 nights
  • Diamond: After 24 nights

Final Thoughts

Overall, elite members shouldn’t have too much to worry about when it comes to retaining or regaining elite status as almost all of the major hotel chains have very customer-friendly policies in place at the moment.

We have already seen major chains extend status into 2023 and run elite-night promotions — you can reasonably expect others to follow.

Use this time to evaluate your future travel needs and decide whether or not now is the time to make the switch to another loyalty program.

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 chain is extending elite benefits through 2022 and beyond. If you earned elite status with a hotel chain in 2019 or 2020, it’s very likely that it will automatically be extended so that you’ll 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 once travel resumes at higher rates. If you have points that are due to expire soon, scroll up and check the policy the specific chain.

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

Essentially every major hotel chain operating in the U.S. is offering a status extension of some length.

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

Based on the information we’ve gathered so far, every free night certificate you can earn with a credit card that we know of will automatically be extended. Scroll up and find your specific hotel chain to find out until when your free night will be extended.

Chris Hassan's image

About Chris Hassan

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a passion for making content catered toward family travelers.

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